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Which S/H 2 Berth motorhome for around £20k?


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I am new to the forum and am rather hoping someone might be able to advise me on buying my first motorhome.

I am intending to travel for 4/6 months in Europe and would like to spend no more than £20k for a low mileage S/H Motorhome.

I would want a reasonable level of comfort,shower,cooker etc but ideally not a monster vehicle.

I understand there are some problems with Fiat,Citroen,Peugeot vehicles so which ones would be a sensible buy?

Also is it cheaper to buy a left hand drive on the continent still given the £/Euro?

Lastly where can I find the best deals as surely the current finandcial climate must make it a buyers market.

many thanks


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you have to go and look at them, you soon get a feel for what you want. Its then just a matter of getting a deal your happy with.


If your anywhere near a Brownhills, they normally have a large selection of second hand ones to look at.


In the end i got my one from Elite motorhomes, and they were very helpfull.



At a guess, i would say its not worth getting a LHD in euro's at the moment.............someone else on here will will know for sure.

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Welcome to the madhouse that we call the forum Stewart.


Do you have any towed caravan or camping experience to draw upon or have you looked at any specific vans or been to any shows to get some ideas on preferred layout?


As it stands on what you have told us so far the choice is absolutely huge so you need to rule out a few options.


At your price level you should be able to find a very competent van and as the Fiat problems only affect post 2006 new version X250 vehicles it will not be an issue for you.


Have you driven any motorhomes yet?

Do you have an idea of maximum length?

Is parking it at home a size determining aspect?

Have you considered fixed bed or dual purpose seating/bed?


With a fixed bed you generally get good storage under it but the bed itself is often badly compromised in shape or width.


With dual purpose settees/bed - either mid/front end or rear end - you get much better lounging and more daytime space but less storage and you have to make up the bed every night - and dismantle it every morning.

You do get used to this and it does get quite easy and quick with practise.


With an older van spare parts can be an issue and whilst most general bits that can need attention like fridges, heating, water system, batteries etc can almost always be repaired or replaced body panels, should you need them, can be quite a problem to source even on fairly new models.


Makes that come to mind as wearing well include, amongst others, Auto Sleepers, Hymer, Rapido, Autocruise and Auto Trail. We all have our own dislikes and that is always a personal thing.


Before moving on to such delights and complications as shower and loo size, kitchen layout and versatility, engine size etc it might be as well for you to tell us your thoughts and preferences so far?

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When I selected my Motorhome I found the choice very limited as I wanted 2 single beds and an end bathroom as they tend to be larger and LHD.

There was only a few that met the spec :Hobby.Chauson. Burstner we opted for the Burstner Solano t700 on an X250 chasis and I must say we are delighted with the Habitation part wont dwell on the FIAT part.

I am not sure if the Burstner Solano's on the older FIAT chassis are in your price range but one of the best sources is mobile.de German web site for all sorts of vehicles thousands of motorhomes (LHD).

While the older FIAT(pre X250) is not without some problems but what isn't I think it worthy of consideration.

When the pound was 1.45 e there were plenty of bargains to be had in Germany not so certain now but take a look.

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We have a Compass Suntor 115 on the New Peugeot base vehicle which is a 2 berth low profile .For 2 people its got a very comfortable interior whilst not being too big a vehicle, easy to handle and park especially in smaller car parks and supermarkets. Only weighing 3ton gross we averaged 36 mpg whilst touring France. With a full oven and grill with 3 hobs /an adequate shower and toilet including a king size bed for the money we feel it take a lot of beating , I would hazard a guess you could get a 2 year old one without a trade in for 20k and with hard bargaining a brand new one for a little under 25k well worth a look as a starter and I think other forum members with the same vehicle would agree with me , we have had ours 2 years now and have not seen another type yet we would prefer.
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Hi Stuart & welcome to the forum.


Guess you won't have many vans available on the IOM to view.

I would suggest you identify what type of van you prefer 1st, I suspect most Panel Van conversions will be ruled out if you shower etc.. in your price range.

Get a copy of MMM's sister magazine "Which MotorCaravan" for layout styles to narrow your choice then search by prefered base vehicle preference. This will give you a selection of new Vans available in that style. Usually there are older vans from the same manufacturer with the same layout.

Like the Compass mentioned on another reply, there is also the Ace/Swift/Bessacar group, Lunar/Home Car + the newer Carida (Brownhills) Sunlight in the lower price range. That should put you in the 2 to 4 year old bracket.

It is certainly be a buyers market out there, especially without a Van to trade-in & some great deals can be done.

Good luck

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Rapido 709F or 710F. We have the 710 and are over the moon with it. LHD as well which is an added bonus. 18K 18 Months ago from Brownhills. Got a great deal for cash. Only 5.8 Mtrs and will sleep 4 at a push, but absolutely ideal for 2. Rear lounge as well, which is my preffered layout. Well worth a look if you can find one. You don't see them for sale very often, as with most van's from Rapido. Rock solid build quality, but watch out for the cracked shower tray syndrome that seems to affect these vans. Mine's cracked, but I don'tcare, as we never shower in the van. Or our boat for that matter, as it makes too much mess.
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Welcom Stuart IOM , for 20k bracket i would not worry to much about FIAT problems as it mainly is for the recent ones. I have had 4 Fiat 1 Merc and had no unusual problems which could not be rectified , provided they are serviced correctly you should be ok. (lol)
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Thanks for your response.

This is entirely new to me thus other than not wanting a huge vehicle, I guess 17ft ish seems ok I have an open mind tbh.

