Total Beginner Seeks Advice

Discussion in 'The Beginner' started by Jamzer, Aug 30, 2008.

  1. Jamzer

    Jamzer Deleted User

    Hi folks.

    I'm a total beginner to this so I would appreciate any advice from those in the know :Smile:

    Basically, I am looking to start motorhoming, so have yet to purchase a motorhome for myself. I would be looking to get a 3 or 4 berth, or a spacious 2 berth. I can't spend any more than £3500. Any recommendations on the type? Obviously I would like a reliable model :Smile: but i understand with my price range its going to be an older second hand model.

    Also, where would you recommend for motorhome insurance? It doesn't seem as simple as getting a quote for a car. I am only 22 years old, and the only quote I got back was £2300 for a Ford 4 berth type. That sound about right? I hope not :Sad:

    Thank you in advance for any tips/advice. The site looks great!

    Jamzer :Smile:
     
  2. Wildman

    Wildman Read Only Funster

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    Hi I have a tax exempt 4 berth doer upper, 1971 ford transit with CI sprite poptop if you are close enough to have a look. (engine is 2.5TD from recent transit)
    open to offers over £2000
    transit.jpg

    Classic car insurance is very cheap, my 1968 landrover only £80 fully comp.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2008
  3. tofo

    tofo Funster

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    have a look on ebay but please:thumb: please:thumb:
    have a look at it before you even think about bidding:Doh:
    if they wont let you dont bid:Angry:
    its also a good guide on what you could pay for somthing simillar:Eeek:
    dont rule out self builds but use a lot more caution insurance harder to obtain
    mind you at 22 its gonna be expensive whatever you buy
     
  4. Bulletguy

    Bulletguy Read Only Funster

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    OK you might not have mega bucks to splash about, but for a 22 year old lad i reckon you've already got your priorities right by recognising your limitations.

    1) Go for a Ford Transit based model with straight injection 2.5 diesel engine as opposed to turbo. These engines are a bit noisy at low revs but become quieter once cruising along at a steady 50 or 60mph (they will pull 80mph easily but you don't want speed in any mh/camper). These engines are extremely reliable and one with a 100,000 on the clock is still a baby! 40+mpg is possible on trips as long as you can be content with a steady 50-60mph. Around town use and heavy use on the accelerator will knock it down to 35mpg.

    2) Advantages of a Ford Transit are fairly obvious.
    Brand new parts are cheap and plentiful and easily obtainable in many non-UK countries. The master cylinder packed up on mine in southern Bavaria a few weeks ago. A brand new one was fitted at a nearby Ford dealer and i was back on the road the following day. Used parts are also easily obtainable at your local breakers.

    3) Try and avoid any 'home conversion' jobs. Many are pretty horrendous and knocked up by people with no joinery skills whatsoever. Find one which has been fitted together by a skilled joiner, and you will undoubtedly be looking at a better job than many professional conversions.

    4) Scour Auto Trader website regularly and be prepared to go quickly if one comes on at the right price etc. If it's any good at all and the seller has it on at a fair price....it will be gone within hours. You might have to travel a distance for the 'right one', but it will be worth it.

    5) Insurance can sometimes be a problem with mh/campers. Quite a few companies simply dont do insurance for them at all so you need to find a few that will to get a comparable quote. This is a good place to start;
    Money Saving Expert: Consumer Revenge - Credit Cards, Shopping, Bank Charges, Cheap Flights and more
    and click on the Insurance tab.

    Check the V5 document to any van you go to look at. Where it says "Body Type" if it doesn't state "Motor Caravan", you may get problems with some companies who get a bit 'sniffy' when you tell them its a commercial van with a bed and camping gaz cooker stuck in the back!

    Finally....take someone with you when you go to view who knows what they are looking at and for. If its a Transit....check the outriggers at the front end are still solid. Bodywork corrosion and rust around the wheel arches is nothing and replacement new arches can easily be welded in....and they are cheap! Any significant corrosion on the chassis......walk away as that can prove an expensive nightmare. Check the bottom bolt holding the alternator. Engine vibration loosens the nut, and the bolt begins to 'wag around' until it has worn an egg shaped hole in the plates. The bolt costs just £2 from a Ford dealer, but it often gets overlooked and neglected. It's a very common Transit problem caused by nothing more than lack of owner maintenance.

    Good hunting! :thumb:
     
  5. Hayleylulu

    Hayleylulu

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    hi from lynn martin take your time when the van that comes a long u will no it will have your name on it as ares did :BigGrin:
     
  6. Jamzer

    Jamzer Deleted User

    Thanks people for your quick and helpful responses :Smile: it is much appreciated!

    I'm definately going to take my time getting one, then if one pops up and it checks out ok and it feels right I'll get it. The problem after that is really the price of the insurance.

    Cheers for the mechanical checks advice Bulletguy :thumb: I have no experience with the mechanics side so I'll make a list of what you have mentioned and take it along if I find one. I had the Ford transit type in my mind as i think they will suit me if I find the right one. 40mpg sounds good to me, there'll be no rush on the motorway either, i see the travelling as part of the trip/holiday.

    As I say there is no rush, so every month I wait I'll have a little bit extra towards the insurance hehe :Smile:

    Thanks again!
     
  7. bedfordmj

    bedfordmj Read Only Funster

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  8. Bulletguy

    Bulletguy Read Only Funster

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    Regards searching via Auto Trader anytime from now through to Feb/March 09 is good as it's the 'back end' of the year and not really the best time to sell.....which makes it the best time to buy! Prices will be lower as not so many people want to buy a mh/camper then as they have all their money tied up buying expensive presents to keep the kids happy.

    As it gets closer to December/January you will notice fewer adverts appearing, but that was precisely the time i bought mine. I took a chance on it as there was no MOT but the advertised price was right plus, because of no MOT, i managed to twist the guys arm and knock him down another £300. Thats what i figured on having to spend to get it through an MOT and i wasn't far out!

    If you know a Ford mechanic ask him if he will go to view with you....it's worth paying the guy for his time.
     
  9. Lennys_Shinpad

    Lennys_Shinpad Deleted User

    Hi, I am in a similar position to the OP. Me and my girlfriend have decided to sell our car and buy a camper van and have about £2k to spend. Have seen plenty of vans on Gumtree and Ebay and hope to buy one in October (assuming we can flog to car).

    I'm just wondering if anybody has any experience of using a camper van as their sole vehicle and, if so, what advice could they give to us when choosing one. Obviously a van would require much more fuel and would be more difficult to park. Are there any other issues we should consider? What is the typical insurance bracket for a camper van (say a Ford Transit version)?

    We don't actually drive that much, commute by bike or train and our family and friends are all local.

    We guess that it would be slightly more expensive to own a van than a car but it would definitely be worth it for the fun we'd have.

    Thanks in advance for any replies.

    James.
     
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