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Japanese coachbuilt imports


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Hi fran

No first hand knowledge of them...but we've considered a couple over recent years....


Base vehicles: Due to their age they'll tend to be more basic(cheaper to fix?)and therefore, as long as it's based on something fairly "mainstream" and it isn't some sort of bizarre one-off "expedition vehicle" mongrel, then as long you can find a decent, trustworthy mechanic, I'd like to think getting things *sorted shouldn't be too much of a problem...


(*We've a 2001 Toyota Hiace van...and we needed some work doing on the diff and the mechanic managed using "off the shelf" bearings from a motor factors. He stripped the diff, renewed several bearings & seals-all for £180).


As for the habitation side of things...I should imaging that, at the sort of age we're talking of, if a major fault did develop with an appliance, if it's a bit of an "odd-ball", you may well be looking at replacing it anyway..?

Hardware wise,(vents, hinges, catches, etc), you'd just source what ever is available, that'd best do the job.


One thing we have noticed(and you probably have as well)and that is the general lack of online info', accessories etc and any forums that there are, seem to be based in Oz or S.A. (and even some of them have very low traffic levels).


Having said all of that, of the couple of "coach-builts" that we looked at(Toyota, Nissan based) neither were really that much bigger than a euro panel van conversion anyway(but they were 4x4, which is what drew us to them).


If you haven't already done so, you may well be better off, posting on a few more forums.

Although really for demountables, this may be worth a try:




and this may be of use for parts:


http://www.japarts.co.uk/shop/?sh=search&make=10&model=HI-LUX 1997-05&vehicle_iid=1476&search=2


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Hi again..


Off Topic, as not Japanese(unfortunately) nor a coach-built (lol)..but our first "bought" camper' was a 2003 Autosleeper Duetto.(MWB mk6 Transit) and that, for an everyday use van(with it's rear belted seat)and with it's decent sized loo/shower room(which, if required could partition off the rear),it was a really good van.


Similar to this:



("I think" that the earlier Duettos,based on the previous model Transit, were slightly longer, with a longer wheel base:

eg http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/1995-M-Ford-Transit-Auto-Sleeper-Duetto-2500-/371263894837?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_3&hash=item56710d7535


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There were some Japanese base vehicles (Toyota HiAce IIRC) converted in the UK to coachbuilt motorhomes by a Hull company. Have seen a few still around but can't remember name of converter. A google search may bring up some results
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