Viewing a Motorhome..Any opinions on these 2?

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by graham_bell, Mar 17, 2010.

  1. graham_bell

    graham_bell Read Only Funster

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    Hi all,
    Looks like someone could be interested in the car (which we need to sell to fund a MH). I've seen an MH we like at Marquis (I've read quite a lot of bad stuff re these). My query really is MH choice. I realise it's a personal thing so asking is one better than another is probably pointless..He says, and then asks anyway :Doh:

    However, I'm going to look at a Bessacarr E795 at Marquis and maybe a Autotrail Apache 700se which is a private sale.
    I'm wondering if anyone has an opinion on either (Bessie is 2003 and Autotrail is 2004)
    I'm wondering if one is better for winter use, I believe the Bessie has a double floor..
    Are they comparable quality wise, or is maybe a Scout more comparable to a E795?

    This will be the first one I've looked at..Anyway, I'd be interested in anyone's opinion about the MH or the dealer..Good or bad...

    Thanks again for your advise and experience..

    Graham
     
  2. david price

    david price Read Only Funster

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    Hi,have got a bessie at the moment and think it is a great van.Also had an auto trail chieftain g which was a good van.For me the bessie is better but with all vans it is personnel choice.
    Marquis are good if you are buying but not so good after.To be fair some branches may be better than the one i used.
    I am sure you will enjoy your new van.
    Dave
    Ps forgot to mention swift have a good presence on this site and look to help where they can.
     
  3. JohnM

    JohnM Read Only Funster

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    HiGraham. Cant coment on which make of m/h .I dont like swift group but thats my view. I would look at layout and finish quality etc rather than make. Like yourself we moved from tugging to m/h just over a year ago and no regrets. As you see we choose German as we had a Hymer c/van and liked the quality. But the layout to suit you must be right. Check out for plenty storage. Hope this helps with your choice.
    Good luck.
    JohnM.
     
  4. bailey

    bailey

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    Van Choice

    Bessie hands down this is my 2nd make sure you pick the dealer on word to mouth also the Swift After Service is good


    Bill:Blush::Blush::Blush:
     
  5. Blisters

    Blisters Read Only Funster

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    Graham, you said "which is better for winter use"

    are you planning on using it for extreme cold conditions, i.e. will you want to use it for say skiing, if so, forget british and buy German, many vans claim to have a double floor, but thats only half the story

    Most if not all the German vans have blown air heating which blows under the floor, keeping tank and pipes from freezing, the tanks are also house between the floors, and they don't have large vents in the doors n floors which allow the cold air to flood the van

    Most English vans have the waste water tank underslung (outside underneath) and don't have blown air between the floors, so don't prevent freezeing, we have a Eura Mobil which we have used at tempretures as low as -15c with no probs, I would take a British van anywhere ehere the temps are that low,

    ps ours is forsale on here if you want a cracking van:thumb:
     
  6. sedge

    sedge Funster

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    Well speak as you find so FWIW I'll put my 4 pennorth in about Swift, Marquis and Fiat.

    We bought a new Bessacar from Marquis at Billing last August, at the right price LOL, when we went to pick it up Manager told us straight off there had been a prob because the rooflight hadn't been seated properly in manufacture and when they did the damp check part of the PDI they discovered it so had refitted the rooflight and used a dehumidifier, and cured the damp and the problem but the damp plus the mastic or whatever they use in the sandwich construction had left a stain on the roof. It was a bit of a grey mark but not too bad at all really TBH. So we accepted it with the proviso that we weren't happy and we'd see what we were gonna do with it when we got back from hols (off to France for 3+ weeks just 6 days later)

    Off we went. While we were away that first time the stain got darker and darker through pale pink until eventually it was virtually maroon. TBH you still didn't notice it unless you actually looked at it deliberately even when it was a lot darker. Odd people coming in and out the van during all those trips all said they hadn't noticed it until we mentioned it. We returned from that first trip and during that weekend without discussing it, had both independently decided we would be ringing Marquis. Monday was concerned with doing washing, sorting out etc. We got up on the Tuesday morning, post came with a letter from Swift who were sorry to hear about the problem and would be having the van back to rectify blah blah. We still hadn't discussed it and fell about laughing with pleasure. We did absolutely nothing.

