Opinions please.

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Tom A, Apr 1, 2015.

  1. Tom A

    Tom A Funster

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    I'd first like to thank the Funsters I've had conversations with regarding our search for our first motorhome.
    We know we want a fixed bed and a separate shower. Must be 4 berth.
    That's when the problems start.
    We've been looking for an A class but with our budget of £22000 ish we will end up with and older 2001 - 2002 van with highish mileage.
    If we went for a coachbuilt we could get a 2007 - 2008 with 20,000 miles.
    I know some of you will tell me about the build quality of Hymers etc. but we've no idea what to do.
    Can you experienced motorhomers give me your opinions one way or the other ?
    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. TUCANO

    TUCANO Funster

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    Hi Tom,

    I can only speak of what I know and that is two old Hymers and one new Autotrail Apache. I would say that the Hymers 1999 and 2006 were better screwed together than the Autotrail 2006 but the Autotrail looked more British, if that makes sense.

    Perhaps the thickness of the wood veneered finish in the Hymer is slightly greater, but it still lifts off when you soak it, deliberately I should add.

    The furnishings in the older vans may look a little more dated than the more modern ones. I like the overcab bed in the A-class but also liked the overcab in the Autotrail.

    Everyone has their own ideas though, although I am reasonably happy with my present van I still look longingly at Autotrail Trackers but two things put me off, little outside storage and the price.

    Enjoy the hunt, it is all part of the fun.

    Norman.
     
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  3. Dave K

    Dave K Funster

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    Hi Tom
    I'm not very experienced with motorhomes but personally I would go for the newest vehicle with the lowest miles on it that I could afford, it would obviously still need to have been well cared for but for me newer is better, best of luck anyway
    Dave
     
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  4. DonA4000

    DonA4000 Funster

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  5. TUCANO

    TUCANO Funster

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    Have to say that the state of the interior is more important than the mileage, these vans were designed to do mega miles.
    Anyone could drive a van a few miles and then live in it for years (y)
     
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  6. Tom A

    Tom A Funster

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    Lovely van but wrong layout. Couldn't see the boss climbing on the top bunk.
     
  7. Terry

    Terry Funster

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    Have a look at Ralph and Bevs van you may have to streeeech the budget a bit but its a nice well looked after van
    terry
     
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  8. kaasbroodje

    kaasbroodje Funster

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  9. gloworm

    gloworm Funster

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    Give her a leg up man
    Eric
     
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  10. Tom A

    Tom A Funster

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    I'd need your help mate.
    Only joking my darling.
     
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  11. Gorse Hill

    Gorse Hill Funster

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    Hymers are not the be all everyone on here think, plenty of quality vans about and the one Ralph and Bev have for sale looks excellent value
    I bought new a couple of years ago and looked at the hymers, wasn't that impressed with the build quality similar quality vans about
    remember hymer,dethlefs,sunlight,Carado,Burnster all part of the same group if it was me I would go for newer with lower mileage but your choice
     
  12. laurieash

    laurieash Funster

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    I personally dont think mileage is a big issue as most of these engines if they were in a white van delivering parcels etc they would have had many different driver's and had the life thrashed out of them.
    a low milage one may have been sat one a aire like Alvor in portugal for two years only moving to go shopping once a week,
    so you need to look at the van and see if its had a lot of use inside.
    ie the water boiler will have been used 365 times a year as will the rest of the items in the van.
    Afew years ago when they had the floods on Hull there was lots and of cheap caravans for sale in the area, why? Because the insurance companies put residents in them as it was cheaper than Hotels also they could stay on there own drives, some was there for years. So be very careful ask lots of the right questions.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2015
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  13. Vlad The Impaler

    Vlad The Impaler Funster

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    My opinion is to form your own opinion and not rely too much on other peoples !
    Do your research look at loads of different vans and pick what suits you.If you do you'll end up with the right van.
    I'm amazed when I read about people who have had 2 or 3 vans before they get the right layout for them. It's not rocket science !
    There are plenty of vans out there with the layout you want ,look at your favourite ones then look again then decide.
    Don't rule out a 5 or 6 berth van as they offer more living space !



