Disappointing weekend

Ashypants

Free Member
Jan 25, 2018
63
43
Chesterfield, Derbyshire
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52,118
so we were hoping to purchase our van this weekend, we’d got it down to two that were for sale. So off we trundled to Romford early Saturday morning (3hr drive each way) - early start (6am) so I could get back for football (disappointment + 1 with the result).

The Van, a 2013 Auto-Roller 707 wasn’t quite right - alarm bells started ringing when the helpful chap started telling us everything that was wrong with it and spare parts they had in to repair it; bumper, decals, bed trim, bunk trim etc. It was an ex-rental so some scuffs, damage etc was expected - but then he pointed out damp in the roof where someone had tried to retrofit an aerial, and said it was now sealed but they were going to put a plate over the roof damage to protect it more - nope not the van for us.

Disappointment + 1 - now at level 2!

Off back home we went......

Excitement started kicking in for the van we were going to view on Sunday in Richmond, Yorkshire; a 2012 Auto-Roller 707 - ex rental again but looked well looked after. So, we get a message Saturday evening that no more viewings taking place as the van was now sold :-(. Dissapoinment + 1. Now at level 3 !!!

So Sunday morning comes and we are sat around eating breakfast - quick search on the internet and we find a 2014 Auto- Roller 707 at Webbs in Reading - we make a quick family decision and off we set back down South again. We get to Webbs and quickly find the van in the lot - we jump in and have a look around - first impressions were good. Then the tips from the ‘Motorhome Buyers Guide’ kick in and things start going down hill - the upholstery is not standard, floor has been sealed around the edges (not factory), spongy floor in some areas, black mould on the window blinds, 2 hidden dehumidifiers... the list goes on. Then SWMBO says ‘why are the colours different in the luton’...’eh?’ I respond. But sure enough they are different and it appears that a significant repair has been ‘attempted’ - joints not sealed, back mould present, wonky joints and mismatch of colours etc. Then we walk around outside and you can see where the Luton has been bent back into shape - still bend lines in the surfaces. So nope definitely not the van for us - will be a real shame if someone actually pays the asking price of £34950! I swear the buyers guide saved us here !! So disappointment + 1. Now at level 4, but, I feel like we dodged a very expensive mistake on the last one.

So back to the drawing board - otherwise known as search engines :). If anyone has a 2012+ 707 for sale let me know; but be warned I come armed with an excellent buyers guide and I’m not afraid to use it!!

P.s the beer I’m currently drinking has reset the disappointment counter significantly.
 
Last edited:
Jun 30, 2011
5,200
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Are the reasons for the poor vans because they are ex rental or because of the choice you have decided on, you mention damp in the floor, in the roof etc, does that not tell you something about the Auto Roller construction?
Could the disappointments be a blessing in disguise with hindsight?

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Mr B

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Feb 1, 2015
928
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I feel for you......
When we were looking, many a mile was put on the car looking.
It’s got to feel and look right before you part with your “hard earned “
Keep you chin up, you’ll get there in the end:)
 

Anthea M

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Deceased RIP
Oct 18, 2015
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so we were hoping to purchase our van this weekend, we’d got it down to two that were for sale. So off we trundled to Romford early Saturday morning (3hr drive each way) - early start (6am) so I could get back for football (disappointment + 1 with the result).

The Van, a 2013 Auto-Roller 707 wasn’t quite right - alarm bells started ringing when the helpful chap started telling us everything that was wrong with it and spare parts they had in to repair it; bumper, decals, bed trim, bunk trim etc. It was an ex-rental so some scuffs, damage etc was expected - but then he pointed out damp in the roof where someone had tried to retrofit an aerial, and said it was now sealed but they were going to put a plate over the roof damage to protect it more - nope not the van for us.

Disappointment + 1 - now at level 2!

Off back home we went......

Excitement started kicking in for the van we were going to view on Sunday in Richmond, Yorkshire; a 2012 Auto-Roller 707 - ex rental again but looked well looked after. So, we get a message Saturday evening that no more viewings taking place as the van was now sold :-(. Dissapoinment + 1. Now at level 3 !!!

So Sunday morning comes and we are sat around eating breakfast - quick search on the internet and we find a 2014 Auto- Roller 707 at Webbs in Reading - we make a quick family decision and off we set back down South again. We get to Webbs and quickly find the van in the lot - we jump in and have a look around - first impressions were good. Then the tips from the ‘Motorhome Buyers Guide’ kick in and things start going down hill - the upholstery is not standard, floor has been sealed around the edges (not factory), spongy floor in some areas, black mould on the window blinds, 2 hidden dehumidifiers... the list goes on. Then SWMBO says ‘why are the colours different in the luton’...’eh?’ I respond. But sure enough they are different and it appears that a significant repair has been ‘attempted’ - joints not sealed, back mould present, wonky joints and mismatch of colours etc. Then we walk around outside and you can see where the Luton has been bent back into shape - still bend lines in the surfaces. So nope definitely not the van for us - will be a real shame if someone actually pays the asking price of £34950! I swear the buyers guide saved us here !! So disappointment + 1. Now at level 4, but, I feel like we dodged a very expensive mistake on the last one.

So back to the drawing board - otherwise known as search engines :). If anyone has a 2012+ 707 for sale let me know; but be warned I come armed with an exec Ellen’s Buyers guide and I’m not afraid to use it!!

