Rapido 983f and 963f

Discussion in 'Rapido' started by Sid52, May 14, 2013.

  1. Sid52

    Sid52 Funster

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    I'm looking for any comparisons between these two models They both have similar layouts, although I think what distinguishes them maybe an alko chassis on the 963.

    Does anyone know any further differences, has anyone owned one? These are both on our shortlist so any info would be gratefully received.

    Cheers
    Sid
     
  2. makems

    makems Funster Life Member

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    We have a 983M on the merc chassis. I think it is identical to the 963F with about an inch difference in length.
    We've owned it for a couple of years and have spent about 500 nights in it so far. It's toured much of Western Europe plus Morocco so we've come to terms with most of it's strengths and weaknesses.
    Can't help with comparisons but if there are particular questions about the 983 then let me know.
     
  3. Sid52

    Sid52 Funster

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    'We have a 983M on the merc chassis. I think it is identical to the 963F with about an inch difference in length.
    We've owned it for a couple of years and have spent about 500 nights in it so far. It's toured much of Western Europe plus Morocco so we've come to terms with most of it's strengths and weaknesses.
    Can't help with comparisons but if there are particular questions about the 983 then let me know.,


    Thanks for your reply.
    I would be interested in your opinions of its strengths and weaknesses. With 500 nights under your belt I would think you are well qualified to make a balanced assessment!
    Does it have the standard Fiat chassis or is it an Alko.
    How well have the fittings and fixtures survived.
    Have you found the rear bed comfortable and straightforward in getting in and out.
    What did you fill that huge garage with.
    Did you find particular problems with servicing or sourcing of spare parts.
    Anything else you love or hate.

    Cheers
    Sid
     
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  4. makems

    makems Funster Life Member

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    Thanks for your reply.
    I would be interested in your opinions of its strengths and weaknesses. With 500 nights under your belt I would think you are well qualified to make a balanced assessment!
    Does it have the standard Fiat chassis or is it an Alko.
    How well have the fittings and fixtures survived.
    Have you found the rear bed comfortable and straightforward in getting in and out.
    What did you fill that huge garage with.
    Did you find particular problems with servicing or sourcing of spare parts.
    Anything else you love or hate.

    Cheers
    Sid[/QUOTE]

    It's on a Mercedes chassis so I can't comment on Fiat - Alko or otherwise. For info the Merc chassis rolls about quite a bit so we've fitted air suspension and it's a different animal now.
    We bought our van slightly used and found that some of the bed slats on the rear fixed bed had gone soft and sunk. The mattress had also sagged. Surprising for such a lightly used van (Maybe the previous owners were well on the large size! We took the bed out completely and replaced it with a German system fitted as an option to the Niesman Bischoff vans (got it at a good discount at a motorhoime show in Germany). We replaced the mattress with one custom made locally in Hartlepool at a very, very good price.
    Getting in and out is a procedure but after 500+ goes at it we have it down to a fine art. Gwen takes the berth near the front and I take the berth at the rear. Obviously if I'm last in or first out I have to clamber over. I'm still fairly fit so it's not a massive problem.
    Gwen's a little on the petite side so she does find it's a bit of a climb to get up into the bed.
    The garage is absolutely chock full believe it or not. What's in it?
    2 electric bikes, a washing machine, a clothes horse thing we bought in Portugal for drying the washing, chairs, tables, stools, windbreak, camping carpet, an awning (only if we're rallying in the UK and planning to stay more than 4 days in one place), buckets, a wastemaster, ramps, an acoustic guitar in it's flight case, 25 litre water can, 25 litre diesel can, a spare wheel, (bought from eBay, wouldn't have gone to Morocco without one) tools, spare supplies of food, drink, cleaning materials, probably a lot of other stuff I just can't think of off the top of my head.
    Phew!
     
  5. makems

    makems Funster Life Member

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    Thanks for your reply.
    I would be interested in your opinions of its strengths and weaknesses. With 500 nights under your belt I would think you are well qualified to make a balanced assessment!
    Anything else you love or hate.

