More Help please - Grande Frontier

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Sneezles, Jun 12, 2010.

  1. Sneezles

    Sneezles Read Only Funster

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    OK, so you can probably realise that I am needy type but you are so kind and knowledgeable I feel I can ask for more help :Smile:

    So I have taken your advice and steered clear from the Fiat Chassis reverse gear judder thingy and went armed with this info looking for something else.
    (BTW the salesman at 2 places both said "They had all been recalled that had the problem and that it was a load of rubbish what people are still saying"):Rofl1::Laughing:

    Have now found something I have fallen in love with as the layout suits perfectly BUT it is an Autotrail Grande Frontier............ 2006 with 3 years dealer warranty offered. It is immaculate inside and out, nothing "appears" to be dropping off it - yet.

    I hear you all groaning, I have read some other threads saying how bad they are but they were older posts so................. has anybody got a nice word to say about one or should I just go back and leave my money in the bank and keep what I have.

    Is it a :thumb: or a :thumbdown:
     
  2. bobandjanie

    bobandjanie Funster Life Member

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    Well the Germans have been making A Class for years and still make them,:Smile: If that's what you want get a German van.:Wink: We did..... on a Mercedes. :Smile::Rofl1::Rofl1:Bob.
     
  3. haganap

    haganap Funster Life Member

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    I can only add this :Rofl1::Rofl1::Rofl1::Rofl1:

    If you think that steering clear of a fiat was a good idea and think Grand will be a good buy.. you have it the wrong way round.

    As bob and Jane said,,,, if you want an A class look abroad..:Wink:
     
  4. Sneezles

    Sneezles Read Only Funster

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    We have looked at some of the foreign vans and have found that they do not have the big end washroom we would like.
    The only other one we have seen we really like is the Burstner Argos but at 29' long it is too big! Could do with that one without the fixed end bed!

    Ok, I am hearing that people are not liking the Frontier but WHY? is it from personal experience of them and if so what problems have they had in particular?

    This one is coming with a 3 year warranty and looks immaculate with only 11000 on the clock (is that because it is always broken down!)

    Sorry to sound negative but I am hearing you but don't know what problems they have had.

    Any other recommendations as well please.
    Thanks
     
  5. haganap

    haganap Funster Life Member

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    The quality is diabolical, the actual construction is rubbish,,
    I have been in a few and can not believe what they charged for a new one.

    Its shocking.

    what is it you like about it so much?
     
  6. Sneezles

    Sneezles Read Only Funster

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    See thats bizarre, it is immaculate, looks brand new and preferred it to the plasticky finish of alot of others.

    We have the Autotrial Apache and like it but find the bathroom a little small, I know you don't spend much time in the bathroom but I like a bigger bathroom!
    I also love the drop down bed.
    It has the roof aircon running off a generator.


    If I had designed my ideal MH that would be it as the layout is absolutely perfect.

    We weren't looking at an A class, we went to have a look at what else was available on the market, had been put off the AutoTrail Cheyenne 635 2008 as was warned about the reverse judder and how expensive that could be if it were to be one with the fault.

    My hubby is Mr.Picky, he finds fault with everything, everything has to be perfect and nothing else is good enough and he cannot fault it at all, he tried believe you me!

    We looked at loads today and couldnt believe how "used" some looked, the were worn in lots of places, trims, carpets, inside lockers etc looked really tatty.

    I just don't want to buy it and end up with something unreliable forever breaking down and do value people's opinions on here as we are new to this and appreciate advice.:Smile:
     
  7. haganap

    haganap Funster Life Member

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    If you like it and it ticks all the right boxes, let no one else tell you otherwise... Go for it :thumb:
     
  8. bobandjanie

    bobandjanie Funster Life Member

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    Hi, If you have set your heart on it, you will buy it.:Smile:

    I was with a mate one day in his lorry, passed a garage and he saw this Fiat car, he said I really like that car, we looked around it I said don't buy it, its a pig.:Doh: He went back a got it, it went like hell, the only car I've been in at over 100mph watching the road go by.:cry:

    Anyway you will not get a great response as I think they only made 57, so in a few years it would be a collectors item, just try google and see if any problems come up, or ask the Autotrail owners club, and if you still like it buy it, at least the chassi is good.:thumb:Bob.
     
  9. Johns_Cross_Motorhomes

    Johns_Cross_Motorhomes Trader - Motorhome & Accessory Sales

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  10. bazfergy

    bazfergy Read Only Funster

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    If you like the large rear bathroom try Pilote a class on a merc,weve just traded ours in for an auto,but they are a super van,only changed cause i need an auto otherwise wouldn't get rid of it at all,lots of room and very comfy,:thumb:
     
  11. Sneezles

    Sneezles Read Only Funster

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    Haganap and Bobandjane - It is worrying though isnt it when all the reviews seem rubbish! The last thing we want is to come to sell it in a couple of years and it has either dropped to bits or nobody will want to buy it after the reviews it has had!


    Peter (at John Cross!) - do like the Mohican, that and the Cheyenne were our choice but were warned off with the reverse gear judder thing with the ones we were looking at being between 2006 and 2008. :cry:

    Bazfergy - will take a look at those ones, thanks for the suggestion.:thumb:

    The GF we were looking at has had one owner from new so maybe he has got any problems sorted, has traded in for a Frankia they tell me.
    Unless a few people come along and tell us they are the best thing since sliced bread I think we will leave it at the showroom!

