A reliable second hand motorhome. (1 Viewer)

bongoyep

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Dec 13, 2018
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Hi,

I'm planning on living full time in a motorhome in the UK. I'm posting to seek further info about the make and model of motorhome I buy. Bearing in mind that I'll probably be off grid and of course would like to keep comfortable during the UK's winter.

My budget is £5000 Max for the motorhome. Not much, though from what I've seen on the second hand market I can find something quite reasonable for this amount. So far I'm thinking of buying a Talbot express (or a variant) as these models are within my price range,have the key features I will need for full time living ( toilet, shower,cooker etc) and is compact enough to fit in a standard car parking space should i need a trip to the local shops.

Any other models I should be considering within the price range?. Also what are the main area's (check points) that I should be aware of on a motorhome of this age?. Besides checking for the obvious when buying a second hand vehicle .e.g. rust and that the engine is still there ;-0, are the Talbot's known to have any major body/mechanical/internal issues that usually need fixing/restoring at this point in there age.

Thanks for any help with this.
 

Hollyberry

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Apr 24, 2011
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Hi
If you join Motorhome Fun there's a free book you can download. Has lots of info on buying a motorhome, things to look for which I'd never have thought of.
You may find yourself looking on EBay and other private sale sites, be very aware of scammers; there are loads online. Typically the motorhome " will be delivered to you" and the " money held ( by PayPal, often) until you are satisfied with the vehicle" No, it won't in both cases. The photos are usually lifted from past sale ads or for hire ads. A seller who says they can't show you the vehicle because they work away, they're disabled and/ or selling it for a relative ---- walk away.
It might take you time to find the ideal vehicle but width waiting for. You need to look carefully at issues like payload when you're full timing.
Good luck.
 
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bongoyep

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Dec 13, 2018
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ThX Hollyberry,

I'll consider joining & thanks for the scammer advice. I found the Talbot EXPRESS Owners Club & Forum which will be helpful. I'm more specifically seeking info on whether there are any other makes/models I should consider within my price range. Or are the Talbot's the way to go?. Are they well winterised?.
 
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mfw

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Sep 16, 2017
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Hi,

I'm planning on living full time in a motorhome in the UK. I'm posting to seek further info about the make and model of motorhome I buy. Bearing in mind that I'll probably be off grid and of course would like to keep comfortable during the UK's winter.

My budget is £5000 Max for the motorhome. Not much, though from what I've seen on the second hand market I can find something quite reasonable for this amount. So far I'm thinking of buying a Talbot express (or a variant) as these models are within my price range,have the key features I will need for full time living ( toilet, shower,cooker etc) and is compact enough to fit in a standard car parking space should i need a trip to the local shops.

Any other models I should be considering within the price range?. Also what are the main area's (check points) that I should be aware of on a motorhome of this age?. Besides checking for the obvious when buying a second hand vehicle .e.g. rust and that the engine is still there ;-0, are the Talbot's known to have any major body/mechanical/internal issues that usually need fixing/restoring at this point in there age.

Thanks for any help with this.
Good luck with finding a decent van
 
Apr 11, 2015
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Insurance may be a problem a full timing friend had to have a reasonably new van to get full time insurance. Also don't get a Ford, the tracker required for full time may cost more than your budget.

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Lenny HB

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I think you will struggle with your budget as Sue says insurance will be your first hurdle, I think there are only a couple of insurers that do full time insurance Comfort & AIB. Comfort the van has to be under 10 years old and expect to pay anything from around £900 to £ £2000 a year.
For full timing you really need a German van UK ones the insulation will not be good enough also need insulated tanks even German vans of an age that will be in your budget may not have an insulated waste tank.
Classic Hymers are popular but you will be looking at around £10k for a decent one and at that price it will be getting on for 30 years old.
 
May 31, 2015
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A Motorhome for 5k will be coming to the end of its life and only your diy skills will keep it going..... plus you won’t find one at that price that will get you through a uk winter unless you want to be buying £50 a week of gas to keep it and you warm...

The water and pipes will freeze and give you bad problems and even your toilet will probably freeze if it’s not insulated....

However, it’ll be better then living on the street.....

I wish you luck, but try and find a bigger budget otherwise you first introduction to Motorhoming will be a bad one...
 

TheBig1

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The talbot express was the same van as the citroen c25 and fiat ducato of the same age. The biggest issue is they are mostly all rotten now, especially under the windscreen and around wheel arches, and new panels are no longer made.

