Hello Everyone - A first timer / help

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Hello Everyone - A first timer / help

Post by WVAN on Thu Nov 30, 2017 4:26 pm

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Hi Everyone,

I am based in the Glasgow area and potentially looking to buy my first Van. We frequently travel up north and have over the past five years or so self catered on Harris and the Ardnamurchan area. After lots of research including a visit to the NEC during October we have decided to purchase a motorhome or PVC. Recently (last weekend), I persuaded my wife to go on a weekend break up north to Glencoe in a hired PVC provided by the local dealership I have been visiting over the last few months.  They did not have the layout of Auto-Sleepers that I am potentially looking to purchase so, dare I say it, I hired, an Autotrail V-line 540 SE, which we loved however it was always going to be too small for our needs but it did perform admirably in the snow, sleet, wind and rain, weather factors that don't bother us as long as we can get cosy and find a local pub.
cold

Needless to say it has strengthened our resolve to get probably a PVC and the Warwick XL is near the top of the list. I still however have an eye on the coachbuilt from Autosleepers with parallel lounge (no fixed bed). 

My reason for joining this site is to find out as much as I can about the owners impressions of the Auto-Sleepers product. I have more or less decided the parallel lounge versions of the product are a good fit for our requirements. I just need to get a feel for all of your impressions of Auto-Sleepers,

Any advice will be most welcome thanks and hopefully this is the start of a long term membership of the site.

regards

Willie
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Re: Hello Everyone - A first timer / help

Post by burlingtonboaby on Thu Nov 30, 2017 4:31 pm

Hi Willie
Welcome to the forum from Chilly snowy Bridlington 
Boaby (expats A&B)
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Re: Hello Everyone - A first timer / help

Post by Askit on Thu Nov 30, 2017 4:43 pm

Welcome to the forum Willie, plenty of stuff on here to help you on your way to getting the vehicle you want   allthumbz

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Re: Hello Everyone - A first timer / help

Post by WVAN on Thu Nov 30, 2017 5:19 pm

burlingtonboaby wrote:Hi Willie
Welcome to the forum from Chilly snowy Bridlington 
Boaby (expats A&B)
Cheers Boaby, I have two border terriers, Hamish and Flora
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Re: Hello Everyone - A first timer / help

Post by Paulmold on Thu Nov 30, 2017 5:25 pm

Welcome from N.E Wales.     handshake

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Re: Hello Everyone - A first timer / help

Post by Paramedic on Thu Nov 30, 2017 5:35 pm

Hello and welcome to this most friendly and informative forum. Please be assured that your enquiries will bring about the information you require to ultimately choose the right van for you.
asof_welcome2

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Re: Hello Everyone - A first timer / help

Post by WVAN on Thu Nov 30, 2017 6:27 pm

Hi Paulmold and Paramedic, I note you have a Nuevo and a Broadway, I haven't completely discounted the coachbuits yet although I am tending towards a PVC. Is the build quality about the same on the Coachbuilt's as the PVC's ?
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Re: Hello Everyone - A first timer / help

Post by Paulmold on Thu Nov 30, 2017 6:37 pm

The Nuevo can only make single beds by using the two front seats turned around. If you want full length singles without using the front seats, then the Broadway is the shortest with that layout but watch which layout you search for, there are several versions.

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Re: Hello Everyone - A first timer / help

Post by roli on Thu Nov 30, 2017 6:40 pm

Welcome to the forum Willie.   The thing to do is just take your time in looking and reading until you see. Van that shouts out to you.

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Re: Hello Everyone - A first timer / help

Post by WVAN on Thu Nov 30, 2017 7:40 pm

Thanks again everyone, To be honest I like the look and spec of most of the Auto-Sleepers my niggling concern is build quality. I am still finding it difficult to get my head around paying £50K or so for something that has basic quality problems such as missing screws and trims that fall of etc. Is this the norm or the exception? Can you advise?
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Re: Hello Everyone - A first timer / help

Post by Paramedic on Thu Nov 30, 2017 10:01 pm

Yes, understand your concern. Don't think anyone on the planet who owns or has owned a motorhome (of any manufacture) has not experienced minor or major fault(s). If only it were just a lost screw or a bit of trim, most owners would welcome this as merely a slight irritation that did not spoil the experience of motorhoming. More serious faults can and do put a negative aspect to one's pride and joy but most overcome these problems and wouldn't give up the adventure and lifestyle. We certainly haven't.

