Why oh why did we look at a new Wildax Elara? (1 Viewer)

Jun 22, 2012
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It's lovely, went to see it on a whim yesterday!
It was in the new MMM magazine on Tuesday, ticked so many boxes for a PVC (except price haha) that my telephone phobic hubby found himself phoning the localish dealer at Melksham who just happened to have one on loan for the Romsey show. They'd keep it in until last night if we wanted to look. Of course we did! An easy 1 hr 15 minute journey took 2 and 1/2 due to diversions and accidents but it is lovely.
Longitudinal full width fixed bed. Decent front lounge. Good bathroom and kitchen. 7m van. Nice salesman. We'd gone in the car, thank god due to diversions but Wiltshire motorhomes are an odd set up. Where are the vans? Nothing much on the website but he seemed quite knowlegeable.

Do we or don't we, Who do we buy from? You can buy direct from the factory or dare I say it Nick Whale. HELP!!
 

Anthea M

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It's lovely, went to see it on a whim yesterday!
It was in the new MMM magazine on Tuesday, ticked so many boxes for a PVC (except price haha) that my telephone phobic hubby found himself phoning the localish dealer at Melksham who just happened to have one on loan for the Romsey show. They'd keep it in until last night if we wanted to look. Of course we did! An easy 1 hr 15 minute journey took 2 and 1/2 due to diversions and accidents but it is lovely.
Longitudinal full width fixed bed. Decent front lounge. Good bathroom and kitchen. 7m van. Nice salesman. We'd gone in the car, thank god due to diversions but Wiltshire motorhomes are an odd set up. Where are the vans? Nothing much on the website but he seemed quite knowlegeable.

Do we or don't we, Who do we buy from? You can buy direct from the factory or dare I say it Nick Whale. HELP!!
Go for it if you both like it and there are little compromises!!
You never know what is round the corner so enjoy today and your travels!
 

Riverbankannie

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It does look lovely in the photos. I guess the extra length of the sprinter gives you the small L couch in the front. Can you only watch TVin bed ? I think I would discount it for us because of having to crawl into bed from the access at the end.
Knowing how much our IHs weigh, I too would be worried about weight.
Otherwise, if you can, why not ?
We had a bad experience with one of Nick Whales salesmen but not sure that is true of the whole place. I would assume though that they are further away from you than Wiltshire Motorhomes ?
 

Kingham

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I love that layout and the thought of a proper automatic is so appealing to me.

I’d need the maximum weight increased, which I’m guessing would easily up-plate to the 4500kg that I’m at now.
My initial thoughts on the tv in the bedroom, were that it would swivel round so that it could be seen from the front, but then I t would block access to the bedroom and would be like watching it at the end of a tunnel.

Apart from the full spec price tag, it’s almost my perfect van, but I need to see one in the flesh !
 

Theonlysue

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Not long enough!
Depends if it can be uprated due to brakes etc?
 

Theonlysue

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Not long enough!
I would order from factory.
You can have a good look around.
Personally i wouldn't bother with microwave or oven, but its personal choice depending what sort of camping you do.

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Theonlysue

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Not long enough!
On the wildax video, that kettle wouldn't work on induction, so he must be drinking cold coffee lol
 

Minxy

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Give yourselves a slap round the race with a wet fish to 'wake up' before you do anything and think of the practicalities! :D

This is my take on it so others may disagree ...

Whilst it looks nice I have serious concerns about its actual usability, eg you'd have to put the table up in the lounge each time you want to use it and the funny elongated rear seat seems only really usable side facing for comfort therefore you'd probably still end up using the cab seats for lounging anyway. It appears that the fresh water tank is external are not ideal for winter use. There's a fair bit of upper storage but not a lot lower down. I'd also be concerned about the weight on the rear axle, even if it could be uprated.

It will likely have a very big turning circle, much more than the equivalent coachbuilt of the same length - we noticed the difference when we went from a 6m coachbuilt to a 6m PVC - so driving on normal width roads won't be a major issue but smaller roads with tighter left/right turns could be a pain in the bum, or turning into side streets, especially having to watch out for bum bashing as it swings out when you turn.

If it suits you and makes 'usable' sense then go for it, but please check out the practical stuff first as we hear way too many stories of people who fall in love with MHs etc and then find out to their cost that there are major issues with using it.
 

