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Stanley has left the building; Mr Ben has arrived.


BGD

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Regulars may recall that Kathy and I own (or owned) the oldest, dog-roughest, motorhome in the history of such vehicles.

 

"Stanley", our 1992 Autostar Aryal A-Class, on the venerable Peugeot 2.5 TD base, has served us brilliantly over the past 4 years, trundling round Spain many times and also France a lot, Italy, Portugal ( a lot), Andora San Marino, and we've put almost 70,000 kms on him in that time.

We've broken down in almost every mainland European country....but the damn thing is so simple that I could fix the issues with a penknife and hammer.

 

But as of today, Stanlry has left the building, part-exed for Mr Ben.

 

Mr Ben is a massive leap forward into this millenium for us, as he was only born in 2001!

A Benimar ( Buying local, as thety are a Spanish brand!), model "6000SL Europe" on the allegedly pretty bulletproof Fiat Ducato 2.8JTD 127 hp, pre-Ducato facelift chassis cab.

No, it ain't a posh, brand new shiny white gin place. But it'll do for us.

40,000 kms on the clock from new, and a layout and extras that ticked all our boxes, at a loony-good price (Spain really is in a crisis now) with Stanley as a good-price part-ex.

 

Picked up Mr Ben this afternoon,drove almost 100 kms home and he didn't break down even once!

and so now to the fettlin' to tweak him to our wants, prior to his first big tour to France in October.

 

 

 

 

Bruce and The Sparkle are very happy bunnies.

:-D

 

 

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....I had a similar vintage 6000ST for nigh-on 4 years.

 

It was a very good 'van, and came (at least for the UK market) with a lot of "toys" as standard (Solar Panel, Electric Corner Steadies, Electric Dump Valve, Rear Heating, etc.).

 

A few things to watch out for - mine had the "rounded profile" overcab (slightly earlier models were a bit squarer) and suffered a bit of damp along the front trim (easily remedied, but the trim is a b*gger to remove - happily it was under warranty), the shower tray is a bit fragile (aren't they all?) and I had to have mine replaced (this time out of warranty :-(), and I also need a replacement control panel, as the built-in solar regulator packed-in. (apparently, a known problem, and another warranty job).

 

Despite the above, the rest of it was very solidly built, we really liked the 'van, and found it both spacious and comfortable for a family of 4.

 

With it being a Spanish-built 'van, you should be well placed to get service.

 

Hope it works well for you.

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CliveH - 2012-09-13 9:22 AM

 

Congratulations indeed Bruce - some pics perhaps in the future? As an aside - Spain is certainly suffering - If someone was looking to buy a two bed rural villa (not interested in being near coast) what sort of price now arround the Costa Blanca?

 

 

 

 

Clive - we live in a wonderful little village on the Costa Blanca, about 10 miles inland. Rural it most definitely is, and lovely and peaceful. We look out over orange and lemon groves. A little piece of heaven.

But only 8 kms down our valley to an A7 motorway junction; and also a massive shopping mall.

 

A 2 bed villa around here? Maybe lowest price might be €120k, so a bit under £100k, if you don't want uber-posh, and are happy with not a massive amount of land with it.,.

Remember not to offer anywhere near the asking price here...in Spain the culture is that people don't ask maybe 10% over what they are looking for, it's more like 25%.

Many are on for maybe €160k to 180k, but if waving cash there's always someone who's now desperate for the sale.

 

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Tracker - 2012-09-14 9:19 PM

 

Happy travels Bruce - perhaps all Mr Ben needs is a little bit of Sparkle in his life - whether he wants it or not!!

 

 

 

Yep; a bit of Sparkle has indeed certainly brightened up my life Rich... ;-)

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laimeduck - 2012-09-13 9:16 AM

 

Bruce - congratulations on what I hope will be a good choice.

 

We love "Mabel" our 2004 Benima 710 CCX on Fiat Ducato, 2.8JTD 127Hp.

