Motorhome quality pecking order

Discussion in 'The Beginner' started by Motoberg, May 4, 2009.

  1. Motoberg

    Motoberg Read Only Funster

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    Greetings all,
    Just about to leap ( may even look first ) into my first motorhome and have a Q about interior finish quality of fixtures, fitting and general build...so...
    Using the car world analogy that Merc, Audi, BMW make the best quality cars and Ssangyong, Daewoo & Proton have the lowest quality of build ( Ok, maybe not in that order but you get my jist ) How would you rank build quality in the motorhome world ?

    Bound to open a can of worms this one but I'm unsure if I should buy an older, higher miles but better built MH than a newer, lower miles biscuit tin ?

    Tks
     
  2. Johns_Cross_Motorhomes

    Johns_Cross_Motorhomes Trader - Motorhome & Accessory Sales

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    Look before you leap! You can feel the fruit and make your own mind up.

    Its the after sales service thats important, no good buying a van that you cant get back up from the dealer or converter.

    Swift and AutoCruise are top of the league for back up

    Peter
     
  3. The Wallace

    The Wallace Read Only Funster

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    There are a few owners with Fiat bases who might find that statement a tad disingenuous!
    How many years have some been waiting for a gearbox fix?
     
  4. Terry

    Terry Funster

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    Hi Motoberg, you have indeed opened a can of worms :Rofl1: As Peter says good dealer back up ??????????
    If a van is built right what need is there ????
    Most think German vans Hymer etc,LOTS of tired old ones out there :Rofl1:
    In my mind set I would get out and look around lots :thumb::Rofl1:
    Again if a manufacturer is going to pay top price for say a merc,vw etc, to convert as opposed to a say fiat will it be a better conversion ?one would think so :Rofl1:
    Lots are happy with a budget van (28k )while others are happy paying 70k for the bees knees,unfortunatly they all come with problems :Rofl1::Rofl1:
    Sorry to say you pays your money and makes your choice :thumb:
    terry
    Edit I made my own - so far trouble free
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2009
  5. Boo

    Boo Read Only Funster

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    Pecking order:

    1) Winnebago Brave
    2) Any US RV
    3) Any other motorhome

    It's official :thumb:

    Boo
     
  6. Wildman

    Wildman Read Only Funster

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    Mercedes base vehicles are the dogs wotsits. German built vehicles are built for Northern european winters whilst British build for Southern European summers. Want a well insulated van that won't freeze up in the winter buy a german built. German engineering is worldclass quality. I'd rather a 10 years old merc than a new Fiat and that a fact. Mind you my current van is 28 years old so am biased, hee hee Plenty of in betweens out there. Check the various base vehicle write ups on here for possible problems to look out for, they are not all bad, and niether are they all good. It you are buying at auction or privately only do so if you are able to fix all those annoying little problems that all secondhand vehicles have. Otherwise buy from a dealer, you will pay more but hopefully have backup. (Johns Cross have a particularly good record of fair dealing)
    In the end you pays you money and makes your choice, decide what you need, decide what you would like to have. Get yourself a motorhome check list from Jim a must to remind you of everything. Good luck
     
  7. Jim

    Jim Ringleader

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    Value for money and your list might be OK, but some US RV manufacturers would not know what "build quality" was.

    1. Build it big:thumb:
    2. Build it strong:thumb:
    3. Build it heavy :thumb:
    4. Build the interior to resemble a Laura Ashley catalogue:thumb:
    5. Build Quality:Rofl1::Rofl1::Rofl1:
     
  8. Jim

    Jim Ringleader

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    Fiat seem to have gotton a terrible reputation of late, and yes, Mercs are great but £ for £ I would buy the pre 2006 Fiat every time. Its done zillions of miles and still does. Its a fantastic piece of kit at the price.
     