    Cheers
    Sid[/QUOTE]

    Sorry got carried away and didn't address these points.
    I won't discuss the mechanical side of the van as it's Merc and not relevant.
    As for the habitation side, here's a list of the things other than the bed we've had issues with:
    There is a persistent squeak from somewhere above and forward of the passenger seat. I though it was the drop down bed but actually it seems to be from where the roof meets the body panel. It used to annoy me but now I think my head has tuned it out.
    The habitation door mechanism failed and had to be replaced - about £200 I think.
    One of the garage door handles had to be replaced. Dealer ordered white instead of grey so it doesn't quite match. Hey Ho
    The shower door rattles and bangs as you drive. We put a sponge behind it a bungee to the shower riser rail. Sorted.
    The bathroom door lock has failed a few times. I've been able to disassemble and fix it until now when a spring has broken. Currently at a local locksmith to see if he can fix it. Rapido replacement is 220 Euros!
    One of the top cupboards in the lounge area snapped in half and had to be glued back together
    The grey water tank emptying valve has blocked up a couple of times. I now know how to remove the pipe where it exits from the tank. It's a push fit - you pull it hard and it comes out, and you try to get out of the way before getting soaked by really smelly horrible grey water!
    The swivel seats have been stiff to rotate since day1 despite copious amounts of WD40
    The seat armrests have also become slack a couple of times but I now know how to tighten them up thanks to Jaws showing me.
    The oven is useless - not a Rapido issue really
    The fridge freezer is great
    The regulator is a Truma, same as almost every other MH in Europe so expect it to fail sometime as ours did in Portugal (again not really a Rapido specific issue)
    The swivel sliding table is a marvel in ingenuity but just a bit too big in the 983. It makes it difficult to get in and out of the the side facing bench seat. We're considering having a smaller table top custom made.
    One of the window catches has partly broken but it still locks OK, just needs a bit of "encouragement" to open it and close it.
    I know it sounds like a lot of issues but in the context of how much use and abuse the van gets its not too bad - we're not fulltimers but we spend about 6 months a year touring.
    So would we buy another Rapido? Let's just say we wouldn't be put off having another one but equally we're not so enamoured that we wouldn't look at other brands. Having spoken to plenty of other owners of all makes and models it's clear that there is good and bad in every manufacturer and at all price levels from budget up prestige.
    The one thing I would say is ensure you are happy with the layout. Even if you have a van with perfect quality if the layout's not right you'll be selling it again within a year.
    We've been quite happy with the layout in the 983, but if we were looking again we would have liked a slightly larger lounge area and an island bed. That would mean a longer van and when we bought the 983 we were worried about length - Gwen has to do all the driving and was nervous about anything longer than 7m.
    Hope that helps.

    Oh - I've just remembered something else I have in the garage - a spare toilet cassette in case we're wild camping with nowhere to empty out for a few days.
     
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  6. Sid52

    Sid52 Funster

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    It's on a Mercedes chassis so I can't comment on Fiat - Alko or otherwise. For info the Merc chassis rolls about quite a bit so we've fitted air suspension and it's a different animal now.
    We bought our van slightly used and found that some of the bed slats on the rear fixed bed had gone soft and sunk. The mattress had also sagged. Surprising for such a lightly used van (Maybe the previous owners were well on the large size! We took the bed out completely and replaced it with a German system fitted as an option to the Niesman Bischoff vans (got it at a good discount at a motorhoime show in Germany). We replaced the mattress with one custom made locally in Hartlepool at a very, very good price.
    Getting in and out is a procedure but after 500+ goes at it we have it down to a fine art. Gwen takes the berth near the front and I take the berth at the rear. Obviously if I'm last in or first out I have to clamber over. I'm still fairly fit so it's not a massive problem.
    Gwen's a little on the petite side so she does find it's a bit of a climb to get up into the bed.
    The garage is absolutely chock full believe it or not. What's in it?
    2 electric bikes, a washing machine, a clothes horse thing we bought in Portugal for drying the washing, chairs, tables, stools, windbreak, camping carpet, an awning (only if we're rallying in the UK and planning to stay more than 4 days in one place), buckets, a wastemaster, ramps, an acoustic guitar in it's flight case, 25 litre water can, 25 litre diesel can, a spare wheel, (bought from eBay, wouldn't have gone to Morocco without one) tools, spare supplies of food, drink, cleaning materials, probably a lot of other stuff I just can't think of off the top of my head.
    Phew![/QUOTE]

