The Auto-Sleeper Motorhome Owners Forum (ASOF)
Would you like to react to this message? Create an account in a few clicks or log in to continue.

Opinions on build quality

+8
rgermain
Rocky
RML
Dbvwt
IanH
The Bargee
Eltel
dmtankerman
12 posters

Go down

Opinions on build quality  Empty Opinions on build quality

Post by dmtankerman Thu Feb 08, 2024 8:46 am

Hi everyone I’ve just managed to get onto the forum  through no fault of the the forum itself ( warning you will be dealing with a tech idiot) 
My questions are 
Do you agree, disagree that although the AS brand is renowned for great moho’s 
Like a lot of brands they seem to get (frustratingly so) cost cut to the bone maybe? 
 I have a burford and whilst it’s a gorgeous van I do feel that for the money it should/could have had 
Inboard pump , Aldi type heating, better floor insulation and one of my biggest “aaarrrgghhhs” some heating to the front of the van 
And the finish to cabinetry still using plastic insert edging??🤦‍�
Your thoughts and opinions greatly appreciated , happy motorhoming
dmtankerman
dmtankerman
Member
Member

Male

Posts : 10
Joined : 2024-02-08
Location : Kent
Auto-Sleeper : Burford fb
Vehicle Year : 2018

Back to top Go down

Opinions on build quality  Empty Re: Opinions on build quality

Post by Eltel Thu Feb 08, 2024 9:25 am

I would agree the fitting of an internal pump INMO a penny pinching.

The Aldi type heating I would think a lot more expensive and would need a major design issue to any AS 

Unlike other motorhome manufacturers AS don’t keep introducing new designs every couple of years.

I don’t know of motorhomes that have a dedicated heating in the cab area other than when the engine is running.

Terry
Eltel
Eltel
Donator
Donator

Male

Posts : 892
Joined : 2017-01-10
Member Age : 74
Location : North Staffs
Auto-Sleeper : Nuevo EK
Vehicle Year : 2017

Back to top Go down

Opinions on build quality  Empty Re: Opinions on build quality

Post by The Bargee Thu Feb 08, 2024 2:21 pm

To a certain extent it all comes back to "you get what you pay for."

More importantly, it depends what you are prepared to pay.

There are two issues really, specification and then the actual build quality.

I looked at fitting out my own bare new van but I ran out of space on the back of the envelope to list all the costs. I came to the conclusion that there was nothing in it to cover my time. That is of course buying most of the parts and materials at retail price, and estimating the cost of a base van at something over 40k + the alloys and other extras. As a boatbuilder in a past life I think it would have been a better van technically, but not a standard "model" so perhaps less return on resale, harder to insure etc. It would probably also have been a heavier van. So for that and other reasons we decided to buy a van and learn from it. I may well convert my own in a year or so's time but I would not expect it to be any cheaper.

In terms of actual build quality, meaning quality control, AS are awful. I don't know what other manufacturers are like (by all accounts pretty awful as well) but I have come across a lot of examples of very poor execution, which you can only put down to unskilled fitters. Fortunately many of these points are easily rectifiable for anybody a bit practical. The basic "timberwork" of the fit out is not bad if you can ignore all the horrible plastic capped joints, but areas such as plumbing design and how things are actually fitted in place smack of rank amateurism.

Water pumps in tanks? Yes, stupid idea. Perhaps £15.00 more for a Shurflo. Alde heating? Yes, possibly much better but add £1000. All these things, large and small, add up, and AS are in a very cost conscious market place.

The biggest problem is the electrics, or should I say electronics. I guess AS fit these Sargent units because they are quick and easy. Just plug all the pre-made harnesses in. No actual skilled electrical work. I guess also that the customers like the shiny screen and the gizmos, but don't look at the thin wires etc.

Bear in mind that at least one bespoke van converter, who was charging as I recall around 40k + VAT to convert your own van, has gone bust recently.

