What to buy, what to avoid?

gypo

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I've started to do some research prior to upgrading our van. I've been told to avoid the swift brand for some Reason?
Can anyone advise on which motorhome to go for, we currently have a fiat trigano tribute which is a van based motorhome.
We plan on spending as much time as possible in the van in the future so want a coach built van with a fixed bed and garage and ideally lowish mileage.
I have been told that the burstner nexxo t690g sovereign is a well built, well thought out van, however they do seem a tad out of our price range. I think our max budget would be £38- £40k.
Thanks
 

I&MK

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Spend time going around as many dealers as possible looking at all the different layouts and set ups as possible
 

gypo

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Yes, thanks I probably will, I’m not sure of what makes/brands to avoid and what ones to go for.
Thanks
 

barryd

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Are there really motorhome brands to avoid? Swift have probably sold more British vans than anyone else in the UK so they must have something going for them. Maybe you hear of more problems because there are so many of them.

I reckon its possible some brands are better than others at different eras. Hymer always had a good reputation and I think the old ones were built like tanks but a couple of years back I had a look at a Bailey which was about £45k and a Hymer that was nearly £80k both very recent but used and the Bailey to me seemed better quality.

Mileage is not something I would worry too much, unless its a PVC conversion none of them at that price range will have gone far.
 

gypo

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Thanks for your view, just the sort of info that I need.
I do remember issues with some vans being discussed on here some time back where they were almost at their load capacity whilst empty due to the extra weight involved in the Build?
 

Canalsman

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Because of licence limitations of 3500Kg for many drivers motorhomes seem to be built to that laden weight restriction very widely now.

The consequence is the use of weight saving materials and techniques which often result in an inherently flimsy result.

My advice would be to look at older well-maintained vehicles. Higher mileage can actually be a good thing. For a start commercial vehicles are built to cover very high mileages.

Furthermore greater mileage shows the vehicle has been in regular use which ensures moving parts actually move rather than stand idle.

Provided there is evidence of mechanical servicing at the prescribed interval and the bodywork and interior have been well looked after, mileage is not an issue.
 

grath

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It depends on what you want.
For me, Hymer are pretty good, but there are better.
I would always buy German as they do tend to have pride in their workmanship.
Having owned 6 Hymers I do think I know them and the coach built part, walls and roof are second to none with the Paul system. This is a double skin with a dense foam between. Later models have alloy external and internal, older had alloy exterior and a hardboard type interior wall. The dense foam will not retain water and there is no wood in the body construction in newer models
The furniture in my opinion has gone downhill on quality, probably due to weight saving as owners seem to want more and more and larger vans.
My opinion is that N&B and Carthargo are above Hymer and Burstner and Dethleffs are a little below. Then you have the budget ranges, Carado and Sunlite
These are all german vans
For me, German vans are for using on aires and not as frilly as UK vans usually have better showers and frost protection, although some newer ones are not as good as older models
You pay your money and take your chance
Good luck!
 

Canalsman

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The key thing is not to rush.

I spent many months looking for my specific make, model and year having identified it as the ideal 'van for me.

And then it appeared. One owner, slightly above average mileage, immaculate unmarked interior, full service history, and all the original documents from factory quality checks to electrical safety checks and every single manual.

Good vehicles are out there. If the ones you look at don't feel right, move on and keep looking.

Finally be aware that it's a seller's market right now. You might do well to wait till the end of the season.
 

Mick H

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Don't believe the myth, that everything German, is better! It isn't true!
A German motorhomer once told me, that, in Germany, Hymers were considered just the same, as our British Swift's, simply because they were the most popular manufacturers, and so, featured high in the list of most faults.
I speak as the owner of a German motorhome. It wouldn't put me off buying British, or French, or Italian, etc
Take a good look, yourself, and don't be taken in with the latest fashion, or gimmicks. The payload is very important. Think about your own personal needs, we aren't all the same.
 

barryd

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I would say layout, payload and no damp are the most important factors when choosing. Stuff breaks in motorhomes so parts availability and cost are a factor. For me personally the less complicated the better. Modern vans seem stuffed with gadgets which with long term use are just stuff that will let you down at some point.
 

Tim120

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I know the question was which to avoid but as has already been said none are truly without problems of some sort.
Decide on layout, payload and keep an open mind. If one really takes your fancy it might well be worth getting mechanical and habitation checks done prior to making a decision. If a dealer or seller is reluctant then walk away.
I have owned my Swift from 2017 and am a happy bunny.
 

grath

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For me, the very most important thing in any van is water ingress.
Everything else is secondary.
Just do your research on water ingress in vans you are interested in.
Check out the manufactures feed back
No van is perfect, it just depends on what your priorities are.
Practicability, looks, frilly, gimmicks or whatever
 

Reevsie

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Had I 2015 Kontiki for 5 years, When I bought it I was also told, don't buy a Swift. Leaky Kontiki. After 5 years of ownership I never once regretted buying it. No problems what so ever. I wanted a change of layout and went for a 2015 Frankia with a large rear garage. I will admit the build quality in the Frankia is so much better than the Swift. But then again when new it was 40K more than the swift, so you would expect a better build quality.

You only ever hear the bad issues posted online, people never post when they have no problems.

Would I buy another swift? I:f it suited my needs in the future I would not hesitate.
 

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