Autocruise Starblazer Opinions and experience required please!!

Discussion in 'The Beginner' started by Harry Man, Sep 23, 2016.

  1. Harry Man

    Harry Man Funster

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    Hi there all - happy Friday!! :)

    We are still to buy our first motorhome and are therefore very inexperienced (not to mention a little scared!!). We have been looking and researching for a while now but are seriously considering a 2009 Autocruise Starblazer which has just 'cropped up' at our local dealer. It's over budget at £33k but the mileage is low and the layout seems ideal... we have 2 dogs to accommodate. It also appears to be in very good condition. Does anyone have any knowledge or experience of this model/year? We are a bit confused about the pre/post Swift issue???? Many thanks in advance! o_O
     
  2. wanderer

    wanderer Funster

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    We looked at buying a Starblazer large locker but went for an A Class N & B Arto instead . Seems quite a high price ?
     
  3. Spidey

    Spidey Funster

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    Looks a nice layout :) just googled it :). Don't know anything about them, is the dealership a good one?
     
  4. Harry Man

    Harry Man Funster

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    Thanks both. Yes, the dealership is small and local with a very good reputation.
     
  5. andy63

    andy63 Funster

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    I've done a bit work on an autocruise starspirit and starblazer..
    One was 2004and other2008 I think..
    Both were well put together vans.. felt solid and better fittings than a lot of newer vans about today..
    Andy..
     
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  6. Kev and Carolyn

    Kev and Carolyn Funster

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    Ours was a 2007 and was a great truck to be honest. Loved it to bits. Bed layout was really comfy although awkward step layout! The steps up and down from it were narrow and difficult to use when nature calls in the middle of the night! We are old folk! :smirk:
    Our garage was converted to look after two dogs by the previous owner. Really good job they had done too. I think the dogs were better looked after than themselves to be honest?
    Obviously goes without saying...Check for damp behind the drivers seat and under the drivers side bench seat too. Amongst other well known areas.
    Ours was a bit of a bugger and let us down badly regardless of a new Habitation Cert!:wasntme: Stressed out kev somewhat! :hot:
    As previously mentioned by Wanderer..a little high on price so be careful.

    Carolyn and Kev
     
  7. Wee Bold Davy

    Wee Bold Davy Funster

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    Hi Kev and Carolyn been looking at Autocruise models as our first van. Loved the layout and finish in several and was particularly taken by the Wentworth. You said yours let you down badly. Was there anything in particular that we should look out for? We're looking at vans built between 2002 and 2007. Thanks

    Davy
     
  8. Khizzie

    Khizzie Funster

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    Hiya I have a 2005 auto cruise stargazer and love it to bits no major issues in the 11 years I have had her, having bought her a a year old.looked many times at other highly rated vehicles but none are anywhere as well built. Roy
     
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  9. Cavs

    Cavs Funster

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    Our first van was a 2003 Starblazer that we owned for about 6 years and had very little trouble. It had the best kitchen for workspace area of any van I've ever seen, with the various extra surfaces. It was the version with two inwards-facing bench seats, so not the same as the one I think you have in mind.

    I don't know anything about the 'pre/post Swift issue' - did the quality go down when they were bought out?
     
