What to look out for when buying a Rapido A Class? | MotorhomeFun | The Motorhome Support and Social Network

What to look out for when buying a Rapido A Class?

May 29, 2016
449
381
Hampshire
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43,352
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Since 2016
We're starting to take a look at what's on the market in preparation for (hopefully) changing our current Bailey for a secondhand 9094dF in about 6 months time.

We're fairly certain that the layout will work well for us its just a case of finding out what things we need to look out for when buying....I'm more meaning anything particular to A classes or Rapidos, rather than the normal stuff that would apply to any MH. Any thoughts anyone? Do Rapidos tend to suffer from the dreaded damp?

Obviously payload is something to watch out for: most of the secondhand MHs seem to be rated at 3700kg which gives us 15kg less (theoretical) payload than we have today....though obviously it'll make sense to get the new MH weighed. But is it possible to upgrade the light chassis with air suspension or upgraded wheels (this is a new area for me)?

We'll also be wanting to fit a chassis-mounted bike carrier like this (unless it already has a towbar fitted) - has anyone else fitted one to a Rapido?
 
Feb 13, 2013
637
380
Edinburgh
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24,680
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Rapido 881F
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Since 2015
Rapid are built heavy. We bought new (4 years ago) to get the heavy chassis. Adding a towbar will eat onto your payload if staying on the standard chassis.

We are very happy with ours (881f) and have had great aftersales service from Rapido.
 
OP
DangerMousy
May 29, 2016
449
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Rapid are built heavy. We bought new (4 years ago) to get the heavy chassis. Adding a towbar will eat onto your payload if staying on the standard chassis.
Yep, that's why we're looking at a chassis-mounted bike rack which only weighs 16kg rather than a towbar (for comparison a the Fiamma bike racks weigh around 8kg).

Unfortunately buying new isn't really an option for us, hence my questions on how far you can realistically upgrade the Alko light chassis.

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TheBig1

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Nov 27, 2011
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Rapido build quality is excellent and exceeds that of most rivals. That said, ANY motorhome has the potential to leak if damaged or poorly maintained. Weak points for leaks are body openings such as skylights and locker doors, especially large doors like a garage

Rapido is well known to build heavy and overstate actual payload. Once above 3500kg it is pointless not rating at the maximum of the fitted chassis
 

Silver-Fox

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Sep 5, 2014
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What base vehicle you looking at.

We are happy with our 2006 995M.
Rear air and up rated to 4T.
We never run to weight capacity either and the garage is full :)

If you get on Facebook search for the Rapido owners club U.K.
lots of useful info and helpful people.
 

Mr B

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Feb 1, 2015
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If it’s on a fiat chassis , then fitting air suspension is relatively cheap (£300 ish for a kit)

If it’s on a Alko one, and I think your 9094df will be, you will find it’s over £2000 to have air suspension fitted.
That’s one of the reasons we sold our 9095df (rated at 3850kg, 2000kg rear axle)
Now we have a 7065ff (rated at 4400kg with 2600kg rear axle)
Hope this helps

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Mr B

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Feb 1, 2015
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Also, things to look out for...
Cambelt history.
Panel damage.
Mirror damage.
Just take a damp meter with you, the drop down bed is sometimes suspect leaking through the radio arial area. They are usually built very well, it’s just previous owners are sometimes a bit clumsy. Or it might just be me being picky;)
 
Apr 27, 2008
8,546
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Eastbourne East Sussex
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2,327
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Since 1972
My 999M (ie Mercedes chassis) is uprated to 4t with rear airides.
Furniture is very solidly built and therefore heavy.
There is a joint in the roof above the front door which on ours has just developed a leak which John's Cross will be attending to shortly. Fortunately the wall construction doesn't involve wood so the leak will not have damaged that.
Great motorhomes though.
 
Sep 26, 2011
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Had a 10001 for 5 years very happy with it, slight bit of damp in the rear corners of the garage common problem due to the rear chassis mountings not being sealed from new.
We would have bought a new one without hesitation had they still used the 3.0 Fiat

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OP
DangerMousy
May 29, 2016
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Lots of great tips thanks!

