Fiat Ducato "Liberty"

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Fiat Ducato "Liberty"

Post by yacouz on Wed Apr 10, 2013 10:53 am

Hi everyone,

This is my first post on any forum so please bear with me...I have recently bought a 1991 Fiat Ducato 1.9 TD (yes, turbo...quite rare for this model, right? content ). I am simply wondering if anyone can confirm whether it is an Auto-sleeper, and any extra information about it would be very welcome. I have searched online but couldn't find anything related to a so-called "Liberty" model.

It is in pretty good condition but I will need to get a couple of little jobs done before my fiancee and I set off for a 1 month journey around Europe this summer...Here is a link to the advert.

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Thank you in advance allthumbz !
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Re: Fiat Ducato "Liberty"

Post by whisky on Wed Apr 10, 2013 12:12 pm


Looks a good van for the money. But it is probably a van conversion using some interior bits and pieces from a damaged autosleeper.

Whisky. Intro's are always good before asking questions. up!

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Re: Fiat Ducato "Liberty"

Post by yacouz on Wed Apr 10, 2013 12:33 pm

Hi Whisky,

Thank you for the information. I would be surprised (and disappointed!) if this was some kind of homemade DIY conversion. Things like the external shower, cupboard fittings, and the overall interior layout have all the signs of a factory-built conversion. I will try and send more photos of the interior to show this...

I am glad you think it's a good van for the money, but I haven't told you how much I bought it for yet snigger

Just under 5k...Some may see it as a high price but I do believe that the 1.9 turbo diesels are rare on these (or on the talbot express, citroen relay, & peugeot J5). From the few hundred miles I have done with it, it really does keep up with more modern campers which cost double the money. Not to mention the bed layout which is usually the downside of the similar models (i.e. using the front seats to make 2 singles). Mine makes a genuinely large and comfy double bed.

Anyway, back to the point...Anyone knows anything about this model/conversion?

Thank you.

Yacouz
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Re: Fiat Ducato "Liberty"

Post by moggyminor1966 on Wed Apr 10, 2013 12:37 pm

See the listing has been ended looked a nice clean vehicle. Did you buy it? smile!
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Re: Fiat Ducato "Liberty"

Post by Paulmold on Wed Apr 10, 2013 12:48 pm

I would say it's definitely not an Auto-sleeper. The cupboards are reminiscent of VW campervan internals. The name Liberty has been used by Geist, LMC and Moncayo but as they are all European makers I doubt if it's one of those. Nevertheless it looks a nice conversion and does it really matter if it suits you. As you say, such things as external shower, point to it being a professional conversion but so many small converters have disappeared.
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Re: Fiat Ducato "Liberty"

Post by yacouz on Wed Apr 10, 2013 1:59 pm

Yes moggyminor1966 I bought it smile!

I agree with you Paulmold, it doesn't really matter. I am just curious to know what I've got...

Glad to read positive comments about it, I think it's a lovely little camper too!

Do you guys have any recommendations for the few little jobs I need to do (new battery to water boiler, connect leisure battery and possibly add an inverter connected to it). Should I take it to a car electrician, or call in one of those mobile caravan servicing companies, or take it to a motorhome garage?

Any advice is welcome - don't want to get "ripped off"!

Thank you
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Re: Fiat Ducato "Liberty"

Post by whisky on Wed Apr 10, 2013 2:03 pm

Hi Again Yacouz.

How about an introduction in the intro section? You will get more responce from the members here afer a formal intro.

Whisky. up!

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Re: Fiat Ducato "Liberty"

Post by yacouz on Wed Apr 10, 2013 2:17 pm

Hi Whisky,

I hope this is not a dating website, is it? Just kidding ...I've just prepared a little introduction but cannot find the introduction section. Where is it please?

Thanks for the tip

bow
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Re: Fiat Ducato "Liberty"

Post by whisky on Wed Apr 10, 2013 2:44 pm

Hi Yacouz.

Home page. Second section. Bottom tag.

