Which Hymer,S660,S700,B694?

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Bluemerle, May 14, 2013.

  1. Bluemerle

    Bluemerle Read Only Funster

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    So folks, on 22nd june i will be 60,and will then receive a modest pension.:BigGrin:

    I will be hopefully replacing my old converted prison truck with one of the above. I am looking at the late eighties to mid nineties era.

    My preference would be a Merc S660 ( that i refer to as the "JJ" van) but they seem to be very rare. I like the 694 secondly and then the S700. The s700 would be second, but I cannot make my mind up about the overhang!

    So my question is what are the pro's and con's of these 3 models, as in availability of spares,reliability, known weak points, other than Fiats 5th gear etc.

    So thats it folks, "Simples" I look forward to your replies.:Smile:
     
  2. Snowbird

    Snowbird Funster Life Member

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    You seem to have done your homework as quite rightly the 700 does have a huge overhang which not only can be a problem when manoeuvring but can cause overloading on the rear axle through leverage. Both the 600 and 700 have the same running gear which everyone knows is indestructible. Parts are available on any street corner and anyone with a bike spanner and bed spanner can repair them. I always liked the 694 bar version layout but parts for older Fiats are now getting scarce, such as headlights etc. Just to throw another spanner in the works, have a look at older RMB silver stars which are built on the same chassis with the Merc 410 running gear. There are a few of funsters with them now and they are as good as it gets. Mine has the benefit of the bar version with plenty of lounge space but with a full size garage under the rear bed. Great truck and I know mine will see me out. They are not easy to get hold of but are becoming available since most German cities went LEZ. Mine is 6.7 metres long so can get anywhere with it.
     

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  3. Bluemerle

    Bluemerle Read Only Funster

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    Thanks for that info Snowbird. I have droolled a bit over your RMB, and even more so with that joyner on tow.:BigGrin:

    It seems I would have to buy from Germany if I wanted one, and not sure I have the confidence to do it! but will see what transpires.
     
  4. jhorsf

    jhorsf Read Only Funster

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    I was quite amazed when you put the interior RMB pics on here it still looks nice and not really dated like I thought it would :thumb:
     
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  5. Snowbird

    Snowbird Funster Life Member

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    No worries about buying from Germany. Dead easy, once you have done one you will wonder what all the fuss was about. The Germans have been motorhoming much longer than us and there is not only more choice of vans but they do seem to look after them better. They are invariably better built with more extras. Because of there test system being the way it is, it does stop Joe Public tinkering and therefore everything is tested, gas as well as vehicle mechanics. All the vans I have bought from Germany have been better than the vendor had described. There are some very well made vans out there that were not exported to the UK in large numbers as we were not prepared to pay the money for them. Its only in recent years that coach builders such as Frankia, Concorde, Niesmann etc have had agents in the UK but there are many high end coach builders in Germany such as Bocklet, Carthago, RMB which have been building high quality, high end motorhomes for many years.
     
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  6. Snowbird

    Snowbird Funster Life Member

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    Thanks for the complement. Its genuine wood and what they call bleached ash. All the RMBs I have seen are in light woods such as beach or ash, not like the old Hymers with there dark brown with contrasting dark brown and brown curtains with contrasting brown cloth....Oh and brown lino on the floor. I sometimes wonder if when new they came with brown overalls and hat.
     
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  7. jhorsf

    jhorsf Read Only Funster

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    I have been in a large Carthago the man ordered it and had it built from the factory himself he told me he saved lots of money as it only cost him 175K euro:Eeek:.

    it was :Cool: and I could have looked around it all day:Eek!:

    in fact it is just about on these pictures

    $(KGrHqIOKi!E3)BkPHU5BOCLqyeerQ~~_12.JPG

    $(KGrHqMOKooE32-(S)1-BOCLqdFtwg~~_12.JPG

    $(KGrHqYOKiYE3k5(W1rWBOCLqjzYvg~~_12.JPG
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2013
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  8. Snowbird

    Snowbird Funster Life Member

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    You will find that most if not all of the high end German vans are built to customer order. I know the RMBs are as no 2 are the same. I have the original build sheet with mine including invoice. They were very expensive when new and that's what makes them such a bargain when they are 20 years old. The RMBs were gel coated in metallic colours when the only colour you could buy a motorhome in the UK was cream and brown. I know mine cost me less than a 10 year old Konleaky would have cost me in the UK and like many of these older German vans will still be running in another 20 years time, even though I wont be in the driving seat.
     
