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Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by beckyman, May 23, 2013.

  1. beckyman

    beckyman Read Only Funster

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    I am 78 years old and fairly fit, though I do have Parkinson's Disease. Betty is a little older and has peripheral neuropathy which renders walking a considerable challenge. We have been touring caravan users for over forty five years. Tomorrow Betty and I are off to inspect a used motorhome with view a total change! It would be fascinating to hear from experienced members who have survived the change. Are there hazards to be aware of? What have you missed? What has proved positive? What equipment can you do without? What extra do you need? Our present outfit is a 1992 classic Saab 900 non-turbo convertible with manual gearbox a towing a 1994 Lunar Ariva two berth 12ft van fitted with a built in power mover. The mototorhome in prospect is a 1998 Autosleepler Excelsior rebuilt by Autosleeper into Amethyst spec. in 2009. It is Ford Transit based with 2.5 litre diesel power and an automatic gearbox. It is said to have covered some 50,000 miles. Any comments, positive or negative, will be welcomed. Is it permitted to utilise our blue badge for parking purposes or not? We have always been members of the Caravan Club but never of the Caravan & Camping Club. Are they of equal value for motorhome users? What a lot of questions; please be gentle with us!

    Marcus & Betty
     
  2. Carol

    Carol Funster Life Member

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    Hello and welcome to motorhome and, I think if you choose your layout with care, taking into consideration things you need to store, comfort in sleeping and bathroom, you will be very happy with your change, keep asking questions. Have a look at Jims guide, it could be of help.
     
  3. buttons

    buttons Funster

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    Sounds like a good move, I have come across motor homers who are a lot older. I'm sure you will have a great time.
     
  4. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    hi to both of you and welcome to the fun.

    as you may be aware the first thing to beware of is damp....especially older vehicles.
    stick your nose in cupboards and corners...if it smells damp and musty it probably is.

    most of the things you have for the caravan will be useful for a motorhome as well.

    you may not need a fresh or waste water tote (aquaroll/wastemaster etc) unless you use a lot of water.....most vans have around 70ltrs of fresh and 50 ltrs or so of grey waste capacity and, of course, you are used to the cassette toilet emptying regime..:Doh:

    as with a caravan purchase...make sure everything works and works as it should.
    a new fridge or water heater will set you back a few hundred quid and its the last thing you need after paying a large sum for the van.

    Oh...blue badge is acceptable if there are no other restrictions in place...weight etc.

    Camping & caravanning club appears to have a much more relaxed attitude than the caravan club.

    my own way to look at both is...
    CC = over zealous 'stuffed shirt's'
    C&CC = bloke in a flat cap walking a whippet

    good luck :thumb:

    john.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2013
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  5. beckyman

    beckyman Read Only Funster

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    Very many thanks for comments received so far; very helpful. Who might Jim be and where do I find his guide?:thumb:
     
  6. Johns_Cross_Motorhomes

    Johns_Cross_Motorhomes Trader - Motorhome & Accessory Sales

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    Jims our ringleader, click on link to buy it

    Peter

    [​IMG]
     
  7. smiffy502000

    smiffy502000 Funster

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    autosleeper

    hi,i used to have an excelsior,brilliant van well built,sometimes regret selling it.you wont go far wrong with that model,enjoy :BigGrin::BigGrin::BigGrin:
     
  8. rangitira

    rangitira Funster

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    Jim is the god like creature that wafts through occasionally, but, lets get onto more important things first,
    :welcomefunster:
    Auto Sleepers have a Monaque(?) body, which means the body is made in one piece, SO, no chance of a leak, SO, retain their Value,

    if you like the M/H, but,?

    Then you can buy various bibs and bobs to make life a little more to your way of thinking

    Anyway, It's a relaxed way of life, and on here, M/H Fun, you are never alone, Problem? Ask 'em? and, the answer will be freely given, or the appropreate link will be propvided :thumb:
     
  9. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    our Jim is the foreman, storeman, chief cook and bottle washer......he owns the forum and is affectionately known as the 'RINGLEADER'.

    the guide is available as an E-book (£7.99 and delivered instantly as a download) or hard copy (£10.99) and is invaluable to a new purchaser telling the pitfalls and benefits of various aspects of buying a new or used motorhome..

    click HERE to go to the 'shop'
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2013
  10. Peter & Elaine

    Peter & Elaine Funster

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    Welcome to fun enjoy whatever you buy

    Jim a god like creature ?
    Lets ask Sian who the brains of the outfit is :Rofl1:
     
  11. G4OGE

    G4OGE

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    Gearbox and checks

    As with all auto gearboxes make sure it has an oil change and I think there is filter also the oil should be red and no particles in it check all the gears not just drive.
    It would be good to take along a mechanic or if your a member of the AA ask them; other things to consider if it has had regular services, has the cam belt and pulley train been changed, check the oil filler hole for any white grunge and the engine oil for any signs of water (milky coloured) or if there is no water showing may mean the head gasket has gone.

