Hello all Autosleeper enthusiasts!

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Hello all Autosleeper enthusiasts!

Post by pagetheoracle on Tue Aug 07, 2018 11:41 pm

Hi to everyone.

Just joined the forum, that goodness I've found you! My wife and I have recently retired (early) and have decided to look for a motorhome/ camper van to give us some flexibility in short stay/ UK travel however, as you folks perhaps will remember the choice is overwhelming. Anyway, we thought we'd start looking round and Autosleeper designs look like some of the best and there are many still on the roads. Reading a little too, they appear rugged and reliable if you get a good one.  We thought we would start out with something a bit older, see if we like it then trade up later. Being of a certain age i'm nervous of ebay and Gumtree. Dealers appear a mixed bunch too from the forum topics I have read on here. I therefore thought a private purchase from a trusted member of the caravan club might give us confidence ( caravan club classifieds) or  a trusted person on this forum who might be ready to sell to newbies?

 Its tough making the right choice but any help you experienced folks can offer would be warmly welcomed so as not to get off to a bad start with a dodgy first AS camper or other. I know they say fail fast and learn by your mistakes but (as a retiree) I now can't really afford to get this wrong!

Thank you for reading my ramblings and 'respect' for a well run forum  with so much useful information !
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Re: Hello all Autosleeper enthusiasts!

Post by burlingtonboaby on Wed Aug 08, 2018 7:32 am

Hi and welcome to the forum from Bridlington, usually a few vans on the for sale section on the forum, or post in the wanted section, ideally with type,age of van your looking for.
Beware of scammers on classified club sites too.
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Re: Hello all Autosleeper enthusiasts!

Post by Paramedic on Wed Aug 08, 2018 8:01 am

Hello and welcome to this most friendly and informative forum.
asof_welcome2

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Re: Hello all Autosleeper enthusiasts!

Post by roli on Wed Aug 08, 2018 8:08 am

Welcome to the forum.  If there is the 2 of you and are leaning towards an older van say 1998-2004 then that could be a wise decision AS wise.
Have a look at the Executive and Talisman vans same shell different interior with prefereably the 2.5TD engine.   Other choices would be the smaller VW powered vans Clubman, Clubman Anniversary and Gatcomes.
Take a few months looking at layout, only then then when you are sure start looking for an actual van, but beware the monocoques do hold their proces.
All this time follow Boaby's advice, watch out for low life trying to con you.

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Re: Hello all Autosleeper enthusiasts!

Post by Askit on Wed Aug 08, 2018 9:06 am

Welcome to the forum allthumbz

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Re: Hello all Autosleeper enthusiasts!

Post by Paulmold on Wed Aug 08, 2018 9:21 am

Welcome from Kirkby Lonsdale (on tour). Good look hunting and remember if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Don't pay a penny without seeing the van, this applies to ebay Gumtree and CAMC classifieds.

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Re: Hello all Autosleeper enthusiasts!

Post by Roger G on Wed Aug 08, 2018 10:03 am

Welcome to the forum from South Lincolnshire   smile! 

Having been a MH/camper owner in the past, my wife and I decided we really needed to get one for regular use as we don't get much time for long holidays. I was very reluctant to look at old vans, but couldn't afford a recent model. We liked the look of the monocoques and felt that the GRP body on an older model would be much more likely to be leak free and of course rust free. We researched hard and found that most of the Ford based models that we looked at had long histories of rust problems. We found a VW based 1993 Clubman GL which looked promising from the MOT history and bought it just under 3 weeks ago. We have used it for several days out and have found several small problems which I have been sorting out. None of the minor problems have stopped us using the van and are of course to be expected on a 25 year old vehicle. It seems from this forum though that even recent models can still have similar problems.

So do your research well, look very carefully and you should find an affordable sound vehicle.

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Re: Hello all Autosleeper enthusiasts!

Post by pagetheoracle on Wed Aug 08, 2018 10:35 am

Thankyou everyone fit taking the time to reply..it really is appreciated. Fully take on board the wise words and will take a bit more time to weigh up the options but will have my eyes wide open as you suggest. Kind regards.
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Re: Hello all Autosleeper enthusiasts!

Post by Gromit on Wed Aug 08, 2018 11:16 am

The habitation layout is by far and away the most important aspect. The engine bit just gets you there - you live in the hab area.

I'd suggest you take a triple column list whenever you look over a van, at a dealer's, a show or wherever.

1). Must have that feature.

2). Can take it or leave it.

3). Don't want that at any price.

Note down the features as you identify them, and you will soon have a pretty good idea of the layout that will suit you. Don't be overly influenced by the "Wow" factor either. Some features look and sound wonderful (like fixed beds perhaps) but if you go for a small van there has to be a compromise, and it's usually at the expense of anywhere to lounge with a book and a glass of pop during the day.

Listen to suggestions and advice on here, and elsewhere of course (super salesmen excepted perhaps) but there are only two people who can decide what best suits you. Everything is a compromise! It's unlikely that the perfect van exists, so the prioritising is essential and unavoidable.

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Re: Hello all Autosleeper enthusiasts!

Post by pagetheoracle on Wed Aug 08, 2018 2:24 pm

I really like the columnar planning approach and will adopt it. I’m guessing the reliability and economy bit is more engine choice but we aren’t looking for power as we can take our time a bit now! Great advice.. again thankyou.
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Re: Hello all Autosleeper enthusiasts!

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