10K camper v 40 K camper. (1 Viewer)

Bedspring

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Reading "The Long and Whining Road" and getting inspired. I want to turn this from a dream into reality, I am sure many of you must have been here :).
Anyway in the book the guy buys a V Dub for 4k and goes off around the world. Near Genoa it breaks down and a 50€ fault costs 2000€ to put right.
So what am I drivelling about. Leaving everything else to one side like layouts and lengths, I am thinking if we bought a van for 10K, it would probably be fine for 20K or 40K miles, and if it broke down we would have £30K to put it right, or just go and buy another van for £10K.
Not saying we are going to do this. But is there any logic in this approach.
Cheers Beds
 

Janine

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I sold my last van based on a VW T4 for £5000. It was over 20 years old and had damp issues but the base vehicle had only done 50,000 miles and was probably good for another 50,000. It depends on what you are willing to compromise on, I suppose.
 
Feb 22, 2011
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I think you have to set a budget and go look what it will buy, always budgeting for unexpected essential repairs.
You will also need to agree on the level of comfort and modern conveniences you will need / want.
Then there is layout to consider.
You will also find that there are endless things to buy when you have your van, I speak from experience.
Good luck with your search
 
Aug 22, 2007
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if it were me i would buy something based on a fiat x244 2.8 2001/6 they have minimal engine electronics and no real vices except front wheel bearings

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tonka

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No logic at all. Brand new vans break down and some old ones go on forever. Old vans could be better built and never leak, new ones seem to be glued together and tales of damp issues (mine included).

There you go, that's not helped much has it. ;)
 
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I paid £1200 pounds for a 1994 car/MPV 8 years ago it's done over 200,000 miles now and apart from ball joints and a radiator it has only required service parts, been to Belgium, Luxenbourg, Germany, Austria, Italy and France in it and the only issue on tour was a flat battery which ADAC turned out for within an hour. If you do buy cheap just make sure you check it out thoroughly and make sure it's properly serviced before you leave, it's also worth taking any spares that might be difficult to get whilst away just in case.
 

mfw

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At 15k there are a lot of decent vans around with different layout 2000-2005 vans although some vans are higher priced than other similar vans out there - you really have to do your homework to ensure you dont overpay 5K or more on an overpriced motorhome/camper van
 

MikeD

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One way to look at it.

If you buy a £4k van and it then breaks down. If the bill is £2k you have an option of repair or scrapping it.

If you buy a £40k one - You pretty well have to repair it no matter how much the repair costs. :D

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Langtoftlad

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There's a car buying strategy called "Banger-nomics"

Simply put, you buy a banger of eBay with some months MOT for a couple of hundred quid, when it goes wrong you scrap it & buy another...
https://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news/...bangernomics-how-buy-and-run-used-car-cheaply
Plenty of variations on the theme - but basically you don't spend any money on doing it up or getting it fixed.

I wonder if a similar theory could be used for MoHo's - especially as relatively frequent changes are usual for layout reasons - would 5x at £10k last as long as 1x at 50k?
Isn't that what the Oz backpackers do - buy a camper at the beginning of their trip and sell it at the end?
 

Nasher

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I think something else you need to take into consideration is your mechanical & electrical skills

With motorhomes there ate 2 main areas for problems : the base vehicle and the bits inside. Both may require fixing

If you can fix basic things yourself, then you can keep costs down


Also consider, older vans will generally be less fuel efficient & have a shorter service interval

I purchased a van & had it converted to my own spec. As a van, there is little opportunity for damp issues and I used the principal of 'keep it simple' in the design as there is less to go wrong
 
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Just be careful of eBay scams, when it looks too good to be true it probably is.
Also goes for other platforms or seller's.
 

Puddleduck

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A friend of mine always bought cars at a cost of between £800 and £1000 with full year MOT. He would run them for a year and sell on for "spare or repair" with no MOT. If there was an expensive repair before the year was up he would scrap the vehicle. I think he only scrapped two cars within the year in the 20 odd years he was doing this.

