Take the plunge ?

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by 6pm Cowboy, Jul 2, 2009.

  1. 6pm Cowboy

    6pm Cowboy Read Only Funster

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    Seriously thinking of taking the plunge into this motorhome game.......

    Cash is in short supply but our local paper has an advert ( private sale I think ) for a Ducarto 4 berth 1996 taxed til end July, MOT til mid August ( problem ?) with what seems like all the usual accessories for £8450 ONO.

    Does this sound reasonable ?
    Anything in particular I should look out for or be wary of ?
     
  2. superk

    superk Read Only Funster

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    Personally would recommend looking round a bit more before plunging for the first one that pops up in your price range.

    There are loads on Ebay - get an idea of prices on there, go to your local dealers - don't have to buy but get a feel for what you like - many people buy in a hurry and end up changing after a year and their first long trip when they relaise the the interior arrangements don't suit them.

    A motorhome has two parts - mechanical and the house. Check the mechanics as you would buying a car.

    For the house the first priority is to check for damp - any musty smells - look in the cupboards and wardrobe under carpets and beds are there stains on the ceiling - any recent repairs - check outside seals particularly on the roof around skylights are they cracked- any signs of water penetration are a no-no. If you can get a moisture meter from the local caravan shop all the better.

    Check all the appliances work - don't take the owners word for it - lighting, heating, water heating, cooking, water, shower, toilet, battery charging. If he says there's no gas or electric available to make the checks walk away.

    If you buy the wrong old motorhome it can cost a lot to repair. If you get the right one there's some wonderful days of pleasure ahead.

    :Smile:
    Keith
     
  3. Geo

    Geo Trader - Funster

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    The Ducato bit is the base vehicle, and its value will depend on the Motorhome bit more than the base vehicle, sounds a bargain if all is above board:Sad:
    Check for Outstanding finance (HPICheck) and then its all down to apearance smell inside and damp checks, and general wear and tear also will it fill all your needs followed by a drive including 60MPH+and any service history, if none buget for a cam belt change
    Geo
     
  4. DESCO

    DESCO Read Only Funster

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    Agree totally with the above posts,

    Remember if something sounds to good to be true it often is.:cry:

    Would agree look around a bit, get the feel of the market first.

    Hope you find what you want it's a great hobby, and a way of life.:thumb::thumb:


    Dave
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2009
  5. SC 05 OUT

    SC 05 OUT Funster

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    I would recomend getting checked, for the sake of £300 ish, you can save a lot by not buying a lemon, or if the surveyer finds something wrong , being able to use it to bargin the price to a correct leval.

    I know £300 seems a lot but it will work out cheeaper in the long run
     
  6. 6pm Cowboy

    6pm Cowboy Read Only Funster

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    You all make some excellent points for which I thank you.

    The one thing I have in the back of my mind is that no 'layout commercially available ia likely to be what I would really want. I am considering a home made PVC but would prefer the wider ( feet and inches ) potential of a coach built..... it is a pity that you cannot buy a shell and fit it out yourself.

    Still, I see that there is a show coming up at Shepton Mallet next month which sounds like it should be big so I may try to get there and see what options there are.
     
  7. SC 05 OUT

    SC 05 OUT Funster

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    one thing to think about, we spent 3 months and lot of fuel looking for a a layout we had decieded we wanted, when we found one and really tried it, we decieded against it, it wasnt for us.

    Try everything, rule out nothing, talk to everybody on a camp site and ask how they fare, try try try,

    make sure you end up with at least " what you think you want"

    as a newish buyer, I know where your coming from, UNKOWN TERORTY, its scary
     
  8. Elvis

    Elvis Read Only Funster

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    good dealer

    We were going to buy private and cheap but after lots of research and seeing some real dogs, we started looking around the good dealerships (we went too one horrible one near Rye in Sussex though ...avoid!) and found some great deals for fairly newish models,with even better finance deals. We were so glad we bought ours that way, as dealer sorted any probs before we got the van and we have had a year warantee, which has been great, as they have sorted all of the teething probs. If you must go private, then check out Ebay, will give you a good idea of prices and different types of MHs and layouts and so on. Good luck:thumb:
     
  9. gazznsam

    gazznsam Read Only Funster

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    that's exactly what we did, bought a van, got the steel body cut off behind the cab doors, new, longer, wider, perfectly flat sided coachbuilt body built in it's place (fully insulated, lined, double glazed windows, door, roof vents etc, but bare inside) then we spent the next 6 years fitting it out,

    got the basics done in 3 months, picked the van up from the coachbuilders january, was at the peterborough show that year, van wasnt finished, but we had the basics, worktops were bare ply sheets, cushions had arrived the day we left for the show, no cupboard doors in place, no heating system etc, but over the next few months we got everything fitted so it was a motorhome, and have been adding to it making it to exactly our specs ever since,

    problem is it'll never be finished, as there's always something we 'must have'
    but we do have a motorhome that is ours, we wanted a large rear bathroom with a washing machine, vanity sink, large-ish shower cublicle in it, we put that in it.

