Low mileage (1 Viewer)

Sep 22, 2017
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Hi, still pondering and browsing for our next van. I have just seen a very low mileage Merc 316 CDi sprint shift auto based van on a 2004 plate that has genuinely done less than a thousand miles a year.
I am seriously tempted, mainly by the pristine interior to be honest, but obviously that low mileage is amazing. Is there anything detrimental to having that very low mileage on a motorhome? I seem to remember someone telling me that there can be problems through lack of use and sitting idle. I am a complete numpty with anything mechanical so any opinions most welcome.

Steve.
 

pappajohn

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Not doubting the mileage but have you checked it against MOT records?
Personally, service history and condition are far more important than mileage on any vehicle.
Even little petrol engines are capable of moon and back mileages
 

funflair

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These motorhome chassis are mechanical devices that need to turn, move, push, pull etc etc when they stand for a long time things can go a but sticky/rusty and it is quite possible they are being done no favours by being stood, after saying that we have a Smart car that does a couple of hundred miles a year and a scooter that does less than 1000, so possibly the only way to find out is if you like the van "go for it" but don't view the low miles as a bonus.

Martin
 

WynandJean

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Aren't ALL motorhomes low mileage? After all they hardly get used like most vehicles. Going away on holiday is not the same as the average 'white van man's' usage belting up and down motorways all day and delivering here, there and everywhere. As you say any wear and tear is more likely to be from standing idle over a long period of time.

Wyn
 
Apr 26, 2015
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Things to consider with older low mileage vehicles are rubber and plastic parts which can perish and crack with age regardless of mileage so be aware you may need to replace some of these.

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OP
OP
S
Sep 22, 2017
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Yeah, I think I could be convinced either way to be honest. I did check the MOT miles and that all pans out and the condition of the habitation is incredible. I am waiting to email the seller regards service history , should these engines be serviced on a date basis or just on mileage?
 
Feb 18, 2010
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Hi don’t forget to check habitation services , especially damp readings
 

Augusta08

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Oil and filters should be changed annually regardless of mileage.

I have several classic cars and they need servicing even if there's only a few hundred miles since the last time.

HTH
 

TheBig1

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they need to have an oil change every 2 years even with very low mileage and not sure if that engine is cam chain or belt, but if the later every 4 years change it

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OP
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S
Sep 22, 2017
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Is it worth getting a damp meter or have a pro look it over on such a low use van. If it had done 50k plus I would definitely have an independent check done but 14K?
 

Lenny HB

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Aren't ALL motorhomes low mileage? After all they hardly get used like most vehicles.
Nope, we do 4 - 5 times as many miles as we do in the car, our car only does 2000 a year.

I'm weary of low mileage vans more likely to get problems than with higher mileage ones.
 

mfw

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Last van was 13yrs old and only had just over 13000 mls backed by mot's and services - i did over 9k in a year only failure was battery - only had 23k when i sold it
 

Puddleduck

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Is it worth getting a damp meter or have a pro look it over on such a low use van. If it had done 50k plus I would definitely have an independent check done but 14K?

Either a damp meter or get a pro to look it over. I'd have a full hab check done by someone you nominate and either split the cost with the seller or just take the cost as part of the purchase.

Just because it has only done 14,000 miles doesn't mean it hasn't had a problem with water ingress. With that low mileage any problem might not have been spotted.

Our van is just over 2 years old and has done more miles than that!
 
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ctc

Oct 12, 2015
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My Sprinter handbook says the van should stand unused for no longer than six weeks. But doesn't say why.

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donnkim

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These engines are designed to be used commercially and will last, if serviced correctly, over 250k miles.
Good service record is an indication that the van has been looked after in more ways than one.
 

Candapack

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Took my car for service and mot recently. 5 years old, 35000 miles. All good, service manager said, nice car, good condition, but it needs to be driven more!
(Diesel Skoda yeti)
 

klaatu

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Nope, we do 4 - 5 times as many miles as we do in the car, our car only does 2000 a year.
Same here. We've recently bought a motorhome with 130,000 km on the clock. Seems to have been well looked after, so don't see the kilometrage as a problem. We'll be putting plenty more kilometres on it in the next few years.
 