    Swift had the van back in November ? I think (delayed firstly for them to fit it in and then us to finish keep returning to France and using it here too!) and rectified the problem and cured another that they found or we mentioned - something electrical that we didn't even know about! When we went to fetch it Pete mentioned the cover on one of the front roof sidelights was filling up with water when it heaved down with rain and we asked the best way of refitting a bit of trim in the bathroom, they explained best way to do it then took it back into the workshop, back 30 mins later with new sidelight (faulty seal so light going back to supplier) and they had also done the bathroom trim while they had it in there! Paid the petrol for the car both ways and the van to drive back home. (We obviously had to wait for the cheque for that but only took about 2 days)

    Meanwhile back at the ranch Pete had had cause to get a replacement part for a mirror (which he had broken LOL) from the local Fiat garage and had tentatively mentioned the judder thing - fine on tarmac, bad on grass esp damp/wet grass, also when going forwards onto levelling blocks, or when needing to rev hard - makes it difficult! - and anyway wasn't terribly over-impressed by their response. But they gave him the main Fiat UK customer services number to ring anyway, which he hadn't done.

    While we were at the NEC show we called on to the Fiat stand, they noted the prob, since when Fiat have rung and agreed to order the parts for the 'full job' and the garage should be ringing us 'soon'.

    So far I think I can say we are actually more than happy with our purchase and the service we've had from everyone concerned.

    Yes it would be nice to have totally Zilcho probs but then casually speaking to other motorhomers it seems it really doesn't matter if it's a smaller Hymer with less kit at double the price (I did say straight off their curtains were far better quality material, but I certainly wouldn't have paid the extra £24,000 for them!!) or anything else bigger smaller cheaper or dearer - everyone has a few niggles.

    I do think you have to be realistic. It would surely be unusual not to find a loose screw or something with all the cabinetry etc and different things there are in a motorhome? - just carry a few basic DIY tools and rectify things asap while they are still rectifiable is our motto.
     
  7. graham_bell

    graham_bell Read Only Funster

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    We won't be skiing, but wanted to be able to use the MH all year around mainly in the UK.
     
  8. Johns_Cross_Motorhomes

    Johns_Cross_Motorhomes Trader - Motorhome & Accessory Sales

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    HI Graham.

    Have I got anything of interest, (when the ******* webitses working! we have been having problems with our emails and ist all tied up with that eveidently:cry:)

    Peter
     
  9. JeanLuc

    JeanLuc Funster

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    Obviously, I am biased, but based on my experience and reading that of others on this forum, I would opt for a German motorhome.
    'Winterisation' is generally of a high standard and we have had no problems at temperatures well below freezing. Just one point to stress; it does not have to have a double floor to be capable of withstanding sub-zero temperatures, although this is a good solution. The main thing is that the floor must be thick enough and made of good quality insulated material, and equally importantly, the water system must not freeze. In our Hymer this is accomplished by having the fresh tank onboard (beneath the settee) and the waste, which is outside behind the rear axle, insulated and heated. The Truma blown air has a pipe feeding into the housing of the waste dump valve and then into the insulated void around the tank. Not many British vans have this arrangement from what I have read.

    Philip
     
  10. bailey

    bailey

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    What Van

    The Latest swift vans come with heaters for waste and fresh water tanks and indeed my van a Bessie 08 came all wired up and it took 20 min to fit heaters also a trip to the local b&q got all the Matt to insulate tanks and pipes for under £15.00 pounds job done perfect indeed this year at Fort William min 17deg no problems

    Bill
     
  11. robnchris

    robnchris Funster

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    motorhomes

    We have an Auto-trail Cheyenne 634 on an 01 plate, bought it second hand last September.
    We think the van is basically a sound investment having been meticulously looked after by the previous owners.
    It is based on the Merc Sprinter chassis, chosen for the Sprint-shift auto box, came with Cruise control and upgraded air driver and passenger seats which are really comfortable.

