Swift Kontiki vs Frankia Platin

Oct 7, 2013
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You can get a used lhd 2014 platin under £90k
About £
Whilst we have owned a Swift Bolero some years back, I don't really think you can compare these two vehicles. One is a coach built on a Fiat, the other an A Class on a Merc. Its a bit like comparing a Premier League team to a Conference League side. Apologies to Swift owners but the comparison is a no brainer.
Quite right!

And the cost comparison is like comparing the wages of a premier league footballer to that of a Conference league player.
 

TheWM

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And the cost comparison is like comparing the wages of a premier league footballer to that of a Conference league player.

I agree, but in fairness to the guy - he can only compare what he has actually owned.

Perhaps we should ask him to buy a coachbuilt Merc and an A Class Fiat in the interests of providing a full comparison! :)
 

Judge Mental

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Let me guess judge, Germany (y)

Obviously!:) I only looked because someone mentioned saving buying nearly new?

also its nearer in price to a tag swift which I have seen and thought rubbish as did the owner and he had paid £70k for it nearly new...

The OP comparing chalk and cheese

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Judge Mental

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[QUOTE="

What I cannot understand is why the "Silver paintwork" is an additional £4250, can you answer that? I too have the Gold.

2015-06-16%2011.51.59_640x480.jpg
cheapskate[/QUOTE]

Same price on even small Hymers. Well.....4000 Euros so a bit cheaper
 

funflair

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What I cannot understand is why the "Silver paintwork" is an additional £4250, can you answer that? I too have the Gold.


If the Gold is "standard" it would suggest that all the componets come in Gold and to make it Silver they have to actually prepare and spray everything, hence additional cost.

Martin

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TheWM

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If they are charging 4K for a respray that's cheap!!!
 
OP
bladerunner
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@bladerunner - thanks for this, very informative and good luck to you.

Would you 'trade down' now, having had the Frankia - I suppose there are 2 parts to this question:
  • Would you go down to a Pilote (say); and,
  • Would you move away from having a A Class?
I am increasingly informed about motorhomes!
If I were advising me 5 years ago (IYSWIM) I would:
  • Buy an A class
  • Buy German
  • Buy second hand (probably) - but you do get a 2nd hand bed (guess you could change the mattress)
  • Have a Mercedes rather than Fiat
  • Probably go for a 2-3 year old Hymer - but they don't have decent ovens. I've not looked hard at Pilotes.
FYI the trade in for the Swift was £48k - so £12k depreciation over 4 years - £3k a year with at least 5 weeks accommodation each year - which I did not consider too bad.

It has cost me around £1,700 a night accommodation so far in the Frankia. But then it was never bought to save money. :cry:

Why did I buy a new Frankia? - Bottom line, because I wanted to and I could!!!! (I've been eying up motorhomes for the past 10 years as an incentive to working hard!)
 

TheWM

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Brilliant. I went German, A Class, 2nd hand first time round but got a Fiat. That said it does have air suspension so the ride is awesome. When the law allows me to sell my kids I would look at a Frankia :)

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OP
bladerunner
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Interesting read and I agree with much of what you say. I fitted the air suspension to my Frankia Platin Plus just three weeks ago and I have to say the result is astounding. I also fitted the Hydraulic self leveling because my other half measures the degree of incline with the fridge door so it has to be spot on.

I went for the larger one so that I had room for eight around the table and the increased wardrobe space, but my initial order was for the 790. The 8500 just happened to be ready for delivery before the 790 had even been built.

Pray do tell how much the air suspension cost (whisper quietly so my wife can't hear!)

I would have gone for the 8500 but we wanted the island bed and the way the bathroom is in that guise seemed odd with a central rather lonely sink with a door each side.

Being under 8m has definite advantages and we two are not too limited for space.


cheers
 

JimboT

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have you got any good pictures of your Frankia we will be looking for a new or newer van in the new year and Frankia 7400 or 7900 will be on are list!
thanks
Jim
 

Dafydd

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@bladerunner - thanks for your interesting post

An interesting thread for me as I have a Platin 7900BD on order (estimated delivery for March).

The things that drew me to this choice, besides sound build quality and Alde heating, is rear-wheel drive and especially the top quality integrated electrical system (360w solar, 2 large amperage chargers, inverter, computer control unit, 360Ah batts) and, if I ever decide I need it, prewiring for an Efoy fuel cell (I decided I'd wait and see). This built-from-the-ground-up electrical system tipped me towards the Platin over the N&B Flair and Concorde Creos (both Ivecos).
I should add that my plans include winter camping in very cold conditions and I set 500kg as a minimum payload to consider a MH. Once I'd decided on rear-wheel drive as well the scope of choice was significantly reduced.
And I'm buying a new one because I am fortunate enough to be able to and, more importantly for me, it has allowed me to spec it exactly as I'd like.