In a nutshell though, we have a lovely van that we really enjoy using and I think we have our money's worth. We have got what we paid for.
The Bargee
The Bargee
Member
Member

Male

Posts : 527
Joined : 2022-12-27
Location : Rugby
Auto-Sleeper : Kingham
Vehicle Year : 2019

Kemerton-bath, Dbvwt and Caraman like this post

Back to top Go down

Opinions on build quality  Empty Re: Opinions on build quality

Post by IanH Thu Feb 08, 2024 2:33 pm

"I looked at fitting out my own bare new van but I ran out of space on the back of the envelope to list all the costs. I came to the conclusion that there was nothing in it to cover my time. That is of course buying most of the parts and materials at retail price, and estimating the cost of a base van at something over 40k + the alloys and other extras. As a boatbuilder in a past life I think it would have been a better van technically, but not a standard "model" so perhaps less return on resale, harder to insure etc. It would probably also have been a heavier van. So for that and other reasons we decided to buy a van and learn from it. I may well convert my own in a year or so's time but I would not expect it to be any cheaper."

(From Bargee, above)


I did this too, even considering buy a newish modern caravan,  damaged, to get the expensive bits out of, still couldn't get close to the costs involved, also you need a good van to start with...To get the woodwork quality we are all used to in our vans would be way beyond me......
IanH
IanH
Donator
Donator

Male

Posts : 7963
Joined : 2020-05-04
Location : NORTH WALSHAM
Auto-Sleeper : Executive
Vehicle Year : 2002

Back to top Go down

Opinions on build quality  Empty Re: Opinions on build quality

Post by Dbvwt Thu Feb 08, 2024 4:30 pm

IanH wrote:"I looked at fitting out my own bare new van but I ran out of space on the back of the envelope to list all the costs. I came to the conclusion that there was nothing in it to cover my time. That is of course buying most of the parts and materials at retail price, and estimating the cost of a base van at something over 40k + the alloys and other extras. As a boatbuilder in a past life I think it would have been a better van technically, but not a standard "model" so perhaps less return on resale, harder to insure etc. It would probably also have been a heavier van. So for that and other reasons we decided to buy a van and learn from it. I may well convert my own in a year or so's time but I would not expect it to be any cheaper."

(From Bargee, above)


I did this too, even considering buy a newish modern caravan,  damaged, to get the expensive bits out of, still couldn't get close to the costs involved, also you need a good van to start with...To get the woodwork quality we are all used to in our vans would be way beyond me......

I’m sure you remember Ian that I was very recently seriously considering buying a VW Crafter/Mann or Merc equivalent and doing another self build. The costings (realistically based from 2 previous self builds) soon went well over £100k for the base van spec I wanted.
With regards to the original question, A/S quality in recent years is shocking IMO but from visiting the NEC back in October this is pretty much the norm across most brands once you look past the lovely shiny bits!
Dbvwt
Dbvwt
Member
Member

Male

Posts : 3153
Joined : 2018-10-04
Location : Aylesbury
Auto-Sleeper : Symbol
Vehicle Year : 2018

Back to top Go down

Opinions on build quality  Empty Re: Opinions on build quality

Post by RML Thu Feb 08, 2024 4:47 pm

Interesting post, thanks - let's play top trumps 😁  Our last van was German and there was excellent thought put into the van design.  Heating - as well as the usual locations there were vents in the cab area and beside the 2 single beds over the garage, which also had a vent which was handy for drying wet clothes. The ducting also ran alongside both water tanks to prevent freezing in cold weather, no additional energy required, handy off hook-up. Double floor construction to route cables and pipes and provide better insulation.  All cupboards were spaced off the wall by a few mm to allow ventilation and prevent damp. No wood in the wall construction. 9*13a sockets and 3 usb outlets. Battery powered led lighting in wardrobes and most cupboards. All this was in a 7m C class coach-built.
Rich..
RML
RML
Member
Member

Male

Posts : 1065
Joined : 2012-03-27
Member Age : 64
Location : Somerset
Auto-Sleeper : Ex - Gatcombe
Vehicle Year : 2008

dmtankerman likes this post

Back to top Go down

Opinions on build quality  Empty Re: Opinions on build quality

Post by Rocky Thu Feb 08, 2024 4:51 pm

dmtankerman wrote:Hi everyone I’ve just managed to get onto the forum  through no fault of the the forum itself ( warning you will be dealing with a tech idiot) 
My questions are 
Do you agree, disagree that although the AS brand is renowned for great moho’s 
Like a lot of brands they seem to get (frustratingly so) cost cut to the bone maybe? 
 I have a burford and whilst it’s a gorgeous van I do feel that for the money it should/could have had 
Inboard pump , Aldi type heating, better floor insulation and one of my biggest “aaarrrgghhhs” some heating to the front of the van 
And the finish to cabinetry still using plastic insert edging??🤦‍�
Your thoughts and opinions greatly appreciated , happy motorhoming

One presumes that you considered all of these things before you bought the van, but still went ahead.   scratch head  I'm guessing you probably looked at a few other vans and saw that there is no perfect van, and there are always compromises on layout, equipment and build quality.

