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Motorhomes with automatic transmission


robert

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I've been driving a Ducato 2.8l based motorhome full timing for 5 months. Unfortunately a couple of old "war wounds" have surfaced. Namely my dodgy Knee cap (clutch) and my left shoulder (gear change). If i'm to continue i'm going to need to change to one with automatic transmission. Can anyone suggest new or nearly new models that might be suitable? I prefer one with a fixed bed. I've been told that VW sprinter versions are good? Any advice welcomed.
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Ford Transit and Renault/Vauxhall Master/Morvano bases have a option of manual with a autoshift system, I have driven a tranny with it for a short period and it seems very good, there is a thread lower down about problem with Master, is this a one off ? who knows. I think Sprinters may still have conventional auto.
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Hi Robert We have a hymer based on the Mercedes Sprinter with a fully auto gearbox (not sprintshift) first automatic motorhome I have driven, done about 2,000 miles in it now and it is a great drive. Without a doubt I would recomend this combination Regards Wiggy :-D
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Hi I was the person on the previous thread Renault master with Gearshift box which failed after 700 miles.Repaired now fingers crossed.Do not understand why there are not more automatics or semi on the market the drive is far more relaxing,I have never understood the obsession for the Brits to want manual boxes.
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The VW T5 Tiptronic box is superb. I recommend you try it. With complete manual overide at the flick of the dash mounted lever, for engine braking when slowing down or wanting to retain a gear for overtaking it is excellent. The automatic side is so good however that after playing with it in manual for a while one tends to leave it in auto. I used to loath the old torque converter auto, with their slow take up and loss of power but this is a totally different experience.
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The VW T5 auto is excellent particularly the new one . I've had 12 VW's mostly auto's plus cruise control, never had a problem. I can get 47 mpg on a long run. Now also have a Merc Rapido and cruise control, perfect for old coggers. Why anyone wants to waggle a stick about is beyond me. bill h
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[QUOTE]omar - 2006-11-18 8:00 AM Hi I was the person on the previous thread Renault master with Gearshift box which failed after 700 miles.Repaired now fingers crossed.Do not understand why there are not more automatics or semi on the market the drive is far more relaxing,I have never understood the obsession for the Brits to want manual boxes.[/QUOTE]

Don't think it was so much a love of the manual shifts, as distrust of the automatics.

Compared to a manual box automatics, historically, have been:

Expensive to buy and maintain

More liable to failure

Sluggish in response (kick down etc)

Extravagant with fuel

Prone to hunt between gears

Yes, yes; I know there will be those who'll claim on any of the above points that their automatic never did this.  I'm generalising, but the generalisation is reasonably accurate.

However, the new generation of electronically controlled changes are not automatics in the old sense.  Several are conventional gearboxes, with clutches, that are merely controlled via servos.  You can have full manual control if you want it, via a paddle shift, or let it sort itself out.  By and large, computer control will make a better job of selecting appropriate ratios for sped/power/economy than you can.  They even have learning programmes so they change characteristics to match how you're driving: going "sporty" if you're pressing on a bit, etc. etc.  About the only thing they can't do is anticipate, so if you can see the overtaking opportunity approaching, you'll still need to shift down manually to be in the right gear when you put your little welly down.  Otherwise, you'll have to wait a nanosecond or two while the computer works it out and shifts for you. 

However, even if they are no longer sluggish fuel wasters (some even being more fuel efficient than a manual), they are still more expensive to buy and more complicated, and hence more failure prone.

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Getting back to the gear box question, the traditional mistrust of auto boxes stems from the perception that they are expensive to repair, my run of the mill manual box cost £500 to fix my mates auto cost £2400, a few tales like that would put the wind up any buyer. :-(
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