He bought me a £1000 car and it ran like a dream for 5 years, never had even an advisory on the MOT and I did 100,000 miles in it. It was an insurance write off rather than a mechanical scrapper :(

So if I had the knowledge and was well enough to cope with the unexpected I would buy cheap and old, be prepared to do some work / spend some money and have fun. :)

Are there still UK vans in the south of Spain that aren't legal and possibly cheap to buy but cost a bit to make legal (trailer back to UK for MOT or register in Spain, I know nothing but just a thought)?
 

Jaws

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Our 4 grand Hymer thing was a wreck.. Never took it outside Thetford.. But the folk we sold it to drove it straight down to spain !
Our 6 grand Hobby was amazing.. After about 3 years ownership, the worst thing I could say about it was some of the black paint on the switch panel over the kitchen area was flaking in places

Our Miller ( £27k ) was great apart from a few electrical gremlins which I later found our were very common on that type of electrical set up, and a bit of damp at the back which I soon sorted out

Our current tag Autotrail has had a few oddball electrical faults but over all we have been pleased with it

So, what I am saying is the same as others.. It is pot luck !
If you are happy to get busy, there is nothing inside a motorhome that cannot be fixed without spending thousands..
I would say the BEST build quality seems to be motorhomes from the late 80's early 90's
And we have a seld imposed cut off year of 2007.. After that, all makes seem to take a quality dive.
No real surprise.. around that time motorhoming really took off. I reckon all the makers got caught out and tried hard to keep up with demand.. I think they ALL cut corners a bit to increase their output

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mfw

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Our 4 grand Hymer thing was a wreck.. Never took it outside Thetford.. But the folk we sold it to drove it straight down to spain !
Our 6 grand Hobby was amazing.. After about 3 years ownership, the worst thing I could say about it was some of the black paint on the switch panel over the kitchen area was flaking in places

Our Miller ( £27k ) was great apart from a few electrical gremlins which I later found our were very common on that type of electrical set up, and a bit of damp at the back which I soon sorted out

Our current tag Autotrail has had a few oddball electrical faults but over all we have been pleased with it

So, what I am saying is the same as others.. It is pot luck !
If you are happy to get busy, there is nothing inside a motorhome that cannot be fixed without spending thousands..
I would say the BEST build quality seems to be motorhomes from the late 80's early 90's
And we have a seld imposed cut off year of 2007.. After that, all makes seem to take a quality dive.
No real surprise.. around that time motorhoming really took off. I reckon all the makers got caught out and tried hard to keep up with demand.. I think they ALL cut corners a bit to increase their output

Think you are right on build quality but base vehicles of that age rotted away mid 90s onwards rust protection was a lot better
 

Northernraider

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I've sort of done this all my life hence having owned way over 700 vehicles

I used to never pay more than 5 or 600 for a car. When it came to my campers and motorhomes that was obviously a lot more although my first vw camper I bought at 17 cost me £675.

I've had 2 cars on finance in my entire life never reaching the end of the finance agreements before paying them off selling them on and going back to cheap cars.

My last motor home ( frankia )was the most expensive vehicle I ever owned.

I paid £37 k for it last August , spent a few grand on it between fitting solar refillable gas new batteries etc then an overly expensive service and a clutch failure in Spain so probably spent around 3.5 - 4 grand on it in the year I owned it ...I also put 15000 miles on it in that year. I sold it last month for just shy of £42k So it cost me nothing for that years ownership.

I bought a 4 year older model on a hymer for less than half that price , it has less things to go wrong with it and simpler mechanics and I like it better than the newer more expensive one.

I also run a 2006 2 owner from new nissan almera now as a run around that I picked up for £400

I'm generally much happier in older cheaper vehicles.

And quite happy to spend the money repairing if cheap enough and replacing if not

Because newer and more expensive means you often end up with higher maintenance costs that you've no choice but to pay or lose the large investment you already have In it.
 