    Back to the drawing board maybe though, so what is available that doesnt have the reverse gear problem then?:Sad:
     
  12. Johns_Cross_Motorhomes

    Johns_Cross_Motorhomes Trader - Motorhome & Accessory Sales

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    The reverse judder thing is blown up out of all proportion, 95% of the problem is caused by slipping the clutch, technique is to just let the clutch out and no accelerator and let the engine management take over.

    Proof of the pudding is to drive one.

    How many miles do you do in reverse?

    Other alternative is an automatic, the Arapaho is auto and I have three Rapido A class, all on Mercedes and also automatic.

    Peter
     
  13. Sneezles

    Sneezles Read Only Funster

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  14. Madmike

    Madmike Read Only Funster

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    Don't do it

    Hi Sneezles,

    Like you I was beguiled by Auto-trails Grande Frontier and bought one last year. They look fansastic and appear to tick every box you can imagine. However they have issues.
    First Auto-trail made them the subject of a number of factory recalls
    1 Windscreen wipers kept self destructing requiring extra bracing to be inserted
    2 Electric windows slow and burnt out their switch gear
    3 Bathroom floor bowing in the middle requiring extra support to be inserted
    4 Bed had to be modified, as some of them jammed in the down position if occupants were too enthuastic

    There may have been others.

    The one we had developed cracks at the base of the windscreen each side as they have very little bracing within the frame.

    They are not winterised and have very little insulation over the bed thus cold and liable to condensation if used in the winter and the deisel heater draws only cold air from outside so takes for ever to get warm and really is not up to the job.

    The only sizable locker is at the back under the bathroom and it is impossible to fit decent sized lounging chairs in it.

    If you want something that is used only in summer and on campsites using good roads to get there ok however if you want a motorhome that is good for all seasons NO NO NO

    The previous owner traded it for a Frankia. IMHO they are the best vans ever being fully winterised and if you choose model carefully you can get them on a Mercedes chassis. Needless to say I got rid of mine and bought a Frankia as fast as i could however it cost me dear. Best advice is learn from other peoples mistakes as you will not have time to make them all yourself.
    Regards,
    Mad Mike
     
  15. Sneezles

    Sneezles Read Only Funster

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    MadMike - You have convinced me now - that was just the info I needed to slap me round the face with a wet fish!:Doh:
    Thanks so much for that, you have probably saved me a fortune and a lot of hassle.:thumb:

    Thanks again to everybody that replied, much appreciated.:Smile:

    Looks like a carefully tested in reverse Mohican is on the cards now!:Smile:
     
  16. camcondor

    camcondor Read Only Funster

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    Sneezles I can only echo what Haganap, Madmike and the reviews are saying - STEER CLEAR of a Grande Frontier - we had a really really good look at it when we were in the market for our motorhome as it would have been nice to buy British. The finish was complete rubbish - very flashy, yes, also bathroom cupboard contents fell outdoors when the outside locker was opened, the garage space was pathetic for an A class of that size and, worst of all - all the pipework etc was exposed to the elements with no attempt made at winterising......and at a breathtakingly huge price!!! When we were looking the GF was over £70K with NO extras, not even a telly chucked in for the price, and our Adria Vision, a lovely A class with great value for price was £48K. The GF unsurprisingly sold badly and those that did, rapidly re-appeared on dealer floors and the production was very shortlived. Dealers seemed keen to get rid of them , no doubt why you were offered 3 year warranty etc. There are concerns about body spares and parts apparently due to the very short production life of the ill-fated van.

    In short, you could get far, far better for your money - A class vans are European, full stop, and there are decent British built coachbuilts.

    But only you know how you want to spend your money.....good luck with your search and purchase :thumb:
     
  17. whingyraindrop

    whingyraindrop Funster

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    Hi Sneezles,

    My first post! Really felt I had to respond. You see, Mike and I are what appear to be that rare breed (as far as the forums go, anyroad!,) HAPPY Grande Frontier owners! She has exactly the right lay out for us and we wanted a Mercedes engine and automatic gearbox. The bathroom is big enough to double as a dressing room, with a dressing table, wardrobe and lots of storage space. The drop down bed is superb, great size and comfy too. The outside shower and BBQ points, the good size fridge freezer with lots of kitchen storage, the sofas which are big enough to lay out on to read or watch TV, and the air conditioning are all pluses for us. I guess its what suits. We had a fixed budget and spent a long time looking at what was available in our price range and Mike did lots and lots of research, then we waited for the right one to come along. The issues for us have been that a couple of locker and cupboard doors needed adjusting and one of the roof lights recently let in water and needed re sealing.
    We have added a residence room and intend to get cruise control fitted. I understand the issue with the small size garage but it wasn't a sale breaker for us. We love her!
    May be we have just been lucky......
    Good luck and happy travels with whatever you choose.
     
  18. haganap

    haganap Funster Life Member

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    good for you:thumb: Im pleased you like it and it goes to show that those of us that do knock it are not always right.
    Not my personal cup of tea as I reported earlier but pleased you like it...
     
  19. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    It is coming with a 3 year insurance policy, that you pay for one way or the other. Like all insurance policies you'll find pages of small print. Read very carefully.
     
  20. ratty

    ratty Read Only Funster

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    re grande frontier.

    we got ours in january 2010, heating is no problem just a little noisy at start,the room inside is great & the bathroom/dressing room is faultless,the bed drops down very low for easy accsess,lounge area is massive,i have put a thin piece of mdf board in the bathroom/outside cupboard to stop things falling out,only down side i can find is i found the gf to late and had to changetwice before we found the right model, see dealer if he will let you try for a weekend then make your decission, we love ours & use it every other weekend & would not swap, had rollerteam grandduca & autotrail cheyenne with over head bed, best of luck in making your choice.
     
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