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Woody

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OK everyone, I am about to pick your brains! 

A friend of mine wants to buy a motorhome. She owned one many years ago, but bought it fairly new, (and with someone else), so isn’t familiar with the possible pitfalls of buying an older one. As our van was bought new, I am not  much help with good advice beyond layout, payload and tax, insurance companies etc.

The van will only for my friend and her sister to use. - She is not bothered at all about size, as she is used to driving big vehicles. - Horse lorry. She doesn’t want a PVC, just a coach built, and has seen this....

https://www.somersetmotorhomecentre.co.uk/showroom/coach-built/autocruise-pioneer-renoir/


It has a layout that she likes, and is in the right price range. Does anyone have any experience of this dealer. (Handy for her, as it is only an hours drive away). I don’t know anything about Autocruise, or a Peugeot base. I am also not sure if  how important mileage or age of van is. - I am aware that things will deteriorate on an older van, even if it isn’t used.....but it is not like buying a car of that age! I have also heard that older Swift vans are often damp?

My friend only needs a two berth van but would look at more if necessary, however she would prefer to have something around the length of the Autocruise to fit it on her drive easily. She is not in a rush to buy, as she and her sister probably won’t have time to go away in it until the end of September/October. I have told her to start looking now, to familiarise herself with prices, then hope to get a discount at that time of year! - Who knows at the moment though, as vans are selling well! 

Any advice would be gratefully accepted. 😁


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randonneur

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Reply with quote  #2 
My friends have the same van but it’s 2005, they love it, it had the £3000 paint job done before they bought it. If we had of sold our van at the time we would have bought it instead. This is theirs:
F729D696-C21D-4E38-A6C3-B8A37DDCED35.jpeg 


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Sylvia
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BurtSner

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Reply with quote  #3 
How about a former bear’s nest? Kev’s is still available. 
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Woody

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Reply with quote  #4 

Thanks Sylvia, a great recommendation! I have sent your post on to her....including photo.

I am not sure she wants something as big as Kev’s Simon, as she needs to fit it on her drive. They also would not want to travel so far to view anything. Kev wants a sale sooner rather than later as well, and my friend is not looking to buy just yet. 


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coppo

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Reply with quote  #5 
Check carefully even though its through a dealer, damp meter first check.

Is the floor sound, can someone get underneath toj look?

We should have a list put up in a section somewhere on here for anyone not sure of all the items to check when viewing.

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Woody

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Reply with quote  #6 
Thanks Paul. All good advice. I cannot see J knowing how to use a damp metre, or where to look for a problem, but she would probably be happy to scramble under a van! We shall have to give that some thought. - I am a little worried that a dealer will see two petite ladies of a certain age as ‘easy pickings’ when it comes to things like damp!
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coppo

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Reply with quote  #7 
I have just looked at one review of the dealer Lin from someone who bought a van in Oct 2019 and it was very good, it said Gavin who did the handover was very good in explaining everything and answering questions, it said excellent, first class xervice.

I know one review is not much to go on.

A good start, needs more research?

Can she take someone else with her? With onowledge?
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Woody

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Wow, thanks Paul, that is so kind of you to go to the trouble. My dear OH would gladly go with her, but it would be a case of ’the blind leading the blind,‘ which is why we bought a new van! We have never even bought a second hand car unless it was off someone we knew, and therefore  felt sure it was ok! J has a neighbour though, who is a bit of a ‘handyman‘ in his retirement. He also has a caravan......and used to be a car salesman! Maybe she can ask him to go with her? 


I am not sure if it was on here, but I know I have heard/read a good report about the dealership somewhere else, so the review you found is heartening. I will pass the information on. - I have already sent Sylvia’s on. Thank you both for your help.

Any views on here re  a Peugeot base versus a Fiat by the way? I think Autocruise seem to be a good make, and clearly Sylvia’s friends like theirs!


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peejay

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Reply with quote  #9 
My two pennarth,

Mileage seems quite reasonable for its year but make sure its got a full documented service history. Any receipts for other work done would be a bonus.

Check its cambelt history, should have been changed roughly every 5 years and documetation of the replacements as per above.

As Paul said check thoroughly for damp, if poss take someone with you who knows what to look for. Make sure its got a history of damp checks and hab servicing. If there is evidence of damp then walk away, plenty more fish in the sea.

In general, you'll know when you step inside if its been looked after, by the smells if any, the condition of the upholstery, which might might be worn but should be clean and condition of hobs, fridge and oven if its got one. Similarly the exterior.

Thats all I can think of atm.

Pete



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Woody

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Reply with quote  #10 

Thanks Pete. All excellent points. I will copy you message on to J if that is ok with you?  She and her sister,  (twin!), are both pretty smart cookies, and run their own businesses,  so if they know what to look for in the paperwork they will be sure to check it out.

I am so grateful for all the help here. - You lot are brilliant!


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GMJ

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Reply with quote  #11 
One thing Lin: I believe that there are businesses out there that for a fee, can do a full check on any vehicle prior to buying. It might be worth doing some research in/around your friends local area to see if there is a reputable one that could be engaged when your friend finds a MH she is interested in. I seem to recall a fee of around £200 but could be wrong on that.

Might be worth it for piece of mind especially if they don't know their way around MH's.

Oh and one other thing re damp. Get them to bounce up and down on the floors in the MH. I have heard tales of floor 'delamination' in older MHs. If the floor is too springy I 'think' this might be a tell tale sign (happy to be corrected if Im wrong on this btw)

Graham

Edited to add: Also get them to stand in the shower area and check the seals at floor level in case of movement.