Kingham

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@Minxy Girl That’s an easy one for me as it’s very similar to my current layout, which suits and works for me. The fresh water tank is internal, unlike my current one, but is under the bed so could have an impact on the rear axle loading (my only concern)
 

Blue Knight

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Looks a lovely van but only 330kg stated payload (n)

I've just spent a few minutes studying the Elara brochure and the 330kg figure does not include awnings, 7G Auto box, solar unit, leather, tv, towbar, bike rack, reverse camera, 2nd hab battery (One battery is standard but not the 2nd), etc.

The basic price is £69,000 but if you add some of the desired options then that hits c£77,000 straight away.

Also, your payload will reduce from 330kg to an estimated 150kg before any adjustments.

Wildax has built a truly superb looking van (IMO) but they've not given much of a care to payload if registered at 3.5T

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May 21, 2008
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It's lovely, went to see it on a whim yesterday!
It was in the new MMM magazine on Tuesday, ticked so many boxes for a PVC (except price haha) that my telephone phobic hubby found himself phoning the localish dealer at Melksham who just happened to have one on loan for the Romsey show. They'd keep it in until last night if we wanted to look. Of course we did! An easy 1 hr 15 minute journey took 2 and 1/2 due to diversions and accidents but it is lovely.
Longitudinal full width fixed bed. Decent front lounge. Good bathroom and kitchen. 7m van. Nice salesman. We'd gone in the car, thank god due to diversions but Wiltshire motorhomes are an odd set up. Where are the vans? Nothing much on the website but he seemed quite knowlegeable.

Do we or don't we, Who do we buy from? You can buy direct from the factory or dare I say it Nick Whale. HELP!!
Wiltshire Motorhomes are wonderful, WildAx owners love them. They have helped me out a couple of times although I bought from the factory. Several happy owners have bought from them, and if you are talking about Oliver as the salesman, he is indeed knowledgeable. It's a long way to Elland to buy from the factory!!! Can't comment on Nick Whale, sorry.
 

BillandHelen

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Nov 17, 2013
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We previously had an IH based on the 7 metre Mercedes similar to this one, having seen the Elara at the NEC my observations would be,

First class drivetrain and engine
Superb warranty and support from Mercedes, we have a great truck centre near us
Easily upgradable to 3850 or higher if need be
Quality conversion and really well equipped
Fabulous comfy bed
Internal large water tank and 200anps of battery
Really off grid ready

Questions we had were,
Seats when turned are quite high and no twin armrests - as main seats could we live with that
Bathroom is a real wet room, no curtain good but a lot of drying out
Van is noticeably narrower than a fiat, try everything for comfort and usability
Rear axle payload will be an issue, especially if travelling with full water tank

If these work for you I’d go for it, fabulous base, top quality conversion, high spec, I’d just get a decent weight upgrade done, write the cheque and enjoy it!!

Best in whatever you decide
Bill
 
OP
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Jun 22, 2012
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Wiltshire Motorhomes are wonderful, WildAx owners love them. They have helped me out a couple of times although I bought from the factory. Several happy owners have bought from them, and if you are talking about Oliver as the salesman, he is indeed knowledgeable. It's a long way to Elland to buy from the factory!!! Can't comment on Nick Whale, sorry.
Thank you that is good to know, it was Oliver and he said they do trade ins but afterwards we thought, where on earth are their vans, there's nothing on their website so I think they must sell their tradeins elsewhere perhaps.
I know you're quite active in the Wildax group so that's good to know.
We bought our IH through Nick Whale brand new when IH briefly tried selling through dealers and they were terrible, the particular member of staff is no longer there but her partner is still one of their salemen, or was last summer so we'd be reluctant to go through them.
 
OP
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Jun 22, 2012
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It does look lovely in the photos. I guess the extra length of the sprinter gives you the small L couch in the front. Can you only watch TVin bed ? I think I would discount it for us because of having to crawl into bed from the access at the end.
Knowing how much our IHs weigh, I too would be worried about weight.
Otherwise, if you can, why not ?
We had a bad experience with one of Nick Whales salesmen but not sure that is true of the whole place. I would assume though that they are further away from you than Wiltshire Motorhomes ?
We had a nightmare with Nich Whale as well.
You can have the TV on the bathroom wall above the sofa so that you'd watch it from the driver and passenger seats swivelled round. We would do that as I don't want a TV in the bedroom, standards you know! Nick has already decided he would rest his feet on the sofa and I'd need a little stool to avoid dangling feet.
There's no doubt we'd need to up plate, we'd even been looking at the vanstar bike racks, like those busbiker ones. They'd make it so much easier with the heavy bikes.
You can have it as a two single bed option.
 
