Autotrail Dakota

Dizzymare

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Jan 19, 2018
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hi I have just joined this forum as we are looking to get our first motor home and could do with a bit of advice. We have looked at lots of layouts and settled on autotrail Dakota or so I thought. Loved the end bathroom and the one we saw was 2011 and had half dinette and over bed cab. It seemed very nice quality and well built. After reading more it now seems that we could experience problems as van is just over 3m height (next classification on toll roads in Europe) but more than this is the weight which is over 3500kg and payload doesn't look great either. I'm getting quite frustrated trying to find our ideal ... always something not quite right haha. I would really appreciate some feedback from Dakota owners. We were also considering a new elddis 185 which is new for a similar price to 2011 autotrail so would also welcome comments on elddus as a make. Thank you
 

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Hi @Dizzymare and welcome to the fun forum
Best thing you can do is become a full subscriber and then download foc Jim’s motorhome buyers guide.
Don’t get frustrated the right van is out there waiting for you.
 
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EX51SSS

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Mr Chrysalis

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Our Dakota was on the Maxi chassis which gave us a payload of around 800kg from memory. If the one you are looking at has the regular chassis you may not have enough. Having said that we loved the Dakota, especially the huge bathroom and the double bed. We changed it for an A class with Island bed so that we could each get out of bed without disturbing the other, and to get another 2 seatbelts as the Dakota only had 2. There was loads of storage in the Dakota, as we did not have the over cab bed. There was more room in the kitchen than we have now, and we loved some of the little features like the external hot/cold shower and external gas point. It drove well too.
 
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Dizzymare

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Jan 19, 2018
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Thank you for your kind welcomes and advice mr chrysalis I do love those things about the Dakota too. I have ordered a recommended book so maybe that will help. We do intend to drive in Europe and I guess I could live with the extra cost on the tolls but it’s the weight being over 3500kg that concerns as some posts say there can be problems on roads in France and you need a go box rather than a vignette in Switzerland. We looked at chausson too but quality on the one we looked at wasn’t great (fridge door fell off and handle on a cupboard) but even that was over 3500kg. Open to suggestions... decent bathroom, if French bed must have drop down/over can also half dinette for extra seat belts but lounging seat also no more than 3m high and 3500 kg (not asking for much lol) budget around 40k TIA
 
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Dizzymare

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Jan 19, 2018
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So has anyone any tips please for driving in Europe with a van over 3500kg? What sort of problems have you experienced? (Husband ok with licence) thank you
 
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