Should we buy the Hymer B614L Star on Fiat Chassis?

Discussion in 'Hymer' started by OldAgeTravellers, Apr 27, 2016.

  1. OldAgeTravellers

    OldAgeTravellers Funster Life Member

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    Hi,
    We are getting concerned that we are constantly overweight with a French Van plated at 3.5tonne.
    So we looked at almost every van at Peterborough and found none that even came close to our LeVoyageur then while telling a friend that we couldn't find a van with a rear bed but without a drop-down bed a nearby salesman said have you seen this one.
    It was a special edition B614L with factory fitted cupboards up front rather than a drop down bed so was very close to ticking all our boxes except the base vehicle.
    It is LHD which we want on a fiat 4.5 tonne Chasis manual gearbox 2.8ltr, 150bhp Euro 5 whatever that means.
    Now this is my problem, we have a 2.8 Mercedes Sprintshift, but it has a magnetic arrester which I absolutely love and use all the time rather than the brakes. Steep hill decent so are a breeze.
    Now I think I can live with going back to a manual as it does have cruise control which again I use all the time.
    What is the Fiat engine like? Would it have enough power for 4.5 tonne? Will it drive as well as the Merc? Will it last as long, we have done 150k km without a hiccough in the Merc. Does it have enough engine braking for steep descents? The last fiat we had, pre common rail, did not have much power and had zero engine braking so had a few very worrying down hiall experiences with red hot brakes and zero braking.
    Has anybody moved from Merc to Fiat and liked the experience. Is the Hymer as good as we are led to believe. Wil it stand up to the 20,000 or so we do each year living in it for about half the year and Moroccan roads.
    Is there anything else I should know.
    I will value serious comments to help us with our decision.
    Thanks,
    Steve
     
  2. StitchesnFluff

    StitchesnFluff Funster

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    Fiat as a base on majority of motorhomes.
    We are moving to a 150hp comfortmatic, newer models have hil descent.
    Only merc owners can give you an experienced view on a transition I guess.
     
  3. dave newell lvs

    dave newell lvs Trader-Vehicle Services

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    Sorry but if its a genuine Euro 5 it won't be a 2.8 litre engine, that motor was discontinued with the X244 variant. Assuming its an X250 then it could be the newer generation 2.3 150BHP or it might be 3.0 litre but they are 160 BHP or 180BHP for the newer version.

    D.
     
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  4. peterc10

    peterc10 Funster

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    We have a nearly new Hymer which weighs in at 4.5t. It has a Fiat 3 litre engine and their conformatic gearbox and cruise. Pulls very well. Can't tell you how long it will last as it has only got 4,000 miles on it. It does have hill descent, which means it stays in a lower gear longer to help engine braking.
     
  5. SandraL

    SandraL Funster

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    We are fiat base and run at 4300kg . You will miss that magnetic hill assist system. Engine braking means we are usually in 2nd gear and 3000 revs coming down long alpine descents. But with front wheel drive the braking system from your rwd merc is not available. Having said that we and a lot of others manage.
     
  6. OldAgeTravellers

    OldAgeTravellers Funster Life Member

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    Hi Dave,
    Just got the proper specs and yes it is 2.3. 150bhp, Is this engine powerful enough for 4.5 tonne? I love the Merc but the rear wheel drive does limit the body design a bit. But don't want to buy a gutless wonder. Not that I drive fast but have just done the Highland 500 and some of the tight uphill hairpins that the Merc laughed at perhaps could be challenging for a front wheel drive. Unless I am talking a load of BS.
    Comments please?
    Steve
     
  7. dave newell lvs

    dave newell lvs Trader-Vehicle Services

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    The 2.3 is a cracking power plant and in its latest form with 150BHP on tap it will not be short of pulling power. Mine is 120BHP and weighs in at around 3200KGs at the moment but I often tow my racecar with it and that's about 1500KGs with its trailer so yes, the 150BHP is going to be fine at 4500KGs. FWD may pose some traction challenges but you don't need to be giving it big licks on the loud pedal all the time and especially in poor grip situations. These motors produce meaningful torque from tickover and rarely need much more than idling speed to manouvre or get up levelling ramps for instance.