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Re: Hello Everyone - A first timer / help

Post by Lorfal on Thu Nov 30, 2017 11:18 pm

Hi wvan, been in your position. 18 months ago bought a bessacarr coachbuild. Loved it, loved the motorhoming in general. We thought once we bought it, that would be our van for life! At least that was the plan. Having lived in it, used it, decided just a month ago to get a PVC. We have 2 dogs and honestly haven’t noticed too much of a difference in floor space . I think we were in every pvc on the market! Didn’t like the v lines. Seemed well finished but cramped and blocky.

Soooo we decided on the fairford . 2 lounge areas, great worktop space, handles more like a car than the bessie did. Also think the finish and attention to detail is far superior.

The Warwick XL is a great choice. If I could do it all again I’d go for pvc first off rather than coach.  It hasn’t come as a surprise to seasoned motorhomers that we’ve changed lol. Seems it happens a lot once you realise the layout you thought was perfect didn’t really work after all.

At the end of the day it’s all about personal choice and what works for you. We are just lovin the fairford.

This forum I have to say has been amazing. Very helpful and queries always quick to be answered. If I need to know anything I just ‘ask the forum’ lol.

There is no such thing as the perfect van. Snagging is to be expected, most things easily fixed.  As I mentioned, I think the build quality in the Auto-Sleepers is fair superior to many. Take a look at it’s competition for example the swift select 184 ( competes with vans like the fairford). It lacks the luxurious cosy feel of an autosleeper. Though claims is cheaper, once you take the packs and upgrade the engine it gets pricey.

Good luck in your deliberations
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Re: Hello Everyone - A first timer / help

Post by WVAN on Fri Dec 01, 2017 7:45 am

Paramedic wrote:Yes, understand your concern. Don't think anyone on the planet who owns or has owned a motorhome (of any manufacture) has not experienced minor or major fault(s). If only it were just a lost screw or a bit of trim, most owners would welcome this as merely a slight irritation that did not spoil the experience of motorhoming. More serious faults can and do put a negative aspect to one's pride and joy but most overcome these problems and wouldn't give up the adventure and lifestyle. We certainly haven't.
Thanks again Paramedic, my head is buzzing and appreciate the sentiment expressed. I am looking forward to getting into the motorhome lifestyle, I am hoping buying new will more or less eliminate serious faults or again is that to much to ask. I am sitting here smiling thinking of going back to a dealer with some minor niggles to be told by the salesman something like...."you are fortunate you have only these minor faults, you should see the faults on the van I sold to a guy last week....  what are you moaning for..."..... hugegrins
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Re: Hello Everyone - A first timer / help

Post by WVAN on Fri Dec 01, 2017 7:48 am

Lorfal wrote:Hi wvan, been in your position. 18 months ago bought a bessacarr coachbuild. Loved it, loved the motorhoming in general. We thought once we bought it, that would be our van for life! At least that was the plan. Having lived in it, used it, decided just a month ago to get a PVC. We have 2 dogs and honestly haven’t noticed too much of a difference in floor space . I think we were in every pvc on the market! Didn’t like the v lines. Seemed well finished but cramped and blocky.

Soooo we decided on the fairford . 2 lounge areas, great worktop space, handles more like a car than the bessie did. Also think the finish and attention to detail is far superior.

The Warwick XL is a great choice. If I could do it all again I’d go for pvc first off rather than coach.  It hasn’t come as a surprise to seasoned motorhomers that we’ve changed lol. Seems it happens a lot once you realise the layout you thought was perfect didn’t really work after all.

At the end of the day it’s all about personal choice and what works for you. We are just lovin the fairford.

This forum I have to say has been amazing. Very helpful and queries always quick to be answered. If I need to know anything I just ‘ask the forum’ lol.

There is no such thing as the perfect van. Snagging is to be expected, most things easily fixed.  As I mentioned, I think the build quality in the Auto-Sleepers is fair superior to many. Take a look at it’s competition for example the swift select 184 ( competes with vans like the fairford). It lacks the luxurious cosy feel of an autosleeper. Though claims is cheaper, once you take the packs and upgrade the engine it gets pricey.

Good luck in your deliberations
Hi Lorfal, Interested to here you experience of the Fairford regards snagging. Only minor issues?
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Re: Hello Everyone - A first timer / help

Post by Lorfal on Fri Dec 01, 2017 9:55 am

No major issues yet I am pleased to say. We got a good deal on it and as it had been the showroom model we had the Premium and winter packs already fitted.

Everything is working, we’ve made the beds up etc but to date haven’t been away for a decent trip yet. Only had it a few weeks.

It was missing a little plastic bung thing on the foot of the front seat but as as soon as I phoned they sent me one.

Where we had issue , as we had decided a while back on autosleeper, was finding a decent dealer in Scotland .

