New Owner. Considering Autosleeper Symphony

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New Owner. Considering Autosleeper Symphony Empty New Owner. Considering Autosleeper Symphony

Post by exmoorcamper on Wed Sep 18, 2019 7:05 pm

Hi 
We are looking at buying our first camper van, after owning several caravans in the past.

There's a lot of choices out there, but we've narrowed it down to an Autosleeper, preferably a Transit based Duetto or Peugeot Boxer with a Symphony body. It has to have a shower and an oven. We are looking at mid 90's to early 2000's in terms of age for budget reasons.

I would welcome any experienced-based advice on these options. The Transit choice was based on the reliability of the mechanicals, but I know they do have more of their share of rot issues. I have no experience of Boxers and their respective engines. It would be the 2 litre petrol, which I know won't be fast, powerful or economical, or is the equivalent diesel engine better. Are there specific issues with either of these. I am more concerned about reliability than performance.

Any help much appreciated.

Pete
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Post by roli on Wed Sep 18, 2019 7:19 pm

The Transit would be my 1st choice. People say they rust, looked after they are no worse than other makes and you can get parts for them unlike Peugeots.

You show your van as a Topaz in in your profile - This would be a very good choice with eith the the 2.5TD or earlier 2.4 5 cylinder engines and like the Ford you can pick up VW-T4 parts

Welcome to the forum, would have been good if you had done an intro before posting

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Post by Paulmold on Wed Sep 18, 2019 7:21 pm

Gearboxes on the Peugeot's of that age are virtually impossible to obtain, even reconditioners can't get certain parts so make sure it changes up and down smoothly or walk away. The Boxers can also suffer rot around spring hangers and front cross-member (although that item is relatively cheap to replace.).

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Post by exmoorcamper on Wed Sep 18, 2019 8:07 pm

Thanks for those replies, it's all very useful info. 
The Transit would be my first choice, if only because I have had good experiences with their vans in the past, and we currently have a 2012 Mk7. We had bought that partly with an idea to have it converted, but the costs are astronomical, particularly when you add in the purchase cost of the van.
so we thought it could be better to buy a factory built camper.
We looked at a 1999 LWB Transit Duetto this afternoon. It was in reasonable condition for a 20 year old Transit, and the 'banana' diesels are pretty bomb-proof it seems, though not fast by any means.
A motor-mechanic friend has done his best to put us off a Peugeot of that era, and described them as "hideous" - not a fan, clearly?
I think a Transit might be the way forward if we can find one without too much corrosion.
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Post by Traficlady on Thu Sep 19, 2019 7:15 am

I had a 1994 Symphony on a Talbot base. It was 2 litre petrol but quite economical if I drove it properly, not like a car, and I got about 28 mpg which I thought was pretty good.

Nora

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Post by daisy mae on Thu Sep 19, 2019 7:48 am

I recommend VW first and Ford second for reliability, availability of parts, economical. , I have / had both.

I personally wouldn`t have a Peugeot.for many reasons.

They are small Motor homes out there ,especially Auto-sleepers, all mine have been AS.

Look carefully at body and chassis, I was lucky and have two very good vans rust free. took a while to find them and saw a few that were a no no.

Good luck,
Best regards,
Margaret


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Post by fenderbender on Thu Sep 19, 2019 8:43 am

Hi Pete. You say you already have a Transit van. Have you considered converting it yourself?
It's not really that difficult. I have just converted a 2013 transit myself to exactly how I want it, after having a Symphony for about 5 years I found there were things I could improve on, to make it more practical for me. It cost me around £2000 plus cost of van.

Dave
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Post by exmoorcamper on Thu Sep 19, 2019 10:12 pm

Thanks Dave.

We bought the Transit van partly with a view to having it converted. But on investigation it seems it would cost around £18k to have it converted with equipment equivalent to a Symphony or Duetto (toilet, shower, heating & hot water etc). It is a 2012 Trend model with all the extras, and it's very nice to drive, although I'm not a huge fan of the driving characteristics of modern fuelling systems.
It's easily powerful enough, but I am a fan of mechanical simplicity, and it's difficult to buy a newish vehicle that isn't weighed down with in my view, unnecessary electronic control systems, dual-mass flywheels etc. That is why I would ideally like a Mk5 or Mk6 Transit. It might be difficult to find a good Mk5, but  a Mk6 shouldn't be too difficult. 
I am going to look at one tomorrow, so hopefully we might be actual owners rather than prospective ones soon.
Pete.
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