    D.
     
  8. Judge Mental

    Judge Mental Funster Deceased RIP

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    Agree with Dave the Fiat 2.3 a great power plant.I just sold my panel van with citreon 2.2 150. not as refined as Fiat but a rocket in a panel van. More like driving a car then truck....

    Even the 132 engine good and is fitted to many A class. I was considering this in my next 3500 small A class. Until my health detrioated. Considered due to weight/ payload concerns.

    The only way to tell is to have a test drive surely... shows impossible for this. Visit dealers premises

    Now we come to the comformatic
    No way as good as a Merc auto. But any one on here who has it loves it so again only way to find out is have a blooming test drive! I can't believe people consider spending so much money on a van they have not driven :)


    Buy one from Belgium/Germany. Save a bundle and get proper proffesional service and a test drive...


    Eddie
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2016
  9. Techno

    Techno Funster Life Member

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    Find a 3 litre model and never have the hassle of a cambelt
     
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  10. Techno

    Techno Funster Life Member

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    Find a 3 litre model and never have the hassle of a cambelt
     
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  11. Techno

    Techno Funster Life Member

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    :LOL:
     
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  12. Techno

    Techno Funster Life Member

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    Check it has uprated front coil springs or you'll be forking out for them eventually
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2016
  13. OldAgeTravellers

    OldAgeTravellers Funster Life Member

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    Obviously a test drive is essential but before it can be judged properly I need to learn as much as possible about the van. I would certainly go to Germany but my searches have not revealed any suspects.
    The van we are looking at is a special edition without the front bed and factory fitted lockers instead.
    Certainly 3lt without cam belt would be better and how does one check for @Techno 's updated front springs?
    Comformatic would be great as I have enjoyed the Merc Sprintshift but without buying new and waiting six or eight months it is really impossible to get exactly what you want apart from the cost and losses of buying new.
    At the moment I am feeling that we may be jumping out of a nice comfy bed into the fire. But we have to increase payload as we want to tour for much longer periods.
    So if you know of any dealers in Germany or Belgium that may not have come up in searches please let me know.
    Steve
     
  14. Techno

    Techno Funster Life Member

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    You would have to check the spec with hymer who built it
    I believe heavy springs are an option when ordering
     
  15. peterc10

    peterc10 Funster

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    Depends upon what you are ordering and when. With the 2015 range they were standard in the UK B Class Premium Line, SL, and DuoMobile ranges. They were extra on the B-Class standard range as part of what they called the "Comfort Package", which bundled these springs with the automatic aircon, cruise control and Jumbo fridge. The Starline in 2015 was on a Mercedes chassis.

    But that is one model year and in the UK only. My guess is that it will vary with model year and market sold in.
     
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  16. OldAgeTravellers

    OldAgeTravellers Funster Life Member

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    We had a test drive liked it but he will not shift on price which we think is a bit expensive, so we are going to look in Germany and Belgium on our way back to the South of France. Any ideas of where we should go? Can probably spend 4 or 5 days visiting dealers.
    Ideally I would like a 3lt auto version on a 5 tonne Alko chassis if such a thing is possible. But the interior layout is so special I think it will be impossible to find without having a new one built for us which would be far more expensive.
    Steve
     
  17. Lenny HB

    Lenny HB Funster

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    True but the OP is talking about a Starlight which was a high specced speciale edition on the Fiat chassis available around 2009 to 2012.
     
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  18. Derbyshire wanderer

    Derbyshire wanderer Funster Life Member

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    Ours is the 2.3 150bhp on a 4250kg chassis with 6000kg train weight. The van is on the weigh bridge circa 3900kg and the toad at 1270kg.
    Never struggled to keep up with the flow and tbh it goes a lot better than it stops!
    Not had the auto only because the lead time was too long but manual with cc and rarely change down on hills.
     
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