Trader or private for my next van? (1 Viewer)

thesteveboyce

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Mar 29, 2015
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Maidenhead
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mobilvetta
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three years
Hi Everyone,
We've had our little van for three years now but would like to upgrade to something a little bigger and more luxurious. Our Mobilvetta Top Driver has done us proud and we think it will retain it's value when we come to sell it.

When sold we think we'll have around £30k to play with, as that's a lot of money, we are wondering if it's safer to go to a trader and get a warranty with our new van?

With this sort of budget we're hoping to get a van that's only a few (up to five) years old. Therefore we don't think the warranty has a huge value, new vans don't go wrong, right?

We're looking at something like an Elddis on a Peugeot or Ducatto base. We're sold on the idea of a U-Shaped lounge and want an over the cab bunk too but are flexible on everything else.

When buying a car I would always go private as I know traders rip everyone off. Should I be brave and do the same? If so can anyone recommend a good place to look online? Autotrader and Ebay and Preloved are on my list.

Many thanks in advance

Steve
 

Wildman

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May 30, 2008
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A lot depends on your ability to check out your intended purchase, newish vehicles do have problems, some are sold on only because of layout problems or the need for a different size van. So eventually the choice is yours buy through a reputable dealer and pay a little extra for service and warranty or buy private for less with no comeback whatsoever.
 

Terry

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Personally I would go private every time -but I am handy with my hands so anything needed to be fixed I would do it myself -the money saved by going private will more than cover the cost of any work that needed to be done -plus I would hope to spot any probs before buying and pay appropriately:D -if going via dealer just make sure they are as good as they claim to be -ask on here if anyone has had dealings with them
terry

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irnbru

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Jun 27, 2013
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We bought ours private last month and are delighted with it. If you choose to go private remember your eues are your merchant, try to take along a damp meter and someone knowledgeable.
With the amount of members on here im sure a local knowledgeable funster would help you check it out.

Happyhunting whatever you choose.
 

Mikey RV

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We bought ours private. I think you know when things are right as soon as you meet the seller. In our case the couple were such a nice couple and so genuine it all went really well. We had a RV before bought from a dealer who seemed ok but at the end of the day they were being nice to us, got our money and forgot us, lied to us about the service it had done or not in this case etc. go on instinct I say.

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Jaime

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Mar 24, 2015
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For £30k you would get a brilliant American RV and enough space to throw a party for 20 people.
 

Forestboy

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Jul 31, 2007
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If you're confident buy private but ideally take someone with some knowledge with you 2 heads better than 1.
If not find a decent dealer with a good reputation. Not all dealers are crooks there are good ones as well.
As for new vans not going wrong good luck with that one :eek:
Good luck (y)
 

Techno

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Unless a dealer is very local it can be very costly in time fuel and inconvenience getting anything rectified so to me a complete waste of time.
As said either know what you are doing/buying or get help. Personally I would not go the dealer route ever! you get so much more van for the money privately.

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Peter JohnsCross MH

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Jan 5, 2008
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Your welcome to come down the M25 and A21 and visit us, if you leave at 10am and leave us to come home at 4pm its normally no problem with traffic, just watch the speed cameras !

Peter
 

Popeye

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I know traders rip everyone off.

I beg to differ, and I expect that Johns Cross motorhomes and all the other reputable dealers will too.

There was a thread on here this last month where a member had a real problem with a fault on his van, the recommendation from one or two on here was "sell it quick and hope the buyer doesn't notice."

....and you KNOW traders rip everyone off. Yeah right.

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D

deleted-member02

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Finding the right van is the hard part...

I'm no fan of dealers but if the right van comes along at the right price, then why not ?
 
Apr 27, 2008
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My current MH was just a year old when I bought it. Only had a few faults; cracked washbasin, light gone in fridge, loo wouldn't flush and reverse camera not working. All put right by dealer before we left the premises (Brownhills) except the washbasin that had to come from France. I suggest if you buy from a dealer and they're not near you, stay on their forecourt till it's all done. Most have some sort of site/cl you can stay on
 

scotjimland

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Jul 25, 2007
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Finding the right van is the hard part...

I'm no fan of dealers but if the right van comes along at the right price, then why not ?

spot on.. (y)

we were looking for ages.. didn't care whether private or dealer... as it happens it was from a dealer..

and I as far as I'm concerned got a cracking deal .. so very happy...

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OP
thesteveboyce

thesteveboyce

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Mar 29, 2015
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Maidenhead
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mobilvetta
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three years
thanks for your input and advice everyone, since the post we think we have located our ideal van. It's with a trader but seems to be priced competitively compared to others I have seen.