    we wanted wet centeral heating like you get at home, so we put that in,

    we built it as a 2 berth, fullstop, no room for kids, but as we arent having any we didnt need to think about more than a double bed (which we wanted large, some vans have a 4 foot bed and call it a double, ours is 6 foot by 7 foot)

    When we got a few pet rats, i didnt hesitate to put a cage on the wall and link the pelmets over the front 2 windows with some nice looking guttering to give them a real rat run, in a factory built motorhome, putting a cup hook on the wall devalues it, but our van we only add to it, yes not many people will want a built in fancy rat cage and run in a motorhome, but we did, so i aint gonna worry about what others might think about our van,
    likewise a centeral vacuum system is almost unheard of on a european style van, but i wanted one so built one, and damn handy it is too.

    basicaly we built the van to be 100% self suficiant, to be albe to use the european aire and stellplatz system or wild camp abroad, hence we have 3 large solar panels, we had 4 115 ah batteries, but when the pallet of new batteries arrive tommorow, there'll be 6 x 6 volt 232 Ah batteries under the bed, giving us a 700 amp hour battery bank (minus 4 little amps hours :)

    we have tanks galore, 2 x road diesel, 1 x red diesel for the eberspacher heating boiler, lpg, fresh water, grey water, petroil in the genny's tank, jobbies in the bog tank...erm :Blush:

    of course the down side to this is the van is customized for us, and unless we could find someone else with exactly the same outlook on life and ideas of camping as us, we'd have a problem selling it,
    and i did consider that a while back, as it was built for extended holidays, we've lived 9 months in it in one go,
    but wanted to live full time in a motorhome, but due to the pull out bed being made from the sofa's, we couldent full time, as we'd need a fixed bed (our illnesses mean one of us can be stuck in bed for days on end if really bad, at the stratford show i was ill and had to goto bed early each night, luckily sam was able to goto the clubs marquee, where she was looked after by the kind people in this club, otherwise she'd have very limited choices, basicaly go to bed early too, or use the laptop in the bathroom sat on the toilet.... of which i'd have been kicking her off every 5 minutes as my guts were playing up that weekend.

    Anyway, we went seriousely over the top with out motorhome conversion, we put in absolutely everything we wanted and then some, we have better facilities in the van than the house, but all that stuff costs... we stopped counting at 30k (but that includes 3 k for the van, 4.5 k for the new engine and diff, 7 k for the body.. so we were at 14 and a half grand before we put in a single cupboard or light)

    lukily my parents being fairly rich helped us big time, they paid for about 80% of the motorhome, the other 20% we paid for, but in little bits every week as it was being built,

    However for a non coachbuilt, around 6 grand is normal for a self built, and the buy things as you get the money method is how most self builders manage it, once the base vehicle is bought, and if doing a coachbuilt the body cost is paid for, you buy the bits and pieces as you need them, few sheets of furniture ply this week, water tanks the next, bog the week after, do some overtime to buy the fridge and so on,

    For a more typical self built, speak to jjwagon, he's done an iveco daily panel van, the old square shape ivecos are fairly tough vans, they are the largest panel vans you could get, the modern rounded iveco is not as wide, tho can be had as long,
    other vans are not as long, and all current vans are narrow compared to the old shape iveco dailys,

    biggest gripe i have with modern vans is the way they taper so much from shoulder height, some are really narrow width wise, which can be a pain for a motorhome conversion.
     
  10. Dodgey

    Dodgey Funster

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    Superb point!

    I swore blind I didn't want anything with a dinette, there's only the two of us and we both liked lounge type layouts. We're into RVs and I'd seen the 28ft Winne's and dismissed as there was a dinette.

    Guess what, we now have a 28ft Winne. Once inside the bod who designed the layout got it bang on. Dispite being short (for a yank) the dinette's in the middle and leaves plenty of lounge room up front, wouldn't be without now!

    I can second eBay, and the internet generally plus the mags as particularly the internet, if the sellers got thier head screwed, good photo's, on you do get a generally good idea on layout etc without setting foot out the door.

    Good luck,

    Si.
     
  11. haganap

    haganap Funster Life Member

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    Well Gazsam, I have to say each to there own and that but I personally wouldn't think thats particulaly good advice.
    There are some ace built self builds, Terry's springs to mind, I cant tell you what it cost him although he did tell me.

