Suggestions for 1st van

Discussion in 'The Beginner' started by razdaz66, Dec 29, 2011.

  1. razdaz66

    razdaz66 Read Only Funster

    Dec 29, 2011

    We are 40's no kids couple with around 12k to spend on 1 st van. Looking initially at short breaks as we have our 2012 holiday booked for south of France and rates for a static are cheaper than plot.

    I know everyone will have individual preferences but we would be grateful of some pointers. We based in Kent so if van not close we would rely on a AA inspection if private sale or trust ?? A dealer if we could get to him. I know there are better ways but this is our only real choice.

    Looked through net at a sundance and a autostradus so far appear nice visually and layout but happy for all opinions.
  2. JayDee

    JayDee Funster

    Oct 7, 2007
    N. Devon

    Might get a few hints here:

    Also have a look at Johns Cross, here: Peter is a member here.

    The norm seems to be that you get the right van on the third purchase, but I reckon that with all the good advice you're likely to get here that could be reduced.

    Also I would suggest that you search through the forum as this query, or something very much like it, has been posted quite a few times before. The opinions given will still be pretty current.

    All the best:thumb:

  3. Terry

    Terry Funster Life Member

    Dec 27, 2007
    South yorks
    Hi and welcome :thumb:
    Hi go for comfort in your van. It is not a lot of use having a drop down bed if you cannot climb into it or perhaps get out in the middle of the night if you had too much wine LAYOUT / comfort is the single most thing you should be looking at We have tied all sorts of layouts from 2 / 4 berth to 6 to 4 again then 6 again and now in a 2 witch suits us great. Get out and look / try out as many bed layouts and don't be scared to put up climb in etc, etc, before buying Use one of the shows or a dealer to try this and get a good idea what is going to suit you then look for what you want.
    Also try hiring one for a weekend or mid week this will give a good idea as to what you want
    edit forgot to say you are running out of free posts so pay the tenner and become a full member,then you can ask as many Qs as you like no matter how daft you may think they are.We have all been in the same place
  4. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

    Dec 5, 2008
    At best an AA inspection will tell you it runs and has 4 wheels. It's essential you spend time in it. Smell it. Pretend cook and sleep in it. Otherwise disaster.

    Interesting point "static is cheaper than a plot", are you/we wasting a fortune on a van and diesel then ? Actually, a bright spark on here has opted to joint the Marjal meet by plane and rent a chalet, confirming your observations.
  5. madbluemad

    madbluemad Banned

    Jan 26, 2008
  6. Janele

    Janele Read Only Funster

    Aug 22, 2011
  7. jimiol

    jimiol Funster

    Dec 21, 2011
    Doonbeg Ireland
    Just been through the process

    I have just bought my first camper van (quite an obscure/not very popular Joint E33) I went on holiday in early 2011, tried a motorhome for the first time having never previously enjoyed camping or outdoor life but thoroughly enjoyed the experience. The camper I hired for 2 weeks and 2000 miles was a van conversion based on a ford transit, great engine and good to drive. The downside being based on a van was that it was quite small inside and personally I did not bother using the toilet or shower as I am no contortionist and was worried I might get stuck. With this in mind when I started looking at what I felt I wanted it had to have a bathroom you could use, a bit of space around the sink for the odd bit of cooking and I wanted plenty of light/windows. I spent many months mainly on ebay and in the end bought my joint. 2005, 22500 miles, 2ltr turbo diesel, for a bit but not much money as you are looking to pay. This forum has helped my so far with my silly questions and although I have not slept in the van yet I driven it quite a few miles and found ok to drive albeit very slow, but I did not buy it for speed – Luckily.

    I also wanted plenty of storage and a not too fiddly bed, again the joint meets my needs but as I am sure you have already found out the configuration of the vans is endless and it comes down to personal preference and how you plan to use the van.

    A word of caution on some auction sites, well one actually, beware of scammers who propose the so called auction site's holding account for funds that you pay to the auction site prior to delivery of the van and if you are then happy with the van the cash goes to the seller if not you keep the money. This is simply not the case, the auction site has not holding account. I encountered this twice and despite reporting it to said site it is still going on. The truth being if it looks to good to be true then it probably is.

    I also noticed that nearly all vans have a bike rack – why I will never use this feature.

    P.S when I bought mine I had a demo but not the full instruction manuals so when I got home I forgot how to do the basics, if I were you make sure you get the full instructions or take notes and or photos at the time – it would have helped me.

    Finally good luck.
  8. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

    Aug 26, 2007
    YO11 2BD
    as Brian said, an AA inspection will only be on the base vehicle...not the conversion.

    you would be better getting someone like MHF member CLS (Click HERE) to give the van a good check.

    Mark will come to you or wherever the van is based by pre-arrangement and Mark is very efficient and reasonable prices.

    he also does 'pre-purchase reports' so at least this way you will know for certain everything is as it should be.

    i have no connection with CLS other than him being a MHF member and i'm sure there will be other companies offering the same service.
  9. sedge

    sedge Funster

    Jul 7, 2009
    Nr Jct 3 M6
    Hi - we use Mark/CLS for our Hab checks plus eg he's installed a solar panel for us. Summat is wrong with the heater too now, so we'll be ringing him again soon to get that fixed. Steve Ashby - 'Ash' is also a Trade member here and people also speak very highly of him too.

    Both of them happen to live close by to us, but are both mobile. Despite being able to test yourself whether the cooker and fire light and the electrics etc seem to work, the floor isn't springy etc - most of us don't possess a damp meter and that def needs checking even with a new van that's been on the forecourt for a while - our purchased from new van had an incorrectly installed rooflight and though the dealer had discovered it and re-installed it correctly, the roof lining round it had suffered by that time and it had to go back to the manufacturer to sort that.

    It was NP I hasten to add, but it's stuff we wouldn't have known how to cure. And if damp gets into any of the framework of the walls, ceiling or floor - it's Bad News. So I wouldn't buy a second hand M'H or caravan without first having a habitation check done. And I'd want to see the previous Hab checks for the van too - bit like the FSH of the motor bit when buying any vehicle.

    But layout and colour of cupboards and upholstery etc make such a difference to the ambience inside a M'H. You really need to get in it, shut the door, pull the blinds down and see how you feel.
  10. Reallyretired

    Reallyretired Funster

    Apr 27, 2008
    Eastbourne East Sussex
    We have a bike rack but don't carry bikes, ours has a back box on it which is very useful.
  11. ourcampersbeentrashed

    ourcampersbeentrashed Funster

    Apr 19, 2008
    East London
    you can buy ours for 4k as long as you are not within the LEZ area

    as its not lez compliant

    MOT to May and Tax to next October

    Its old, its not the fastest, nor the most perfect but its suited our needs xxxx
  12. motorhomelover

    motorhomelover Banned

    Jul 28, 2010
    The world
    after having several European motor homes we now own an American RV
    not a massive 40foot thing just a small 25 foot long 7.4 Ltr Chevy.
    with LPG
    built on a good comercial chassie it has all the comforts of home plus more
    internal fittings are not flimsy as in Euro models
    they keep their value more than euro motor homes
    our is in georgieboy pursuit 206 on a 1998 plate
    45K miles on clock runs and looks like NEW
    for less than £25K
    once you get used to LHD its an easy motor to drive my partner Carole drives it when ever she can its nice to drive:thumb::thumb:

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