Living With Our Rapido 963f Le Randonneur Motor Home.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Poor Value For Money - Or Just Real World Supply And Demand?

Image courtesy of debspoons, freedigitalphotos.net
Why is it that when you add a £1500, 12 year old caravan body to a similarly old £900 Fiat van chassis, it undergoes metamorphosis to become a £17,000 motor home? See:


This particular model wasn't produced by the company for long, as it is built on a car derived van chassis, so has a relatively small payload of around 400kgs. Autotrail moved on to using the Fiat Ducato panel van derived chassis for this reason in later Tracker models.
However, for our needs, this coach built model would suit us well. An element of luxury over what you would expect from a 'camper van' derivative, while offering easy latent storage on the drive, and the ability to be used as more of a normal car away from site. This particular one is also LHD, which I believe would benefit us, as our intentions are to use it mainly abroad, keeping the narrowboat for the English Summer. It also appears to be in exceptional condition.

The problem is - they are just too damned expensive, and don't strike me as being good value! Not just this model, all of which are of a similar age, and are all similarly priced. I have found around a dozen of them available at present - all at this price level. There are also some 25 year old rusty old 'sheds' around, that are masquerading as luxury motor homes  and none seem to be under £7k, even now, as we approach the season to be jolly, rather than to go camping. The equivalent vans these are based on went to the scrapyard years ago, but the cheaper motor homes seem to be snapped up quickly.

It is difficult to obtain European breakdown cover on vehicles older than 15yrs, so that was the limit of our choice, hoping to buy and run alongside the boat. But, at these prices, I believe it requires a re-think as to whether a much newer motor home of a comfy living size should replace the boat, or to forget the idea altogether and stick to renting property over shorter time periods.

I have been monitoring and researching this for weeks now and it appears the caravan and motor home sector of the leisure market isn't suffering in the same way as the boating one, with an apparently much more buoyant market, (no pun intended). Or am I mistaken?

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