Which is the most reliable base van

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DL42846

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Thinking seriously of down sizing the size of our Motor Home. We currently have what they call in France a Capucine, I think its called with a Overhead bed in the UK. We don't need the six berths these days. I'm looking for a Profile 4 berth type. Trouble is I'm wondering which base van to go for.
Ours is a a Fiat Ducato 130 multyjet which drives very nicely. However at 35K Kilometers we had to have the gearbox rebuilt. Lost sync between 1st and 2nd which on investigating further I found I was not the only one to have had this problem. I have also read lots of people have had problems with clutches. It would appear gearbox and clutches are the Achilles heel of Fiats around the 2009.
I know Fords have serious security problems or lack of security but I am trying to find out how they drive and what sort of reliability problems they suffer from. Should one stick with Fiat base or try a Ford. A Mercedes would be nice but they seem to hold there prices and are a lot more expensive in comparison.
Your thoughts would be appreciated.
 

funflair

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I rate the RWD IVECO chassis very highly but you are usually into larger vans with this option, Carthago use/used it Hymer but over 8 metres I think and then of course N+B Concorde Morelo etc.

I guess it comes down to Budget and size.

Martin
 
Jun 30, 2011
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I rate the RWD IVECO chassis very highly but you are usually into larger vans with this option, Carthago use/used it Hymer but over 8 metres I think and then of course N+B Concorde Morelo etc.

I guess it comes down to Budget and size.

Martin


I do so hope you are correct Martin;)
 
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Gearboxes and clutches on the Fiats seem to only be an issue on heavier vans and comfortmatic gearboxes. The Mercedes sprintshift are also considered less reliable by some as are their glow plugs. Ford fuel injectors can fail early, had 4 in my 2006 transit at less than 20K, but the main issue with transits is theft due to poor security.
 
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All bases have their own problems of varying types. There are far more MHs running on a Ducato base, so you're bound to find more people with issues. What you need to know is the rate of each problem, which is hard to come by.

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Our 2014 peugeot has got a Ford puma 2.2 engine. Don't know what the latest ones are.

I read somewhetre the Renault delivery vans are nice to drive and are the first ones out of the depot, if you were late for work you got a Fiat :ROFLMAO:
 
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Our 2014 peugeot has got a Ford puma 2.2 engine. Don't know what the latest ones are.

I read somewhetre the Renault delivery vans are nice to drive and are the first ones out of the depot, if you were late for work you got a Fiat :ROFLMAO:

I get my van serviced by a guy that runs a fleet of hire vans. He's run Ducatos in his fleet for a long time. He's also tried other makes at the same time over the past decade, but keeps running majority Ducatos. Must say something.

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Lenny HB

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We are on our 3rd Ducato last 2 with Comformatic box never had any problems at all. Most of the problems with Motorhome base vehicles is due to people not using them and laying them up for the winter IMO low mileage ones are the ones to avoid.
75% of Motorhomes are built on the the Ducto base so if their reliability is the same you would expect to see probably more than 5 times as many problems, I say more than 5 times as the 25% includes all the other base vehicles.
 

Lenny HB

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I get my van serviced by a guy that runs a fleet of hire vans. He's run Ducatos in his fleet for a long time. He's also tried other makes at the same time over the past decade, but keeps running majority Ducatos. Must say something.
Nick, Euroserv by any chance?
 
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Nick, Euroserv by any chance?


The last words I heard from Euroserve were the Ducato engines were excellent, it was just the add on bits that they have added to meet the emissions that really let them down and caused problems.

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ambulancekidd

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There's a reason why Mercedes hold their prices. We have one that we've had for 4 yrs now & its had one EGR valve (very cheap @£30) & one oil change, starts on the button & is a real pleasure to drive, whereas our moho is a Peugeot on Ducato base, I'm never away from it with the spanners & its a royal pain in the arse. I used Mercedes as ambulances too & I know very well how good they are. One thing for sure is that it isn't Fiat or Peugeot etc versions of the Ducato. However, folks on here will happily tell you how good their Ducato has been, its only done 3k miles in the last 5 yrs but its GREAT, errr no.