 

Maybe we should get Mr Ben & Mabel to get to know each other ... who knows what might happen? 8-) 8-)

 

I'd be happy to take orders, and vast amounts of money for breeding motorhomes (lol) (lol) (lol)

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CliveH - 2012-09-14 8:42 AM

 

Thanks Bruce - that is what I have seen so far - have to say it is very tempting. Rent our place out in the UK - that would give us two lots of UK rental income and live somewhere where there is sun :-D - It is looking ever more attractive.

 

Clive - theres so many repossessions around, we saw one advertised in the bank the other day in a local town of Ondara, very spanish, for a I think 3 bed townhouse (smallish) for only 40k!!! Would probably need a fair amount of work, but the deals are there to be had. Friends of ours in Oliva also bought a 3rd floor flat (no lift) for only 25k. :-o

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BGD - 2012-09-14 11:37 PM

 

Tracker - 2012-09-14 9:19 PM

 

Happy travels Bruce - perhaps all Mr Ben needs is a little bit of Sparkle in his life - whether he wants it or not!!

 

 

 

Yep; a bit of Sparkle has indeed certainly brightened up my life Rich... ;-)

 

Thanks guys!! ;-) ;-)

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Congratulations Bruce and Kathy on your new motorhome. Spend a few Euros on having the timing belt and tensioner/idler pulleys replaced unless you have cast iron proof they've been done in the last five years. Also give the tyres a good close inspection, these items needing attention are often the reasons for people to change their motorhome. We had a 22 year old Hymer in last week and front tyres were six years old, rears were eight years old and the spare was original at 22 years old. Other than that just enjoy it.

 

D.

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Thanks Dave, and good advice.

 

I was given a copy of the garage invoice showing that last year as part of a lot of servicing work for the previous owner the timing belt was indeed changed.

 

And on the tyres front, yep, they were ancient, Bags of tread left, but sidewalls were cracking and they were dated 2006!

But as part of the part-ex deal I got the dealer to swop my 5 almost-new Michelin Agilis tyres from Stanley onto Mr Ben....as they were the same size - result! :-D

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BGD - 2012-09-18 6:52 PM

 

Thanks Dave, and good advice.

 

I was given a copy of the garage invoice showing that last year as part of a lot of servicing work for the previous owner the timing belt was indeed changed.

 

And on the tyres front, yep, they were ancient, Bags of tread left, but sidewalls were cracking and they were dated 2006!

But as part of the part-ex deal I got the dealer to swop my 5 almost-new Michelin Agilis tyres from Stanley onto Mr Ben....as they were the same size - result! :-D

 

Excellent result Bruce, well done that man.

 

D.

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Dave Newell - 2012-09-19 8:22 AM

 

BGD - 2012-09-18 6:52 PM

 

Thanks Dave, and good advice.

 

I was given a copy of the garage invoice showing that last year as part of a lot of servicing work for the previous owner the timing belt was indeed changed.

 

And on the tyres front, yep, they were ancient, Bags of tread left, but sidewalls were cracking and they were dated 2006!

But as part of the part-ex deal I got the dealer to swop my 5 almost-new Michelin Agilis tyres from Stanley onto Mr Ben....as they were the same size - result! :-D

 

Excellent result Bruce, well done that man.

 

D.

 

 

Only slight issue I've got thus far is that the speedo needle " wobbles" a lot.

At very low speeds it sort of waivers up and down, at higher speeds it's a much faster wobble....at maybe 80kmph it's wobbling around 5kmph.

It's almost as though it "ticks" and then fals back a little, then ticks again, over and over.

 

Not a big issue, but annoying.

The speedo is driven by a cable which runs down to the top of the gearbox, not by any fancy electronic sensor thingy.

Have checked cable run and it seems to be fine; no bad bends or crimping.

 

 

 

I'm wondering if it's just a knackered cable, or lacking lubrication maybe?

 

Any thoughts chaps?

 

 

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