Dethleffs Dog (with photos) certainly not the 'Wow factor'!

Jul 31, 2014
West Yorkshire
EuraMobil Activa 820HS
Well, after a visit to Newark and then Lincoln motorhome shows (thoroughly enjoying both one day visits) but not finding our ideal motorhome, I decided to make the 270 mile round trip to a dealer in Shropshire for my choice of van that I've had my eye on for the past 6 plus weeks.
Advertised by the dealer as having the 'wow factor' and even having a video clip on their website, I thought the journey would be worth the while.
After an exchange of emails of me asking questions, I called the dealership to ensure it was still for sale and that I would be visiting today. I was told that I would be expected.
Upon arrival after our 3 hour journey, we found what looked to be a new dealership with a professional set up of shop, cafe and sales area promoting park homes, caravans and motorhomes. A brief walk past the two ladies behind a massive reception desk, too deep in conversation to pay any attention to make any greetings to us, we headed straight towards the motorhome forecourt at the rear side of the building.
Fortunately, our chosen motorhome was unlocked.
We had a good look around.
What a disappointment!
A totally neglected van which in my personal opinion, was part previous owner but part dealers fault.
Stained seats, missing drawer & cupboard knobs, missing door handle from the bathroom door, torn seat on head rests, torn cab blind, missing screws, faulty table leg, partition sliding door hanging off and looked to have been for a while due to the screws causing scratches in the woodwork - and that's just inside. (Too much else to list)
But on the outside, apart from dented bodywork, scratches and scraped transfer/stripes, the piece de resistance had to be that someone had taken a saw to the rear off side corner bodywork.
All of this, on a near £50k 2010 van which is being marketed as having the 'Wow factor'.

Well Mr Salesman, I did get down to your dealership today and treated myself to a viewing, like what you said in your website video for this DETHLEFFS ADVANTAGE A7871-SG and was certainly not 'Wowed'
During the one hour that I spent viewing your wares, not one dealership employee enquired whether we wanted assistance. In fact, nobody spoke to us.

I appreciate that some dealerships may 'put right' any wrongs after a van is sold and before it goes out, but surely, for nearly £50k, dealers need to appreciate that some effort needs to go into presenting a van for sale?

Is it me being naive, asking too much or expecting service better than a fast food burger joint that says I'm loving it or what?
Some people just don't deserve new business and some shouldn't be in business at all!
I took some photos which will be sent to the dealer, if the salesman is bothered enough to find out whether I visited or not today.
The second photo of the cab seats surprised me, as this van was advertised as being leather.
Now, to me, it looked like leatherette or vinyl - especially when I saw the tear in the headrest and how thin the so called leather material was and the man made backing to it, but the cab seats were just seat covers over original seat upholstery held in place by elastic. Seen here with the seat cover peeled back.
What a let down!

Is it meant to be this hard spending nearly fifty grand?


Free Member
Dec 12, 2010
Not got one!
Since 2006
I can emphasise with your disappointment.

We went to look a N+B Flair recently. It was on budget and had Shell's dream cream leather interior.

It was a complete pile of crap! The previous owner was a moron! It had the original flooring covered with adhesive and crappy waterproof carpet, scratches all over the windows, grease spots on most of the window blinds and what looked like a toilet explosion! There was toilet chemical everywhere in the double floor below the washroom due to a dislocated SOG hose. The cassette was obviously full to spill everywhere like that! On top of that, it smelt like a working man's club from the 70's!

We made our excuses and left!


Nov 27, 2011
A class
many many years! since I was a kid
I look at loads of vans to do up and sell on and to be honest, the worst for neglect are the more expensive vans for some reason. everything like smelling like n ashtray with fag burns on the upholstery to poorly done DIY "upgrades" and dog muck stains on carpets etc. some people should just not have nice things. My theory is that some of those that can afford luxury vans new have more money than sense and expect somebody else to clean up after them.

one van sticks in my mind. a N&B that was dirty outside, looking like it hadn't been cleaned in the 3 years since new. the inside was worse if anything and stank like a tramp had used it as a toilet. the seller couldn't understand why nobody would buy his luxury home on wheels. he seemed pretty offended when i pointed out why I wouldn't offer half what he was asking and i left him shouting god knows what after me. that was a wasted round trip of over 150 miles plus expenses.

likewise though I have chanced it and gone to see vans that were for sale too cheap, expecting work and been delighted to find a van ready for me to sell on. they are out there, but you need to either pick through the average tired lived in vans to find a good one or pay a premium for a decent established dealer like John's Cross Motorhomes in Sussex


Oct 28, 2013
SW England
Van Conversion
A few years now
We looked for a couple of years & ended up buying new as saw nothing secondhand that wasn't dirty or abused even in dealerships!
Jun 18, 2011
Pucklechurch, Bristol, United Kingdom
Low Profile
Since July 2011!
I bought my first motorhome from a large well respected Dethleffs dealer on the south coast. The pictures look like an identical trim package to ours which was described by the dealer as "leather trim". This error was also compounded by the "Big Test" in Practical Motorhome who called it leather upholstery. It fooled me too!


Dec 11, 2013
N&B Flair 8000 IVECO
since 2012
I can only sympathise as we are are not even looking to change but the presentation of van by some dealers takes some believing sometimes.

If you can buy private you stand a good chance of a much better looked after van


Dec 2, 2009
Moving around
I mentioned condition when looking for a different van and I was told that the expensive vans are often in bad condition because to the people who own them money is no object so they don't look after them .... whereas the van in the lower range are usually like new inside ... don't know if true or not.


Sep 12, 2012
coach built elddis 400
since 1978
I think you are right movan. looking at the high end m/homes for a friend of ours, we was disappointed with the state of 4 m/homes. they finished up buying a 12 year old van. it is great. saying this with envy.
Nov 30, 2009
West Yorkshire
Since 2009
Well I know when we come to sell ours, after Christmas early spring , hopefully . The viewers won't be disappointed.
I'm sure the first to see , within that budget , will buy it.
There's so many sheds about. Even at dealerships. It's such a great roomy loungy layout, and it's spotless.
We haven't even got our new panel van delivered yet. But the spare room at home is full of everything needed to go in it , and on it, including the kitchen sink !
Sep 15, 2009
Sussex coast
I too could not believe state of some vans offers by dealers and by some of there attitudes. I'm so glad we have now found something and haven't got to do it again well not for a long while.
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