Another newbe looking for advise.

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Alan15, Aug 18, 2013.

  1. Alan15


    Aug 15, 2013
    Hello. Looks like this site could be the answer to our prayers.
    My partner and I have been looking at Motor homes for a while now. We have visited all the local dealers and even hired a van for a long weekend to see if we liked the concept, which we did.
    We were amazed at how many different options in layout etc that there are, but eventually found what to us seemed to fit the bill, but just in case we had missed something, we thought we should go to a show. We went to Malvern. Wow! What a lot to choose from. After a short while we found one that ticked most of the boxes, and set off round the show to see if there was anything better.
    After a couple of hours, we returned to our chosen van and were relieved to find it was still available. After a further chat to the sales man, we paid the deposit, not what we had come to the show expecting to do.
    The van is an Autocruise Starlet 2 and the dealer is Somerset Motorhome Centre of Taunton. Is there anything we need to lookout for with the van? The dealer has been very helpful and friendly and it sounds like they give an excellent service. Has anybody got any comments about either?
    Also, can anybody explain what the position is with the side facing seats in the rear. Is it ok for adults to travel in them without seat belts?
    Thanks in advance
  2. rainbow chasers

    rainbow chasers

    Oct 30, 2009
    Mid Cornwall
    Hi Alan, Welcome to fun! How is Dorset looking nowadays, much changed in the last 10 years?

    It depends on which base model you have, so I will go through a quick list of usual culprits.

    All 'french' bases (Peugeot Boxer, Citroen Relay and Fiat Ducato)

    Diificulty selecting reverse/1st/2nd when cold and 'notchy' change; Flickering speedo needle.

    One problem they had was the drain on the scuttle emptying water on top of the gearbox. Water ingress caused the gear oil to be contaminated, and high pressure caused by 'over level' oil. This caused the gear teeth on the speedo drive to wear, and caused gear failures. Recalled vehicles will have an extension from the drain pipe under the scuttle and this will exit behind the gearbox.

    Gear change cables can also fail, but don't get fooled into thinking the gearbox failure is just cables!

    'Knocking' from front suspension/door area

    Bearings on the strut top prone to failure, not an expensive job part wise (£25-60 each) but time consuming to do as the wings need to be removed, before work can commence.

    Heater Matrix

    Water can leak inside the cab from the heater and empty onto the inside floor/carpet. Replacement heater matrix required


    Main catch areas for rust are front crossmember - don't assume it has an MOT so is fine. This is NOT a failure point. These rust frequently, even on clean vehicles. They are simple to replace (bolt on) and cost around £80.

    Inner sills also rust, along with strut housing under bonnet.


    Check when brakes lines were replaced - these have a weak point as they go under the body to the rear. They are hidden behind a mounting point, and this holds dirt/water. They will rust here, and you have little way of knowing until they fail, unless you relase the clip and check carefully. Try and get these replaced if you can.

    07 onwards

    Dual mass Flywheel/Gearbox caused issues with juddering in the early days - make sure this has been rectified by either replacement gearing/clutch.
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2013
  3. taffybloke

    taffybloke Funster

    Dec 6, 2011
    West Wales
    Hello and :welcomefunster:

  4. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

    Aug 26, 2007
    YO11 2BD
    in responce to the seat question.

    it is permitted if they have belts...but, extremely unadvisable.

    the lap belts offer no protection in a front or rear heavy impact and can cause severe bodily damage....broken hips and possible spinal damage.
    even a proper 3 point belt wont be very effective as the wearer will in all likelyhood slide out of the shoulder strap sideways...hence broken joints.

    forward or rearward facing 3 point belted seats should always be used
  5. bobandjanie

    bobandjanie Funster Life Member

    Apr 28, 2008
    UK / Spain
    Hi :welcome: to fun, good luck with your purchase and now you can look forward to trips away. and lots of happy memories. :thumb:

    As for problems some have them some don't, :Smile: we had a 1998 fiat ducato and went all over europe sometimes towing a car and that was still a great van when we sold it, some have the fifth gear problem rusting front cross member and the dreaded damp, ours was never a problem, had a breakdown in France on one trip, and turned out to be a bad earth.:thumb:

    When we changed a lot of people were having clutch judder on the newer fiats and the rain water going all over the engine and gear box, but we had already decided we wanted rear wheel drive, better for towing the car, when we got it people were saying Mercedes expensive when they go wrong :Doh: sprint shift gear box problems, not very reliable and to be honest, :winky: having been in haulage and most of the trucks we owned have been run by electronics it never bothered us ! :whatthe:
    We had it 4 and a 1/2 years did over 30 thousand miles and never any problems and got a good trade in, :thumb: great van. :thumb:

    We now have a 2012 Fiat ducato, and can only hope it serves us well, but you learn that just because someone else is having problems it may not be all vans, :winky: we all treat then different and I would never buy a vehicle either of our daughters have owned. :ROFLMAO:
    Bob and Jane.
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2013
  6. TheBig1

    TheBig1 Funster Life Member

    Nov 27, 2011
    I am surprised if you have not popped into dolphin motorhomes in christchurch, as I think I saw one on their forecourt recently. would of been a lot nearer if you need to go back to the dealer for anything
  7. f6c

    f6c Funster

    Nov 7, 2010

    Welcome aboard:winky:

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