Oh dear, I have two leaks!

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Re: Oh dear, I have two leaks!

Post by circa75 on Tue Jun 14, 2016 6:57 pm

In an effort to compare and contrast, I also travelled to see a Clubman and Gatcombe today.

Both seemingly decent vehicles, a '96 Clubman 2.4 and '02 Gatcombe 2.5 TDI. Each have their own niggles. Again, a strange gear change from 1st to 2nd on the Gatcombe, very soft and not easy to find/locate the gear. It had receipts for a new turbo, water pump, cambelt and has been looked after with no apparent water ingress. 

It seems I attract motorhomes with gearbox problems, or is this just a VW issue?! Have a feeling they get a lot of use in 1/2/3 whilst getting up to power, so the synchro's tend to wear/fail quite often. Just my view, and I may be wrong.

A slightly lower price than the Medallion - though 4 years newer with higher miles, the dealer says it was a trade in from Spinney, and that he payed more for it than what he's currently asking. He's had it for a while and it was on sale at 3k more when first advertised.

The 2.4 Clubman was decent too for the age, but I'm used to driving an Audi TDI so can't really cope with the flatness of power from a non turbo engine. Another lesson learned.


Really like the compact nature of the Clubman/Gatcombe, but I'm on the tall side and can't fully stand up inside except with a slight hunch - which isn't ideal. I noticed the difference in size/space to the Medallion as soon as stepping inside, the width, length and space is considerably smaller, and the shower/wash room is tiny. But of course, it also has benefits because it's smaller.

I've also previously viewed Executive's and a Pollensa on the Fiat/Pug base which seem a bit larger than the Clubman. Not yet come across a Talisman in the NW, but I like the layout - side table plus sofa, and 4 berth option is my preference.


In the ultra compact models/campers, I like the look of the Trooper, Trident, Topaz and Symphony. I've looked at 2.0 petrol versions of a couple but dismissed them as would prefer diesel. The layout of the Symphony and what's fitted into it was very good. I'd like to find a Topaz to view locally. Now, maybe these would be a more suitable starter van?!? Everyday driver, better for parking, access etc... Though more practical, I'm not a huge fan of the fixed high top roof on some of these models...

Can you see my dilemma? Started off with big brother, now everything else seems too small. Anyway, my head is truly done in now. Surely a good, clean, honest, reliable, pleasant to drive, well looked after, non leaking example is achievable for 10, 12, 14, 16k?! Trust me, that's not as easy as you might think!!! If any of you have something, please PM me.


Wishing you all safe, pleasurable and dry times in your vans. :)
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Re: Oh dear, I have two leaks!

Post by daisy mae on Tue Jun 14, 2016 7:38 pm

Just my view on the Topaz, nice van, VW 2.5tdi the best, which I still have that engine, no problems at all with the gears. on either van. but the down side of the Topaz, seats not comfortable, beds chronic in my view, not a lot of room especially in inclement weather, best bit was the shower / loo area. although extremely well built as Auto-sleepers are , I had mine for 14 months then change to my Anniversary Clubman, much more comfortable beds , / settees. more room and storage is a tardis, if you are that tall I would have thought you would struggle with a Topaz. plus they hold their price, more than the larger motorhomes, I got more for mine when I sold it than I gave and I didn`t buy cheap either.

Good idea to look around as many vans and models as you can to get a better idea of what is out there.
I wish you the best of luck and the right van is out there for you. Good idea when you go in a van is to image yourself living in it, try seats, beds, etc, and image where you would store things. how would it be in bad weather etc.

Very best regards,
Margaret

 Ps the Talisman has a dinette and long settee, I like that style myself, keeps the gangway clear at mealtimes .


Last edited by daisy mae on Tue Jun 14, 2016 7:41 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Talisiman)
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Re: Oh dear, I have two leaks!

Post by rose49f on Tue Jun 14, 2016 7:51 pm

On a lighter note are you really only 18 years old (see member age) winks
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Re: Oh dear, I have two leaks!