@Popeye
When I was confirming my order I was asked if I wanted silver or gold paintwork and opted for silver - there was no mention of there being an extra £4250 cost. Perhaps I'll query that to make sure...

What was wrong with the drawer lock & what was the fix?

I'm getting rear air suspension as from what I've read it does improve handling on the Merc chassis (it's VB suspension I think). But Frankia say it is not possible to fit it post-construction, retrofit. So I was surprised to read that you were able to do that without issues... I'd be very interested to hear of your comparison of without & with the air suspension.

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Popeye

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Pray do tell how much the air suspension cost (whisper quietly so my wife can't hear!)

I'm whispering, just under £800 is what I ended up paying though the quotes I had varied from £792 -£1300 for the same system.
Don't allow anyone to talk you into 7inch bellows you'll be better off with the 8inch. I used a guy in Cardiff on the recommendation of Ray of @swanseajack13 fame who had the same gear and the same guy fitting it.


have you got any good pictures of your Frankia

I'll send them via a PM to you.

@bladerunner - thanks for your interesting post

An interesting thread for me as I have a Platin 7900BD on order (estimated delivery for March).

@Popeye
When I was confirming my order I was asked if I wanted silver or gold paintwork and opted for silver - there was no mention of there being an extra £4250 cost. Perhaps I'll query that to make sure...

What was wrong with the drawer lock & what was the fix?

I'm getting rear air suspension as from what I've read it does improve handling on the Merc chassis (it's VB suspension I think). But Frankia say it is not possible to fit it post-construction, retrofit. So I was surprised to read that you were able to do that without issues... I'd be very interested to hear of your comparison of without & with the air suspension.

Now you've brought my attention to it I see that my original order for a 7900 Platin there was an extra charge of £4250 for the silver paint which I had admired.

Turns out that it is £4250 for metallic paint whether it is silver OR GOLD, so I've paid for it anyway on this 8500 Platin Plus.

I have had no problem with my drawers, I have had one poor external door handle and a fault with the Radio which was diagnosed by Colin @Armytwowheels and between us problem solved.

I had the air suspension fitted the day before the Pembrey meet and anyone who suffered the pot holes on the sea front at Burry Port will know it is just about the toughest test for suspension. It now rides very well, in fact just like my last Ducato 3.0 litre. So I have the rear wheel drive with the narrower track of the Merc but NOT the body roll that I had before fitting the Rear suspension Bellows.
 

funflair

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Now you've brought my attention to it I see that my original order for a 7900 Platin there was an extra charge of £4250 for the silver paint which I had admired.

Turns out that it is £4250 for metallic paint whether it is silver OR GOLD, so I've paid for it anyway on this 8500 Platin Plus
.

That makes sense as everything will start out White as usual, thought it was funny that a metallic was the standard colour.

Martin
 

Clewsy

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Frankia Platin after 16 months ownership.

We got a 7900 Platin on the 6 tonne alko chassis with twin beds in June 2014. We have used it every month since then and started full timing 4 months ago.

Though standard is gold with silver as an option we ordered a special in White! We have our reasons.

We have had a few minor problems but nothing that I could blame Frankia for:
  • Running light cable disconnected after one day - easy to reconnect
  • Indicator relay fail after 12 months
  • Exhaust gas sensor failed after 14 months
All fixed either by SMC or our local Merc truck dealer. We initially found SMC a little lacking in product knowledge but they had only just been appointed as the Frankia dealer so were finding their way just like us. We have since found them excellent to deal with and now know the product well.

We are delighted with the Frankia and have not found anything we would swap for.

Would we change anything? This depends on if you ask Chrissie or me - we disagreed on a couple of things when buying. Chrissie wanted the drop down front bed for children / grandchildren to visit, I wanted more overhead lockers - needless to say, I occasionally bump my head on the drop down bed!

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Judge Mental

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And me...... How can a 60K vehicle of any type compare with one costing over twice the amount ?

If I had spent that amount and it had not been twice as good I would be looking for a short rope and a high rafter,,

The OP was not doing a like for like comparison but comparing vans he has owned...

On the matter of Air suspension air assist bags are less then £1000. full air over £5000. Compleatly different
 

Dafydd

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Now you've brought my attention to it I see that my original order for a 7900 Platin there was an extra charge of £4250 for the silver paint which I had admired.