There are a few dealers through Perthshire   One big one in Ayrshire but they don’t just specialise in autosleeper and we found it difficult to get inside some vans to see them. We were not able to make the show.

We ended up having to go to Durham to marquis leisure, who say they are the retail arm of autosleeper. I can’t really fault them so far, because of the distance from us they did their utmost to make things easier for us and accommodate us. The sales guy was very very knowledgable and has phoned us regularly since.  I am hoping if we have any issues they would be fixed quick.i would recommend them.

We loved all the pvc by autosleeper. Think you’ve made a great choice .

Incidentally, we got rid of our car and will just use the van as an all rounder

I’m exited for you!


Last edited by Lorfal on Fri Dec 01, 2017 9:58 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Added a bit)
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Re: Hello Everyone - A first timer / help

Post by WVAN on Fri Dec 01, 2017 10:12 am

Lorfal wrote:No major issues yet I am pleased to say. We got a good deal on it and as it had been the showroom model we had the Premium and winter packs already fitted.

Everything is working, we’ve made the beds up etc but to date haven’t been away for a decent trip yet. Only had it a few weeks.

It was missing a little plastic bung thing on the foot of the front seat but as as soon as I phoned they sent me one.

Where we had issue , as we had decided a while back on autosleeper, was finding a decent dealer in Scotland .

There are a few dealers through Perthshire   One big one in Ayrshire but they don’t just specialise in autosleeper and we found it difficult to get inside some vans to see them. We were not able to make the show.

We ended up having to go to Durham to marquis leisure, who say they are the retail arm of autosleeper. I can’t really fault them so far, because of the distance from us they did their utmost to make things easier for us and accommodate us. The sales guy was very very knowledgable and has phoned us regularly since.  I am hoping if we have any issues they would be fixed quick.i would recommend them.

We loved all the pvc by autosleeper. Think you’ve made a great choice .

Incidentally, we got rid of our car and will just use the van as an all rounder

I’m exited for you!
Thanks Lorfal, nice to know you have not had any issues worth talking about. I have been talking to the dealer in Ayrshire (BC Motorhomes)as they are close to me and so far they have been very helpful. I have not however got down to the final negotiation yet as I am still considering one or two other options such as a Vantage Ora which also impressed me at the NEC show. I have also been up to Perth and had a quick look in both Dicksons and Scott motorhomes but as you probably know, they have only PVC's with the continental layout. Before I buy I will probably widen my discussions with other dealers and if I go with an Auto-Sleeper I will speak to Marquis. Thanks
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Re: Hello Everyone - A first timer / help

Post by Lorfal on Fri Dec 01, 2017 10:17 am

It’s also worth trying Perthshire caravans at Errol , just outside Dundee.
I was sorry Scott motorhomers didn’t do what we needed as I would happily have dealt with them.
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Re: Hello Everyone - A first timer / help

Post by WVAN on Fri Dec 01, 2017 2:57 pm

Lorfal wrote:It’s also worth trying Perthshire caravans at Errol , just outside Dundee.
I was sorry Scott motorhomers didn’t do what we needed as I would happily have dealt with them.
Cheers Lorfal, I did a parachute jump in Errol many moons ago for charity... From what I can remember I nearly landed on a sheep and also nearly bit my tongue off. I survived to tell the tail... lol4
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Re: Hello Everyone - A first timer / help

Post by Paramedic on Sun Dec 03, 2017 11:37 am

Hi again WVAN, you mention looking forward to many trips about Scotland and on that note, I came across an interesting article in the Nov issue of CMC magazine. It refers specifically to the (quote)" A/S Bourton, a two-berther featuring a decent-sized lounge. After all, we do love a good amount of living space in the UK. Perhaps it's due to the unpredictable weather, but we end up spending a fair amount of time in our vehicles, which means we also need interiors that are that little-bit more hard wearing" (unquote). From this (IMO) it indicates that a coach build is more suited for this style of living but of course each to their own for a variety of applications. Not for any persuasive reasons in your endeavour for the right van, but it makes for interesting reading? Regards.