    Phew indeed! Thanks for all that. I must admit the garage and fixed bed are one of the main reasons for looking seriously at this van. We are looking at 2005 - 7 models, and I must say I didn't look for the spare wheel when viewing one recently. It seems that yours doesn't have, or wasn't supplied with one. Does this mean that you only had a tyre repair kit supplied?
    It does seem that most of the problems are fairly minor, though not cheap, or are to do with third party equipment.

    Like you we wanted to keep the van length down to 7m maximum, and after many years of camping really didn't want the hassle of making beds up each night. Although the height of the bed makes it a little more awkward, the upside is the large garage that can store bikes, eschewing an exterior bike rack.
    Thanks
    Sid
     
  7. makems

    makems Funster Life Member

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    I think most motorhomes these days are supplied only with a repair kit presumably to give a bit of extra payload.
    That's OK provided you don't have an explosive blowout like we did in Spain on our way back from Morocco.
    It would have taken more than a can of gunk to fix this one:
     

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  8. treetops1

    treetops1 Funster

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    Ours is on alko chassis although it is the 9083DF cannot fault it ,slightly bigger lounge i think.My wife shirley has the rear double and i have the drop down over the cab ,except in winter if its a bit cold i join her in the rear bed lol.Cannot fault it and it would have to be something special to make us change and we have not seen it yet.We purchased a spare wheel which we keep in the garage but still carry the repair kit as the pump is excellent (air beds,balls ect).Lots of storage space the bulk under the floor we do not use.We average round the 28/29 mpg but i just drive it to suit myself mpg is not important. I would recommend this model to anyone .
     
  9. laneside

    laneside Funster

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    Not quite relevant but we have the Rapido 791 ff with island bed and drop down bed and we have been in, since new, for over 500 nights. Ours has the Alko chassis but now with air suspension on so that the rear axle weight limit could be increased.

    The only faults we have had was the oven door handle dropped off and on the Fiat side it went in to limp mode near to Le Mans and had to have a new injector harness fitted under warranty.

    We find it very comfy and are well pleased with how it has performed.

    Hey as for filling the garage--on our model as it came at 3500 Kg forget it.
    With a solar panel on the roof and an additional battery in the garage we were left with just 40Kg payload before we got to the 2000Kg maximum, hence the reason for the air suspension and a payload no of 2250 Kg

    Oh if I had to be critical it would be the extractor fan over the cooker could not suck to save its life.
     
  10. old-mo

    old-mo Funster Extra Special Life Member

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    Had our 10001 anniversary special for about 4 months now..

    Two and a half week tour with car on "A" frame,,, which was the longest till we embarked on this European trip..

    Got the extended Chassis on a tag... drag a car on a trailer (Cos of Spanish Laws :Sad:)

    Been pulling like a train and average 25 MPG...

    On Full "Air" suspension,,,, only thing we have found with that is,,,, where we are parked is on quite a slope, and even dropping the rear down to the lowest point and raising the front we still have a forward slope inside... (Will have to get some Ramps :Doh:)

    We have just over a ton payload and legally can tow (According to log book stamped by DVLA) we can tow 2 ton...

    Over all well impressed... :thumb:

    Not the same model as you are after, but ticks all the right boxes.. :thumb:
     
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  11. Techno

    Techno Funster Life Member

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    I would get rid of that Burstenur in your profile :thumb::Laughing:
     
  12. makems

    makems Funster Life Member

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    Rapido went in PX a few months back.
    Love the Burstner.
     
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