Rob and Val

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Ideally you'd want a vehicle to have a VERY recent habitation service and with the paperwork to back it up. A habitation service is like an MOT for the living area of your van. The service engineer should check everything in your van including gas and electric (12v and 240v), habitation appliances such as cooker, water heater and fire/heater, all water systems including taps, pipes etc, all windows, blinds, doors, hinges, drop test your leisure battery and, most importantly, do a damp test.

Autosleepers have a monocoque body (one piece fibreglass) which should mean that there are no damp problems as there are no seams but you still need to be aware that older vans often suffer from corrosion.

If you have the reg. no. of a van that you are interested in then you can check its MOT history here: -
https://www.gov.uk/check-mot-history

P.S. We also read "The Long and Whining Road". Great book!
 
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mfw

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Cheap van this dont look bad good mot history as well under 10K though








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Jaws

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Think you are right on build quality but base vehicles of that age rotted away mid 90s onwards rust protection was a lot better
Our Hobby was a 1987 and as solid as a rock .. we bought it in 2006-7 (a german import LHD, that is still going strong and is still solid ! :) )

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Northernraider

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Our Hobby was a 1987 and as solid as a rock .. we bought it in 2006-7 (a german import LHD, that is still going strong and is still solid ! :) )
Some of those old square shaped ducatos are minted on the lhd imports compared to how rotten most of the original UK ones were. I was tempted myself there by a couple but not sure I could live with the slower engine and lack of mod cons but there is some nice ones around
 

pappajohn

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€30k to repair a €10k van....

There's an old Chinese(ish) proverb which confus(ed)cious once said...

"one can polish a turd, but it's still a turd"
 
Aug 22, 2007
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gearboxes?
front cross member ?
gearboxes are not a problem on these years only the older ones crossmember agreed but cheap and easy to repair and not on all 2001/6
 
Jun 30, 2010
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Good mate of mine always bought a V8 car to tow his two horse Horse float. He would look at the car and say I can get X thousand K out of that.
He never serviced, or cleaned them, they were always loaded with tackle and hay, and when they knackered out, he parked them under the shelter belt on his property and bought another.

He has long since died. He trained Trotters/harness racers, very successful too. Te Puke Expects was one of his.

47&49 V8 Fords, 50 single spinners, 52 twin spinners, Chevy split screen V8s, HoldenV8s by the score , his Grandson is now reaping the benefit, flogging off the old bombs his granddad parked under the shelter belts years ago to the hot rodders. Cars granddad bought for $250NZ he is flogging for $1000+

Not saying that IT will ever achieve what we paid for it + what we have spent on IT, I don't expect that at all. I will have the satisfaction however of giving IT a new lease of life, for some one else to enjoy. We have a fridge, heater, hob, oven, loo, shower, couple of bunks, hot water, TV, we can, without hardship make our leisure battery last 4 days wilding, although it's not very often we do that, Maureen is over 80 and I am close to it, we like our comforts, I gave up pissing in a field when I was demobbed in 67 from the Brit army, Maureen when she left the brownies:rolleyes:

IT is a 1992 VW T4, 53-54k on the clock, Works out at about 2k+ per year No leaks, it'll be a tad basic for some, but we like it.

Horses for courses!
 
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gearboxes are not a problem on these years only the older ones crossmember agreed but cheap and easy to repair and not on all 2001/6



Gear boxes that are forgotten about is the main problem! Service the engine and forget the g/box. You have to tell the Service station to check the G/box.
90% of the problems with G/boxes are from water leaking thro the linkage. G/boxes should be checked every service for emulsified oil.

Tell tale signs are stiff gear changes, finding it hard to engage gears, and loss of syncro .
 

Terry

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Only my opinion,£10 k is not a lot to spend on a van and will limit your van choice, but spend 15 k and it opens up a lot more vans /choices leaving you 25k to play around with
 

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