Post by daisy mae on Tue Jun 14, 2016 7:58 pm

Nay !!!! that must have been the vans age, hugegrins hugegrins hugegrins
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Re: Oh dear, I have two leaks!

Post by circa75 on Tue Jun 14, 2016 9:06 pm

rose49f: ha no I'm not 18, you're not the first to ask. Margaret has it right, member age was the vehicle age... Don't really buy into the need to divulge your age in a profile, a bit like asking a lady her dress size?! Young, middle aged, older... All the same to me. You guys will just have to guesstimate my age if it matters ;)

Margaret: surprising and strange to hear the Topaz is noticably different to the Clubman in terms of comfort, seating, beds. Good to know that. Yes, it's the loo and rear shower room that appealed in that model. 

There's currently one on sale for 18k on a 51 reg - seems high to me, but some dealers price considerably higher than others - perhaps there's a reason.

More time, effort and energy required...
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Re: Oh dear, I have two leaks!

Post by daisy mae on Tue Jun 14, 2016 11:57 pm

That price seems about right to me, I got £19, 500 for my 2002 Topaz that was a private sale.The person who bought it was more than happy . have seen him a few times since.



The VW 2.5tdi ( 102) is the better engine by far. 2.4 a bit sluggish especially on hills. but will keep going.


Last edited by daisy mae on Wed Jun 15, 2016 12:02 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : VW 2.5tdi)
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Re: Oh dear, I have two leaks!

Post by burlingtonboaby on Wed Jun 15, 2016 11:26 am

WOW, that was lucky, many on the forum have posted saying they have purchased a second hand van and looking forward to getting away in it, only to be disappointed as its turned out to be damp and not running well.
Some haven't got their money back, some have lost their deposits at least you have a full refund and maybe sore elbows with cleaning .
Some good dealerships on your side of the country, good luck with your search.
Boaby
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Re: Oh dear, I have two leaks!

Post by circa75 on Wed Jun 15, 2016 3:41 pm

Hi all, thanks for your continuing replies.

A quick straw poll for those of you who might have an opinion: what would you do in my shoes?

a) Take the refund and walk away, continue searching for something that ticks a lot of boxes.
b) If the jobs are done properly, stick with the Medallion because it ticks a lot of boxes.
c) Neither of the above, abandon the dream before it began and move to the USA or Australia!

How do you know when you've found the right van for you? Perfection doesn't exist - especially below 20k - and I'm not interested in spending two years travelling the country in search of utopia.
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Re: Oh dear, I have two leaks!

Post by Firms on Wed Jun 15, 2016 4:36 pm

B...sounds like the Medallion is the right van for you ...you have been unfortunate having a few issues but on the plus side the dealer seems to be very reasonable and fair so work with them and get it sorted to your satisfaction....let's face it you've already bonded with it because you've polished it...it's yours!

Finding the right van is not guesswork it is common sense.

With us we decided we wanted a Monocoque Autosleeper budget up to maximum £15K. Ideally on a VW Base.
Looked at vans in that price range and discounted the Clubman, which was most common, due to it being too small. No Medallions around when we were looking ....that is a rare beast!

We then saw a Legend which had a rear lounge and immediately decided that was the layout for us. Decided that we didn't want to compromise on the layout and as the majority of vans are centre lounge that eliminated everything else. 
As always there is a compromise and in our case the Legend is only available on a transit base..not VW.

Having had the van for six months and 2500 miles (here and in Europe) we now know that the layout is perfect for us. The decision to go Autosleeper was also perfect as the quality is superb and unavailable today. I cannot find a modern van that I would swop it for even at 50K or 60K. 

Finally i am delighted with the Transit as the 2.5 Turbo engine is both powerful and bulletproof. The ford LWB chassis (specifically designed for motorhomes) is also excellent so it handles and drives well. It is also very comfortable. So that's the surprise...the Ford has turned out to be a superb base vehicle...not sure why i am surprised as Transit has always been an excellent vehicle.