Oct 14, 2011
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I expect Oliver had already sent most of his stock up to the Romsey show ready for opening day tomorrow.
Why don’t you potter up there this weekend just to convince yourself that it is a good idea or not ?
I bought from WMH 2 years ago and am delighted with my Pulsar and the after sales service.I am off to meet Oliver at the show tomorrow as he has agreed to fix a couple of minor warranty issues for me on the spot.It will save me the drive to Melksham.
You are much better off buying from a dealer near to you provided they have a good reputation.WMH have a Facebook page for info.

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Oct 29, 2008
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I like it but its a very fixed layout, no rear travel seat/s plus the bed having the tank filling nearly all the storage means nos space for bikes or other larger equipment etc.
 

MikeD

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We bought our IH through Nick Whale and they were a nightmare to deal with.

I could not recommend them at all. I certainly would never deal with them again.

350kg for a payload is very low and you will almost certainly be overloaded in general touring.
 
May 30, 2012
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Carolyn we shared the Nick Whale experience and the pain. We are going for a Vantage Neo. Same size and layout as present IH 630 RL van but better bathroom and more kitchen work top space. Can't believe vans are now 4 years old. Hope to get our new van in June! Going for an auto this time.
 
OP
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Carolyn we shared the Nick Whale experience and the pain. We are going for a Vantage Neo. Same size and layout as present IH 630 RL van but better bathroom and more kitchen work top space. Can't believe vans are now 4 years old. Hope to get our new van in June! Going for an auto this time.
Oh yes I remember, we did indeed share many moans and groans. They really were awful. Good luck with your Vantage Neo. How exciting. At the moment you can't get internal cab blinds for the new Mercedes Sprinter (nor VW crafter) which is another thing to think about!. No rush though.
 
OP
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Jun 22, 2012
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We bought our IH through Nick Whale and they were a nightmare to deal with.

I could not recommend them at all. I certainly would never deal with them again.

350kg for a payload is very low and you will almost certainly be overloaded in general touring.
Agreed, well that's three of us in 5 minutes so stick to our initial thoughts and avoid like the plague.
We know we'd need to up plate as we'd be needing solar, towbar and awning and have electric bikes. We go away for weeks at a time, sometimes months.

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May 30, 2012
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It took us a while to decide to change. Like you we are away a lot but got to the point we really wanted a change. A factory visit to Vantage sealed the deal for us. We are hoping that the NW experience won't be repeated this time! We will be sad to part with our van now it's all sorted out but time to move on. Take care and have a really good look around before you decide. We love the layout and being able to take the van almost anywhere. This time we are going for and extended 5 year warranty.
 

Blue Knight

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I thought it looked quite fantatsic when I first looked at it but now that I've seen the brochure again it looks to be quite a difficult seating arrangement to live with.

Everyone to their own though but at that price you need to make certain that it's a proper usable space.

We came seconds away from buying the Merc Hymer 4x4 in Oct-18 but on second look we just knew that it was not for us.
 

Minxy

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Agreed, well that's three of us in 5 minutes so stick to our initial thoughts and avoid like the plague.
We know we'd need to up plate as we'd be needing solar, towbar and awning and have electric bikes. We go away for weeks at a time, sometimes months.
One thing I would ask for before tempting yourself further is ask them to weight a new one with all the pre-installed kit on, full water, some fuel (if they can tell you accurately how much that would be useful) but NO people on board and let you have the individual axle weights, that way you can see if, even upgrading, will give you enough allowance on the rear axle as I suspect it won't.
 

Langtoftlad

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Questions we had were,
Seats when turned are quite high and no twin armrests - as main seats could we live with that
Bathroom is a real wet room, no curtain good but a lot of drying out
Van is noticeably narrower than a fiat, try everything for comfort and usability
Rear axle payload will be an issue, especially if travelling with full water tank
I have a Wildax but on a Citroen base - but I think some of your questions can be answered...
Seats - I had Wildax install low seat boxes to compensate for the extra height caused by the swivel.
Seats - the Citroen base seats only came with a single armrest but Regal Furnishing [who do Wildax's upholstery] were able to fit an additional armrest...
Bathroom IMO dries out very quickly, especially with the heating vent.
Obviously it depends on where the tanks are put on the Merc base but all I can say is that where they've been located on my Citroen has resulted in a very equally balanced van as regards axle weights.
Can't comment on the width versus a Citroen base but it was noticeable changing from a coachbuilt. As far as I was concerned that was a price worth paying for the drive-ability.

Only had a single minor experience of Wiltshire Motorhomes - I popped in unannounced - whilst staying at Devizes C&CC... they were very helpful & accommodating checking something out for me.

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