Older generation used motorhomes

Discussion in 'The Beginner' started by Element, Sep 29, 2013.

  1. Element

    Element Read Only Funster

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    Hi, first post on your fine forum, first of many probably!

    My wife & I are looking for an older generation used 4 berth campervan / motorhome, probably early 90's to 2000 and we've only just begun to look for one, we're on a small budget (under £4k) but there's plenty about from our research so far. So the first question is - are prices of this type of van 'seasonal'? In other words will folks use their vans less often, if at all during the late Autumn - Winter - early Spring and so there may be more about for sale and maybe prices are a bit lower now than they would be in late Spring through Summer? We're not in a hurry!
    I'm not unfamiliar with the tools and spanners so if the one we get needs a little work it's not really an issue. However, we went to see one a fortnight ago which was a bit of a joke... the sky could be seen through the holes in the toilet cupboard roof, it wouldn't start, battery flat; even with jump leads it wouldn't go! Rust here and there and clearly not worth the hassle of a much needed major overhaul. However, we've also seen a few ads which seem to be exactly what we're wanting - but they're far, far away down south (we're in Perth area).

    So if you have any advice or tips on what to look out for among early models and the right questions to ask we'd really appreciate it!

    I (properly) make and use biodiesel for my car and intend to fuel the van on it too, so an early Ducato with a Bosch pump or Transit based vehicle would probably be what we're looking for...

    Many thanks!
     
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  2. Spenders

    Spenders

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    Hello..

    Hello and welcome to the forum,

    My first top tip (make use of it cos I've not got many others!) would be to pay the £10 subscription to fully join the forum, which would enable you to glean a huge amount of information and advice from the good folks on here who do know what they're talking about!

    I do recall from when I was first starting to investigate motorhomes that I was surprised at how much they retained their value, even what I thought to be very old, decrepit models! Now that I've got my own MH, I find that I'm very curious to check out the older examples that are still doing a sterling job... of which there are many! I was particularly impressed during my recent continental travels at just how many older vehicles are in use.

    I look forward to seeing you on one of the many meets/rallies that MHFun members organise, if you decide to go down that route.

    Simon
    :thumb:
     
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  3. Mel

    Mel Funster

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    Welcome to motorhomefun

    As per Spenders{Simon} answer join thz forum best £10·00 You can ever spend.

    Any older van the big problem is damp if that is OK the rest can be sorted out.

    There are a lot of older vans forsale.

    Most important is what you want i.e. beds ,garage,seatbelts,

    So make a list , must have. Would like dont want etc then start to look round.

    And make sure its theres to sell

    Once again welcome to Fun

    All the above is only my opinion

    But this site is the best for help and information from a lot of nice folk

    Mel
     
  4. tonka

    tonka Funster Life Member

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    Welcome...
    My first advise is watch out for scams !!!
    By coming on here you have just made your first correct move towards motorhoming..
    There are many vans at the cheaper end of the market that get listed on places like ebay, guntree, pre-loved etc.... They highjack other people pictures and details then re-list them elsewhere and a much lower price that obviously attracts the first time buyer who would not realise that it's maybe to cheap..... Not 100% sure on the scam but it may be something like asking for a small paypal deposit to hold it while you travel down.. Then of course it's not there..
    Buying off forum or club members who are regular motorhomers may also be a good move.

    Spend a bit of time reading up on here and looking at adverts online to see what sort of prices vans go for.

    Good luck with the search..

    ps.. Here is a classic..
    It's listed in my local "used sales" as being down the road from me in west midlands, map shows it to be stoke on trent.
    Phone number when googled comes up on a lost and found site in Cornwall !! Very suspicious..
    Same van in a garage £14k...
    http://www.usedwalsall.co.uk/classified-ad/2001-Fiat-Hymer-Camp-Swing_22425438
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2013
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  5. jollyrodger

    jollyrodger Funster Life Member

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    Hi and welcome to the forum & as already mentioned spend the £10 for lots of good ,info on here from people who have been motorhoming for years, yes to the bio and rock solid 2.5di Transit and fiat not so good on later vehicles 4K so long as you don't mind getting your hands dirty ,have fun :welcome:
     
  6. camcondor

    camcondor Read Only Funster

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    Welcome, hope you enjoy your motorhoming experience when you find one.

    Very old vans (and even a lot of newer ones) can be beset with build problems, particularly damp, caravans are similarly afflicted. Damp is not the issue per se, it is how it has been treated and repaired - many old vans have signs of old damp, but if satisfactorily repaired, it is not an issue. Invest in a Damp Meter if you are looking for an elderly van and check a prospective purchase thoroughly as once the rot sets in, it can be huge amounts of work to fix.

