Looking to get my first autosleeper

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Looking to get my first autosleeper

Post by debhumberstone on Sun Feb 26, 2017 10:16 am

Hi there. I'm new to the world of autosleepers, and still haven't managed to find what I'm looking for. At least I now know what I want, and am gradually getting a bit more savvy about what I should be watching out for and asking! People in the world of autosleepers seem to be a lovely bunch :) So, I have decided that I want to get a VW Trident, and have about £10k to spend. I've come close a couple of times, but each time there has been a concern or problem with the vehicle, or as in last weekend, got narrowly pipped to the post in getting what looked like the perfect van for me! :(

So, in my continued quest, I wanted to ask a couple of basic questions (forgive my ignorance if these are stupid questions, but I'm learning all the time). I know with limited funds I'm probably not going to get exactly what I want, so compromise will almost certainly be necessary. I'm still trying to work out what are the essentials, what could you do without and what's a no-no! It's a bit of a minefield!!

So with that in mind, if you could choose, would you go with petrol or diesel, and why? I thought I was clear on this, but have recently had conflicting advice, so wondered what others think.
And a Trident specific question - do some have hot and cold running water on the sink, or is it always just cold?
What do people consider to be essentials when buying a van? I've already got a list of things to look out for, but never hurts to ask again!!

Sorry if these are a weird bunch of questions ... hope I'm forgiven! Thank you, Deb.

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Re: Looking to get my first autosleeper

Post by dbroada on Sun Feb 26, 2017 12:19 pm

Just remember, there are never stupid questions but bear in mind there will be stupid answers.

Mine is the first stupid answer as I know nothing about the model you are after. I will just say that we are now on our third van and this one is "just right" for us. Our first was a VW refurbished by us. It is still the van that we "love" the most but was too old to be practical. The second was a Transit which we felt suited us but turned out to be too small for the 4 week holidays we now intend to take. Our Nuevo is a good compromise between enough space for extended holidays and small enough to fit into the small amount of parking space we have available at our flat. This is a long way of saying you may not get to your ideal van immediately but you are right to try and get your priorities first. Taking your time is also a good idea. It is difficult to get the timing right. Try not to panic buy but don't let the bargain get away. Good luck on that.

I will leave the diesel/petrol question to one of the many VW specialists. For me, diesel gives better fuel consumption but as I live in London the LEZ fee of £100 a day would preclude me from having an older diesel.

One thing you can work out is how you are going to use the van. Are you going to be using mostly sites with hook up? Do you intend staying "off grid"? Will you expect to be doing short trips or long runs? All of these in some way impact on what will be considered essential.

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Re: Looking to get my first autosleeper

Post by Gromit on Sun Feb 26, 2017 12:54 pm

What Dave just said, plus I'd suggest you don't worry too much about the base vehicle. They all have an engine and they will all get you there. shrugg

By far the main part of the holiday is actually living in the van. Therefore the habitation side of things is the most important, and you should try to decide exactly what suits you best in the living area, and base your decision heavily on that.

You would be surprised how many people change their vans after a year or two (sometimes only a month or two!!) because they are so uncomfortable with the living space.

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Re: Looking to get my first autosleeper

Post by Peel on Wed Mar 01, 2017 9:58 am

Tridents are a great choice if you want something compact. Had mine for eight years now and it's a much-loved family member.

As others have said, I'd be more concerned about the general condition of the vehicle (rust, service history, working fixtures/fittings and so on) than whether it was petrol or diesel. Petrol is fine if you're not planning on doing big miles or using it as a daily driver. My petrol averages 25mpg and has been superbly reliable.

A water heater was an option on the Trident. Mine doesn't have one, so I just use a kettle on the hob. Gas-powered warm air heating was also an option. It works well and is worth having for chillier times of year.

A Trident-specific point: The 'upstairs' bed is only suitable for kids and even they can find it claustrophobic (only one of mine is happy up there). If you want a full four-berth you'll need an awning, or a van with a canvas pop-top.

There are two three-point belts in the back on all but the earliest Tridents, but not rear head restraints.

Being Volkswagens, there's loads of advice on forums like the T4 one, plus great parts support from Just Kampers and VW Heritage.
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Re: Looking to get my first autosleeper

Post by rose49f on Wed Mar 01, 2017 10:13 am

I had a Trident and loved it. Easy to drive and park but got fed up with hammering the pegs of the awning in when the grandkids came to stay -bad back. It only had cold water but did have a heater. A tardis inside and if l was on my own and younger would be great. I now have a Neuvo and love the space.
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Re: Looking to get my first autosleeper

Post by Peter Brown on Wed Mar 01, 2017 10:16 am

debhumberstone wrote:So, I have decided that I want to get a VW Trident, and have about £10k to spend. I've come close a couple of times, but each time there has been a concern or problem with the vehicle


I'm sorry to say that I think you'll find that your budget limit and problem vans are directly connected. You could almost double the cost with repairs if you get a wrong one.

