Front or rear wheel drive and other things.

Discussion in 'The Beginner' started by Taran_Las, Aug 17, 2009.

  1. Taran_Las

    Taran_Las Funster

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    Hello again,

    Time for a naive question - I have been looking at lots of motorhomes recently with the intention to buy very soon. I saw an Autosleeper Rienza that I really liked but it's just a bit too big for me to keep on my drive. It's kid brother the Ravenna looks like it could be just what I want (Well on paper anyway). However, it appears the Ravenna can be supplied on a Peugeot or Ford transit RWD chassis. Has anyone experience of either of these models? Which do you consider the better choice? What is the general concensus on front or rear wheel drive? The Ford model appears to have a slightly higher fuel consumption - is this common with the Ford engines?

    Many thanks for any replies.

    Regards

    Phil Owen.
     
  2. The Wallace

    The Wallace

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    Hi Phil,
    Although I have no experience of the vans you mention, I thought someone should say hello.
    An overwhelming number of motorhomes are built on Sevel produced bases (Fiat, Pug ) and if you have been watching the forii over the past year or so you will see that there are a couple of problems with those vans. Converters use them because they are cheap and Fiat in particular have targeted the motorhome converters for a few years now.

    Many owners have voiced concerns over using front wheel drive on anything other than tarmac. On the other hand RWD owners seldom get stuck on wet grass.
    Do not believe people who trot out the trite saying that 'FWD becomes RWD' if you reverse!
    It does not matter which way you are facing if you have driving wheels which are also required to steer - some people never master FWD off tarmac. Even the supporters of 'in reverse FWD is RWD' are stumped when they have a van which cannot be reversed without shaking itself to destruction.

    Having an almost lifelong dislike of Ford vehicles (some bad experiences in early years of driving) it is hard to say this but I feel the Ford base is the better engineered vehicle compared to Sevel vans.

    Fuel consumption figures are a guide and are not necessarily relevant once a van has been converted and driven by an owner. Difference in loading, weight of right foot and type of driving make a fool of any published figures.

    Good luck with your choice.
     
  3. DESCO

    DESCO

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    I would go for the Ford as the Sevel bases are still causeing problems.

    The rear wheel drive Ford gives better traction on wet grass. or so I am told dont know first hand never driven one. I was so worried about the Sevel trouble that I went for a Ford this time,and can only say that I am very happy with it. This is front wheel drive but they seem both to have good reports.
    The only problem I had was moving off at first but found it is a knack and just needs a little more wellie at the right moment, but you soon learn.
    Mine is low profile and after 10000miles I get about 34/35MPG.

    When on motorways I have found the best MPG using cruise control at 60/65 MPH but I found this through trial and error.

    Dave:thumb::thumb:
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2009
  4. wizzer59

    wizzer59 Funster

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    Sorry to butt:moon: in but why are they called sevel?
     
  5. The Wallace

    The Wallace

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  6. wizzer59

    wizzer59 Funster

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    Ah ha thanks bud:Doh:
     
  7. Taran_Las

    Taran_Las Funster

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    Thanks for all your replies. Does anyone have experience of the Ravenna on either platform?

    Regards

    Phil

    btw - I know this is a blatant BUMP :Smile:
     
  8. Brisey

    Brisey Funster Life Member

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    Hi Phil

    We have a Ravenna on a 2.8Hdi Peugeot base.:thumb:
    Bought new 5 years ago, as yet no problems with it at all.
    It suits our needs very well and we are most happy with it.
    If you have any specific questions just ask or send a PM.

    Brisey.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2009
  9. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    Hi

    Agree with what has been said already.. but there are benefits of FWD ..

    With no prop shaft there is a lot more space for underfloor water and waste tanks, a lower floor also means a lower overall height .. some converters fit a double floor, the void gives useful storage space and makes it easier to winterise.

    On balance, my preference is RWD with dual wheels, almost as good as 4x4 on wet grass.. the penalty is large wheel arches inside the van.


    jim
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2009
  10. olley

    olley Funster

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    Hi as FWD have trouble on wet grass how come some enterprising bod hasn't marketed a caravan type mover for the rear wheels? It could be hydraulically powered from the steering pump, or electric.

    Olley
     
  11. The Wallace

    The Wallace

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    Probably because it would cost more than fitting a RWD chassis in the first place.
    Not many engines have a spare hydraulic pump fitted. (steering pump would not be up to the job)
    It is all down to money.
     
  12. Caztur

    Caztur Funster

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    Older vehicles, I know, but the two motorhomes I have had were 1) A Transit and 2) A Talbot Express (forerunner of the Boxer).
    RWD or FWD made no difference to me, never got stuck with either, but I'd never get the Sevel van again because the seating position in them is so uncomfortable for me. I've sat in new ones at shows and they are still the same. I only have little legs and small feet and had to drive with one foot resting on the other for support. The Tranny was a doddle to drive in comparison.

    (Don't know why I have the Excel as my avatar, lovely van on the inside but on a Pug so I'd never buy it.)
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2009
  13. Pat4Neil

    Pat4Neil

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    I have an Iveco twin rear wheel drive, We have never got stuck and find it really easy to manoeuvre in tight situations as we have a good front lock. My husband thinks it four wheel drive though, and it has passed any test that we have thrown at it.:ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:

    I think a lot of problems with the Fiat are 2007 and onwards, so it does depend on the year you are looking at (only my opinion).

    Good luck with your choice.

    Pat
     
  14. olley

    olley Funster

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    Have to ask why? you don't need racing speeds, 5mph or less would be plenty, its only to get you out of the mud.

    Olley
     
  15. Johno

    Johno

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    Hi Taran Las

    I have had both Ford rear wheel drives and Sevel front wheel drives and I think the only time the RWD is better in mud is when you have a twin rear wheel setup, but I find the new Fiat better to drive compared to the Ford which is worth consideration if you intend to go long distances, then on the other hand the Ford will be cheaper and easier to get serviced and repaired so I guess it's a case of paying your money and taking your choice. I personally am looking to a Ford for my next MH not for any particular reason other than I like Transits.

    Good luck John.
     
  16. johng

    johng

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    I am guessing that a FWD doesnt have the large lump in the front between the seats that my chevy has ? (the back of the engine, and the gearbox ) it's not an issue though..

    J
     
  17. The Wallace

    The Wallace

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    Mainly because it is not designed to move the amount of fluid you would need to power 2 movers at sufficient pressure and still work the steering (you can't be sure you won't need to steer).
    If it is important I can probably dig out pump delivery figures for common steering pumps so that you can work out the Horse Power available and translate that back to the effort to move 3.5T at 5mph. How many RVs make use of the steering pump to power leveling jacks which would be an easier task (lower flow rate)?

    It is so much easier to buy a RWD in the first place - that has the added advantage of not worrying if a prospective buyer has heard about Fiat problems or not when you come to sell it.
     
  18. derekfaeberwick

    derekfaeberwick

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    My RWD Sprinter doesn't have a 'large lump' between the seats so it's certainly not an issue.

    Nor is the engine mounted transversely.
     
  19. Taran_Las

    Taran_Las Funster

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    Thanks

    Many thanks for all of your replies, most helpful. :thumb:

    Regards

    Phil Owen.
     
  20. oldlowie

    oldlowie

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    Hi DESCO,

    Are you sure you can get 35mpg from your trannie? I have the Mk6 125ps tdci and struggle to get 25mpg!! Always been a bit heavy with the right boot, though...:Blush:
     
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