  10. Kev and Carolyn

    Kev and Carolyn Funster

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    Hi there. We had a nightmare with the company really , Unsure if we can name and shame on here but..they are in Bristol!
    That aside. The problems were down to a poor habitation service carried out by the company. We had only had the truck for a short while and the issues started! Roof air vent fell off in the kitchen from off its mounting plate! Door handle for habitation door ...come loose and fell inside the truck locking us out!
    The biggest fault was the damp! Bear in mind that this was supposedly just done? Damp was in excess of 35% and rising ! This was around the drivers seat area behind the large bench seat on that side. It had been covered over with some matching paper to "blend" in with the original on the wall boards. We assumed that it had been sorted and all was ok? How wrong could we have been? We were assured by the director of the company that all was ok and that there would not be any issues with the vehicle because it had been through a comprehensive check and service in his work shops. I was obviously fooled and taken in by it all!
    We ended up sorting things out with solicitors and court action. We got some of our monies back and moved the truck on to Salop who traded it for us with the damp repaired.
    Realistically...The truck was a really nice vehicle and offered us everything we wanted ( apart from the damp of course !)
    The Starblazer is a lovely truck to own . Being quite long and heavy ( ours being 4250 kgs and on air ,PHGs) Really felt good to own and drive. Loved it really. Just a shame that the company was useless!
    Like everyone will mention...Service history is a 'must' especially Habitation. Take a damp meter with you and dont be frightened to use it! Every locker and cupboard with an external seal, Check it! Lift the cushions off any seat and check underneath into corners for damp and or mould. Cam belts are a bit of a pain to be honest. Make sure its been done before purchase. Can be expensive should it fail. Tyres are also Extremely important. There are codes on the tyres which will explain the date when they were manufactured . Rule of thumb...5 years and swap or change to suit. Any cracks etc in the rubber walls, personally... steer clear or have them replaced before purchase.
    Check reverse drive . Make sure it does not skip or judder when reversing! If it does...move on to another.
    The age you are looking at would indicate that the truck would have been used well or possibly ..not at all! Often a misconception regarding the use of motor home is that is best if not used much? Wrong! Everything moves or deteriorates regardless of use. Better to have one with a few miles on the clock than none or very little to be honest . Personal choice but it has helped us over the years.
    Be prepared to ask questions . Especially if its private owned. Most motorhomers will gladly give you all the information you need. Most if not all motorhome folk are genuine. You are in good hands on here.
    Take your time in your choice . Can be an expensive mistake if rushed in to. Hope I don't sound condescending or patronizing? Just would like you to have a really great experience with the dream to be honest.
    Regarding the other post you have on here regarding Auto sleeper or Autocruise? Its a personal choice and that i am sure.

    Kev and Carolyn
     
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  11. Wee Bold Davy

    Wee Bold Davy Funster

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    Hi Kev and Carolyn
    Sounds as though you have been through the mill. It sounds as though you were very unlucky in your choice of van. It would be so easy to be seduced by such a lovely van. With the benefit of hindsight, looking back to the day that you purchased the van, is there anything different that you would have done? Any question you would have asked or anything at all which may have rung an alarm bell?
    We've looked at so many vans over the past year and the Autocruise has been up there with the very best of them if not the best. I've read horror stories about various types of van which unnerves me as a complete novice. Used car salesmen have never been my favourite people and I've learned to take them with a large pinch of salt, but there is so much more to buying a used MH.
    I often see warranties given with vans, but what do they cover? I have been aware of a number of your points ie. cam belt, tyres and reverse judder but probably the only one I would have bothered to ask about is the cam belt. Thanks for waking me up to the other two which I wouldn't have paid much (if any) attention to.
    I'll try and find out more from owners of Autocruise and Autosleeper and do as much homework as possible to prevent an expensive mistakes. We work too hard for our cash and are so anxious to live the dream.
    Thanks for recalling what must have been a painful and frustrating time.(y)

    Davy
     
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  12. laird of Dunstan

    laird of Dunstan Funster Life Member

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    davy get a damp meter mate and find out how to use one , there are a lot of good vans out there but its the bad one that give them the reputation , there was also a problem with ducatos and their reversing that may still be around in some vans of that age .
    good luck with the hunt
     
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  13. Kev and Carolyn

    Kev and Carolyn Funster

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    Hi Davy.

