Trailer Tent Graduate

Discussion in 'The Beginner' started by Jason71, Sep 5, 2011.

  1. Jason71

    Jason71 Read Only Funster

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    Hello all,

    Having been lurking on various sites over the last few weeks I decided to post on this one but I am new so please be gentle...

    Having spent the last 3 weeks trying to decide between Caravan / Motor Home / Stick with Trailer Tent / Give up having sleepless nights whilst trying to decide between the former and just go on a package holiday to Majorca (not really an option). We think we have plonked (sorry that sounds so trivial) for a Motor Home.

    Actually we have been toying with the idea for about 5 years and almost bought a Hymer a few years ago.

    In terms of budget we would have about 5k by Xmas / New year or if we waited until Next summer (July) we would have up to about 9-10k this would give us more choice but only in the sense of paying more for very similar models maybe a year or two newer and some at the higher price are in fact a lot older and higher mileage than the lower priced ones. - Confused ...I am
    These budgets are actual pound notes and not finance (we want to pay for our first MH outright)

    I know we could get a really well speccd Caravan at this price, but we would also have to sell our car (we have an economical car) and to be honest towing a huge shed is not very appealing. The Petrol saving would probably offset the maintenance and running costs of a MH.

    We are looking for a coachbuilt with four travelling seats (2 Adults 3 Children one 6 one 3 and a 1 yr old labradoodle).

    We have already found some great deals from 3.5k upwards. If you really do look hard and are prepared to travel there are some fantastic bargains that have been clearly looked after even if they are old.

    So we now have another dilemma:shout:. As patience is not a real strongpoint with either of us, do we wait and hope the market does not change and save more or do we just take the plunge now and use the winter lull to get a good deal and prep ready for next season if we find a MH we really like?

    Aside from the obvious damp, rust, HPI etc checks, Log book service history, Mot, Receipts etc, a request for the seller to prove that everything is in full working order together with the gut feel you get from those selling prior to parting with our cash. We are looking at the dodgier end of the market is their anything else that we should insist upon. I have not got a clue about the merits of one model over another.

    For example:

    Is there a UK law that you should have and maintain Gas/Electric checks and is there a document we should ask for if this is the case
    Are there certain things (generically) that should really be replaced after a certain time frame (obviously this would vary by specific make / model so may be difficult to answer) as an example (albeit a fractional cost and insignificant one) I know that there is a charcoal water filter on a caravans water pump that needs to be replaced annually and I would assume the same applies for MH's

    Is there a certificate / proof that a buyer has as regards winterisation and is this required for the UK (we would not venture far from Essex in the Winter but we do enjoy going to the seaside on a cold crisp winters day
    Are there any tell tale signs that suggest that any water tank has been left full and iced over in the winter (aside from the dripping but what seller will sell with a full water tank)
    Are there MHs Makes/Models where parts are no longer available or hard to source
    Is Elddiss/Talbot/Fiat/Bedford better than Swift or vice versa (I have no idea).
    I would guess that a 2.5 ltr diesal would be have better fuel economy than a 2.0 petrol is the case on all models though?

    I don't mind giving it a little TLC and provided everything is sound. Fridges, cookers gas pipes even electrics can all be replaced (at a price of course) although I would prefer cosmetic changes only of course
    Is there anything really high value that I should really keep my eye on that I have not listed above.

    As one example of what we have found:

    It is very old but seems well looked after. It seems to me a genuine advert, by a genuine seller and has really piqued my interest however I may be totally wrong without further knowledge/questions first one being how old is that Photo

    http://www.preloved.co.uk/fuseaction-adverts.showadvert/index-1034338739/1ecbec18.html

    In case the link does not work:

    Preloved | 5 birth diesel bedford cf camper van / motorhome 1983 for sale in Castleford, West Yorkshire, UK

    Thank you for reading through this monologue and (if you actually make it to the end of it still awake) any help would be greatly appreciated.

    If we do find something we like can we post on here for feedback ?

    Thanks
    Jason
     
  2. JJ

    JJ Funster

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    Hi Jason and welcome to the Fun...

    I say "go for it"... but then that is in my nature..:Rofl1:

    Don't know much about these things but if everything works on the Bedford and it has a MOT it doesn't look too bad to me... Check it out carefully re service history and if you feel the seller is genuine go for it... but if you sense anything not quite right be ready to walk away...

    Others on here will be able to give more detailed advice...

    JJ :Cool:
     
  3. Wildman

    Wildman Read Only Funster

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    No although some insurance companies may ask for a habitation check, (prices vary but around £100)
    Engines other than Mercedes (which have a chain cam drive) need the cambelt changing regularly.
    charcoal water filters are generally an add on.
    No, other than the manufactures details. Not many British vans are fully winterised. Water left in the van over winter will certainly freeze in an average uk winter damaging water pumps, tanks etc. German vans are as are most French built vans. But do check the spec.
    Up to you to make sure you look and test with a full tank
    Eldiss and Swift are manufacturers, the rest are suppliers of chassis upon which motorhomes are built.
    No idea but diesel pulls better and generally is prefered
    Fridges are not the same as a domestic one and come in at around £7-800
     
  4. chatter

    chatter Read Only Funster

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    Hi and welcome, please do remember that these days you need seatbelts for your children to travel in the motorhome with you, preferably either rear facing or forward facing, so you might have to check where you could fit and anchor some in for them, in most motorhomes the dinnette area is favourite
     
  5. lorger

    lorger Funster

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    hi and welcome
     
  6. Touchwood

    Touchwood Funster

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    Hi Jason,

    I can't offer much advice as I'm a beginner myself, but it seems to me that you are taking an admirably thorough approach to this, I'm sure you'll get the van you want eventually.

    A couple of thoughts - I wouldn't wait to accumulate more capital - go for it. This isn't going to be your perfect motorhome, you will be upgrading and the extra capital will go towards your next purchase - also less chance of losing much if it doesn't work out for you for whatever reason.

    Your biggest problem with an older van is likely to be the lack of belted travelling seats for your three children - I'd guess the Bedford you're looking at has only the driver's and front passenger seats, for example. Have you looked at the cost of getting belts professionally and properly fitted? Quite apart from the cost, there is the question of whether it is in fact feasible - you'll need three front or rear facing seats in the rear of the van to accomodate your three children.

    Please don't think I'm trying to put you off - all things are possible and I'm sure with the careful approach you've demonstrated you'll find a solution - but not, please, taking the chance of having your kids unrestrained in the rear of the van! :Eeek:
     
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  7. Jason71

    Jason71 Read Only Funster

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    Many thanks for all the feedback and Wildman many thanks for your detailed feedback it gives me invaluable ammunition during the search. I had no idea a Fridge could cost so much.

    Our target is to get one by Christmas/early new year so hopefully I will be able to post up pictures

    We have actually already attended our first MCC rally albeit in our Trailer Tent at the Clacton airshow. Felt a bit imposterish but we are Bona Fide members (as part of family membership). The whole experience would have been far more pleasant in a Motor Home though.

    As regards the seatbeats we are 2 adults, 2 Children and a dog. 4 Travelling seats is already deeply embedded in our search criteria. So much was it already a given that we neglected to mention it at all in the same way that you do not mention Wheels, a roof and a steering wheel. So no worries with little uns bouncing around in the back although certainly a very good point to raise.
     
  8. JJ

    JJ Funster

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  9. Johns_Cross_Motorhomes

    Johns_Cross_Motorhomes Trader - Motorhome & Accessory Sales

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    Be warned, seat belts cannot be retrofitted without approved belt anchorages and no workshop will fit them due to insurance implications if involved in an accident.

    Peter
     
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