I have only seen a few examples as the IOM is pretty limited as you might imagine.

I must say I find the cost of S/H examples quite amazing tbh.

It seems buying new or nearly new represents a better option even if with a slightly lower spec.

I will probably go to a show if I decide to wait that long but I may well be taking off in Feb/march which would negate that opportunity.

One concern I do have is how do you manage when things get really hot in the summer say in Spain?

Is it feasible to run a/c and do any reasonable priced vehicles include that?

Fuel consumption is another issue which seems difficult to establish from what I can ascertain.

I am not to concerned about the bed issue you mention if there are real advantages to that system.

Anyway thats my thoughts on your response.



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Guest JudgeMental

I would look at models with a rear garage and bed above. these beds tend to be wider then the longitudinal models and on such a long trip the massive storage will be useful and stop you cluttering the inside of the van....


LHD still offers better value IMO I would look on ebay/MMM/autotrader or via Germany on www.mobile.de and post on here for opinions once you have seen something you like. Try and get a Euro 4 compliant engine.







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You're going to spend an awful lot of time in bed, so choose well, go to shows and events, knock on doors of all types and ask, most people will know why you are asking and will give their reasons and choices.


There must be many M/H visitors to your Island go and ask them why they like their vehicle, or don't ?


Regarding size, I find it no problem, except for the small lanes of Cornwall etc (including the IOM). Hoping to visit in 2009 but not with a M/H for obvious reasons.



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I'm sure you'd find either of John Wickersham's books "The Motorcaravanning Handbook" or "The Motorcaravan Manual" useful to you. These are widely available - this is one supplier:




I've also taken the liberty of sending a copy of my (now rather ancient) home-grown buyers' guide to the e-mail address provided in your forum profile.

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Hi Stuart and welcome!


I asume you travel will be mainly in the summer, therefore you may not need a really high level of winterisation but bear this in mind in case the vans you like have external waste and/or fresh water tanks.


There is a compromise to be had between coachbuild motorhomes with good lounging and ones with a fixed bed, you can't usually have both unless the vehicle is very long. You'll need to decide which is more important to you - making a bed up for a few weeks holiday is one thing, doing it for 4-6 months is quite another. Instead, you might want to consider an older A class with a drop down bed so that you have the best of both worlds.


We have a Ford based 'van at the moment (2006 version) and it's great. Before that we had the outgoing Fiat and the one before that, both were okay, but the later Fiat was definitely a lot better - 2.3jtd engine really was a good one. I hear the newer Fiat is good (except for the judder & engine 'shower') but haven't actually tried one so don't know for sure. I think you'll struggle to get one of the new Fiats for your money and with the 'faults' some are having I'd avoid them as you don't want your trip to be marred if you start having these problems.


You'll need to consider the implications of buying abroad, if you intend to bring it back to the UK and re-register it here then you need to be sure that the van/price difference makes this reaslistic to do and that you are happy with the hassle.


You also need to check carefully the warranty on any vehicle you buy, some may insist that you take the vehicle back to where you bought it from if habitation equipment faults occur .. not much good if you are in mainland Europe!


As you don't have a van to PX, you should be able to get a very good van from the private ads, better probably than from a dealers, but do make sure that you check out the ownership of it and whether it has any finance owing on it - there are companies that do this for a very small fee and it is well worth doing, no matter how honest the seller appears, better safe than sorry.


Have you thought about what you are likely to want to take with you? Some vans have a very low payload allowance so make sure that any van you intend to buy is weighed on a weigh-bridge before you complete the deal to make sure that the payload you are told is correct, it's not impossible for the sellers/dealers to be mistaken in this regard and do not rely on any manufacturers' brochures, they too get it wrong! Check the chassis plate for the MTPLM so you know the maximum you can carry legally.


Enjoy the search!


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Stuart not a good time to be buying in euros with the pound so low in comparison. For the money you intend to spend I don't think showgoing will do you much good either. As for the type of vehicle you want look at as many as possible difficult I know on the IOM but if you are on mainland check as many dealers as possible. IMOH however for that kind of money you will not get great value at a dealership as they will want to make a profit on the deal. Look at the small ads in the MMM and the likes and be prepared to haggle to get a suitable vehicle at the right price before the advent of spring and the inevitable price rises.



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From what you say, I think a copy of "Go Motorhoming Europe" is what you need.  I think it could save you lots of shoe leather, time and money! 

Written by motorhomers for motorhomers, it is an excellent beginner's guide to what is available, what some of the terms mean, and what to take into consideration when choosing.  Obtainable from Vicarious Books, here http://tinyurl.com/7z662p

My main observation on size is that when trying to get into smaller, "off the beaten track" places, width is more of an impediment than length.  Many vans are now 2.3 metres, or even more, wide and this can make car parks, and even secondary roads, rather uncomfortable.  Length is not so much of a problem, but around 6 metres is reasonably manageable in most places.

There is now quite a large range of vans at around 6 metres long and 2.1-2.15 metres wide.  Many having "Van" in their name.  Not sure what you will find within budget but, as you have to start somewhere, these may offer a useful reference point.  After you explore a few, you should be able to decide if they are about what you want, or are too small, or too large. 

However, do get that book first, and really, forget this February!  You'll need to get to know whatever you buy, and work out how to fix its (almost inevitable) deficiencies, before you sail off for six months!  I know they look inviting, and the idea is seductive, but they are your home as well as your transport - and getting the right balance between the two is not always that easy!  Have fun!

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