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Re: Looking to get my first autosleeper

Post by Heanorboy on Wed Mar 01, 2017 11:40 am

I see that you live in Axminster so in case you were not aware there is a Motorhome show at Westpoint Exeter w/e 10th March which may be worth a visit as although not massive nearly all the vans on sale are preowned.
We bought our AS there last year and will be going again this year, Hopefully not buying another
David

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Re: Looking to get my first autosleeper

Post by debhumberstone on Thu Mar 02, 2017 12:04 am

Peel wrote:Tridents are a great choice if you want something compact. Had mine for eight years now and it's a much-loved family member.

As others have said, I'd be more concerned about the general condition of the vehicle (rust, service history, working fixtures/fittings and so on) than whether it was petrol or diesel. Petrol is fine if you're not planning on doing big miles or using it as a daily driver. My petrol averages 25mpg and has been superbly reliable.

A water heater was an option on the Trident. Mine doesn't have one, so I just use a kettle on the hob. Gas-powered warm air heating was also an option. It works well and is worth having for chillier times of year.

A Trident-specific point: The 'upstairs' bed is only suitable for kids and even they can find it claustrophobic (only one of mine is happy up there). If you want a full four-berth you'll need an awning, or a van with a canvas pop-top.

There are two three-point belts in the back on all but the earliest Tridents, but not rear head restraints.

Being Volkswagens, there's loads of advice on forums like the T4 one, plus great parts support from Just Kampers and VW Heritage.
Thanks for all the tips! :) I'm travelling alone, so not needing to worry about 'upstairs' or awnings, which is one less thing to have to think about - and there seem to be so many things to think about!! :)
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Re: Looking to get my first autosleeper

Post by debhumberstone on Thu Mar 02, 2017 12:05 am

Heanorboy wrote:I see that you live in Axminster so in case you were not aware there is a Motorhome show at Westpoint Exeter w/e 10th March which may be worth a visit as although not massive nearly all the vans on sale are preowned.
We bought our AS there last year and will be going again this year, Hopefully not buying another
David

Hi David, thank you for letting me know about this - I wasn't aware, but will try and get along. Sounds like it would be worth a visit, if only to drool over all the vans I can't afford! :)
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Re: Looking to get my first autosleeper

Post by biffobear on Fri Mar 03, 2017 9:26 am

Hi Deb, a trident is a great little van if you intend traveling alone. The T25 can be a bit thirsty for such a small van and the T4 might be difficult to find in your price range, but don't  despair as there is another option and a safer bet in the Autosleeper range and that is what I have a Autosleeper Montana which is on the Mercedes Vito, both diesel and petrol. They drive like a car, the diesel is not quick off the line but fuel consumption in up around 40mpg. It will cruise all day at 80mph (so I've been told), they come in pop top or high top, I have a pop top so has to single births below and a double up top which I do use from time to time. Gas blown heating is by Propex (that means reliable) a good size 3way fridge, double hob and grill, sink and drainer (no hot water but can be converted, thetford porta poti, gas bottle locker/cupboard, good storage under rear seats with 4 three point seat belts two tables front swivel seats. Good cuboard storage and a small wardrobe, window fly screens and blackouts and I've found parts are available and not expensive on the interweb. ie driveshaft £60 all in from Germany. Have a look on EBay type Autosleeper Montana. Hope that helps and good luck.
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Re: Looking to get my first autosleeper

Post by rose49f on Fri Mar 03, 2017 4:22 pm

Don't forget if you see a van you like at a dealers to offer a lot less than van is marked up for. They know what they paid for it and what they're willing to let it go for. Good luck in your searching.
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Re: Looking to get my first autosleeper

Post by biffobear on Sat Mar 04, 2017 3:45 am

There is a '86 trident Type 25 in Camborne Cornwall for sale at under £10,000 low milage diesel on eBay looks good plus a Montana pop top just over £10,000. Both worth a look
Both on Ebay
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Re: Looking to get my first autosleeper

Post by jennyandpeter on Mon Mar 06, 2017 2:24 pm

4 years ago we were looking at vw's  and ended up with our duetto have a look at them as there are very few tridents available for £10,000.
( ours is up for sale )
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