Lenny HB

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Just because it has only done 14,000 miles doesn't mean it hasn't had a problem with water ingress. With that low mileage any problem might not have been spotted.

Our van is just over 2 years old and has done more miles than that!
Ours is 18 months old done 12500 and we need to do 1500 to get home.:)
 

Allanm

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Aren't ALL motorhomes low mileage? After all they hardly get used like most vehicles. Going away on holiday is not the same as the average 'white van man's' usage belting up and down motorways all day and delivering here, there and everywhere. As you say any wear and tear is more likely to be from standing idle over a long period of time.

Wyn
Not necessarily, though low mileages are more common on UK vans as many people seem to use them like caravans.
We bought our new van 3 weeks ago. We have clocked up just over 1500 miles and there will be another 800 or more till we get home.

I personally wouldn’t buy an older low mileage van unless I was going to carry on the low mileage trend. Things wear out just as much with age as with mileage.

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mfw

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High or low mileage can fetch similar money on older vans so overall condition mechanically and bodily has to be 1st priority after that it is all negotiable or walk away.

Plenty of service history is certainly better than a vehicle lacking service history and belt changes done due to age of belt rather than people saying it is not due till 40k+
 

chesterfield hooligan

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Service History can be faked or purchased on ebay so in itself is no guide at all, condition is everything check for damp. You have verified the mileage is correct, have a qualified person check it out job done.
I service my vehicle's so no service history.
:party2::party2::party2::party2::party2::party2::party2::party2:
 

mfw

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Service History can be faked or purchased on ebay so in itself is no guide at all, condition is everything check for damp. You have verified the mileage is correct, have a qualified person check it out job done.
I service my vehicle's so no service history.
:party2::party2::party2::party2::party2::party2::party2::party2:
You are right it can all be faked including habitation checks - buyer beware if unsure pay for checks prior to purchase from an independant person/company
 
Jul 3, 2008
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Why are UK motorists obsessed with mileage high or low on a vehicle on the continent mileage is one of the last things they consider

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Jul 29, 2013
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We had a 2004 316 CDI lovely engine pulled really well only got around 23 mpg on an Autotrail Cheyenne 696g.
 
Aug 11, 2018
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I think that the danger is that if it's driven in the rain and possibly salty roads, then salt and/or water permeate all over the running gear. If it's then regularly driven, everything moves and clears and it's fine. But instead if it's parked up for 6 months the water just sits there (everywhere!), and things rust and seize. Likewise, the interior can get mildew.

Based on the fact that most motor-homes are low-ish mileage, a moderate mileage is probably a good thing.
 
Aug 19, 2013
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Aren't ALL motorhomes low mileage? After all they hardly get used like most vehicles. Going away on holiday is not the same as the average 'white van man's' usage belting up and down motorways all day and delivering here, there and everywhere. As you say any wear and tear is more likely to be from standing idle over a long period of time.

Wyn
I turn that on its head. Don't use mine much in UK, but high mileage abroad. Probably 80% to 20%. Good mileage I'd have thought, because it is mostly long runs, not stopping and starting. But when I come to sell, potential purchasers may think the opposite. Higher mileage is not necessarily a bad thing, long storage has its merits, too depending where it was stored. As the OP has said, eg, good interior. As long as there's no damp, or that demon rust. That should all be easy to diagnose, so it could be a good choice. Just have it properly checked over before any long trips. It's all repairable if there is a minor mechanical problem. Oh, yes, check the tyres, change if very old.
 
Aug 19, 2013
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PS, my son sold a very old very low mileage Herald to someone on this forum, who had to replace the outer skin panels because the aluminium skin had developed pinholes through age. But he bought it at a sensible price. Last I heard it was in Spain. Don't know if it made it back! It should have been a very good van, and it was sold to the right person who could do such a thing. Right?
 

joka250

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If I was buying that age and mileage I would want to do the following as an absolute minimum. New brake discs and pads, flush and replenish brake hydraulics and cooling system, replace tyres. I would Also be prepared for failure of brake caliper and cooling system components simply through lack of use.

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