So there you have it... a little give and take. 
Whatever you do don't give up on it. Buy it, keep it for at least six months, get used to it. If you don't like then sell it. At least you will have tried it.

We certainly wouldn't sell ours now...off to Rutland water on Friday.
 
Life is about the journey not the destination...Crack on with it!
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Re: Oh dear, I have two leaks!

Post by Paulmold on Wed Jun 15, 2016 5:09 pm

There's an Excelsior on EBay - now that's a rare beast, 2.5tdi automatic.

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Re: Oh dear, I have two leaks!

Post by bikeralw on Wed Jun 15, 2016 6:19 pm

c) Abandon the dream, but instead of moving to the USA or Oz, go to New Zealand and buy a van. Godzone  motor homing country (once you escape Auckland...).
Failing that I'd opt for a)
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Re: Oh dear, I have two leaks!

Post by daisy mae on Wed Jun 15, 2016 8:28 pm

No ! don`t abandon the dream, if you do when you look back you will say " wish I hadn`t given up" anything worth while doesn`t always come easy.  So take heart stand back and appraise the situation, you have a second chance , getting your money back is great I bet a few others wish they had had that chance when they had problems.

Good luck, help is here if you want it.
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Re: Oh dear, I have two leaks!

Post by oakchipper on Wed Jun 15, 2016 11:32 pm

Hi
I have a Medallion on a Mercedes chassis which is the same as a VW except for engine and gearbox and a slightly different grill.
They are great vans,you wouldn't believe the turning circle,will spin round in 1.5 times length.
Leaks are easily dealt with but make sure water hasn't got into timber behind lower trim panel,if it has dry rot can develop.
The original seal was just thin tape,I used 5mm Butyle tape then cut off excess.
One point with VW,make sure cam belt has been done.

The one above with 26000 miles will be a cracker.
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Re: Oh dear, I have two leaks!

Post by Andy R on Sat Jun 18, 2016 3:41 am

circa75 wrote:Hi all, thanks for your continuing replies.

A quick straw poll for those of you who might have an opinion: what would you do in my shoes?

a) Take the refund and walk away, continue searching for something that ticks a lot of boxes.
b) If the jobs are done properly, stick with the Medallion because it ticks a lot of boxes.
c) Neither of the above, abandon the dream before it began and move to the USA or Australia!

How do you know when you've found the right van for you? Perfection doesn't exist - especially below 20k - and I'm not interested in spending two years travelling the country in search of utopia.

Hi, 

We had a similar experience with our first van - there was so much wrong with it, and we were offered a full refund.  We had realised there were other issues we were not happy with (mainly size and layout) so we snatched their hand off with great relief.  

About 9 months later we bought our Medallion VW 2.8 which also had quite a few problems, but they were sorted under the warranty.  If the Medallion had been our first purchase we may have returned it, but after our earlier experience we saw its possibilities and persevered.  

It took most of the first year to get all the bits and pieces sorted out, but I am glad we did. 
Nobody else can say what you should do, but listen to your inner voice - are you secretly relieved to see the back of it or are you really sad?  Toss a coin - then whatever you are really hoping it will land on should give you the answer.  

Good luck

Andy
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Re: Oh dear, I have two leaks!

Post by circa75 on Sat Jun 18, 2016 3:00 pm

Great opinions and advice from you all, thank you.


I agree with you Andy, listening to your instinct is the best way to go on most things - but it's often hard to hear that inner voice (and listen) due to all the other outside noise! Good advice though.

I was definitely sad to hand it back (it looked better than it did when I picked it up!) and possibly a little relieved in the back of my mind. On top of the issues mentioned, the large size and running costs may actually have been too much for me in reality, considering I wanted to wander off piste a bit, do some longer road trips, drive through Europe etc.