    Hindsight .....wonderful thought that! If only! :sleep:
    When our issues came about I believe the company had not long been set up with motorhomes ? Not that I am trying to give them an excuse for what they had caused? That aside..if it were possible to use hindsight then a different supplier / dealer, would have been the way forward , that I am sure. The truck was honestly spot on with its offerings. There are so many opinions and ideas on here and everywhere relating to what is best or not. I personally believe that when you walk through the doors on the mh that is meant to be yours...you will know it straight away!
    We have had a few to be honest ranging from our first, a V dub 71 plate through to our last a 2010 Frontier Scout I have recently sold to a pair of friends on here !
    It was at the end of the day a little while ago now, but it keeps you on your toes when looking for a new Mh. Trust me...I still double check for damp. Both when on a dry day and i also try to go back on a damp day just in case the wet has made its way anywhere! Its a bugger ...Seriously. :rolleyes:
    Deal with a company you feel you can trust. Having said that, ask the simplest of questions. Don't feel that you need to come across as a 'pro'. The company if a respectable one, will accept your vulnerabilities and guide you in accordance. I deal now with a company in shropshire called Salop Leisure . They may be dearer than most, but to be honest...I have never felt let down , or vulnerable at any time with them. It is true about life unfortunately..that is that you get what you pay for ! Whilst not cheap, they are and always have been reliable and most of all, TRUSTWORTHY!
    I am currently looking at a 13 plate Apache from Salop. I can honestly say that if the deal goes ahead...I can rest assured that 'My dream" will be achieved and not soiled by any incompetence of another company out there.
    Suggestion if I may? Compare and then...compare again. Sit with your partner and put down the pro's and cons of the Motorhomes you desire. Try not to take too deeply a view on someone else's ideas. We all have a theory when it comes to 'The best you can buy'..It is only an opinion at the end of he day! One which is personal to ourselves as individuals.
    Questions to ask yourselves...Does it need to be big or small? Long or short?
    Hi or low line?
    A class or Coach built, or even a panel van conversion?
    4 or 6 wheels?
    Little country lane jobby or a motorway cruiser?
    Fuel economy?
    Space? Would you like extra load capacity or not?
    PHG or 3500kgs? Basically Private heavy goods (4250kgs ) or 3500 kgs ?
    These are but a few of the things to contemplate.
    Your age group...If a senior (60 plus) Private heavy goods will be a problem if approaching 70 years of age. Licence needs to be reapplied for due to weight restrictions etc
    Again ...little things that determine the route of which you have to take.
    As regarding warranty etc. Its only as good as the company you trade with to be honest. Having said that..MB and G insurance always seem to be the best at honouring their policy cover with out quibbles.
    These are available to purchase privately if you require a cover in addition to a second hand warranty offered by most companies.

    I believe that you guys will purchase the correct bus for you both and that Your dream then shall be realized in full.
    Which ever way you go with this...I know you wont look back, honestly I do.

    Enjoy the trip. I believe it was once said...

    “Second star to the right and straight on 'til morning. ”

    Enjoy the trip!

    Kev :)
     
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  14. wizzer59

    wizzer59 Funster

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    No help at all to you guys, but when I first started to get interested in motor homes, the first van I fell for was a Auto-cruise Stargazer, saw it at the Carmarthen showground and fell in love:inlove:
    Never did get one but still like them(y)

    does seem like a lot of money though, have you seen THIS one, lovely and 3Litre engine too;)
     
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  15. Wee Bold Davy

    Wee Bold Davy Funster

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    Lovely van, stretching our budget a bit. Was hoping for a 2 berth, don't want to go as big as 7 metres, slightly too long to fit comfortably in our drive(y)
     
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  16. wizzer59

    wizzer59 Funster

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    Sorry, I didn't look at the dates and was answering to the original poster:doh:

    Yes it is a big old beast, don't blame you on that case:blush:
     
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  17. Wee Bold Davy

    Wee Bold Davy Funster

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    Strangely enough we saw our first Autocruise at Salop Leisure. I've had no dealings with them and it's good to hear that you trust them. We pop in from time to time for a look. Only seen a couple of vans within our budget.
    We'd been put off AutoTrail after hearing a few horror stories, but I'm sure that there must be similar stories for many makes of MHs. Just going to be like a sponge and soak up as much info as I can.
    We appreciate your info, thanks once more.

    Davy
     
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