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Post by yammy on Thu Mar 12, 2015 5:35 pm

It really doesnt get any easier, I am sure loads of MH'ers have gone through the same thing !! .. in choosing their next van.  I had a Talbot Express to start with and then bought a second hand Swift Bessacar E560 - fixed bed .. oops sorry but it was a great deal and in the next 18 months or so i plan to retire and am looking back at the Autosleeper range. I am very tempted with the Merc auto gear box against the obviously cheaper Fiat Comfort-matic.
The requirements are space, fixed bed and a roomy/end bathroom. My top in the mix are Autosleeper Burford v Swift Kontiki Black Edition 669 or the Autosleeper Malvern v Swift Bolero Black Edition 722FB or the Autotrail Dakota v Bailey Autograph 730. all of which I was bouncing back an forth in all of them at the last couple of NEC shows.

I dearly would love to have the Autosleeper Burford but a few things annoy me that are not included.

1. Steering wheel controls for radio and phone. (very handy but not vital)
2. Double armrests in cab. (extremely vital)
3. Alde Wet Central Heating. (not vital but would be nice)
4. More shelf space in bathroom. (quite important for the OH !!! )

............so I contacted Autosleeper  headquarters about these items who said to ring back next week and then I contacted Autosleepers in Derby and they said bluntly that none of these things were going to happen. I said that mercedes have done steering wheel controls only last year in their very short lived 2014 Autosleeper Beckford and he said no they didnt but hear is the proof, check out the video....

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I have no idea why they have removed the Beckford so quickly, does anyone else know?

Anyway, digressing.... Can someone convince me that a Burford, with the fantastic gear box (not driven one but have driven new 7 speed auto in my car) and not a lot of extras verses the rest of the pack that have the Comfort-Matic gear box (which I have never experienced ) but are feature packed with everything.
its driving me nuts ... excuse the pun.

Travelling at mo so sorry if replies take a while but would be hugely interested in anyone's views on any of the above,

Thank you in advance
Cheers   allthumbz
Rob.
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Post by Peter Brown on Thu Mar 12, 2015 5:49 pm

yammy wrote:

I dearly would love to have the Autosleeper Burford but a few things annoy me that are not included.


2. Double armrests in cab. (extremely vital)
Sorry but this has been winding me up for a while.  Both front seats in the Merc cab have two armrests and I use them all the time.  The one built in to the door is at exactly the right location and one on the outside of the seat would be in the way.


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Post by yammy on Thu Mar 12, 2015 6:08 pm

I find the cab seats the most comfortable to relax in when they are rotated so when reading a book, it would be nice to rest both arms at the same height.
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Post by yammy on Thu Mar 12, 2015 6:22 pm

Peter, what do you think of your Malvern and is the auto box worth the extra expence? what sort of mpg do you get? Many thanks.
Rob.
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Post by Claytaa on Thu Mar 12, 2015 6:29 pm

I have the new seven speed auto box on my Bourton and was amazed how good it is, faultless I would say. Is it worth the extra dosh, for me yes.
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Post by yammy on Thu Mar 12, 2015 6:35 pm

Claytaa wrote:I have the new seven speed auto box on my Bourton and was amazed how good it is, faultless I would say. Is it worth the extra dosh, for me yes.
What sort of mpg are you getting?
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Post by PLOUGHLIN on Thu Mar 12, 2015 6:36 pm

No reason AS could not spec the chassis cabs with adjustable wheel and wheel buttons, (spec codes CL1 & CL4)as well as some other options. I am sure it would make the vans more attractive without killing the price. Double armrests won't happen because MB don't do them.

The 7 speed auto is awesome in my E Class.

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Post by yammy on Thu Mar 12, 2015 6:41 pm

I have driven a c class and b class with the new 7 speed gear box and they were superb, thats what makes me excited about having a mercedes autosleeper. Thanx. Rob.
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Post by Peter Brown on Thu Mar 12, 2015 6:44 pm

yammy wrote:Peter, what do you think of your Malvern and is the auto box worth the extra expence? what sort of mpg do you get? Many thanks.
Rob.

We love our Malvern and the autobox is super for those long jams on the M1 and M6!!  Seriously the autobox (and mine is only the 5 speed) is brilliant.  It learns how you drive - it took about 5000 miles to 'run in'.  Initially it would stay in high gears when I wanted it to change down but it got used to me.

I haven't checked the mpg for a couple of years but it was around 22-24 mpg average except at 70 plus on the motorway it comes down to about 18 mpg.  Its almost exactly the same as I used to get in our Ford Wilton, the common denominator being the driver!

The current Malvern is not a lot like ours (which is identical to the Marquis Gloucester) but is a Broadway FB on the Mercedes chassis.  Its a good van and follows the current AS ethos on heating, gas storage, water fill, etc. but for the rally/aire use that is our choice the gas fire, calor cylinder, fridge size and location, sink/drainer, etc. etc. we prefer what we have.

Peter

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Post by Pete Taylor on Thu Mar 12, 2015 6:51 pm

A-S bulk purchase Euro-spec base units, hence no control buttons; the steering wheel controls even come as standard on UK plumber's vans! A-S told me it would put the price up about £1500 if they bought UK-spec... and there's much more to it than just the steering wheel.
Don't get me started on suspension.

 The seven-speed auto is the first automatic I've ever owned- it is brilliant. Too early to say really about mpg but both times I've checked it it was 35mpg. Only 1500 miles on the clock, so might improve as things loosen up a bit.