    But 30K when you stopped counting? credit to you having a bit of cash help from your parents and that but in general most of us have to make it our own way.
    Your van sounds perfect for your needs, but like you say its your needs. Personally it is unlikely to be my cup of tea as I have no pet rats and no use for that extender bit you have put in for them :Rofl1:
    Therefore I would suggest the value of your van is minimal compared to a 30K + van from any manufacturer.
    So, for the OP. If you intend on giving this "game" as you call it, a whirl then a 9k budget will see you to a decent "older" van that you can give it a go with. You could give it a go, if you like it, you may wanna spend more. However your 9k investment will be worth exactly that 6 months down the line bar a few hundred. Then, if you are convinced that you enjoy yourself, maybe look at undertaking a self build. As said there are many whom have and some really good ones about, also there are some horrendous ones about. :Doh:

    Good luck and dont rush, get the layout right for you.:thumb:
     
  12. madbluemad

    madbluemad

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    Hi
    You couldn't repeat that could you :Rofl1::Rofl1::Rofl1::Rofl1:

    Jim
    :Laughing:
     
  13. strathspey

    strathspey Read Only Funster

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    Anything in particular I should look out for or be wary of ?[/QUOTE]

    All good advice from the others.
    With a vehicle of this age, I'd also want a detailed inspection of the chassis and underside.
    Pay particular attention to any side supports attached to the main box-sectioned 'chassis' and to the upper points where the front suspension springs are attached. These should be sound and relatively rust-free.
     
  14. gazznsam

    gazznsam Read Only Funster

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    Well Gazsam, I have to say each to there own and that but I personally wouldn't think thats particulaly good advice.... Your van sounds perfect for your needs...

    But that's just it with self building, it is totally each to their own way,
    people self build for 2 reasons, one to get a van cheaper than you can buy one factory built, and second to get a van with the exact layout and equipment levels they want.

    if your happy with a lilo in the back of a panel van, a bucket with a lid in the corner, a tilley lamp, a tangina and a deck of playing cards for entertainment, then thats how you build it,
    if you want more, it's gonna cost, where you stop is upto you.


    But 30K when you stopped counting? credit to you having a bit of cash help from your parents and that but in general most of us have to make it our own way.

    i did put that 'most' self builders spend around 6 grand, 3 for the van and 3 for the conversion, some do it for peanuts, some do it for a fair bit more, all depends what they want in the conversion,

    My van was 3 grand, but then the engine ate an exhaust valve, and we had a choice, buy another van and cut our losses on the first, or get a new engine for the first van,

    The vans chassis is in perfect condition, as was the rest of the running gear, the cab was fine, so we decided on the 2nd option, cost us another 4.5 grand as we had the diff changed at the same time to a higher ratio more suited to motorhome use, and got a vehicle with zero miles on the engine, which made sense to us as we were planning to spend a lot on the conversion.

    The body was the biggest single expense, and we spent about 3 grand for the basics of a motorhome: seating/bed, cupboards, toilet, shower, cooker, sinks, battery, mains system, heating (i went for a truma blown air system at first... and hated it) and so on, at that point we had a motorhome that had about the same equipment that you get in a 30 grand coachbuilt from a dealers,

    From then on we added what we really wanted, large solar array, large battery bank, central vacuum system, washing machine, wet central heating system... (eberspacher diesel boiler that cost a grand alone, then radiators, calorifier, expansion vessels and so on), a variable speed water fresh pump as i didnt like the single speed one, crank up sky dish, 12 volt sky reciever, big fridge freezer,

    Things like the inverter cost 400 quid, the battery charger 200 quid, i've just taken delivery of half a pallet of new batteries at £650, i've been called mad for that, but they are not leisure batteries, they are true deep cycle batteries weighing over 200 kilos... lots of pure lead in them, and i need them due to the large electrical loads we have onboard.

    Personally it is unlikely to be my cup of tea as I have no pet rats and no use for that extender bit you have put in for them...

    yeah, but if you did have pet rats, they love you even more for it :)
    yes i know we are prolly the only motorhome in england with a dedicated rat run, some people put cat flaps in the entry doors, we put a rat run in,
    i love pet rats and will allways have at least one, so to us it made sense,

    likewise with the dog thing, we put in the most expensive thermostatic roof vent purely for the dog, we could have saved a hundered quid and gone for the basic model to ventilate the van for humans, but i wanted to make it comfortable for the dog too,
    same with the heater blower under the bed, that's just for the dog, she likes to sleep under there, so i'm going to make it comfortable for her under there.

    I never intended to sell the van, and i dont now, just when things were getting silly at home we wanted to full time, seemed the easy option, the van is better equiped than the bungalow, we feel a lot comfier in there, it's just the bed being made from the sofas that would be a problem, but as i mentioned, we built the van for touring europe whilst being totaly self suficiant, and for that task it's perfect.
     
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