Whisky. champagne

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Re: Fiat Ducato "Liberty"

Post by peugeotboxer on Wed Apr 10, 2013 2:51 pm

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Re: Fiat Ducato "Liberty"

Post by -mojo- on Wed Apr 10, 2013 2:52 pm

From the photos it does look in very good condition for the money, compared to what you could have got for £5k at a dealers!

I'd say with near certainty that it's not by Auto-Sleepers. Their conversions have always had A-S decals on since the early eighties onwards. The same is true of the other main converters of the time, so it's either one of the small companies or DIY. But that doesn't matter really if it suits you.

From personal experience of running older vans, I'd recommend that you budget several hundred quid at least per year for fixing things that go wrong. That's not really a negative, because on the other hand you are losing no value on that van in depreciation. As long as you keep it in tidy condition it will probably fetch what you paid for it in five years time!

A car electrician should be able to do those things except for the first one (new battery to water boiler) which I confess I don't understand!
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Re: Fiat Ducato "Liberty"

Post by Guest on Wed Apr 10, 2013 7:56 pm

Hi there
I agree with Paul it's definitely not an A/S.
There's not much A/S about it. But it doesn't matter and I hope you enjoy you van.

It looks like a repainted van turned into a camper with a more modern day furniture kit fitted with appliances.
Even Bilbos weren't using those kits in 1991.

Be interested to know what the log book says. I expect its still a panel van, which will be a big clue.
I take it you have done an HPI check, just to be sure?
Regards
John
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Re: Fiat Ducato "Liberty"

Post by yacouz on Thu Apr 11, 2013 10:00 am

Thanks everyone for the responses,

Hoopman thanks for the suggestion. Of course the logbook says motor caravan; Are we looking at the same van??!

I think that the photos must not do it justice if you think this used to be a panel van! If you could see how clever the layout is and the attention to details you would probably change your mind I think. I will send photos to show you what I mean on Saturday. That might also help some of you connoisseurs to identify the model.

Panel van...why not a garbage truck while you at it biggrin
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Re: Fiat Ducato "Liberty"

Post by Paulmold on Thu Apr 11, 2013 10:33 am

I think what was being suggested was that if it was a DIY conversion, no matter how good, it would probably have been still registered on the logbook as a panel van. The fact that it is registered as a motor caravan adds to the theory that it was a professional conversion from new and was properly registered by the converter, whoever that may have been. Whether we can ever identity the converter remains to be seen.
What did your insurer say when they asked you for the make of motorhome? Many insurers won't cover home conversions, so they need to know the make (or converter).
From the registration number it was first registered in Portsmouth, so perhaps a converter from around that area?
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Re: Fiat Ducato "Liberty"

Post by whisky on Thu Apr 11, 2013 12:22 pm

Hi Paul.

There is also the added problem here that some people think all motorhomes are called autosleepers and if you insure your vehicle as an autosleeper , have an accident and try to claim if it is not a genuine autosleeper made by the autosleeper company. Well they just will not pay out. So best to make sure exactly what make you have got.
This problem was hilighted a few years ago when people where converting second hand ambulances into motorhomes.

Whisky. champagne


Last edited by whisky on Thu Apr 11, 2013 12:29 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Fiat Ducato "Liberty"

Post by Paulmold on Thu Apr 11, 2013 12:29 pm

Well there happens to be another Liberty campervan on Ebay albeit with a totally different layout and using very different fixtures and fittings......

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How they know it's a Liberty I don't know because there are no graphics to identify it other than Falcon.

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Re: Fiat Ducato "Liberty"

Post by yacouz on Thu Apr 11, 2013 12:50 pm

Hi Paul, Hi Whisky,

Thank you for the comments. I have organised a 1 day insurance for the day I brought it back home, and have not used it since other than starting the engine every couple of days. I haven't decided which insurance I will go for yet, probably same as the one for my previous camper (vw t25) which was adrian flux. I am pretty sure they never asked about the converter for my VW, so doubt that they would ask this time. My enquiry was genuinely to have some info on what I bought, nothing more than curiosity.

