Autosleeper Talisman 87 - Advice needed

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Autosleeper Talisman 87 - Advice needed

Post by Kathcorr on Mon Aug 03, 2015 3:11 pm

Hello!

myself and my partner are thinking of buying a campervan and the best one we can find so far is the Talisman Autosleeper from 1987. It's spacious and just fits us (we are quite tall!) and has a shower and toilet (a big consideration for us). It is within my £7K budget, and the dealer will refurb the interior and engine providing a full 12 months MOT and complimentary service. I have also asked if he can fit a solar panel for the battery.

It was a full service history at 50K miles on the clock - but the age is giving me pause - can anyone offer any advice on if this is a good buy or not? We would use regularly between Jan and Feb, and then from April to October on long-ish UK trips.

Any thoughts?

Thanks!!!
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Re: Autosleeper Talisman 87 - Advice needed

Post by -mojo- on Mon Aug 03, 2015 10:47 pm

I guess the two main things that would worry me are:

Firstly - if it has done only 50k miles, why do both the engine and interior need a refurb? And if they do need a refurb, why has that not been done already? You are no doubt aware that one person's idea of a "refurb" may differ from another's - the seller may just mean that he's going to steam clean the engine and hoover the curtains!

Secondly - Rust. Assuming it's Talbot-based, body corrosion can easily be terminal on a van that age. You need to be really, really sure that it hasn't had rust bodged over, because if it has you could find yourself with an MOT fail followed by a massively expensive body repair (or a write-off) fairly quickly. If it has fresh paint and/or underseal I would be very reluctant to even consider it. There are some places where corrosion is quite common on Talbots which can make repair not worth doing financially (e.g. the join between cab and roof - because it cannot be done properly with the body in place!).
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Re: Autosleeper Talisman 87 - Advice needed

Post by Dutto on Mon Aug 03, 2015 11:21 pm

Hi there,

At 50,000 miles a commercial engine is really only just run in so the mileage is a worry ONLY because it is so low!  I do more than 1,800 miles PER YEAR on my pushbike so why is it so low?

I would first of all wonder if it had been "clocked"; but if you have a full service history this will be easy to check so if that comes out okay ....

.... my second worry would be where it had been stored and how the engine had been maintained when when not in use.  If it has been stored under cover and turned over on a regular basis then fine; if not then the engine may be well jiggered despite the low mileage.

Next is the bodywork.  Stored under cover when not in use, and used only in summer in the south of England when being used, I would be amazed if there was ANY significant corrosion.  However, used in winter in Scotland (with salted roads for three months of the year) and then stored outside somewhere near the coast I would be amazed if there were no body repairs or extensive corrosion present.

In synopsis, and taking Mojo's advice into considerationIF it has been driven for such a low mileage as is indicted, IF the internal fixtures and fittings show a correspondingly low level of wear and tear and IF the vehicle has been properly looked after then it could be a good buy.

I think that there is plenty of room for manoeuvre at £7,000 for a 28 years old vehicle so if it ticks all the boxes as to what I wanted, I would seriously consider it; BUT I would climb all over it and check everything worked okay before I bought it.

Hope this helps. allthumbz

Best regards,
drinksallround

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Re: Autosleeper Talisman 87 - Advice needed

Post by Kathcorr on Tue Aug 04, 2015 1:38 pm

Wow - thanks guys - this is really really useful.
We're headed there tonight to check and make sure that my partner can fit in the bed (!) and do a full check of the bodywork.

The van is then going off for a new gearbox and an engine check, and then after that it'll be re-painted. I'll doublecheck the service history and try and get some more info on how it was used and how it was stored.

The refurb/engine issue should be simple - they showed it to us before it was processed to be 'sale ready' where they spruce the interior, check amenities and go over the engine. The corrosion thing shouldnt be an issue (though we will check) as after all this it will have it's MOT before it comes to us so we have a full 12 months. The interior just looks a bit lived in, and needs a good clean and patch. We checked the shower/heater/fridge before and it all seems hunky dory.

I will get my best climbing shoes on for tonight then! (also going to ask them to fit a solar panel for the leisure battery...

Thanks again, and if there is anything else I should be on the lookout for let me know - I feel like such a Noob!

Ta,
K
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Re: Autosleeper Talisman 87 - Advice needed

Post by Tallboy on Tue Aug 04, 2015 2:42 pm

I don't want to sound too pessimistic, and I agree with all the comments that Mojo and Dutto have made, but I would draw the line at a vehicle of any age that needs a new gearbox after only 50k miles unless there was an obvious and genuine reason for it, and I'm struggling to think of one at the moment. 
Also, why does it need repainting? I can understand the cab wanting a touch-up, but the body is fibreglass and should come up like new with the right polishes and plenty of effort. Is the painting restricted to the cab? If not I think I'd be very wary of that too.
Autosleepers interiors are very well made using durable materials- admittedly my Clubman is 12 years newer than the Talisman, but its got 85k on the clock and has been heavily used, but it still looks almost brand-new when its cleaned up.
As I said, I don't want to be too pessimistic, but tread very, VERY carefully. There are plenty more vans out there! If you're in any doubt at all, walk away.

Best wishes, 
Rich
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Re: Autosleeper Talisman 87 - Advice needed

Post by Kathcorr on Tue Aug 18, 2015 10:49 am

Hi all,

Just wanted to thank you all so much for all of your advice. After going back, test driving etc. we decided not to go for the Talisman in the end, and instead have bought a conversion of a long wheel base high top Fiat Ducato - and are very very happy with it! It is a lovely van, with an engine from 2003 and great MPG (plus shower and kitchen and a very long bed!!).

I am not sure if this counts as an 'autosleeper' but would def like to stay on this forum to get advice as and when. Thanks again for your help and time. Much appreciated!
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Re: Autosleeper Talisman 87 - Advice needed

Post by Tallboy on Tue Aug 18, 2015 11:00 am

Hi Kath,
I'm relieved that you didn't go for the Talisman, from your description it sounded like a very poor buy at any price.
Hope you enjoy the van you eventually chose, now get out there and make it earn its living!

Best wishes,
Rich
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