I've heard folks saying about problems with Mercedes glow plugs, but my last Mercedes wagon did 350k miles on two sets of plugs, not too bad.
On the other hand, the VW wagon that I had when I retired was never out of the workshop & really never drove very well.
Then The Scottish Ambulance Service went onto Peugeot 3litre wagons, god knows why, must have been a cheap deal but they lasted 3yrs & have all been sold of at great cost to the government.

I think the reason that most moho's are Ducatos are that Fiat deliberately target that market & build vehicles accordingly. They're cheap & flimsy & just can't cut it on British roads.
 
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What's wrong with Euro 6? I only ask because I'm collecting one on Friday and would like to be forewarned of any issues.
I have had no problems with my Euro6 over the last 2.5 years. I have had to top up the AdBlue a few times but I don’t think that’s a big issue. On the plus side you won’t be poisoning my grandchildren and will find it easier to travel without restrictions as the emission zones flourish around the UK and Europe. Apart from which if you are buying new you will not be given a choice.
 

Dare_Devil_Dennis

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Yeah! c'mon what's wrong with Euro6?. :unsure:

I worried about the added expense of Addblue, but it turns out to be about £15-£25 per 8,000miles. Hardly a dealbreaker.

I have mine on the Merc Sprinter chassis. Ambulances, Delivery vans both give this base a hard time. I agree that under-using them up may be detrimental, but that is true for all makes, so as a Constant, can be ignored.

It out-perfoms my previous Ducato base in comfort, but at <1,000mikes yet, I am not qualified to give an opinion on reliability or durability of MY particular example
 
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I rate the RWD IVECO chassis very highly but you are usually into larger vans with this option, Carthago use/used it Hymer but over 8 metres I think and then of course N+B Concorde Morelo etc.

I guess it comes down to Budget and size.

Martin


Here's a question Martin, is the older 3 litre Iveco(2004-2006) like we have the dead same as the 3 litre Fiat Ducato/3 litre Peugeot and 3 litre Citroen from 2007 onwards. Did Fiat/Pug just use the exact same engine?

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funflair

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Hi Paul @CazPaul The simple answer is I don't know, I don't think that the 2004-2006 IVECO has EGR as that came in about 2007 but not sure about the 2007 Ducato, the two engines certainly share some components but the Torque and BHP outputs are lower on the Ducato so there must be some difference (possibly EGR).

Martin
 

davejen

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We've had 4 sprinter-based m/homes 2000-2004 1 auto, 3 sprintshift, never had a single problem with any, except 1 glowplug, I feel that having read all the electric/clutch/juddering/gearbox/etc problems with Fiats theres no comparison. OK they may be more expensive to buy but then you don't have to keep taking them back to the workshop!
Cheers, Dave(y)
 

PeteH

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We've had 4 sprinter-based m/homes 2000-2004 1 auto, 3 sprintshift, never had a single problem with any, except 1 glowplug, I feel that having read all the electric/clutch/juddering/gearbox/etc problems with Fiats theres no comparison. OK they may be more expensive to buy but then you don't have to keep taking them back to the workshop!
Cheers, Dave(y)

I hope so, I have just bought a 2009 3L Auto. (or will have when I collect it tomorrow!). I drove a bunch of the early ones as vans, when I was on Agency. The Fiat we have has had its gearbox out twice in the last 2 years, and 2 new clutch packs. (Happily for me, all on warranty) But I got to need an Auto anyway. So we blew the kids inheritance!.

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Jun 30, 2011
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I hope so, I have just bought a 2009 3L Auto. (or will have when I collect it tomorrow!). I drove a bunch of the early ones as vans, when I was on Agency. The Fiat we have has had its gearbox out twice in the last 2 years, and 2 new clutch packs. (Happily for me, all on warranty) But I got to need an Auto anyway. So we blew the kids inheritance!.