    Vlad
     
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  14. Bazzermc

    Bazzermc Funster

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    We have just bought a 2009 Autotrail with 12000 miles on the clock, private purchase,seller had from new. Is immaculate and came with loads extras.
    We looked at hundreds, wanted fixed bed, separate shower cubicle, full oven which you didn't need a step ladder to reach.
    We found a lot of nice German mh's, but oven was the main issue.
    We found a nice MH at local dealer with layout we thought we wanted, but then went back to our caravan and pictured where we would put everything.
    This changed all our plans, we decided we needed a large storage area and found Cheyenne 696 met the new requirements........will stop rambling.......point I'm trying to make is to carefully think how you want to use it and where you will put everything, being a tugger helped us.
    Hope this helps.
    Barry.
    PS -also standard van front should be cheaper to repair, I see "A" mh window screens can be very expensive.
     
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  15. Jaws

    Jaws Funster Life Member

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    I am with others re the mileages

    It is worth remembering the base vehicles are built with an expected life of 250,000 miles at the very least

    As long as the condition is what you want, then buy with confidence.
    All I would suggest you do ( if it has not already been done ) is budget for a clutch and cam belt job. We had ours done 18 months ago in the Miller and the whole lot cost £450 or there abouts
    When viewing a van you can use this as a bargaining chip to get the price reduced to cover the jobs.
    Apart from those items motorhomes ( in general ) tend to die because of the body failing rather than the mechanicals passing on

    But just to put a different slant on it all.... Our gearbox just went pop at under 30,000 miles.. so there really is no telling I 'spose !
     
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  16. JeanLuc

    JeanLuc Funster

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    As long as you get the layout right (we have never felt the need to change ours and we've had it 8 years now) I think the most important thing is build quality - mileage is not really an issue for me. The only long-term consideration might be particulate emissions, but that means buying the very latest models to keep up with the Euro classification and is not something I can afford to do. Just keep out of cities with emission zones.
    Commercial chassis and running gear will last a long time if cared for properly - weak internal construction (cupboards, beds etc.) will not.
    Also consider whether you want to use the motorhome year-round, particularly in very low temperatures. German (and some French) vans are properly winterised so the tanks and pipework don't freeze - most British vans are not.
    Most mechanical things can be put right if they fail, upholstery can be renewed (there are a few expert businesses that will make the van look like new inside again) but the basic motorhome body construction is very expensive to fix if that goes wrong with problems like damp ingress.
    So I would choose a German van over a newer British one every time. In particular I would consider Hymer (because I have one and have had a good experience with it), Niesmann+Bischoff, RMB, Carthago and possibly Dethleffs, Burstner and Weinsberg/Knaus. Of these, N+B, Dethleffs and Burstner are all owned by Hymer Group. N+B, RMB and Carthago are premium brands so probably even older ones will be beyond your budget - but you might get lucky! If French takes your fancy, both Pilote and Rapido make fine motorhomes.
     
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  17. jenny and mitch

    jenny and mitch Funster

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    Another vote for Autotrail here..
     
  18. B-well

    B-well Funster

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    Good old quality Hymer no need to look any further, loads of layout choices. (y)
     
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  19. Tom A

    Tom A Funster

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    Well we've done it. We were set on an A class but had a look at this Bessacarr and it ticks every box. http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Stunning-2004-Fiat-Ducato-Bessacarr-E735-6-Berth-Just-24000-Miles-FSH-/121610673752?ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT&_trksid=p2047675.l2557&nma=true&si=8dTHmZmZvXSP6v2kqxLUQpbqeGM%3D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc
    Immaculate throughout and bought direct from private seller. Really pleased. Pick her up next Friday. Can't wait.
    Special thanks to
    2spritelyislanders, Fidget, JeanLuc, Forestboy, moho and JockandRita for all your help and advice.
     
  20. DanielFord

    DanielFord Funster

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    Yes it ticks all the boxes now, but the second it is on your drive, the toolkit is out, and the modifications start :D
    We bought ours back in October, and I still modify something or other everytime I am out in it, In fact, I just ordered a new stereo and a computer entertainment unit for the back :D

    Seriously, you are gonna love, good luck in all your travels :D
     
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