Hello for a Somerset Symphony owner

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Hello for a Somerset Symphony owner

Post by Horobi on Wed Jan 27, 2016 12:42 am

Hello everyone!

My wife and I have talked about getting a camper/motorhome for many years. We even looked at a few and decided that we like the Symphony for size a few years back.

'Facilities' was always a must so we toyed with the idea of a Topaz or Trophy for a while but... to be honest... we're short and stout rather than tall and thin and being able to sleep across the Symphony without faffing with the extra cushions was a big plus point.

The one common factor in all the vans we liked was that they were Autosleeper.

At the end of October there was a 1996 Symphony for sale locally for a reasonable price, so we went to have a look. A bit crusty round the drivers side sills and more than a few niggly bits to sort but it was kinda all there and everything seemed to work OK (heaters, fridge etc.... I was unsure but Emma, my wife, was sold on the idea within a few minutes.

Now, I'm quite a practical and technical kinda guy so little things don't worry me too much as far as fixing goes but I still wasn't sure. I expressed this later that night and the look of disappointment from Emma was enough to throw caution to the wind and say 'oh go on then'. We had another look as I wanted to start it from cold, which it did nicely (and still does even at -7 the other day) and, after another test drive and some more haggling, shook the man's hand.

We picked her (still as yet to be named) up after work the first Friday in November and took her home. She went OK, even up a big local hill, and handled nicely. They next day we took her to visit my brother and stayed overnight in the field opposite their house (owned by a camper enthusiast neighbour) and we loved it!! We have since had a little trip away to a local site to test bits and pieces as much as anything and, also put her to good use over Christmas a couple of times as a spare bedroom (for us). We had a lovely lay in on new years day oblivious to the friends, family and children that had been running round our house since 7, we woke up at 10:30!

It's not all been smooth sailing.... for a time it seemed not a day would go by without finding something annoying to sort or wondering why someone had done something so silly or why, if they obviously spent so much time fixing something badly, did they not just do it properly. The van has a massive service history but I get the feeling that someone was being taken for a ride with a few of the things listed. I'm getting there though. All my blinds and fly screens now work without a wrestle, my waste tank now has a tap that is actually properly attached from inside rather than badly siliconed on (that didn't even make it home), all her fluids/plugs/most filters have been changed and  I've treated most of the rust and have new sill panels to be attached over the next month or two (not desperate but I'd rather get them sorted now) and countless other fixes. I really don't want her festering un-roadworthy though so all repairs are planned so she'll still be good to go at a moments notice. I have to say that the forum has definitely helped a couple of times with solutions or at least pointing me in the direction of what tree to bark up. I have no water in my gearbox but I probably wouldn't have checked until it was too late without the forum.

We have decided we are going away for the weekend of Valentines day whatever the weather (we already used the van in 50mph winds and subzero temperatures!) and perhaps wend our way up through Wales sometime towards Easter, just the start of many adventures.......

If you've got this far have you nothing better to do?! I was just going to say 'Hello' but felt I owed more of an explanation.

Thanks to anyone who has offered solutions to problems. I've already had plenty of experience of fixes and hope I can help more people keep their Autosleepers out and about especially if they have Boxer/Symphony questions.

Cheers

Paul

(somewhere between Bath and Frome)
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Re: Hello for a Somerset Symphony owner

Post by Jaytee on Wed Jan 27, 2016 7:53 am

Fantastic intro Paul, well interesting, looking fwd to hearing of your further 'adventures' with and about the van.
Big welcome to the forum from a horrible wet windy but warm Filey  allthumbz

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Re: Hello for a Somerset Symphony owner

Post by m8form8 on Wed Jan 27, 2016 8:40 am

Thanks for the great info on your symphony, auto sleepers are pretty well designed in the era yours is from and its great your putting her to rights for hopefully many years of happy fun in her. This forum is great for info on the different ones and someone will know in general. I have just reluctantly sold our 95 auto sleeper but ill stay on the forum as so good. Have lots of fun.  wave
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Re: Hello for a Somerset Symphony owner

Post by daisy mae on Wed Jan 27, 2016 9:00 am

Hello Paul and asof_welcome2 from  a very windy Leicestershire. sounds as though you are enjoying your van already, many adventures yet to come, happy and safe camper
Regards,
Margaret

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Re: Hello for a Somerset Symphony owner

Post by Paulmold on Wed Jan 27, 2016 9:36 am

Welcome from another Paul, in N.E Wales.    handshake.      Had a Symphony (a 97) for 5 years, enjoyed it and miss it sometimes.  If you do wander through Wales up as far as us, give us a shout.

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Re: Hello for a Somerset Symphony owner

Post by Ramblers on Wed Jan 27, 2016 9:49 am

Hi Paul and welcome to the forum from Leicestershire wave.

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Re: Hello for a Somerset Symphony owner

Post by burlingtonboaby on Wed Jan 27, 2016 9:59 am

Hi and welcome to the forum from Bridlington 
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Re: Hello for a Somerset Symphony owner

Post by fenderbender on Wed Jan 27, 2016 10:13 am

Hi Paul, great introduction and good choice of van, happy camping.

Dave
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Re: Hello for a Somerset Symphony owner

Post by Horobi on Wed Jan 27, 2016 10:34 pm

Thanks to everyone for the very warm welcome.

You never know Paul in N.E. Wales we might get that far!

Cheers to all

Paul
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Re: Hello for a Somerset Symphony owner

Post by modelman on Thu Jan 28, 2016 10:21 pm

Hello & welcome from S/Yorks. 

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Re: Hello for a Somerset Symphony owner

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