I think the ones that PeteH is talking about up until 2006 were more reliable than the 2007 onwards that you are talking about though, we have had a 2005 and a 2006, both 2.7, one manual and one full torque converter automatic, not an ounce of trouble with any.
 

motorhomer

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There's a reason why Mercedes hold their prices. We have one that we've had for 4 yrs now & its had one EGR valve (very cheap @£30) & one oil change, starts on the button & is a real pleasure to drive, whereas our moho is a Peugeot on Ducato base, I'm never away from it with the spanners & its a royal pain in the arse. I used Mercedes as ambulances too & I know very well how good they are. One thing for sure is that it isn't Fiat or Peugeot etc versions of the Ducato. However, folks on here will happily tell you how good their Ducato has been, its only done 3k miles in the last 5 yrs but its GREAT, errr no.

I've heard folks saying about problems with Mercedes glow plugs, but my last Mercedes wagon did 350k miles on two sets of plugs, not too bad.
On the other hand, the VW wagon that I had when I retired was never out of the workshop & really never drove very well.
Then The Scottish Ambulance Service went onto Peugeot 3litre wagons, god knows why, must have been a cheap deal but they lasted 3yrs & have all been sold of at great cost to the government.

I think the reason that most moho's are Ducatos are that Fiat deliberately target that market & build vehicles accordingly. They're cheap & flimsy & just can't cut it on British roads.
I think one's own experiences determine one's views. In my case the most unreliable vehicle I have ever owned (and I include old bangers as a student in that comment) was a new merc based motorhome with the sprintshift box. In 18 months from new I had to call the emergency merc people 3 times, and had several other breakdowns as well. It had to go then and I would never have another merc. Since then I have had either Peugeots or fiats, much more pleasant to drive in my opinion, and in my case vastly more reliable. And I have taken them on roads far worse than british roads eg Romania and many others. And my vans have been used, not just "3k in 5 years" . In my view with merc you are paying for the badge.
 
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I think one's own experiences determine one's views. In my case the most unreliable vehicle I have ever owned (and I include old bangers as a student in that comment) was a new merc based motorhome with the sprintshift box. In 18 months from new I had to call the emergency merc people 3 times, and had several other breakdowns as well. It had to go then and I would never have another merc. Since then I have had either Peugeots or fiats, much more pleasant to drive in my opinion, and in my case vastly more reliable. And I have taken them on roads far worse than british roads eg Romania and many others. And my vans have been used, not just "3k in 5 years" . In my view with merc you are paying for the badge.


Were all the problems to do with the Sprintshift box?

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motorhomer

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No. But the most serious were, it was the sprintshift box that refused to change gear several times. It was the box that caused me to get rid of the van in the end. But I also had electrical issues which caused fuses to blow, and caused one of the occasions on which I had to call the Merc breakdown people. They were very good, as an aside.
 
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No. But the most serious were, it was the sprintshift box that refused to change gear several times. It was the box that caused me to get rid of the van in the end. But I also had electrical issues which caused fuses to blow, and caused one of the occasions on which I had to call the Merc breakdown people. They were very good, as an aside.

Yes the Sprintshift box has caused loads of issues to some people, the 2.7 was a good reliable van although not as reliable as the earlier 2.9 with the gearstick on the floor.
 

PeteH

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My take on it was that I wanted an Auto Box anyway. And after the experience with the Fiat. I was reluctant to go that road again, especially as the feed back I was getting was that the Fiat Auto is the same box with an electric leg. My god-daughter`s Husband Runs 5 Sprinters on Van deliveries and swears by them, more than at them?. But A Guy I drink with occasionally has a New C class Car which is never out of the Garage!. My Smart Gave a false Neutral and Trashed the engine and gear box on tow behind the R-V.! SWMBO`s Ford B-Max has had a new clutch system on a 15 plate and Ford have reportedly extended the gear box warranty to 5 years?. I guess we have to take it as we find?

I have a theory, about "Automated" Gear boxes (as opposed to the traditional slush box). I think people expect them to change up without encouragement, and tend to over-rev in the gears. I found that backing off the gas briefly encourages a change up at slightly lower revs. which might be easier on the box?.

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