If it’s on a fiat chassis , then fitting air suspension is relatively cheap (£300 ish for a kit)

If it’s on a Alko one, and I think your 9094df will be, you will find it’s over £2000 to have air suspension fitted.
Yes I believe the 9094df is on the Alko chassis.....do you know what weight the air suspension would enable us to uprate to?

Just take a damp meter with you, the drop down bed is sometimes suspect leaking through the radio arial area./QUOTE]
Great tip thanks. I guess we'd need to be looking behind the drop down bed "curtains" to see that?

There is a joint in the roof above the front door which on ours has just developed a leak which John's Cross will be attending to shortly. Fortunately the wall construction doesn't involve wood so the leak will not have damaged that.
Our Bailey also has wood-free walls, but the floor is still made wood. Are the newer (2016 onwards) Rapidos totally wood-free or do they also have a wood floor?

slight bit of damp in the rear corners of the garage common problem due to the rear chassis mountings not being sealed from new.
Thanks, we'll have a good look around in the rear mini-garage.
 

Mr B

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Feb 1, 2015
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I think your best bet is to ring SAP in Doncaster, as they are experts in chassis upgrades. Or use the search engine on here.
But I think in all honesty, your going to have a look at a DFH variant or a tag axle :(

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OP
DangerMousy
May 29, 2016
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I think your best bet is to ring SAP in Doncaster, as they are experts in chassis upgrades. Or use the search engine on here.
But I think in all honesty, your going to have a look at a DFH variant or a tag axle :(
I don't think our payload requirements are particularly huge....we only carry about 420kg (including ourselves) right now, and there are only a couple of extra things we'd want to take with us in the new MH (amounting to about 20kg max). I think the main difference is that Bailey include 100L of water within the MIRO whereas as far as I'm aware Rapido don't.

I'm not sure what a DFH variant is but the model is non-negotiable - its the 9094 or else we stick with our current MH. Ideally I'd love to buy one on the heavy chassis but we're buying secondhand and most of the ones coming on the market seem to be rated at 3700...which is why I'm trying to find out whether its even possible to upgrade to 3850 or even 4000. And even better if I can get a realistic idea of the cost involved, because that then becomes part of the budgeting and negotiating.
 

Mr B

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Feb 1, 2015
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After reading your last post, I think 3850kg is well within the capabilities of the chassis, and should really be just a paper exercise, maybe upgrading the tyres at least. As I previously have said, give SAP a call....
Rapido’s are great vans imo.......:)
 

Mr Chrysalis

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Mr B

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DFH means “double floor, heavy chassis” on a fiat :)
Mercedes are MVH
I like our chassis plate now.
20B487B7-0AB7-42F2-87C1-504E4E6FDED0.jpeg
 

TheHat

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Feb 26, 2012
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TheHat

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i have a rapido and andy is a very good up grader if thats a word so when he does anything on his i would pinch his idea if i needed too
 
OP
DangerMousy
May 29, 2016
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Really useful info thanks - I'll have to sit down and read through the linked threads in detail when I have the time. (y)

Good to know people think uprating is probably do-able, my current plan is when we find a MH that we're seriously considering buying we'll note down the details of the chassis, wheels, tyres etc. and then talk to SV tech about what it'd need to uprate it. Looks like we should probably budget around £2500 for the process - that helps a lot.

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Oct 29, 2012
844
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essex
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Rapido 9090df
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20 years (unless you count my dads VW which makes it 52 years with a few gaps!!)
the 4750kg was on an Alko heavy. on the light it is 3850 as far as I know.
 
Sep 18, 2015
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I have to say 99% of people think they are great but the one i have the problems seem endless and i have had it from new 2017 8066DF. Bill
 

Mousy

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Didn’t haganap have one that the outside wall rippled? I thought he had a rapidio at one time.
 
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