    We have learned that once you have purchased your motorhome you are embarking on a career in motor home mechanics, electronics, plumbing and cabinet making etc etc. This doesn`t worry us as I have always been a practical guy, for others it might well be a daunting task.
    Have to add that the people we bought it from despite promises of we will sort this and fix that have been well below par in their practial skills, (a matter to be addressed in the future).
    We have accepted the motor home for what it is and if any problems arise now that we can`t handle ourselves we will then seek out a proffesional expert in that field.
    Apart from that we are making the motor home ours adding the extras that will make it all the more comfortable for our use, ie having the Air Suspension fitted which has transformed the ride and handling.

    We are certain you have and will read some excellent references about certain dealers and makes of motor home and sadly some unbelieveable accounts of what can only be described as gross negligence and dire quality of service.
    Whichever motor home you choose we wish you all the best.
    W
     
  12. DESCO

    DESCO Read Only Funster

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    Personally would not go with Swift under any circumstances, had one once nothing but trouble, would always choose continental feel build is better.

    Marquis used to be very good but since they were brought out and joined Sea seem to vary branch to branch.

    Hope you find something to suit there is bound to be one out there its just a case of finding it.


    Dave :thumb:
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2010
  13. bobandjanie

    bobandjanie Funster Life Member

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    Hi Graham, our first van was a Swift Kontiki but it was an R reg, but in winter it was cold when travelling as we never had passengers we put a curtain behind the cab to cure that.:Smile: Had more draughts than enough but if you take the seat belts off and block the holes up, and put tape over the vents on the doors, and make sure the fridge is sealed properly it helps with that but not perfect.Our fresh water was inside but we have had the pipes freeze behind the sink, our waste tank was outside and we used to put a bucket under it and leave the valve open, but the pipe was 1" up the tank on both tanks so you could never drain the fresh completely, and the waste would freeze the 1" and build up and block the waste pipe.:Doh::Smile:
    When we used to travel through France ( A big cold country in winter ) to get to Spain, we could not go quick enough, so when we got our van we have now, we had a list of what we wanted ..........................:Smile:............And top of the list was.:BigGrin:

    Fully Winterised.....Mercedes because we tow wanted a rear wheel drive.....and a garage.

    And we got a German van Eura Mobil, guaranteed to -20 it has 2 truma heaters a heat exchanger that take heat from the engine when mobile so the van is hot in the rear too.
    Both tanks under the double floor, the waste drain tap is under there so it does not freeze and both tanks when you drain them everything comes out.

    We have just got back from Spain, we went on the 7th January towing a trailer,we had Snow all the way from home in Suffolk, we went down the west coast and stayed at Honfluer in snow ( fantastic ) and spent about 8 days travelling through France in the Snow and loved it.:BigGrin: Our last van Spain in 3 day's and could not wait to get there and defrost.
    Why not come to a meet or show and have a look, make your own mind up, you spend a lot of money try and buy something your going to be happy with.:thumb: Bob.
     
  14. Lenny HB

    Lenny HB Funster

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    Well stated, I would never consider buying a British van too much history of poor build quality, water ingress, poor insulation, not winterised. I've had British caravans in the past more water in the walls than my garden pond!

    Our Hymer ia a low profile so does not have a double floor. The fresh water tank is inboard, the waste tank is under slung but in an insulated box & also has a feed from the blow air heating into the box, heating also has a feed into the toilet waste locker.

    If you consider a German van best place to buy is Belgium even with current exchange rate you will still probably save the best part of 10 grand.
     
  15. wp1234

    wp1234

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    Can't comment on the Bessacarr but my Autotrail is used all year in the UK and has been to the Alps in winter with just one minior modifications needed ( a small heater in the waste tank)
     
  16. rainbow chasers

    rainbow chasers Read Only Funster

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    my best advice regarding reliability, would be to dredge all the forums you can find, and look into the tech advice sections. Look at what makes are more commonly being complained about or have problems. This sort of research can serve you quite well - one good thing about brits - they will moan if something goes wrong. Use that as your strength.

    Be wary of private adverts - not because there will be anything wrong as such - but because you have no warranty back up. You will also find, that people are trying to recoup on depreciation - so you may find a similar priced one on a forecourt with warranty...you also find a lot of them are cheaper with warranty!
     
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