P.s the beer I’m currently drinking has reset the disappointment counter significantly.
After hireing a rental before we bought we decide not to buy one they are cheaper but have no end of hammer from people who have never driven one before and who don’t really care about it.
I hope you find your van very soon and glad you have the buyer beware help with Jim’s book!
Good luck!
 
OP
Ashypants

Ashypants

Free Member
Jan 25, 2018
63
43
Chesterfield, Derbyshire
Funster No
52,118
Are the reasons for the poor vans because they are ex rental or because of the choice you have decided on, you mention damp in the floor, in the roof etc, does that not tell you something about the Auto Roller construction?
Could the disappointments be a blessing in disguise with hindsight?

We are staying open minded at the moment - I think (and may be being naive) that they are just because they are ex rental. The 'one that got away' looked immaculate; which is probably why it sold very quickly. The other two were just not that well looked after.......it think.

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Mr B

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Feb 1, 2015
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Yeah seen that one thanks ,it was on the original shortlist, but leather is not for us; especially with a 2 year old running around in it :)
It probably won’t be real leather, ideal for little rats, sorry, little darlings running amok:):):)

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Mr B

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Feb 1, 2015
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We insist on this when our grandtwat comes with us(not very often, as the dog wants to eat him, as I hide beef hula hoops in his pockets)
42C263BB-EA40-4FB5-9550-A3458BFDFE60.jpeg
 
Sep 12, 2016
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45,091
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10000 miles and 300 nights in 3 years
Hi local Funster

We did same as you last year but we ended up going a little closer to home as we found our Maxine at Oaktree near Ikea junction 26 be as alert as you seem to be but we got a BARGAIN there compared to lots of others around here
 
Feb 21, 2016
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Uk
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C class
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We looked at Autorollers when looking to buy our first van,but they didn’t seem as well made as some others. Fair enough....that was reflected in their price. I believe that you generally get what you pay for,but if you can find one in good nick at a good price with the right layout you then go for it.
Good luck,there is always another one around the corner,take your time.

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Jan 31, 2016
1,108
583
Halifax
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A Class Rapido 9097F
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June 2016
Took us 3 months of serious looking to find our van. Almost 6 months prior to decide on what we actually wanted
Several smelled of damp, several dirty and tatty. A few just felt wrong. Some just too damn expensive for what they were. We had our list cut down to 3 different Rapidos all similar layout. You will know she you find the right van for you. Just keep looking.
 

wingman

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Feb 10, 2013
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Coachbuilt Lo-Profile
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So off we trundled to Romford early Saturday morning (3hr drive each way) - early start (6am) so I could get back for football (disappointment + 1 with the result).

If I’d have known, you could have popped in for a cuppa and a rest!

I actually believe that, far disappointed, you’ve done it right! Imagine the disappointment if you had bought one of those ‘Joseph’s’.

Keep looking; the right van is out there.. good luck.

James
 
Oct 29, 2016
3,154
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Surrey
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Carthago C Tourer
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Motor Homing 4 years, caravan previously
Hi Ashypants, fully understand your disappointment, and I sincerely hope that if not the first beer then maybe the second or third will raise your spirits.
I had no idea of the van make or type you have been looking at so I had a quick google and found this link/review from a current owner on you tube, but I guess you would have already checked it out but just in case here is the link.

My ears pricked up when I heard it described as a 6 birth MH on a 3500KGs Chassis, with possible upgrade to 3650Kgs. He didnt mention the payload of the van but it must be pretty tight, even with only 4 passengers and not 6 as I think there is only 4 belted seats anyway?
I would want a weigh bridge certificate before purchase to check what the actual MIRO net weight is.
Fill the fuel and water tanks up to the brim also before weighing it.
The reason that I would recommend the weigh bridge is that so many people have been sold a pup in that the payloads are nowhere near big enough to get yourselves and full going away kit loaded before becoming over weight.
Good luck in your hunt for your next van, as others have said, when you find the right one it will worth all the fuss and effort.
All the best, & cheers!
Les

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OP
Ashypants

Ashypants

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Jan 25, 2018
63
43
Chesterfield, Derbyshire
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Feb 24, 2013
11,951
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Bolsover, Derbyshire
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Hymer S800
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not long enough
very well done for walking away, once I got money set aside waiting to buy I was like a kid in a sweet shop, just couldn't wait to spend it

the right van, or more likely one like you thought you would get, is out there for you, maybe remove the blinkers and look slightly to one side of your target, you might find something excellent that you might have rejected :)(y)
 

Head Gardener

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Well done for walking away. If it smells wrong, looks wrong or just “feels” not-quite-right - then it’s not the van for you.

And personally, there is no bargepole long enough to make me ever look at an ex-rental vehicle. We were pitched next to one at Kielder a couple of years back and the people who had hired it had less idea about what to do with it/in it than my elderly dog . . . We heard slamming, swearing, kicking - goodness knows what we didn’t see :)

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Lenny HB

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Oct 18, 2007
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No I don't think it was a disappointing weekend it would have been much worse if you had bought one of them and found the problems later.
As you have looked at 3 of these vans and they have all been total crap, isn't it time to move on and look at some different vans.
 

Allanm

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Jun 30, 2013
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We looked at a few vans in the Midlands a couple of weeks ago. They had an AutoRoller, it was the only van we didn’t go inside, the smell coming out as soon as we opened the door put us off going any further.
It appeared to be a combination of damp and tomcat scent..........

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