Alko Chassis vs "Standard" Chassis (1 Viewer)

Sep 4, 2014
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Hi
We are looking into MH and SHMBO likes Autotrail Tracker RB layout. We also see that the Bailey Approach 730 has the same layout but @£10k less expensive.
Finish aside there are differences in the chassis in that the Autotrail (I believe) uses the standard manufacturer supplied job which is higher than the low line Alko of the Bailey.
Does this make a noticeable difference to driving experience?
Also the Autotrail has blown air heating as opposed to the radiator style of the Bailey.
Relative merits between the two? Someone suggested to me that the blown air would struggl in a MH the size of the Tracker RB.
Look forward to responses
Many thanks.
 

Bluemooner

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I have a small Bailey and it does seem to drive better than my last one which had a standard chassis also i wouldn't have a van now that doesn't have the Alde heating
 

motorhomer

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I think either heating system will work OK, the radiator style may be quieter though.

The Alko chassis is better. Its lower and lighter, and has independent rear suspension which should give better handling and ride. On the other hand the Bailey I think has lower ground clearance which might have a greater risk of grounding eg on ferries.

Normally ALKO chassis and radiators are dearer not cheaper, I haven't studied either van but from the brief description you gave the Bailey sounds as if it would be dearer!

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Jul 29, 2013
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We have the Tracker FB which I only a little shorter and the blown air keeps us snug we were out over last winter with no problems I can't comment on chassis other than the trackers is a Fiat Motorhome chassis very stable and a comfortable drive(y)
 

Jaws

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We went from a 'normal' to an Alko chassis and can honestly say we noticed absolutely no difference at all.

As for blown air, we have the Autorail Chieftain which is a pretty big ol van, and the warm air works very well indeed..
My only issue with blown air is it eats batteries when off grid.

But for those times we also have a 'proper' fire which it seems no one fits nowadays

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stevenjcooper18

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I have an Autotrail RB, and find the heating system good, especially if you are hooked up, because you can use both electric and gas, and it really gets hot. You can also use the heater while travelling, not that you need it.
 

Jim

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Normally more storage is found on motorhomes with an Alko Chassis as they have purpose made sections for tanks n stuff. Blown air heating is the norm and 95% of vans have it. I hate it. to heat my van I need to use gas and electric. The gas provides the heat, and needs the electric fans blow it around the van. These fans hammer your batteries which can make wild camping in the cold a bit of a challenge.
 

maz

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Have had two vans - both with Alko chassis. Both fine to drive but have no experience with the standard Fiat chassis.

Re Alde vs Truma. First van had Alde heating - nice but took a long time to warm the van and was heavy on gas. Current van has Truma heating - quick to warm the van and has no problem keeping my 8m van toasty warm. Insulation levels, double floor and location of boiler can make a big difference though. If Truma boiler is centrally located, the duct runs will be pretty much equal and provide even heating throughout the van. If boiler is located at the back of the van, long duct runs to the front can result in little warmth emerging there, especially when running on electric.

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sdc77

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Aren't there 2 standard chassis? One with a wider rear track?
Should be more stable?


Or not?

Truma blown air works for us.. But we rarely wild camp
 
Oct 5, 2012
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Interesting thread, I may be a bit of a chassis nerd :whistle: I Have the standard Peugeot/fiat chassis 2013 model on my Elddis. There was a naked 2014 one complete with cab at the recent NEC show.........my god what a beast that chassis is, made my LR3 look flimsy........

I also had a nerdy look at the alko chassis, if I was going on a ferry and/or going to a country like Poland with some of the worst roads I have encountered, I would prefer the standard manufacturers chassis, I also think in the unfortunate event of a smash the renforced steel chassis would deform far less than the Alko one.

With a van that long and if you go on a ferry I would have thought Height of chassis would be important, I feel very confident with my high peugeot chassis on going on that kind of thing. I also have to drive down an unmade road with speed humps to get home, so again the high chassis inspires confidence.
 

WAG2CRU

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It is my understanding from talking to a number of people that, when comparing the Aldi system to Truma, it is very common that
those doing the comparison have had an older Truma and then moved on to the Aldi wet system, they have not had experience of the later and more powerful Truma 6, in reality both Truma 6 and the Aldi wet system are very effective.

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Jaws

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With a van that long and if you go on a ferry I would have thought Height of chassis would be important, I feel very confident with my high peugeot chassis on going on that kind of thing. I also have to drive down an unmade road with speed humps to get home, so again the high chassis inspires confidence.

That is one place we do notice the Alko
The full chassis always ground out if the tide was wrong.. So far the Alko has not caught once.. but I should think this is more because with the Alko the axle(s) can be moved further back ?
 