  9. Motoberg

    Motoberg Read Only Funster

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    Thanks for the input chaps
    As for £70k !! in my dreams..:Laughing:
    divide by 3.5 and you'll be nearer :RollEyes:
    I have kicked a whole bunch of tyres at dealers and looking at the differences in quality of simple things like veneers and cupboard catches is night and day

    swaying towards an older 6berth-ish Autotrail with the 2.8jtd
    In comparison the much newer Ford Rollerskate looked great and shiney but my lad would have it in bits in 10 minutes

    but what do I know, thats why I'm here asking questions, and yes, I can fix most broken stuff :Cool:
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2009
  10. haganap

    haganap Funster Life Member

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    wow, a can of worms yes, but a good valid question. However you do need to seperate it in too two parts. This is because you are talking about the chasis as well by your statement about the fiat. Most Hymers and other quality German motorhomes are built on a Fiat and that's a fact. Rule any van out, built on a fiat at your loss as far as Im concerned. There are loads of old motorhomes trawling about still going strong built on a fiat.

    So on to your "pecking order". As Roger says the words quality and German seem to go together, but £ for £ do they? I personally don't think so.
    In our experience our first van (a ci) italian made, described by many as a budjet van was ace for us to start with. Never broke down once in 35k miles (on a fiat), not one part of the habitation area failed, but in terms of quality compared to a Hymer (often used as the benchmark) obviously poor. Our kids used to slam the cupboards, thrash around in it and it stood firm.
    Our current van an ADRIA (slovenian) is also so much more quality than the CI and so far as good in terms of reliabilty. The reason it is so much better is because the layout suits us and nothing else.

    So if and im not saying for one second this is the case, you compare it in car terms to quality is better you are going to come unstuck. The most important factor to consider is that the layout is right and suited to you. There is no point in having a Hymer because its good quality and ending up in a completely unsuited van. Would be a bit like buying a Porshce 911 because its quality but forgetting that you have a family of four and a dog to go in it.

    The other thing Roger mentioned that is pertinent is what you intend to do in it. If you want to go hot sunny places then no problem, if you want to go in ot the mountains in winter and -20 degrees please dont take boos advice. :Wink:

    good luck wiht what ever you choose
     
  11. staging lady

    staging lady Funster

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    Hi ,we have a 18 year old German Frankia Atlantis. Everything works: blown air heating, fridge,extractor fan, pull down bed. It's built for a German winter so we are snug inside. The upholstery and curtains are tired but can be renewed and the cushions are much more comfortable than the new vans we have seen at the shows. I'm going to make new curtains when I've got a bit of time. We love our Frankie. She is not the smartest kid on the block but for her age she has had a great build quality- real wood tables e.g.
    I would go for a good quality second hand MH with higher mileage which has had a previous owner iron out the problems and maybe add some extras. But I haven't been MHoming long ( Caravanning many years) so some will disagree. It also depends on your budget.
    Lucille
     
  12. Terry

    Terry Funster

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    What we need is a multi franchise dealer to come on and tell us which vans he /she has least problems with :thumb::Rofl1:
    terry
     
  13. Motoberg

    Motoberg Read Only Funster

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    Had never really thought of the chassis angle to be honest and I wouldn't know a good un from a bad un so any chassis advice is welcome ( and why ! )
    The power plant at the front is what it is, and Fiat get a lot of bad press, its seems from what I've read on here that the newer 2.3 should be avoided like Mexican Pigs ! Do they go bang ?
    Anyway I guess my question was more based on internal fixtures and fittings
    my guideline basic must haves at the moment are :-

    Overcab double ( boy has claimed it ) rear U shape lounge or over garage double ( havent decided which yet ) and midships double/table with seat belts ( the seats, not the table :BigGrin: )

    I'll compare the additional novelties and gadgets one the basic layout is correct
     
  14. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    Please explain yourself Roger.....these are one and the same thing, are they not..:Rofl1::Rofl1::Rofl1:
     
  15. chigman

    chigman Read Only Funster

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    German and quality dont always go together I'm affraid. My burstner has nothing but problems, it's even been off the road for nearly three months altogether for fixes to be carried out, I've only had it for 18 months.:Angry::Eeek:
    I would buy another german van for the winterised aspect of them, but probably a Frankia next time.:BigGrin:

    steve
     
  16. johng

    johng Read Only Funster

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    why's that Hagnap ?

    I am just curious...

    my old RV has survived some pretty cold nights this year (although I live in it, which will keep things warm)

    but also, to my suprise, as I dismantle the overcab area for some work, I find every surface of the van is styrofoam insulated.. ok there's no double glazing , granted.. :Blush:

    as for build quality, in 1984 in some giant RV factory, build quality wasnt realy there :Rofl1:

    John

    hey Steve :)
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2009
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