We had issues in the past with a Hymer, a Knaus, and AS (and this is not our first AS), and I don't think the build quality is really any worse.  There are small niggling issues you can fix yourself (eg cupboard and drawer handles), and more significant issues such as the water pump (already mentioned).  For me, the greatest issue was the lack of a timer for the Whale heating and hot water, but I have managed to fix that.  You have to remember that when a manufacturer is also trying to keep the weight down within a certain parameter, the odd bit of furniture is always going to feel a bit flimsy.

I agree that heating at the front is an issue, but Alde heating (not Aldi) would not necessarily cure this.  We had Alde in our Laika A Class and it was brilliant, but it did take a long time to warm up, and it was an expensive extra.  As others have said, you get what you pay for.

Regards,
Rocky
Rocky
Member
Member

Male

Posts : 159
Joined : 2023-04-27
Location : Cheshire
Auto-Sleeper : Warwick XL MQ
Vehicle Year : 2023

Back to top Go down

Opinions on build quality  Empty Re: Opinions on build quality

Post by dmtankerman Thu Feb 08, 2024 6:27 pm

Thanks peeps for your replies 
Just to clarify  a few things. 
I have rebuilt / built a few vans now and my last was a copy of a duetto but cabinetry built by a cabinet maker used to yachts. I also upgraded on toilet, cooker and fridge. 
The end result was great . I’ve had premium German vans too  but I suppose what boggles me is that AS pitch my latest at the high end of the market  but you could get a similar van from Italy for 000s less
dmtankerman
dmtankerman
Member
Member

Male

Posts : 10
Joined : 2024-02-08
Location : Kent
Auto-Sleeper : Burford fb
Vehicle Year : 2018

Back to top Go down

Opinions on build quality  Empty Re: Opinions on build quality

Post by rgermain Thu Feb 08, 2024 8:40 pm

asof_welcome2  Have you introduced yourself yet?
dmtankerman wrote:Thanks peeps for your replies 
Just to clarify  a few things. 
I have rebuilt / built a few vans now and my last was a copy of a duetto but cabinetry built by a cabinet maker used to yachts. I also upgraded on toilet, cooker and fridge. 
The end result was great . I’ve had premium German vans too  but I suppose what boggles me is that AS pitch my latest at the high end of the market  but you could get a similar van from Italy for 000s less
rgermain
rgermain
Donator
Donator

Male

Posts : 3580
Joined : 2013-11-21
Member Age : 77
Location : Havant
Auto-Sleeper : Warwick duo
Vehicle Year : 2015

Back to top Go down

Opinions on build quality  Empty Re: Opinions on build quality

Post by dmtankerman Thu Feb 08, 2024 8:48 pm

I’m Owen  hello everyone
dmtankerman
dmtankerman
Member
Member

Male

Posts : 10
Joined : 2024-02-08
Location : Kent
Auto-Sleeper : Burford fb
Vehicle Year : 2018

Back to top Go down

Opinions on build quality  Empty Re: Opinions on build quality

Post by Tinwheeler Thu Feb 08, 2024 9:13 pm

Hello, Owen, but I think Rgermain meant an intro in the introduction section as per the guidance given to new members. Never mind.   [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
Tinwheeler
Tinwheeler
Donator
Donator

Male

Posts : 3703
Joined : 2018-09-20
Location : Kernow
Vehicle Year : 2019

Back to top Go down

Opinions on build quality  Empty Re: Opinions on build quality

Post by dmtankerman Thu Feb 08, 2024 9:31 pm

Tinwheeler wrote:Hello, Owen, but I think Rgermain meant an intro in the introduction section as per the guidance given to new members. Never mind.   [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
I will get my 2yr old granddaughter to help me sorry people
dmtankerman
dmtankerman
Member
Member

Male

Posts : 10
Joined : 2024-02-08
Location : Kent
Auto-Sleeper : Burford fb
Vehicle Year : 2018

Suppersready and Tinwheeler like this post

Back to top Go down

Opinions on build quality  Empty Re: Opinions on build quality

Post by CC Fri Feb 09, 2024 1:16 am

dmtankerman wrote:I have a burford and whilst it’s a gorgeous van I do feel that for the money it should/could have had 
Inboard pump , Aldi type heating, better floor insulation and one of my biggest “aaarrrgghhhs” some heating to the front of the van 

Auto-Sleeper are still the best built vans around, step inside an Elddis & as a comparison start opening a few drawers & lockers, Bailey, Swift & AutoTrail are really not much better. 