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  9. jhorsf

    jhorsf Read Only Funster

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    I think your van looks still quite modern but they do say quality never goes out of fashion dont they:BigGrin:

    he told me he was thinking of selling his van at the time I thought about it for a few seconds:BigGrin: it needed an HGV also to drive it as it was huge
     
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  10. Deckard

    Deckard Read Only Funster

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    Snowbird - is this a serious issue - i only ask as I am quite a long way down the road to buying a 694 - which I plan to use "full time" (in truth about 90%!)

    Are there alternatives e.g. OEM suppliers of these items?
     
  11. Snowbird

    Snowbird Funster Life Member

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    I know that certain items on early Fiats are becoming difficult to find. Headlights and indicator lights being one. The headlights are now becoming discoloured and failing MOTs and the square headlights from the MK 1 are almost impossible to find. Fiat electrics were not really up to the job 20 years ago, so wont have improved much with age. All parts for Mercedes commercials are available regardless of age. If its not available locally it can be got from Stuttgart, usually over night. An alternative to the 694 Hymer is the 750 which is a tag axle but on the Merc chassis. Finding one would be a problem though, as they did not build many.
     
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  12. JockandRita

    JockandRita Funster Life Member

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    Dave,

    I didn't realise that some earlier Hymers had tag axles on a Merc chassis. :Eek!:

    I lke the look of this one, a Hymer 900 apparently, although I've never seen one myself before.

    Cheers,

    Jock.

    [​IMG]
     
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  13. Snowbird

    Snowbird Funster Life Member

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    Hi Jock, I almost bought a 900s some years ago. They were built on the Merc 7.5 ton chassis and are as rare as hens teeth. They looked very American on the inside, with an American fridge freezer and dark brown wood. The guy that was selling it lived in Huddersfield and we agreed on a price, but when I went to collect it he tried to get another 5K out of me. Needless to say he lost the deal.
     
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  14. Bluemerle

    Bluemerle Read Only Funster

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    No body else got any thoughts or advice, to help a poor fella make his choice. Would really appreciate comments from owners of the vehicles mentioned.:BigGrin:
     
  15. cbrookson

    cbrookson Funster

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    We have had our S700 for over four years now. The overhang people mention has caused no problems, indeed sometimes it is an advantage as we can back it into a parking space and overhang the grass!

    As others say, we have had no problems with parts which are the original Mercedes ones, our local Mercedes Truck Garage services it with no problems. The only parts which produce slight challenges are some of the strange ones, such as the Bosch wiper motor which came from a Renualt Traffic of 1990s. Found a Citreon XM was the same.

    Other bits like roof skylights etc are still fairly well available. For the price we paid for ours, we are very pleased. We have looked round at all the motor home shows at new vans, and never found anything that tempted us to change it. Solid wood furniture, great fittings that have lasted well. We've made a few replacements, and gone to Peter Hambilton who looks after them well and really knows all about them.

    There are some pictures in our blog if you are interested. If you can find a nice S660 or S700 then go for it! :thumb:

    Cheers

    PS See you are in Essex, you are welcome to come and see ours in Suffolk near Stowmarket.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2013
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  16. Deckard

    Deckard Read Only Funster

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    Thanks Snowbird, appreciate the heads up....
     
  17. sillybug

    sillybug Funster

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    hi we have a fiat 694 we have owned it for 12 years and love it. hardly had any problems these were built to last. snowbird is right some parts are now more difficult to get than they were having said that the internet has made that easier we did need a head light and ebay sorted it quite easily most other parts you can mainly have reconditioned without to many problems. we have looked for a new van for the last three years and cant find anything that makes me want to sell the 694 the quality of these vans are hard to beat. if you would like anymore info pm me and i will try to help. good luck with your search.
     
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  18. Snowbird

    Snowbird Funster Life Member

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  19. Bluemerle

    Bluemerle Read Only Funster

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    Thankyou, this is just the sort of information I am looking. Its good to know that the overhang has not given you any problems,and all your other comments are very positive.

    very kind offer, to come and view, I was in North Essex, almost on the Suffolk border, so not far from you. However I am now in Bristol, so bit of a trek!!

    I like your blogg and piccies of Motorhome:Smile:
     
  20. Bluemerle

    Bluemerle Read Only Funster

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    Very useful and helpful comments Sillybug. The fact that you have owned for 12 years and cant find anything that makes you want to sell, is very heartning. 694 will remain on shortlist.:BigGrin:
     
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