I guess I got sucked in and didn't stick with my original ideas/criteria for having a camper/motorhome in the first place. Just call me an easily swayed newbie.


I'm very aware we can over analyse things and talk ourselves out of taking action, which isn't good. But upon stepping back a bit, I was seduced by the space and layout inside the Medallion above all else, and the fact it was on a German/VW TDI base (my preference). The space takes some beating and there's not much out there like it, even in current models. But a 1998 van - no matter if it's diesel or petrol - is not going to be great on economy. In the time I had it I saw around 21mpg, my driving was a bit more foot down than usual to test power etc, so driving very light on the gas may return 25mpg at most.

If everything else was spot on with the vehicle and it was a total pleasure to drive - then I could probably grin and bare the poor mpg. But everything wasn't/isn't spot on with it. As various people have said: no van is perfect. Everything has its pros, cons and quirks. Especially in my price range.


I reckon the dealer will look at and fix some of the issues raised, perhaps not all but some. The Medallion is a great vehicle. If the issues are indeed sorted then it will make a brilliant van for someone, especially if they plan to only use it occasionally, do short trips and have deep pockets for fuel.

Me, back to the drawing board most probably.
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Re: Oh dear, I have two leaks!

Post by mikejack on Sat Jun 18, 2016 10:04 pm

My medallion vw.2.5tdi averaged just shy of 29mpg on a run up to Scotland and back. Measured by filling up then filling back up again making notes on miles traveled and litres used. That was mostly motorway between 65/70mph any more and my mirror would fold in as it has got a bit worn :( mines just over 40k miles now.


Mike
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Re: Oh dear, I have two leaks!

Post by Andy R on Wed Jun 22, 2016 7:14 pm

mikejack wrote:My medallion vw.2.5tdi averaged just shy of 29mpg on a run up to Scotland and back. Measured by filling up then filling back up again making notes on miles traveled and litres used. That was mostly motorway between 65/70mph any more and my mirror would fold in as it has got a bit worn :( mines just over 40k miles now.


Mike
I usually get about 32 -35 mpg on a good run with my VW 2.8L Medallion.  Round town, driving into a headwind or incorrectly inflated tyres can drop it to the high 20s, but usually it is well into the 30s.  I am pretty happy with the mileage.  Mines about 55k now.  We had our mirror fixed - same prob, they do stick out like Shreks ears  hugegrins

Andy
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Re: Oh dear, I have two leaks!

Post by mikejack on Wed Jun 22, 2016 8:26 pm

That's good Andy what tyre presures are you running?


Mike
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Re: Oh dear, I have two leaks!

Post by Andy R on Fri Jun 24, 2016 9:57 pm

mikejack wrote:That's good Andy what tyre presures are you running?


Mike
I will have to check, but off the top of my head I think it is 50-55 at the front and 60-65 at the back, a little bit higher than the handbook recommends, but we carry a bit of weight.  I will come back and let you know if I am miles, out, but I think that's about it.  I do a regular service and engine flush to keep it all breathing ok, and I drive nice and steady at 55-60mph in 5th when I can - not too much accelerating!  

Around town it is a lot lower though, probably about 22-24MPG.  I often use more diesel getting to the motorway than I use on the whole rest of the journey.

 I drove to the Lakes once on really low tyres by mistake (front and back about 30) and used about twice as much diesel.  I couldn't work out why till I checked the tyres. 

Andy
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Oh dear. I have two leaks

Post by Roger Pratt on Fri Jul 08, 2016 3:07 pm

You have a warranty. Get the faults down in writing and send to dealer recorded delivery, before the three months expire. If yours is a grp monocoque body, as many have said the leaks are probably window to body sealant breaking down. I've just had this on a 2004 Clubman, with windows that were refitted by the AS Service Centre just four years ago!
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Re: Oh dear, I have two leaks!

Post by boxerman on Fri Jul 08, 2016 4:10 pm

Please pay attention.
Jon took the van back to the dealer and got a full refund.

Frank
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