Oct 5, 2012
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4
That is one place we do notice the Alko
The full chassis always ground out if the tide was wrong.. So far the Alko has not caught once.. but I should think this is more because with the Alko the axle(s) can be moved further back ?
I see the new Bailey Approach 730/740 does have the alko chassis, so does the older one have the standard chassis, the pics I saw of the older 730 looked like it had a long overhang at the back.
 
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DP+JAY

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We have the standard chassis with the wide rear track , much easier & cheaper to upgrade, also handles better than our previous van with standard track chassis.
Most of the alko chassis vans have a double floor or steps in the floor. If ithas a double floor the height is the same as the standard chassis. If it has the low floor then there will be a step at the cab end & possibly another at the rear, very easy to trip up or fall down after a couple of glasses
Re the heating, the alde is heavier so reduces payload & personaly I don't think there is much difference now with the latest truma 4e & 6e sytems.

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Ed Excel

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We have the wider rear track chassis. The van corners like it's on rails but it's a bit harsh on bumps with the suspension being stiff. Also, because of that, don't have a problem when passing wagons, it's very stable. Diesel fired blown air heating serves our van adequately and economically. It's about the same size as a Tracker.
 
OP
BMStewart2004
Sep 4, 2014
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Thanks all for you comments, we'll have another look at the next NEC show in February and try and narrow down further.

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Sep 16, 2010
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Got a Tracker (This years model) with end Kitchen and the Truma works extremely well for us.. We just have the circulation fan on low speed and that keeps the whole van at a very comfortable temperature. The boiler itself is situated under the RH bench and the "runs" are all fairly short.. Reference the chassis, it is, as said a good chunky bit of kit and I find the ride solid and good in the corners.. Also, we like the ground clearance, as it lets us go everywhere we want !! I think the Bailey is a fair bit wider than the Autotrail. In my opinion, the new Autotrail ( wider than the last model) is wide enough.. Also the new (2015) Autotrail comes with a re-modeled dash and 17 inch drop down Avtec TV...
Yes, as you can see, we are delighted with ours... Hope you enjoy your choice, whatever it is... Mitch. (y)
 
OP
BMStewart2004
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We have been able to hire a Bailey 730 for next years TDF in the Alps so we'll see how it goes. SWMBO really likes Autotrail though....
 

Eyeinthesky

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We have a 750 Bailey...Alde heating is great. Takes longer than the Truma to get to temp but more economical, quieter and less battery hungry in running. Also you dont drain down the Alde because it's full of anti-freeze.

Chassis...Alko makes for a very stable drive/ride and convenience of not needing a leccy step BUT...Alko is very low and grounding can be an issue. Not on normal roads but Speed Bumps in Europe especially and hump back bridges in the UK. We are having VB Full air suspension fitted on our Bailey next week to improve clearance when needed and it will assist levelling.

Whatever you choose in a MH always seems to involve a compromise one way or another!

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Techno

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Mine is the ALKO heavy chassis which has no danger of grounding at the rear. Also 16" wheels make quite a difference.
DSC_2830-X3.jpg
 
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goldenline

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Normally more storage is found on motorhomes with an Alko Chassis as they have purpose made sections for tanks n stuff. Blown air heating is the norm and 95% of vans have it. I hate it. to heat my van I need to use gas and electric. The gas provides the heat, and needs the electric fans blow it around the van. These fans hammer your batteries which can make wild camping in the cold a bit of a challenge.
Hi
We have blown air heating in our hymer but have only used it on ehu
But going to wild camp abit over the new year would you expect more than 1 night of heat when not hooked up
Regards
Alan
 

Easyliving

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Our van has the standard camper chassis with the wider rear track. I can see the attraction of the lower Alko chassis - don't need an electric step, stable ride, maybe better fuel economy etc but I think having the higher ground clearance of our van is quite important.

This was illustrated well when we were leaving the aire at Gorron in France. Bit of a hump by the entrance and we heard a diabolical scraping noise. Luckily this was 'only' the exhaust tailpipe grounding but if the whole van had been lower I don't know what sort of damage might have occurred.

As for heating, we have never had a van with Alde heating but we find the blown air works well for us. Our van has an 'old fashioned' gas / electric fire which certainly does the job.

Paul

PS Aire at Gorron, not the best looking place but okay for a night. Mind the hump at the entrance though.

Gorron aire.JPG

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hilldweller

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Wet central heating seems a dumb idea to me. All the weight which is one thing we need like a hole in the head and another problem when parked up over the winter.
 
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Wet central heating seems a dumb idea to me. All the weight which is one thing we need like a hole in the head and another problem when parked up over the winter.
Not sure about the weight, but there is no problem with freezing in winter because it uses antifreeze, just like your car or motorhome engine does.
 

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