Paul, thanks for the link. Could be relevant to contact falcon to see if they ever did a "Liberty" model similar to mine. Although this particular model with the VW T4 layout is unlikely to be how it came out of the factory, right?

I bet that once I send closer photos of the cupboards, zig unit, etc...someone will know what it is (or at least what it definitely isn't). Definitely an England based company as all the health and safety stickers (gas, 240v, water heater, etc...) are in English. And it's a RHD.

I didn't realise there were that many small companies doing decent quality conversions in the 90's. Thought it was limited to the big names, Holdsworth, A/S, etc...

Learning loads, I'm enjoying this first forum experience. Thanks again everyone for helping allthumbz
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Re: Fiat Ducato "Liberty"

Post by peugeotboxer on Thu Apr 11, 2013 12:53 pm

Not wishing to post a 'red herring' but this may give a clue to 'Liberty'?

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Re: Fiat Ducato "Liberty"

Post by Paulmold on Thu Apr 11, 2013 1:20 pm

yacouz wrote: I haven't decided which insurance I will go for yet, probably same as the one for my previous camper (vw t25) which was adrian flux. I am pretty sure they never asked about the converter for my VW, so doubt that they would ask this time. My enquiry was genuinely to have some info on what I bought, nothing more than curiosity.


You'll have no problem insuring through Adrian Flux as they are one of the few that insure 'home conversions' if you can't find the original converter.
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Re: Fiat Ducato "Liberty"

Post by whisky on Thu Apr 11, 2013 1:28 pm

Hi Paul.

Followed the link to the Falcon motorhome. Then the seller to his photobucket pages. This guy calls himself affordable motorhomes. He deals in the 2k to7k price range. He has 10 vans for sale at the moment. Most have been resprayed and are well valeted and all have had decals of some type applied, so sometimes the make is a little obscure. Now looking at the pictures these vans all look legit and good value for money. So the chap would appear to be a genuine guy making a living doing up a few vans and selling them on.
So could be bargains to be had. Good luck to him thats what I say. up!

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Re: Fiat Ducato "Liberty"

Post by Guest on Thu Apr 11, 2013 11:23 pm

yacouz wrote:
Panel van...why not a garbage truck while you at it biggrin

Hi Yacouz…. no offence was intended, Paul has summed up my comments perfectly. Some of the most expensive van conversions today start as panel vans. It’s not unknown, years back, for the log book to not be changed. This was often because a conversion tax was payable for 'used vans' of a certain age, (again many years ago), that were converted into motorcaravans.

We are all interested in what you have bought and by eliminating certain paths we may establish the history. I have no knowledge of Falcon M/Hs, but I notice the last link from Paul shows it has a Sheldon high top, which was available years back and used by smaller converters. Not sure if yours has one?

Regards

John
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Re: Fiat Ducato "Liberty"

Post by yacouz on Fri Apr 12, 2013 10:14 am

Hi John,

I was not offended at all, sorry I gave this impression. It must be my European impulsiveness smile! . No offence taken, no offence intended!

Thanks for the info on the log books, etc...To be perfectly honest I have sent mine back to the DVLA because of a spelling mistake on my name so I will have to double check exactly what is written on it when I get it back. I know it says "Motor Caravan" but not sure if there is any extra information.

Regarding the high top, how can I identify if mine is a Sheldon?

Thank you
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Re: Fiat Ducato "Liberty"

Post by Guest on Fri Apr 12, 2013 5:12 pm

Hi Yacouz
Sheldon hightops often had the name embossed somewhere on the outside of the roof. The ones I am more familiar with is the those fitted to later VW type 2 campers.

The sink area that wraps around the rear of your van looks very 'Richard Holdsworth' like to me, but the units / cupboards fitted are not from that era. I can only conclude that it has been refitted as some stage of its life, (which is no bad thing for a camper 20 years+). I'd be very interested if you do find some other info out about it to try an narrow it down.

The most important thing is to enjoy it up! .

Regards
John
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