    Your budget is very low for buying a van with no problems, even if you are handy with spanners - mechanically you do not want to have major engine repairs to sort out either, let alone the damp and other habitation issues. As you are not in a hurry perhaps it would be wise to join up on the forum and learn a whole lot more, and save a bit longer so you can extend your budget a bit for a better van. Not much point spending £4K only to find you need to spend another £6K on a battered van in the end, to make it dry, reliable and safe. :Eeek:
     
  7. Element

    Element Read Only Funster

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    Ok, great stuff there - I will happily pay the £10 - now I know about it; Didn't realize there was an 'inner circle' :Smile:. Damp was the major issue I was thinking about. I did actually originally consider buying an older big van and doing the build myself, more than capable for that as a project but the more I looked into it the more I found that it'd take quite a bit longer than I'd thought. Then we saw several ads here and there for vans from the £3k - £4.5k which seemed ok (without actually seeing them in the flesh of course).

    I figure that the things to pay attention to are:
    damp, wheel arches, underbody & chassis condition / corrosion, engine running smoothly through all gearchanges, brakes, suspension, steering nice and tight without any play, PAS too for that matter! I figure its just like buying a car or van; safety, mechanics and security first then everything else.

    I'll join up fully and then start the big learning curve :Smile:
     
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  8. teddybard

    teddybard Read Only Funster

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    Hi &:welcomefunster:

    Some Older Vans are excellent despite their appearances.

    Hymers for the most part are well built

    Despite the fact that they are probably the Ugliest Van on the Market


    but before you buy anything take a bit of advice from someone local
    ref its general condition and suitability.

    Best Wishes
    Roger.
     
  9. Wildbill

    Wildbill Funster

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    if your in to a bit of spanner work your gona get sum bargains but do be cartful to as i have older vans just got one for a nice price but had a devil of a job getting the part i needed ie engine i am recommending you pay the £10 to join her it will be the best £10 pounds you will spend and will actually save you a fortune ther are lots of very good funster on her always wanting to help my shelf and my brother went to look at this van cnice van
    just a bit to big for him

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_t...IESEL+MOTORHOME+4TO5+BERTH+A+CLASS+1985+B+REG
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2013
  10. wizzer59

    wizzer59 Funster

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    I think you have just been crossed off JJ's christmas card list:Laughing::Doh:
     
  11. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    even more avoid early mercs . their chassis are known to be well rotten now . many have been caught out but dont admit it . mercs are terrible for it .
     
  12. Bellini

    Bellini Funster

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    Hi and welcome!

    Like you, we're also looking for our first motorhome and maybe also one which is slightly older.

    As many others have said, first thing is to pay the £10 here. Excellent advice and well worth it!:thumb:

    I've been looking through eBay and Motorhome Trader ads for some time now. Also, if you fancy broadening your brush a bit, look on motor.de which is Germany's used vehicle website. Loads of makes and models on there and importing isn't a costly experience, so I'm told.

    I have a good friend who recently went from a succession of nearly-new models to an '88 Transit-based MH and absolutely loves it.

    From my limited experience, all I can advise is to take your time and be very picky. Don't rush into anything. Look at prices, models and try to establish some kind of make / model shortlist that best-fits your requirements.

    Si.:Smile:
     
  13. cbrookson

    cbrookson Funster

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    :reel: :BigGrin:
     
  14. Melchior

    Melchior Read Only Funster

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    I think you mean www.mobile.de :Smile:

    We bought our MH last year, it is our first and is slightly 'older' generation being first registered in 1999. It is a Ducato has the engine you are after, the 2.8 id TD. 122 bhp with turbo and old skool mechanical pump. The JTD is the same engine but with common rail injection, you can't run your Bio/WVO on that.

    As others have mentioned, damp is a big thing. We got stung on ours due to a damp problem (one day I will elaborate and tell the story, not today though!!) but love the MH so much we decided to have it repaired. Could have done without that expense, it is not cheap and if you want to do it yourself you have to know what you're doing. I'm good with the spanners too but wouldn't attempt a repair like that.

    Get or rent a damp tester and take it with you when you go looking at potential purchases. Go in all the cupboards with it, into the corners, under the sink etc etc. If you have doubts, walk away. Like when buying a used car, make sure there is lots of service history, records of damp/habitation checks etc etc.

    Not sure your budget stretches far enough to get something ready to roll but if you can do work yourself then you stand to get a bargain. Personally I would rather get one with a very good or perfect condition living area and borked mechanicals rather than the other way around.
     
  15. carsan

    carsan

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    Hi and welcome to the site, I bought my ford transit motorhome 1989 model on ebay 3yrs ago and have had a fantastic time in it.
    At first my wife and I gutted it ie threw all the carpets cushions etc out and refurbished the lot, had 1 or 2 probs with dampness but got that sorted out, the only real probs I had was getting spares for engine and exhaust parts but got great help and advice from my fellow funsters.
    Good luck with your hunting there are some good bargains out there hope you get what your after.
    Sandy & Carol
     
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