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    Keen Canary

    Hi all,
    Just coming up to retirement and my wife and I were wondering whether or not
    to buy a Bongo or something similar to see more of Britain.
    We have never done camping of any sort.
    Every one who has a van will give us all the positives while the kids and none
    camper van people think we are to old and a little mad.
    Would appreciate some honest feed back.

    Regards, keen canary

    #2
    Originally posted by keen canary View Post
    Hi all,
    Just coming up to retirement and my wife and I were wondering whether or not
    to buy a Bongo or something similar to see more of Britain.
    We have never done camping of any sort.
    Every one who has a van will give us all the positives while the kids and none
    camper van people think we are to old and a little mad.
    Would appreciate some honest feed back.

    Regards, keen canary
    You are NEVER too old,what you get depends on how much you can afford,can you tell us and we can advise sensibly.
    Ian
    Young men sow wild oats.Old men grow sage.

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by Ian STOCKLEY View Post
      You are NEVER too old,what you get depends on how much you can afford,can you tell us and we can advise sensibly.
      Ian
      For ose best thing we did now going on to how 4 romahome miles per gallon best u can get use it as a car good look tom denis north yorks

      Comment


        #4
        another thing to consider is how agile you both are? ... will you be changing to just one vehicle?

        Maybe you could look into hiring a romahome for a weekend to see if you would enjoy it?
        I make occasional visits to reality, but I'm not a full time resident
        http://minimouseandmilos.blogspot.com

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Ian STOCKLEY View Post
          You are NEVER too old,what you get depends on how much you can afford,can you tell us and we can advise sensibly.
          Ian
          Hi Ian
          £10,000 seems about the limit. We have looked at some imports that have been
          converted localy, mainly Bongo,s
          It seems we might then need an awning and tent for extra space.
          Door would have to be replaced on the garage to increase height to get most vans in, costing £1,700.
          Would appreciate views on different vans ie; Bongos, Vw,s, Toyota,s ect.
          Does anyone feel a little vulnerable at night on some of the less used sites?
          What teething problems are we likely to encounter?

          Keen Canary

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Minimouse View Post
            another thing to consider is how agile you both are? ... will you be changing to just one vehicle?

            Maybe you could look into hiring a romahome for a weekend to see if you would enjoy it?
            Hi Minimouse
            Thanks, yes we have considered hiring for a long weekend to test the water.
            Fortunately we are still both reasonably active and will be keeping the car as well.

            Comment


              #7
              We opted for a, R20 because it is so versatile, cheap to run, easy to drive, has a decent-sized bed, and a loo. The larger romahomes have a far greater degree of luxury / space but, obviously, costa lotta more. All the Romahome (fibreglass bodies) vans seem to be well-insulated and cosy.

              We browsed through loads of magazines and collections of all sorts of other vans at various centres, almost being seduced by the personal advantages of each one - eg an extra bed in the roof, more space in the kitchen / lounging around area etc. Is def worth checking the level of insulation as some vans look lovely but are very cold at night because their insulation is so poor.

              So, as with cars, consider purchase price & running costs, reliability and ease of getting repairs done, comfort levels required, facilities you deem essential. There are quite a few people who have done their own conversions, doing a brillaint job. There are some lovely campervans that have come over from Japan in the last few years.

              Have fun choosing.
              Last edited by NomadSue; 22-12-2011, 13:14. Reason: typo
              Carpe diem! :)

              Comment


                #8
                Hi Keen Canary
                I don't know where you live but if you can get to an indoor show (Manchester January, London Excel February), you may not be able to afford any of the vans but it is a good place to compare all the different sizes and layouts. And when you find a van don't forget the length of the beds need to be a bit longer than you to allow for the pillow and stretching your toes.
                Colin

                Comment


                  #9
                  Hi KC, welcome!
                  I've got a Bongo, and although it's ok for one or two, if either or both of you are generously sized (like I am) it might be too small for comfortable long breaks. It's also very thirsty on diesel!

                  As you said, hiring's a good way of testing yourselves out, as well as being able to compare different makes and models.

                  If you've never camped, have you ever done any boating? There's a lot in common with having to be organised, fasten stuff down for travel etc, though it's easier to get out for a long walk with a van!

                  Are you ok with doing minor to middling servicing and repairs etc yourself? If you are you'll be able to look at older vehicles and get more van for your pound.

                  If you're keeping a car as well, have you considered a small caravan? If I could think of an excuse I'd be tempted by one of the Romini's I've seen mentioned on here myself

                  Anyway, I hope you find your ideal option, Good luck.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Hi KC, You really have to get out and look at as many different vans as possible, Bongos, Romahomes, VWs ....... the whole lot. It takes time to find the perfect one. We kept our car to start with, but then decided to make do with just the van. It is not too expensive to run and very comfortable.