Also you should look closely at the conversion, not just the base vehicle. If I had a £5000 budget I would buy a newer van/vehicle and insulate and convert it myself if planning to go full time. Something that parts are readily available would be top of my essential list. then buy a cheap caravan for donor parts like heating, cooking, hot water, shower, washing and electrical systems. plus you will also have much of the internal furniture from beds, tables and cupboards
 
Mar 23, 2012
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Its a bit like trying to buy a car at a similar age and asking what makes are good. There will be some makes less likely or more likely to have problems but there will be none which are generally free of defects at that age. You question is a bit like saying I want to buy a house dead cheap years old and find no work needs doing you could be very lucky and find just that but the odds will be against you. Good luck though

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pappajohn

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£5000 will probably mean late 80s early 90s van and You may have problems sourcing mechanical/running gear parts for old Talbots.
Some parts haven't been available for years and scrapyard spares are drying up.
 

138go

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A reliable secondhand motorhome for £5000 .. Do they even exist .. A motorhome 30 - 40 years old is bound to have a few problems. I hope you are into DIY because it could cost you a fortune to keep it on the road if you pick a bad one. Everything in it will be very tired. Good luck with your hunt. If you are expecting to be off grid I hate to think where you are intending to park. You will have far more to worry about in the Uk in winter than a reliable motorhome. There are other things to consider like power, water and waste emptying. You also have to carry everything with you so you need something that has a decent payload which a lot of the older motorhomes don't have.
 
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Jim

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I don't think the OP is very serious or doesn't like what they have heard, two posts on Thursday and not heard from since, I wonder why we waste our time trying to help.

No time wasted at all. Your answer is there for eternity and will be seen thousands of times when people are searching for similar answers. (y)
 

TheBig1

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I have seen plenty of ex local authority welfare busses for about £3,000 and a myriad of damaged caravans for around £1000
 

TerryL

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But do you think someone who intends to come to this country (I got the impression they were not in the UK but maybe wrong) to full-time is going to want/be able to build themselves a reasonably habitable van from bits?

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jo10000_6

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No time wasted at all. Your answer is there for eternity and will be seen thousands of times when people are searching for similar answers. (y)


He’s correct. I read and re-read lots of your posts when buying an older motorhome and feel I bought a good oldie following the input you have all given over your many years posting.

£5k is just not doable.
£10k if you grab a bargain - few and far between.
Mine was slightly more but for my first motorhome but how I’m using it, I’ve been very happy.

I also try and improve my limited DIY skills from your posts - so keep them coming.

Jo
 
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I have seen plenty of ex local authority welfare busses for about £3,000 and a myriad of damaged caravans for around £1000
so that leaves 1k for everything not in the caravan fixings adhesive curtains blinds waste and water piping etc plus any profesional services with gas or electric and any problems with the base vehicle possibly having to pay for a place to do the conversion personally i dont think its doable on that budgety
 

TerryL

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Never been back according to his history so little point in criticising.

Know what you mean though and tend to agree - but that's life innit?
 
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bongoyep

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Dec 13, 2018
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Hi,Thanks for all the helpful replies and I apologies for not quite as prompt of a reply as I original planned.

After reading through this thread it seems I will have to change my plans (or budget) if I want to live permanently in a motorhome in the UK . As some have suggested I could buy a more modern van within my budget and then install the necessary equipment myself (though it may cost more than £5000). Or possibly import (probably need to be a newer model) a German made motorhome. Thanks again for the info as it helped me avoid what may have ended up being a costly, both in time and money purchase.

Oh well. Maybe for now I should go more for a 'day van' form factor.

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Janine

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Earlier this year, I sold my Holdsworth Valentine van on a VW T4 chassis for £5000 on here . It had a few issues but nothing serious.

The lad that bought it added solar panels and a gas tank to go off grid in Europe.

His latest post was from a mountain in Switzerland in the spring and was never heard from again!
 

Geo

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Jul 29, 2007
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Earlier this year, I sold my Holdsworth Valentine van on a VW T4 chassis for £5000 on here . It had a few issues but nothing serious.

The lad that bought it added solar panels and a gas tank to go off grid in Europe.

His latest post was from a mountain in Switzerland in the spring and was never heard from again!
Oh Dear!
I hope one of the issues wasn't brakes:xeek:
 
Jun 15, 2009
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Earlier this year, I sold my Holdsworth Valentine van on a VW T4 chassis for £5000 on here . It had a few issues but nothing serious.

The lad that bought it added solar panels and a gas tank to go off grid in Europe.

His latest post was from a mountain in Switzerland in the spring and was never heard from again!
Oh dear I hope it wasnt the brakes:)
 

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