Yes AS have certain things that could be better, they age terribly externally compared to other motorhomes for some reason, the swing wall shower bathroom they’ve been using in many of their coachbuilts for way too many years now is rubbish quality, paper thin & prone to cracking. But their furniture drawers & lockers are probably the best built you’ll find.

As for the Alde heating systems you can keep them, they are prone to leaking & cost around £500 to have serviced, Rob & Lynn on tour have a swift literally just 3yrs old & just out of warranty & their Alde system has just sprung a leak due to corrosion, as they are finding out seems to be quite a common issue, over 3 grand to replace, so they had it repaired by Alde instead for 1,400 pounds which they are now trying to get back.

_________________
Get a life..... Get an Auto-Sleeper!
CC
CC
Moderator
Moderator

Male

Posts : 3755
Joined : 2011-02-05
Member Age : 59
Location : North Norfolk
Auto-Sleeper : Broadway EB
Vehicle Year : 2019

Monty-Plym likes this post

Back to top Go down

Opinions on build quality  Empty Re: Opinions on build quality

Post by dmtankerman Fri Feb 09, 2024 1:17 pm

Can someone please explain how I get the intelligent heating system to work 
I:e whst sim  etc  thanks in advance
dmtankerman
dmtankerman
Member
Member

Male

Posts : 10
Joined : 2024-02-08
Location : Kent
Auto-Sleeper : Burford fb
Vehicle Year : 2018

Back to top Go down

Opinions on build quality  Empty Re: Opinions on build quality

Post by Caraman Fri Feb 09, 2024 2:10 pm

dmtankerman wrote:Can someone please explain how I get the intelligent heating system to work 
I:e whst sim  etc  thanks in advance
If you are referring to i-Net you can download the instructions here:

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

I don't use mine and have unplugged it.
Caraman
Caraman
Member
Member

Male

Posts : 3467
Joined : 2019-04-19
Location : SALISBURY
Auto-Sleeper : Nuevo
Vehicle Year : 2019

Back to top Go down

Opinions on build quality  Empty Re: Opinions on build quality

Post by MalMonty Fri Feb 09, 2024 3:01 pm

I've seen people spend crazy money for a motorhome they use three times a year.  You can spend 75K+ on a top brand, top spec van and it may be fantastic, or give you problems from day one. I've read awesome reviews on new vans with all mod-cons and I've read horror stories too. 
My opinion is that you need to just think about what you want to get out of your van and how often you'll use it. My former work m8 spend 2k on an old Talbot. He wanted it to tour around castles in the UK, historical sites and the like. He wanted to make sure it was mechanically reliable and it had the basics, but very much the essentials that he needed. The bodywork, frame and chassis needed work and some welding. He paid just over 2K for that and had the engine and main components reconditions. Inside it was pretty basic, so he just fixed it up and with some paint and vinyl so he had it looking nice. Electric were rewired and one or two sockets replaced and the EHU was overhauled. His expectations were not that he wanted a home-from-home, modern van. More like a camping tent on wheels that he didn't had to pitch up every night. A simple solar and new leisure battery and he was good to go. If I remember right, it was the first time it had ever passed an MOT without a single advisory. All in I think it cost him around 6K to get it the way he wanted it. Importantly he knew it was sound mechanically and there was no rust, leaks, mould or water ingress from seals and windows etc. Last I heard he'd used it consistently for about 4 years, until he passed after a very sudden battle with cancer. I don't know what the family done with the van, but guaranteed someone is enjoying it to this day. 

Point being, a 6K well cared for, fit for purpose van will give you just as much as a 100K van.
MalMonty
MalMonty
Donator
Donator

Male

Posts : 106
Joined : 2023-12-04
Location : Glasgow
Auto-Sleeper : Ravenna
Vehicle Year : 2004

dmtankerman and Fixer like this post

Back to top Go down

Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum