newby with 20 (+!!) questions

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by grubber, Dec 8, 2011.

  1. grubber

    grubber Read Only Funster

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    Hi There, been browsing your forum for a while and taken the plunge to join..

    me and the missus are looking to get a motorhome next year and pack up and p!$$ off!! first stop france :)

    just shopping at the minuite and a couple have taken our fancy, a coachbuilt merc 814 7.5t and a 28' winnie not got a big budget but I like tinkering so not looking for perfection

    off to look at them both this weekend any tips or advice for which would be best for a long tour would be great, i appreciate they are chalk and cheese ones a wagon and the others a yank v8

    anyway any owners advice would be nice or feel free to just say hi, expect I will be posting lots on here in the coming months!
     
  2. veevee

    veevee Funster

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    Can only comment on the Mercedes as no experience with an RV.

    Mercedes will be repairable where ever you are in the world, is amazingly robust if in good condition. Not too expensive to buy parts for, very agricultural but will look after you in difficult situations.

    Will give you about 20 mpg if you take care but only needs good basic servicing.

    When we were in N Africa we couldn't have chosen better. Sometimes trying to get into French supermarket fuel stations was almost beyond us, particularly in the south.

    Would we buy this type of model again? Yes if we wanted to go into rugged areas frequently. But now that in the next few years we will travel only in mainland Europe we chose an A class on a slightly less agricultural Merc 410D for a little more luxury.

    Good luck and make sure you take the odd chance, they are the bits that you remember.
     
  3. bandit

    bandit Funster

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    welcome

    Mornin grubber,cant help u on which motorhome 2 get.just a quick thread to say hello.Ive only been motorhoming for 3mths,but did quite a bit of homework before i got mine,its an old model Swift Kontiki 640 j reg,but it has been looked after and got service history .74,580mls.all the best mate.THE BANDIT.AKA Phil:thumb::BigGrin:
     
  4. grubber

    grubber Read Only Funster

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    thanks veevee.. that sort of eccos my thoughts on the two...

    mpg on the winnie is looking like 10 - 14 and french fuel prices having diesel cheaper than petrol could see the big tour been more of a big stop still!

    the only thing which drew me to the winnie was the fact its a bit smaller, not good for full timing but better for aires??? (we want to wild camp as much as possible) or having owned an 814 you may tell me you can take it places no problem (apart from fuel stations as mentioned..) i'm guessing some places will facilitate larger motorhomes but been new to all this i'm not sure

    thanks for your reply :)
     
  5. simsy56

    simsy56 Funster

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    I have an American RV with a V8 Chevy diesel and i love it, (the whole RV). l do my own maintenance and it's not difficult. A pretty straightforward job,
    The engine, i believe, is pretty bombproof, cam chains too. Spares are very easy to obtain, and filters you can get off the shelf.
    Fuel consumption is not going to break any records, and i do not think nor worry myself about MPG. l work on 10 mpg, although it is usually more, depending on your right foot.
    So, if i went on a 300 mile round trip to a campsite, i would budget for 30 gallons of diesel, say £180. Yes you could get a motorhome doing 20 mpg, or even more, but the comfort, space, and amenities i have in mine, l don't mind paying for in extra fuel.
    It's horses for courses.
    I like my king size Island bed in it's own bedroom, 3 wardrobes, domestic sized shower, and separate wc, the slide out for bungalow type space, the A/C front and rear, the hydraulic levellers, masses of storage, on board generator, built in LPG tank, and waste holding tanks that only need emptying after a week or more of living (no cassette, no chemicals, and no smells)
    The downsides are transport when have arrived, you could really do with a tow car, or motor bike. Difficult to park in towns, but usually can use coach parks. But, then again, this would apply to a large Hymer, or similar.
    Some folk love them, some hate them, we are not all the same thank goodness.
    Good luck with your quest.

    Craig
     
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  6. SPUD'N'T

    SPUD'N'T Funster

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    Hi Grubber, Have'nt got a clue about motorhomes but just wanted to say hello !
    :welcome:
     
  7. Gran & Rog

    Gran & Rog Funster

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    Hi Grubber you will find this is the best thing you have done, welcome to Fun
     
  8. Heyupluv

    Heyupluv Read Only Funster

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    Hi Grubber...am I saying Hi and Welcome to fellow Yorkshireman:Wink: or a imposter just living in Yorkshire:Eeek:What ever welcome.......:thumb:

    There is no perfect Motorhome, Euro box ,Yank, Van Conversion or Pop-up...you pay your money and wished you had purchased something else...there is always something you wished you had thought of when looking to buy :Rofl1:...
    Some have better inside luxuries but limitations outside, costly to move around and need route maps of sites and fuel station they can access:Wink:,...BUT are nice motorhomes,..
    Some are more basic like a mountain goat's and can go anywhere for just a little fuel consumption..
    The bigger you are the more limits you put on yourself and the more of a campsite, static, person you become,....I am on the side that the motorhome is more for touring and seeing many places at a cost that is acceptable, accessing all aires..and only stop on a campsite if and when required and parking in Town when I want...
    So I would look for a Motorhome in the middle.....one around 7.5m long...not too wide standard Euro box width....UNLESS you are going from home to campsite and back home again then a RV yank is your best option
    Many of the French, Spain, Portugal village roads/streets are very narrow without any obstructions...but then you get markets and balconies and canopies and table and chairs that they place on the road of the main high street to drink coffee wine and beer...I need to be able to get in and out of a French village / town if and when needed to access to an Aire when required .... I would also think of your axle weights as many French towns and villages have limits (I know many ignore the signs) but a large RV yank does not look like it would be 3.5ton limit:Doh:

    Mel:thumb:....good luck

    Oh if you do go for a yank...In France many on the supermarkets have a separate pump you can use, we do many times as some the access in and out of the fuel stations are tight to say the least ...these are for lorries and coaches....normally just to side of the pumps with no height restrictions and wider
     
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  9. yorkieman

    yorkieman Funster

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    An impostor!!!

    Everyone is welcome in Yorkshire. We're not picky :Wink:
     
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  10. grubber

    grubber Read Only Funster

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    Thanks for all the replies! :Smile: the encouraging words are nice, its a big change from bricks and morter but one that excites us!

    some good points to consider... off to see a couple this weekend, in a twist to the tail a m/h i bid on ebay last weekend but got outbid is back in the running...

    a 508d with a coachbuild back.. a bit smaller than the 814 7.5t but still big enough for us and the dogs maybe a happy medium for us...

    will keep you all posted

    ttfn
     
  11. grumps147

    grumps147 Funster

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    :welcome:

    sorry, i cannot give you the advice you are looking for, but i can advise strongly paying the £10 registration fee for unlimited questions, and, best of all, the use of the search features and information on travelling in france.

    Also, look at investing in ACSI, lots of sites shown will take RV's, and huge discounts out of season.

    Whatever, good luck.
     
  12. Heyupluv

    Heyupluv Read Only Funster

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    HE:Rofl1:HE:Rofl1:HE:Rofl1:HE:Wink:

    Mel:thumb:
     
  13. veevee

    veevee Funster

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    We had a 508D as our first grown up MH. It was a professional conversion with everything working and very reliable.

    When I mentioned the 814D was agricultural, the 508D is agricultural + in comparison.

    That said we always felt it was completely bomb proof and in fact was proven to be, literally. We sold it eventually to an Australian adventurer. He drove it to Mumbai to be loaded for a ship loading for Autralia rather than take it further east. His father was taken ill and he had to get home in a hurry.

    The 508 was loaded on board awaiting the last few vehicles and they dropped a car on it's roof!

    We remained in contact for a few years and he said although very dissapointed at what happened it was repairable, which just about sums up our experience with it.

    My advice is take the MH out on the road for say 20 miles and ask if you can take it up a steep hill and drive it at it's maximum. If you think both of those experiences are ok for you, you will probably love it.

    Good luck

    ps: as mentioned here, around 7.5m is practical in much of Europe but even then you may have to pay for 2 parking spaces in standard car parks. It can also get interesting driving down a narrow village street having to fold in both door mirrors... but fun all the same as you meet people up close that way.

    A few years back 6.5m was the length for a price differential for Med ferries, not sure if it is now.
     
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  14. grubber

    grubber Read Only Funster

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    we did it! we bought the 508d with a coachbuilt back :BigGrin: its a proper classic but we fell in love with it, far from the fastest or smothest camper for out money but the Full mercedes service history sold it to us!! plus i love my retro stuff

    Its going to be fun... we're very excited now..:Smile:
     
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  15. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    Hi and welcome Grubber.

    whatever motorhome you decide on you need to budget around £10k per year minimum for full timing.

    fuel and gas, site fee's (you will use sites from time to time especially with a yank tank), repair costs, food/drink etc...they all add up. :Sad:

    some folks manage full timing for years, others just a few months and if i were to do it, i'd consider letting my bricks and mortar for the first 6 months/year.

    then if it doesnt work out you have somewhere to fall back on.
     
  16. veevee

    veevee Funster

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    Very pleased for you, hope you have as good a time as you wish for.

    A little note. There were 2 fuel tank sizes, one standard and one long range. Double check which you have whatever you are told is fitted, we learned from experience...
     
  17. Bernintboro

    Bernintboro Read Only Funster

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    Hiya Grubber, See if you can hire, borrow or beg a similar model for a weekend or so so you can try out the ergonomics (!). Even though it is mechanically sound and drives well, you have to be comfortable with its size and layout, etc.
    Nearly bought a new van conversion which we thought was the dog's b....... but fortunately found out in time that it was too small. Whatever, there is usually some compromise on its qualities.

    Good luck!
     
  18. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    but if the standard tank is 70ltr the long range tank must be bigger.....the op was told it was a smaller tank fitted :RollEyes:
     
  19. veevee

    veevee Funster

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    It was a while ago pappajohn and can't remember the numbers exactly. But I think the OE handbook showed two tanks and the larger was around 72 ltrs?

    We were told or read that our model the LWB had the larger tank. After running out of fuel on our first long trip it was dead easy to work out exactly to the litre the exact capacity of the tank, it worked out to be 11 and a bit gallons, around 50 ltrs.

    Later talking with our local Mercedes dealer they confirmed that around 95% of the vans had the smaller tank...
     
  20. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    Oh bugger !!!!!!

    must pay more attention :Doh::Blush:

    this post was meant to be in the 'Auto sleeper Executive capacities' thread :Doh:
     
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