Larger/automatic van - advice please

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Detnor, Jan 17, 2012.

  1. Detnor

    Detnor Funster

    May 12, 2011
    Like many, all of my motorhomes have been 3.5 ton on 2.3 engines, manual gearbox.

    I've been looking at a new motorhome that is on a 3 litre fiat engine, automatic transmission and with a 4 ton rating.

    The weight is not a licence problem for me at the present.

    The payload obviously benefits from the uprating, but any issues I should be thinking about with the automatic and the weight rating

  2. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

    Sep 23, 2008
    roche cornwall
    hi, cant advise on the fiat .but if its auto you are after i have a auto clutch fitted on my vw lt. its a 5tonner. it can be driven normal if required or change gear and dont press the clutch.
    i found the cable clutch stiff for my left leg a few years ago . the mitzy is hydraulic so is much lighter. try vehvac in kent . i can reccomend the electric clutch and it can be transfered . mine was on a vw t4 before i got it from a mate . need vehvac or a specialist to fit it . i had it done by a local disabled work shop.
    this could be advisable for quite alot of dsabled drivers and [possibly save you a few bob.
  3. pudseykeith

    pudseykeith Read Only Funster

    Nov 5, 2007
    Leeds West Riding of York

    Hi detnor
    There's no problems that i can think of, so long as your licence covers you to drive a vehicle over 3.5 ton. With an automatic you are saved from pumping your left leg up and down and constantly wigerling the stick about. The question about the ease and speed of changing up and down the gears, you will be able to change gear faster than any clutch driven g/ box. Autos are allway in the right gear for the prevailing driving conditions, unless you choose differently. Autos use a little more petrol, but that is a small price to pay for the added comfort and conveiniance. You will save with not having the cost of clutch replacements[Motor homes invariable are run fully loaded] Go for it.
    Pudseykeith :thumb:
  4. JeanLuc

    JeanLuc Funster

    Nov 17, 2008
    I cannot comment specifically on the Fiat set-up, but ours is based on a Sprinter 316 chassis with a 2.7 litre Merc engine driven through a five-speed auto box. MAM is 3,800 kg and it goes very well. Even fully loaded it is pretty smart away from rest (if you want to do that of course). The same engine and running gear were used in the Sprinter 616 chassis from 2000 - 2005 and Hymer built the largest S-class models on it with MAM of 5.99 tonnes.
    I would have thought the 3 litre Fiat engine would cope with a 4 tonne van with ease. The only issue that might be affected is the GTW should you want to tow a heavy trailer. Sometimes the use of an auto box limits towing ability I believe - you would need to check with a dealer or the manufacturer to be sure.
  5. beachcaster

    beachcaster Read Only Funster

    Dec 18, 2010
    east sussex
    I have the fiat 3 litre comfort automatic....on my 2009 Auto trail which has also been upgraded to 4000.

    Apart from the layout it is a key reason I bought the I much prefer driving autos.
    Though you can drive it by selecting gears if you wish. ..but in normal conditions why bother.

    Its a dream to relaxing loads of power and with a gentle
    right foot gets me around 24-26 mpg.No problems at all.

    Makes driving the motorhome a genuine pleasure.

    good luck


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