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Post by Peter Brown on Thu Mar 12, 2015 6:53 pm

PLOUGHLIN wrote:No reason AS could not spec the chassis cabs with adjustable wheel and wheel buttons, (spec codes CL1 & CL4)as well as some other options. I am sure it would make the vans more attractive without killing the price. Double armrests won't happen because MB don't do them.

As I know several of us have done now - I've read the hundreds of pages on the Sprinter options.  I have a lot of sympathy for AS management in picking a fixed set of options and sticking with it - don't forget that many of these options affect space, weight and wiring, all of which would impact on the conversion spec as well as the base vehicle.  From experience of the forum I know that, if we were given the choice, no two chassis would be the same - a manufacturers nightmare.

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Post by Claytaa on Thu Mar 12, 2015 7:20 pm

MPG, mixed driving around 30.
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Post by PLOUGHLIN on Thu Mar 12, 2015 7:28 pm

On the US Sprinter Forum, some guy reckons the seat backs are fitted with mounting points for armrests on both sides of the seat, so retro fitting might be possible? Standard option in US is only for inboard armrest, so seat is possibly the same on UK units.

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Post by yammy on Thu Mar 12, 2015 7:43 pm

Peter Brown wrote:
yammy wrote:Peter, what do you think of your Malvern and is the auto box worth the extra expence? what sort of mpg do you get? Many thanks.
Rob.

We love our Malvern and the autobox is super for those long jams on the M1 and M6!!  Seriously the autobox (and mine is only the 5 speed) is brilliant.  It learns how you drive - it took about 5000 miles to 'run in'.  Initially it would stay in high gears when I wanted it to change down but it got used to me.

I haven't checked the mpg for a couple of years but it was around 22-24 mpg average except at 70 plus on the motorway it comes down to about 18 mpg.  Its almost exactly the same as I used to get in our Ford Wilton, the common denominator being the driver!

The current Malvern is not a lot like ours (which is identical to the Marquis Gloucester) but is a Broadway FB on the Mercedes chassis.  Its a good van and follows the current AS ethos on heating, gas storage, water fill, etc. but for the rally/aire use that is our choice the gas fire, calor cylinder, fridge size and location, sink/drainer, etc. etc. we prefer what we have.

Peter
Excellent thank you Peter, very useful info.
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Post by yammy on Thu Mar 12, 2015 7:48 pm

Pete Taylor wrote:A-S bulk purchase Euro-spec base units, hence no control buttons; the steering wheel controls even come as standard on UK plumber's vans! A-S told me it would put the price up about £1500 if they bought UK-spec... and there's much more to it than just the steering wheel.
Don't get me started on suspension.

 The seven-speed auto is the first automatic I've ever owned- it is brilliant. Too early to say really about mpg but both times I've checked it it was 35mpg. Only 1500 miles on the clock, so might improve as things loosen up a bit.
Wow.. I would be pretty impressed with 35mpg even if it was run in.
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Post by yammy on Thu Mar 12, 2015 7:53 pm

PLOUGHLIN wrote:On the US Sprinter Forum, some guy reckons the seat backs are fitted with mounting points for armrests on both sides of the seat, so retro fitting might be possible? Standard option in US is only for inboard armrest, so seat is possibly the same on UK units.

Post 9 of this thread. [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
Hey Peter very interesting thread, looks like it can be done, many thanks. Rob.
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Post by Liam on Thu Mar 12, 2015 7:58 pm

I would say go for the Mercedes every time and it is really worth the extra cost!

Whilst both variants have their merits I would suggest that there are two serious considerations you should take into account; 

        1. the additional length of the Burford - about 2 feet longer than the Malvern - can you accommodate it?
        2. And the maximum user payload - 387kg for the Burford compared with 548kg for the Malvern - is it enough? 

I agree you can have the weight upgrade to 507kg - but that is merely a paper exercise and essentially you are just carrying more weight with the original suspension system - its worth reading some of the recent threads on this hot topic!

Overall, its a dream to drive and you will not be disappointed which ever model you choose!

Good luck,

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Post by yammy on Thu Mar 12, 2015 8:10 pm

Liam wrote:I would say go for the Mercedes every time and it is really worth the extra cost!

Whilst both variants have their merits I would suggest that there are two serious considerations you should take into account; 

        1. the additional length of the Burford - about 2 feet longer than the Malvern - can you accommodate it?
        2. And the maximum user payload - 387kg for the Burford compared with 548kg for the Malvern - is it enough? 

I agree you can have the weight upgrade to 507kg - but that is merely a paper exercise and essentially you are just carrying more weight with the original suspension system - its worth reading some of the recent threads on this hot topic!

Overall, its a dream to drive and you will not be disappointed which ever model you choose!

Good luck,

Liam
Thanx Liam
I was very concerned about moving from a 4.7m pvc to my current 7.03 coachbuilt . But did it with relative ease so hopefully going up to a 7.81m motorhome should be ok, just a big concerened with the burford not being a tag-axel amnd how it would handle in the bends. I park my van on the road next to my house as driveway too short.  Problem would be parking in towns etc and I might regret not going for the Malvern. I do love the layout of the burford with the end bathroom.
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Post by Jaytee on Sun Mar 15, 2015 9:44 am

I get between 24 and 27 mpg. Don't dawdle and usually drive at posted limits (when safe to do so, before someone says anything hugegrins), normally fairly weighty I.e always above 3650kg as we like all on board services available, I.e water tank usually full. Averages 26. Never seems to vary. Strong headwinds make biggest difference even over weight and driving style. 
And yes the auto is worth every penny in my view. We have the 5speed. allthumbz
We did look at a swift at the show ( wash my mouth with carbolic) and it had some very good points but couldn't go back to front wheel drive and AS build quality definitely better IMHO. allthumbz

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