Turns out that it is £4250 for metallic paint whether it is silver OR GOLD, so I've paid for it anyway on this 8500 Platin Plus.
On the current (2016) spec for a Platin Plus "2-layer special metallic paint" is standard in the base price, gold or silver. I'm guessing that the extra cost would be if you specced that metallic paint for a non-Platin model
Here's the Platin brochure (standard spec is in addition to Frankia's "Luxury" spec): http://www.frankia.de/fileadmin/use...16/FRANKIA_PlatinPlus2016_EN_Einzelseiten.pdf

The Frankia option for air suspension is about £5000 and is rear suspension only (on a Merc). It's VB and is adjustable (up to 15cm I think, which might be handy for a ferry ramp). They do state that it is not possible to retrofit (again, on the Merc). Perhaps the VB FullAir rear axle system offered by Frankia is a different kind of system from the one you had retro-fitted. You can see pics of the VB FullAir set-up and its compressor built into a Merc chassis here: http://www.vbairsuspension.com/upload/files/00001986.pdf

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Dafydd

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@bladerunner
"But the Frankia has not been without some niggles – chief amongst was the ability for the main large drawer to leap out onto the floor whilst I drove mountain hairpins, scattering pots and pans at a time when the last thing I could do was stop and correct it." (sorry Popeye, nowt wrong with your drawers! I asked the wrong person)
What was wrong with the drawer lock and how did you fix it?

@swelc
It's great to read some more feed-back, thanks. I have found SMC excellent to deal with. They were quite honest about only having been Frankia dealers for two years and when they didn't know something they were on the phone or email to Frankia to get answers or clarification. The chain of communication has been very transparent and everything clearly explained and double checked.
Mike - I'm getting the lockers instead of the dropdown bed, one of the benefits of being a single old git ;) For the benefit of visitors there'll be the kit to convert the lounge into a bed, I might even buy a mattress topper for them!
As you're living in the Platin full-time how are you getting on with the leisure battery situation? Did you get an Efoy or are you managing ok without?
 

Clewsy

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@Dafydd . Yes we did get the Efoy but it has only run when we put it on manually to make sure it works.

The four solar panels and three leisure batteries have not struggled and the batteries have never been below 80%. On all but the dullest days the solar gets the batteries up to 100% by mid morning. That said, it's good to know that adequate electricity will probably not be a problem.

The Efoy is an easy retrofit so may be worth trying without it to start with.

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OP
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@bladerunner

What was wrong with the drawer lock and how did you fix it?

It's a large drawer and I have resisted the temptation to fill it with heavy items. It sits on relatively flimsy runners the height of which can be adjusted with two small plastic wheels. It seems with motion the wheels rotate down to reduce the gap of the catch at the top (IYSWIM). Then with a left hand bend the large drawer leaps off the runners and scatters stuff over the floor with a dramatic clash. Not ideal when negotiating the hairpins near Andora.
The solution was to superglue the wheels at their highest height and add some sticky plasters to further raise the runners!

If it happens now I shall fit a child proof clasp to at least keep the drawer partially closed.



.....for the want of a nail the shoe was lost.................!




But I still LOVE my truck!
 
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The topic as I read it was observations on the two vans our original poster had owned, and the statement followed was it worth the extra 60k? I 'm not sure I've seen his answer. The Frankia is a beautiful piece of kit but if comparisons are being made , would it not have been better to compare it to an Itineo or Pilote A class with a similar price differential?
We looked at 3 Carthago s last week and our conclusion was that in order to get away from the sit around the dinging table for a lounge layout we would have to go for the tax axle 8.5metre job to get proper lounge space! £115000.00 ( a couple of years old)
I wonder how many volumes the Frankia Owners Manual has. Good bedtime reading no doubt!

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Judge Mental

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The topic as I read it was observations on the two vans our original poster had owned, and the statement followed was it worth the extra 60k? I 'm not sure I've seen his answer. The Frankia is a beautiful piece of kit but if comparisons are being made , would it not have been better to compare it to an Itineo or Pilote A class with a similar price differential?
We looked at 3 Carthago s last week and our conclusion was that in order to get away from the sit around the dinging table for a lounge layout we would have to go for the tax axle 8.5metre job to get proper lounge space! £115000.00 ( a couple of years old)
I wonder how many volumes the Frankia Owners Manual has. Good bedtime reading no doubt!

Pilote have a great rating on customer satisfaction, their attitude towards warranty work first class apparently. This from the Italian/French/German motorhome forums I investigate when researching new vans..from this I decided to not bother with Carthago.....
 

Charlie

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The OP was not doing a like for like comparison but comparing vans he has owned...

On the matter of Air suspension air assist bags are less then £1000. full air over £5000. Compleatly different

The OP is comparing two vehicles.. Doesent matter who owned them but obviously he has...
What is the point of the comparison ? How can a van costing way less than half compare .
 
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I thought the price was a bit eye-watering even before I noticed the article was from 2015 :rolleyes:

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