Older A class or newer Coachbuilt?? (1 Viewer)

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jaykay

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Hi all,

Getting close to having the capital to buy a new(to us) motorhome. We had an old Talbot a while back but want something around the £30k mark now. I would class us as total newbies though to be honest.

We really want an Aclass, but you seem to get a lot more newer coachbuilt for the same money.

The main priorities for us are Garage for bikes with fixed bed over, and a nice roomy lounge for four people. Wanting to do France and Spain on a regular basis.

Thoughts and recommendations?
 

scotjimland

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Have a look at second hand Niesmann and Bischoff Arto..

within your budget 2003 / 2004 . .. high quality vans made by Hymer.. they are normally well looked after

a few examples.. Broken Link Removed
 
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funflair

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A class of for me, transverse bed over garage will give you a bigger lounge than two single beds.

Niesmann and Bischoff are well built vans, I would prefer RWD so that means the Flair in the N+B range, available on Mercedes or Iveco or even Fiat FWD on older models, the garage will be taller on the flair compared to the Arto but the vehicle will be taller as well and will push you into class 3 on many tolls in France (if you use them). The other thing to remember is your payload if you want to stuff the garage with gear and then have 4 people in the van as well.

Hymer are good vans as well of course.

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Apr 12, 2010
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A class of for me, transverse bed over garage will give you a bigger lounge than two single beds.

Niesmann and Bischoff are well built vans, I would prefer RWD so that means the Flair in the N+B range, available on Mercedes or Iveco or even Fiat FWD on older models, the garage will be taller on the flair compared to the Arto but the vehicle will be taller as well and will push you into class 3 on many tolls in France (if you use them). The other thing to remember is your payload if you want to stuff the garage with gear and then have 4 people in the van as well.

Hymer are good vans as well of course.
As Funflair above. We have the same van. Had two Hymer A class before, and sold them straight away. Stick with quality marques, but most of all get the layout that you want.
Phil
 
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jaykay

jaykay

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Thanks for the replies folks.

Were pretty sure of the layout as we've been planning this for a while. Its more the decision on getting an older a class or or getting a newer coachbuilt such as an Autocruise for the same money.

Has anyone had both?
 
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hilldweller

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A class have some service problems. Like custom windscreens, difficult to get at engines.

C class you get spares much easier and easier to work on.

The big advantage of the A class is the over seat drop down bed though a C class with over cab bed gets close.
 
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jonandshell

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Another factor to consider, all current A classes are of continental origin and have good winterisation qualities.
That Brit built Autocruise will need work to make it fit for more severe winter use.

If you want to be adventurous and go to cold places in winter, do consider this point!

The Adria you linked to would be a good choice for year round trips.

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Jan 22, 2013
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Thinking of something like this Broken Link Removed

I have a Adrian vision and find it excellent, Just one proviso, I had to increase to 3900 To make her useable, so check you empty weight
now within reason I can fill her without going overweight, yes I have had her weighed,
They are a solid built MH that drives very well especially the auto version,
It originally ticked all our boxes and continues to do so,
 
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On my 2nd niesmann - 6 years with the first 3rd year with the second, previously owned an autotrail for a year some years ago.

The other big benefits of an a class

usable garages

better use of space

2 made up beds - not turning cushions over.

being able to see the view without having to crouch

better insulation

Normally better quality - more robust.

On the downside they do tend to be heavier unless you buy a short or newer one.

Ive cracked 2 screens in 9 years no hassle getting them changed and paid only the excess and no discernible impact on premiums.

I have yet to see a british van that compares. only RS comes close but they re a bit big for my requirements.

Jon
 
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Minxy

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Having had coachbuilts and now a camper we've never actually owned an 'A' class however we have considered them in the past but didn't actually like driving them.

It would also depend on how you intend to use it. =Most modern coachbuilts are 'fat', 2.3m wide and some newer ones are 2.35m - that is WIDE and although some 'A' classes are wide they are usually no more than 2.3m but there are some narrower ones to consider as well.

Personally I wouldn't go for a 'fat' one again simply because we find the narrower width of our current camper, and even a previous coachbuilt, makes it much more relaxing to drive.

Also, if you don't intend to use a drop down bed in the front IMV there's no point in having it and your budget could then allow you to get a coachbuilt with the same/similar layout in a much newer 'van.

With a coachbuilt you need to also consider what comes with it - most don't have cab doors on both sides and the cost of insurance could be more due to the extra costs involved even for an older van.