                    We have never felt uneasy on a campsite but we tend to stick to sites run by the Caravan Club or the Camping & Caravan Club.

                    Cant wait for 2012 and the warmer weather ..........
                    Mary

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by NomadSue2011 View Post
                      We opted for a, R20 because it is so versatile, cheap to run, easy to drive, has a decent-sized bed, and a loo. The larger romahomes have a far greater degree of luxury / space but, obviously, costa lotta more. All the Romahome (fibreglass bodies) vans seem to be well-insulated and cosy.

                      We browsed through loads of magazines and collections of all sorts of other vans at various centres, almost being seduced by the personal advantages of each one - eg an extra bed in the roof, more space in the kitchen / lounging around area etc. Is def worth checking the level of insulation as some vans look lovely but are very cold at night because their insulation is so poor.

                      So, as with cars, consider purchase price & running costs, reliability and ease of getting repairs done, comfort levels required, facilities you deem essential. There are quite a few people who have done their own conversions, doing a brillaint job. There are some lovely campervans that have come over from Japan in the last few years.

                      Have fun choosing.
                      Hi Sue
                      Thanks for your reply. You offer good advice and like you we have been impressed by the different versions of campers we have seen and take your point on insulation. Maybe a couple of decent sleeping bags or similar might be
                      our answer to cool nights, what do you think ?
                      The imported Bongos we have looked at mostly seem to be in quite good condition body wise and around 60,000 miles on clock.
                      Excuse my ignorance but I am not sure what an R20 is and have not researched this either.

                      Will carry on looking
                      Keen Canary

                      Comment


                        #12
                        An R20 is one of the range of Roma Homes manufactured on the Isle of Wight. There are a few dealers in the UK. There is a section dedicated to users on this forum and a lot of owners who will no doubt be along to talk to talk about them.

                        Good Luck with your search.

                        Di.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Hi Keen Canary welcome,
                          Being an ex Bongo owner I can put a pointer on a few things to watch for you.
                          A bongo is a great vehicle with many positives,they are a comfy ride,give good value for money and are a true do it all vehicle.I am thinking you will be looking for a converted one which brings its own set of personal likes/wants and dislikes into play there are many different ways of achieving a camper from a bongo base vehicle some can work expensive and some quite cheap it depends what your needs are which sounds difficult as you have never camped before.From personal experience my view is this a Bongo is an excellent purchase based on price and condition,it does need good maintenance and one of its potential failings is the coolant system which does have many many hoses and pipes which can as in any vehicle cause problems,as most Bongos are now over 12 years old some of these hoses/pipes are getting a bit past their best and can give problems with overheating if maintenance is not up to scratch.You would be very unlucky to buy one with these problems but its worth taking into consideration and I am not trying to put you off,I would have another one today make no mistake on that!!
                          The other failing in my view is that the design lends itself perfectly at the vertical back end/tailgate to use as a camper making use of all length space however some can find it a bit snug in the width for two people especially if a side conversion(behind the driver) is required the Bongo is a slender vehicle I think I am correct in saying that it takes up the space of a Mondeo which is quite compact!!
                          Please bear in mind they have three engine variants a 2.0 petrol a 2.5 turbodeisel and a 2.5 V6 petrol.general consensus is that the Deisel option is the best alrounder being very torquey engine with loads of pulling power,2.0 petrol is reputedly a bit gutless I have driven one and as expected its much quieter than the deisel but its not much more if any more economical from the V6 petrol which is silky smooth and powerfull it sounds lovely too!!
                          As a suggestion go and see a few Bongos with differing set ups see which one may suit you.I would also visit bongofury.co.uk which is the best Bongo resource on the net with loads of information on there!

                          One thing I would do is look at the other Japanese imports such as Toyota Granvia (really good campers!) Toyota Regius (slender like a Bongo) Nissan ElGrande (luxury mpv can convert into good camper) and the obvious one the VW latest van is the T4 and T5 some really good converters around.

                          Not sure where you are based or I could have give you the nod on a few vans to go and see as I am actively looking again at the moment too for a new van!!

                          If you need any more help please let me know as Bongo is a great vehicle but needs TLC at times to get the best from it,good luck and enjoy the search,there is a lot to try and take in!!

                          Drop me a PM if you need any more help,no problem

                          Dabs

                          Comment


                            #14
                            thing to think about fixed bed ,rock anf roll bed or pull out diesel .petrol.imports can be high on insurance. heater will u use 52 week of the year.hot cold water,something small rear seat belts , for odd occasion carrying passengers ,internal water tanks ,space for porta loo for ermencys, lot to think about,as for extending garage lift orignal door and pop rivet section on to bottom if opening doors fit second set high levelonly need to be few feet high

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Hi Dabs

                              Glad to hear that you are coming back to the land of the living. Is the new van going to be as well as the Jag or instead of?

                              Peter

                              Comment

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