Sorry if I offended any dealers BTW, I realise they aren't all out to rip us off and do have to make a living. The dealer we have found is family run in Banbury (Elite) and seems fair, we've found some good reviews on them and they offer a three year warranty.

The van we've fallen for is an Autotrail Apache 634L year 2010. I've tried to do some digging around and have found a few negative reviews re quality control from Autotrail; which worry me a tad.

Does anyone here have any experience with this van or make at all? There seems to be a lot of them around, I'm not sure whether that's a good thing or not!

Here's the link to the actual van we're interested in http://www.elitemotorhomes.co.uk/coachbuilt/695-autotrail-apache-634l.html

Grateful for your help everyone.
 

markh

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Jun 4, 2014
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Make sure you reverse it during the test drive, Ducato of that age suffered with the well documented reverse judder, check there is no 'thump' from under the cab on start up (rear engine mount) again we'll documented , both faults were almost universal on the 2.3 of that age and should have been fixed under warranty, use the reg number to check with Fiat if the dealer doesn't know

Talking from experience, Marquis told me the thump was the step retracting! although they did fix it when I took it back
 
Jan 11, 2010
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Well that`s our 12th year & still loving it.
As above this engine did suffer from the reverse judder caused by having a too high reverse gear ratio but there was a fix for it costs covered by Fiat, the dealer should be able to tell you if the that has been done.
The 2010 Apache model had a good level of spec, internal doors solid wood, better than the later cardboard internal fittings.

Looking around the price seems about right, no harm in making them an offer, most people have their M/H`s now for the new season so you might be able to get a deal.

Good luck and enjoy..

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cruiser

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we wish you all the best. it takes time. we took our time. we have now had ours 25 years.
 

gibbon

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Private without a doubt, but spend ages doing your research & have a no compromise short list of models that fit the bill. Leave no stone unturned.
Consider European vehicles & be prepared to travel for the right one.
Then be very patient until the right van becomes available .
I think there are plenty of Funsters who will say that most warranties unless on a new one probably are not worth the paper they're written on.
Happy hunting (y)
 

Abacist

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You need to keep your emotions and those of your wife in check! It is easy to get carried away when you see the van you like and it looks the business. Be completely dispassionate, pre-prepare a checklist of things to check and look out for - look out for any stains in the interior on the walls or ceiling as however small these are signs of water ingress or damp! Open up all the cupboards, wardrobes etc and check for the same. Look closely around all the windows as these might have a leak around an edge - same with all the rooflights. Make sure that you get up on the roof or insist on being able to see the roof from above. Look for bodged sealant trying to stop leaks. Any sealant should be professionally applied! Test everything water, gas, heater and electrical appliances and fridge 3 ways. Just a few pointers of many to look out for and that's without the base vehicle!

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OP
thesteveboyce

thesteveboyce

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Mar 29, 2015
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Maidenhead
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MH
mobilvetta
Exp
three years
Hi Markh, thanks for your advice. I listened out for the thump and low and behold there it was. I mentioned it to the salesman and he said that the mechanics could look at it. I think it's a reasonably cheap thing to repair, would you agree?

I wasn't sure which Fiat dealer to go to in order to check at that level?

I tried her in reverse and she seemed fine, no judder. I've put a deposit down now so am keen to make sure I get everything tied up before we pick her up in three weeks.

Exciting!!
 
OP
thesteveboyce

thesteveboyce

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Mar 29, 2015
7
0
Maidenhead
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35,646
MH
mobilvetta
Exp
three years
You need to keep your emotions and those of your wife in check! It is easy to get carried away when you see the van you like and it looks the business. Be completely dispassionate, pre-prepare a checklist of things to check and look out for - look out for any stains in the interior on the walls or ceiling as however small these are signs of water ingress or damp! Open up all the cupboards, wardrobes etc and check for the same. Look closely around all the windows as these might have a leak around an edge - same with all the rooflights. Make sure that you get up on the roof or insist on being able to see the roof from above. Look for bodged sealant trying to stop leaks. Any sealant should be professionally applied! Test everything water, gas, heater and electrical appliances and fridge 3 ways. Just a few pointers of many to look out for and that's without the base vehicle!

We made the dealer walk round with the damp check in front of us so we could see it, I believe that's the most important thing covered. It's having a new MOT and 6 months tax as well as a full service for the habitation area and mechanical.

You're totally right in that we shouldn't let our emotions get in the way and it should always be a logical decision based on facts but hell, that takes half the fun out of it for us. I hope I won't regret saying that!
 

markh

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Jun 4, 2014
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They'll need to replace the existing rear engine mount with the upgraded version, Marquis got a local Fiat commercial workshop to do mine while I waited, part not expensive, make sure it's done before you pay the balance, they'll try to get the balance paid then handover the van!

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