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Woody

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Reply with quote  #12 
Thanks Graham. That is certainly a good thought re getting it checked out. Our friends live in Porlock, so are ‘local’ to us. I will do a quick search on their behalf to see is I can find anyone. I will mention jumping up and down in the van, but as both twins are tiny and ’stick slim’ there is probaBly no weight on them anyway!!!  🤣 They would both have to jump up and down together....and even that might not work! 🙄

Once again.....I will pass you wise words on to J. Hopefully when she buys a van, and gives up some of her work, so has more time, she will become a member on here. 😁

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GMJ

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Reply with quote  #13 
No problem Lin

Just to emphasise what others have said as well: damp is a real killer. It would put me off tbh.

We found damp in our last Comanche. When I went to claim on the warranty initially A-T refused saying that as the first owner had had the first habitation check carried out 3 months late (and all subsequent checks were therefore 3 months late) they would not honour the warranty. Luckily at the time it was still under the supplying dealers 1 year warranty so they 'fixed' the damp. I wrote to the MD of A-T pointing out the unfairness of this and the spirit of it and fair enough, they replied (not the MD btw) saying that if I took the MH up to their factory in Grimsby and they tested it and it passed, they would reinstate the warranty.

Anyway we combined a trip to Grimsby with a small tour (Moors and Whitby) and the Comanche passed the damp test and the warranty was reinstated.

Great news!

On its next hab check (with a different dealer closer to home: the EXCELLENT Edwards Motors near Worcester btw) not only was more damp found elsewhere but also the work that the supplying dealer had done on the damp they found, was found to be a gash job (excessive use of mastic to cover a multitude of sins was part of it!!). This resulted in virtually the whole of the back end being stripped and replaced with composite material. The brilliant bloke at Edwards who runs the workshops - Ron Campbell, said when they were stripping the wood frame out, it was so wet water was splashing in their eyes as they did it!

Anyway that was all fixed under warranty and we sold the MH in 2018 part-exing on a newer Comanche by which time they were using composite material as standard and not wood.

All this was on a 2012 MH which was only 3 years old!

I would hate to think how many £'000's it would have cost if there was no warranty.

Graham

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SANDBAGSID

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Reply with quote  #14 
Nice layout and looks to have been well taken care of from the photos.  Damp is always the main issue with coach build mohos  The dealer would have checked it when they purchased it I would have thought.
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eurajohn

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Reply with quote  #15 
Re Peugeot versus Fiat, both vans will have been built on the same assembly line in the same Sevel (Italy) factory.
They differ by the trim and nameplates, the only substantial difference likely will be the power train, without knowing the full details of the Autocruise I couldn't say precisely but for around that year it could have a Fiat engine anyway.

Just looked at the advert and I see it says it is a 2.2 so that will be the Peugeot group PSA 4HY engine.
Pretty sure it has a chain not belt for cam timing.

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Reply with quote  #16 
Lin - The Devon branch of the MH vetting company could be enticed to go along and see what obvious problems exist, I’m not certain the 2nd member of the team will be available, but give me a shout if you wish. 
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Woody

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Reply with quote  #17 
Thanks for the info John, especially the update about the possible chain, not belt. . - Very useful.

Well Simon......I am not sure Sue will let you out with two attractive single women! Hopefully you will come and see us before my friends need someone to check over any prospective van. I can Then warn Sue about your possible escapade! I will pass you kind offer on to J and N. 😁

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BurtSner

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Reply with quote  #18 
I wasn’t going to tell her!   We would definitely like to come out to see you both, but I thought you were discouraging all and sundry for now?  We’re happy to come as we both have been out of close proximity from everyone. Let me know 🙂
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Simon
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Woody

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Reply with quote  #19 
We are keeping away from everyone Simon, but will sort something out with you and Sue in a week or two. - Top of the list! 😁

It is sunny here this evening, but there is a cool wind. I hope Alan is not still up on that roof! 🤣



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BurtSner

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Reply with quote  #20 
I’ve just got in from the garage “do you realise it’s 9.30?”. Oops, no I didn’t. That takes me back to my teenage years when I was out in my garage tinkering till often 2.30am when Radio Luxembourg stopped transmitting. 
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Woody

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Reply with quote  #21 
Radio Luxembourg. - That is dating us all! 🤣
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Woody

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Reply with quote  #22 

Me again.....

My friend has just heard from the dealer that the van she liked has been sold. She had hesitated over the purchase as her original plan was not to buy until the end of the summer. - There is nothing like losing a purchase to make one focus ones mind! 

The dealer has just had another van come in to stock. It is on for more than her budget of £25,000....but apparently there is a deal to be done! I looked on the website just now, and there are two other vans that have a similar layout. I feel that if she is going to drive over to the dealership this weekend, she might as well look at all three. Simon has kindly offered to look the van over for her when she finally makes a decision. 

Any thought here as to what comparisons you lot might make. I think my friend  has now decided that she will go ahead with the purchase as soon as she finds the right van. 

https://www.somersetmotorhomecentre.co.uk/showroom/coach-built/bessacarr-e740

https://www.somersetmotorhomecentre.co.uk/showroom/coach-built/autotrail-cheyenne-635-3

https://www.somersetmotorhomecentre.co.uk/showroom/coach-built/autocruise-starlet-2-5




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eurajohn

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Reply with quote  #23 
For me, given the original post requirements my choices would be 
1 Autocruise
2 Auto Trail
3 Bessacar.

The Auto cruise is closest in size and layout to their original choice and looks from photos to be in nice condition, with sensible and desirable accessories.

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Woody

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Reply with quote  #24 
Thanks John. That is exactly the sort of advice I was looking for. 
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SANDBAGSID

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Reply with quote  #25 
I would agree with john on this one although as we all know once ya go to a dealers and start looking at a selection of vans what ya thought you wanted can soon change. I think you’re hard pressed to find ya forever van first time round.
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Alan    Ford transit pvc.

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