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Re: Hello Everyone - A first timer / help

Post by WVAN on Sun Dec 03, 2017 10:10 pm

Paramedic wrote:Hi again WVAN, you mention looking forward to many trips about Scotland and on that note, I came across an interesting article in the Nov issue of CMC magazine. It refers specifically to the (quote)" A/S Bourton, a two-berther featuring a decent-sized lounge. After all, we do love a good amount of living space in the UK. Perhaps it's due to the unpredictable weather, but we end up spending a fair amount of time in our vehicles, which means we also need interiors that are that little-bit more hard wearing" (unquote). From this (IMO) it indicates that a coach build is more suited for this style of living but of course each to their own for a variety of applications. Not for any persuasive reasons in your endeavour for the right van, but it makes for interesting reading? Regards.
Hi Paramedic, I spent some time in the Bourton at the NEC and it is very impressive and certainly has not been discounted. I do spend a lot of holiday time up north, I have been in Skye at least ten times and on Harris / Lewis four times. I have also traveled from Barra north through the Hebrides not to mention other trips  to Islay, Arran, Mull, Jura...etc. We just love the scenery, the peace, the beaches etc. My thinking behind a PVC is that it possibly could be used as a second vehicle and also it is probably slightly better on narrower roads, the compromise being it is slightly narrower hence not as comfortable as a coach built such as the Bourton. We need a lounge and somewhere to sit and have a bottle of wine at night after a walk along the beach probably in the rain with the two dogs. A half dinette just would not give us the levels of comfort we require. And sitting on top of a fixed bed is also not our style.

I work at home and my milage has been reduced significantly over the last couple of years, so the Touareg is going. The choice is a a PVC also using it for everyday use or a Coach Built and a banger for everyday use. We have another good car that may wife drives and uses daly for work hence a banger would suffice.

Needless to say the layouts of all the AutoSleepers non fixed bed motorhomes suit our requirements. Its just picking the right vehicle and being sure that the quality/ reliability it right for us. I have driven german cars for the last 15 years and I have found the reliability to be excellent.  I do not see and German PVC's with the right layout hence at this stage they not be considered seriously. I just need the feeling that something from the Auto Sleepers stable is right for me, Hence the reason I am on this forum, hopefully to get the right vibe from you existing owners. And then hopefully to continue as a satisfied owner continuing membership of the forum and singing the praises of the product.  allthumbz
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Re: Hello Everyone - A first timer / help

Post by burlingtonboaby on Tue Dec 12, 2017 12:26 pm

WVAN wrote:
burlingtonboaby wrote:Hi Willie
Welcome to the forum from Chilly snowy Bridlington 
Boaby (expats A&B)
Cheers Boaby, I have two border terriers, Hamish and Flora
Hi WVAN
Sorry I missed your reply post, we lost Maisie at the end of September , love your names Hamish and Flora, we will be looking for a nature BT in the spring, currently looking for a smaller panel van.
Have a Merry Christmas
Boaby
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Re: Hello Everyone - A first timer / help

Post by WVAN on Tue Dec 12, 2017 12:36 pm

burlingtonboaby wrote:
WVAN wrote:
burlingtonboaby wrote:Hi Willie
Welcome to the forum from Chilly snowy Bridlington 
Boaby (expats A&B)
Cheers Boaby, I have two border terriers, Hamish and Flora
Hi WVAN
Sorry I missed your reply post, we lost Maisie at the end of September , love your names Hamish and Flora, we will be looking for a nature BT in the spring, currently looking for a smaller panel van.
Have a Merry Christmas
Boaby
Hi Boaby, sorry to hear about Maisie, Hamish is 5 and Flora 4 next month. We would be devastated if anything were to happen to them and I genuinely feel you pain. I'll send you a couple of pictures if you like? we are also looking at a Panel Van but not quite there yet to purchase. I will be renting another one at the end of Feb / March. I will keep you up to date.

Regards and have a wonderful Christmas.

Willie
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Re: Hello Everyone - A first timer / help

Post by willy eckerslike on Tue Dec 12, 2017 1:55 pm

Hi Wvan our first van was a rear lounge pvc, very nice to sit and have a tipple in the evening. After three years we decided we wanted more room and beds which were easier to make up so went for a small sub 6 metre coachbuilt. We were tempted by a Lunar Landstar which is a rear lounge on a Merc base but my wife doesn’t like the rear doors opening.

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Re: Hello Everyone - A first timer / help

Post by WVAN on Tue Dec 12, 2017 2:26 pm

willy eckerslike wrote:Hi Wvan our first van was a rear lounge pvc, very nice to sit and have a tipple in the evening. After three years we decided we wanted more room and beds which were easier to make up so went for a small sub 6 metre coachbuilt. We were tempted by a Lunar Landstar which is a rear lounge on a Merc base but my wife doesn’t like the rear doors opening.
A tipple in the evening sounds just up our street. We like to sit and relax and hence most of the continental stuff just does not suit us. I have had a very quick look at the Landstar but have heard rumours of  quality issues hence haven't considered them seriously. The Merc engine I think would be nice though.
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