There are pros and cons for both type of MH so it might be best to decide HOW and WHERE you intend to use it which should help you come to a decision.
 
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jaykay

jaykay

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Hey Minx, good to see a local (ish) as I'm from Hull but live just over the bridge.

We definitely want a drop down bed and a fixed rear bed as we have had a coach built in the past and hated making the beds up every night. We have kids as well so do want the space so were not cramped.
 
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Minxy

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Hey Minx, good to see a local (ish) as I'm from Hull but live just over the bridge.

We definitely want a drop down bed and a fixed rear bed as we have had a coach built in the past and hated making the beds up every night. We have kids as well so do want the space so were not cramped.
Nice to 'meet' another native too jaykay! We're in Cottingham now (one of the 'posh' villages ... or that's what it was before we got here!) but I was born and bred in Hull.

I didn't realise you had sproglets so now understand the need for the extra space ... but a coachbuilt with a rear garage and overcab bed for the spoglets might still meet your needs.
 
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funflair

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Having had coachbuilts and now a camper we've never actually owned an 'A' class however we have considered them in the past but didn't actually like driving them.

It would also depend on how you intend to use it. =Most modern coachbuilts are 'fat', 2.3m wide and some newer ones are 2.35m - that is WIDE and although some 'A' classes are wide they are usually no more than 2.3m but there are some narrower ones to consider as well.

Personally I wouldn't go for a 'fat' one again simply because we find the narrower width of our current camper, and even a previous coachbuilt, makes it much more relaxing to drive.

Also, if you don't intend to use a drop down bed in the front IMV there's no point in having it and your budget could then allow you to get a coachbuilt with the same/similar layout in a much newer 'van.

With a coachbuilt you need to also consider what comes with it - most don't have cab doors on both sides and the cost of insurance could be more due to the extra costs involved even for an older van.

There are pros and cons for both type of MH so it might be best to decide HOW and WHERE you intend to use it which should help you come to a decision.

Surely a coachbuilt has cab doors both sides as it is built on a standard van front end. A class might not have a cab door both or even any side. Dont know about insurance on coachbuilt but it not a lot for a £50K A class.

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Minxy

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Surely a coachbuilt has cab doors both sides as it is built on a standard van front end. A class might not have a cab door both or even any side. Dont know about insurance on coachbuilt but it not a lot for a £50K A class.
My brain was saying 'A' class but my fingers typed coachbuilt ... that's my excuse anyway! :rolleyes:
 
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Debs

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Just coming in with an Adria opinion - we've a smallish A class Vision 647 at 6.49m ......very happy with it:)(y)
 
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Theonlysue

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Not long enough!
A class gives you great views when driving, and doesn't feel enclosed when I'm the van.the width is negligible.
Have had 4 vans and prefer the a class.
Chances are it will be european, built and insulated better. Warmer in winter and cooler in summer.
Now is a good time to buy, as end of the season, come early next year, the same van will go up thousands!
Happy hunting.
 
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I agree with Sue. I have recently changed from a small coachbuilt based on a Fiat Scudo to an A class Hymer. I actually find the Hymer easier to drive! It has such good mirrors and you are so high up that checking your road positioning is a doddle. Also, when pitched, the whole habitation area feels so much more open and lighter than in a coachbuilt.
 
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Forestboy

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A class for us every time only ever had one coach built didn't suit us had it less than a year. That was only a year old and we sold it and went back to a 8 year old German A class which we've now had 4 years and done over 40000 miles in and used in the alps skiing several times and we love it. 25 ft long tag axle small overhang 1300 kg payload massive garage takes our 650 kawasaki plus loads more huge transverse bed and bar lounge.
Hymer B694

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jaykay

jaykay

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Nice to 'meet' another native too jaykay! We're in Cottingham now (one of the 'posh' villages ... or that's what it was before we got here!) but I was born and bred in Hull.

I didn't realise you had sproglets so now understand the need for the extra space ... but a coachbuilt with a rear garage and overcab bed for the spoglets might still meet your needs.

I used to live down Bricknell Avenue so pretty close too! I used to own a little shop in Cott.
 
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stcyr

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A-class. Had all the others, all ages, but will not consider another post '97 one again.
 
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Drive

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Has to be 'A' class
We previously had coach built , quickly switched to new A class Rapido, no complaints at all,
 
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