    If regular servicing has not been kept up then the brakes may need inspection linings etc but 50,000 is not a lot on a diesel of this age ask if there are any old MOT certificates and check the mileage it may have been clocked! you could have one of these checks done sometimes the mileage is recorded when a vehicle changes hands.

    Check the age of the tyres they may be the originals in which case they may be perished also any uneven tyre wear or feathering the tracking may be out.
    Also check the diff for any leaks I assume it is a rear wheel drive, also the brake fluid level brake fluid should be changed every two years, also if it has stood for a while check for any brake fluid running down the inside of any of the wheels this would indicate a wheel cylinder leaking,does the brake pedal feel spongy.

    And ask how much warranty is given you get 3 months automatically and what is covered.

    it goes without saying access is important are there enough grab handles or can they be fitted.

    Hope this helps.Albert
     
  12. beckyman

    beckyman Read Only Funster

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    Well:BigGrin: Thanks to you all for your most helpful comments. Today Betty and I went to look at an Autosleeper Excelsior of 1998 vintage which was for sale sixty miles from home. It proved to be in excellent shape and we are now its new keepers!:Laughing: I hope to bring the beast home to West Kirby next Friday. Meanwhile I must find a good insurance policy. Any recommendations? There comes a huge bag of history docs and instruction books with it to read, mark, learn and inwardly digest. My caravan and tow car must be prepared for sale too - what a wrench that will be:cry: Needs must however. More to follow when time permits:RollEyes:
     
  13. Concord Pilot

    Concord Pilot Funster

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    I am not familar with the model but beware that from 70 yrs old if you have a C1+E licence that entitles you to drive heavier that 3500 Tonnes (max 7500 tonnes) you need to pass a medical every 3 years. If you are towing there is a max train weight of 8250 Kg too. Insurance try Sureguard. Cheers Rob
     
  14. movan

    movan Funster Life Member

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    Hello lovely couple, Welcome.

    Write down all your questions before you go to the viewing and ask EVERYTHING. . . NO MATTER HOW TRIVIAL.

    The biggest thing for me would be is it easy to get up in the middle of the night to have a wee... Sorry, but I hate having to climb down ladders when it is cold.

    Can you get to all the inside storage areas easily.

    Looking forward to meeting you. Joy x
     
  15. jollyrodger

    jollyrodger Funster Life Member

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    Hello People and welcome to the fun :welcomefunster:
    Good choice of base vehicle in the Transit that is what counts you have the bullet proof 2.5di, and with auto so the higher ratio diff should get you 35mpg on a nice day .
    Servicing very easy if you are competent, and as already mentioned CAMBELT should be changed every 60000, again quite an easy job if competent and have the tools, hardest thing is getting the viscous fan off, to remove cambelt cover, most good mechanics love these.

    Re: you using your “blue badge” there should be no problem with that. Many people do the same, getting into smaller spaces is the trick though. In addition, if you are in recite of the higher rate mobility DLA, you would be aware of getting free road tax. If not using it on another vehicle consider using it on your “new” van when it can be registered as disabled, in some council car parks along the beach fronts in Devon ,Dorset and Cornwall, (possibly others, ) there is no time limit for parking ,so long as registered disabled and with the free tax. (Whew!)

    Have fun and enjoy :BigGrin:
     
  16. DesRes

    DesRes Funster

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    Hi & welcome. Congratulations on buying your first motorhome.:thumb:
     
  17. bigfoot

    bigfoot Funster

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    Please PM me,if you can I am local and can put you in touch with like minded mature motorhomers.
     
  18. B-well

    B-well Funster

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    Hi and welcome to Fun, plenty of info on this site, my father 81yrs just brought his first motorhome he has been away x2 weeks now and enjoying finding new adventures within the van.
    just head out and enjoy.
     
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