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Memories of Henrietta

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    Memories of Henrietta

    Hi all,

    It's a while since I posted at length on the forums. I've dodged in and out of threads but I'm definitely on the hunt for a wagon again now. So here we go.

    As you may remember, the wonderful Henrietta the C15 Hylo took a thrutch up the gusset from a careless driver in a car park in about June last year and due to the force of the blow, she was deemed uneconomical to repair. That was in the summer and it was pointless trying to buy an economical replacement at the height of the season. However, the search for a replacement has started in earnest.

    Today I went to view a 1994 Talbot Express Autosleeper Sportsman. To be honest I don't really want a Talbot Express as they made the last ones in1994 and I'd have the same parts problems that I would get with a C15. But I do like the Autosleeper pop up roof. And it was for sale locally and I needed to get my small motorhome juices flowing again. The advert appeared to show an immaculate vehicle and sure enough, from a distance it does look superb. However closer inspection showed rust just appearing on the seem of the sills of the probably fairly recent respray. The actual respray was of a reasonable quality, mind. But the interior really showed the age of the vehicle. For a start, the cab carpet was filthy. Proper grubby. And there were hints of rust appearing from the floor near the drivers door. But from the first glance there was a layer of black dog hair everywhere and the whole van smelt of damp dog. Also the dashboard was covered in (coffee?) stains and I think there was cigarette ash on the floor. It's a shame because if properly presented, it probably still had some value, but as it was being retailed at £7995 (I kid you not) I just walked away. So icky was it that I didn't want to touch any of the interior. Yuck. Bleh. I thanked the chap, who had very kindly left me to get on with it and walked away.

    Don't get me wrong I like dogs. Especially if they are cooked properly. But I don't want a camper to be covered head to foot in their hair and whiff of damp dachshund. Especially if a three grand vehicle is being retailed at eight grand......... I have to say this was not a specialist motorhome dealer, but a car sales lot, but all the same.

    My biggest gripe of buying any second hand vehicle is that they are hardly ever prepared properly for sale. Even major motorhome dealers I have visited in the past have had vehicle with obvious and visible detrimental faults on display. When I question them they always say it will be fixed before it's sold. Maybe it's just me, but I would prefer all the known faults to have been rectified before I view it, so everything works and looks nice. For me, it just demonstrates care and quality of service. I remeber viewing an R10 about a year ago which was priced at £16995 and the cushions were just stacked on the floor, the interior was filthy, there were tools lying about on the front seats and it was so poorly presented I didn't even ask for the keys.

    Anyway, not to be thwarted, I then went down the A299 to Broadstairs to view an '02 plated Berlingo Hylo. This time, the vehicle interior was spotless, very well presented. But the main problem was that the salesman would not just let me play with it for twenty minutes. He just hung around asking me questions about it!? He said he didn't know much about it, his boss did (who wasn't there). I would have preferred to have been handed the keys to look round it on my own, but that wasn't going to happen. Also it was advertised at £13995 but priced on the lot at £14995. It was probably worth it at £12995. Good Berlingo Hylo's are. But I haven't got that much, unfortunately. But with the salesman lurking, I couldn't really get a feel for it anyway.

    But it did get me in the mood again at last. The demise of Henrietta did hit me hard. I had spent hours fettling what was already an excellent vehicle but when she was welted by a recalcitrant kitchen salesman, my enthusiasm wained a bit, I have to say. But I'm ready to get another wagon now.

    The problem I have is that I have enough money to get the very best original C15 Hylo. But I don't really want another one, as panels are so scarce, as I found out. One accident and that's it. But I can't stretch to even an early Berlingo Hylo, such is the difference in price. So I am probably going to have to get something non-Romahome, which is a shame.

    I'm not sure what I am going to get, to be honest. But the hunt is on!

    Panda
    These broken wings are gonna leave me here to stand my ground........

    #2
    This one looks 'tidy'. Stimson is known for good design.

    http://www.jcleisure.co.uk/motorhome...ro-camper-339/

    And a couple of older Kangoos

    http://motorhomes.autotrader.co.uk/m...5&postcode=M13 9WP

    Julie

    Comment


      #3
      Hi Panda,
      Glad to hear you are back in the market for a camper. It seems incredible that the dealership displayed those campers in such a disgusting state. I'm glad you walked away as the company is obviously not worth bothering with. If they care so little about the interior, whatever evils might be lurking under the bonnet, or elsewhere in the workings? Is there anywhere you can put in some feedback - people need to be made aware of what a scruffy outfit they are!

      Hope you find the camper of your dreams before the season gets under way! Best of luck,
      Cynthia

      Comment


        #4
        Pleased to hear you are now seeking Henrietta's successor.

        Re the Kangoo Roo, I had one and loved it - a great little vehicle and well-designed. I've also visited JC Leisure in Winchelsea several times and would very happily buy from them. Given a choice, I would opt for the 1149cc petrol at 48mpg though rather than the 1.6 petrol auto, or choose the diesel version.

        That Stimpson La Parisienne also looks interesting. There's another here too, same price for 2003 but with 74k on the clock. It's unusual to have two of these available at the same time.
        http://www.motorhomes.mobi/Motorhome...e/Default.aspx

        Comment


          #5
          Hi all,

          I do like Stimson's stuff, after all, he had a hand in the Romahome. Problem is with the Le Parisienne is the bed arrangement. I can't think that it will be particularly comfortable. However, I'm not an hour and a half from Winchelsea, so I might pop down and have a look anyway, just for fun.

          I do like the Kangoo Roo's, again a J C Leisure product and I viewed one before I bought Henrietta. I've got a week off in February, going to the NEC camping show so I might make a few days of it and trot around the country viewing some small campers. I have a good sum to spend, just want to get the right thing.

          As I say, the Romahome I looked at was very well presented. And anyone who looked inside the Talbot would see what I saw, so I won't name names. However if you search for Talbot Express Sportsman on eBay and look at the one for £7995, you'll soon identify it. Bloke was lovely, van was rubbish.

          I also like the Doblo conversions, but the furniture I like in one type has a rock and roll bed, which I don't like. The one with the pull out bed doesn't have as good furniture. I may visit a couple of them and see what they can do. They are bespoke, after all. I also have more than a passing interest in Chapel motorhomes stuff too.

          Panda.
          These broken wings are gonna leave me here to stand my ground........

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by karenw View Post
            Pleased to hear you are now seeking Henrietta's successor.

            Re the Kangoo Roo, I had one and loved it - a great little vehicle and well-designed. I've also visited JC Leisure in Winchelsea several times and would very happily buy from them.
            When I was ill a couple of years back we sold our red VWT5. Wanting a quick sale with no fuss I rang round the dealers - JC Leisure were the best to deal with. Two of their staff drove up to Leek with a carrier bag of cash. They did not even look at the van, just consumed tea and biscuits and got on their way back down south taking the VW with them. I think they got a bit of a bargain, but when you want to sell quickly with no hassle, it's a buyer's market. It appeared on their website three days later and disappeared again two days later, presumably off to a happy new home. So, they can be OK to sell to as well!
            Mary

            Comment


              #7
              Hi Panda

              There 's a couple of Hylos on our website amongst other small motorhomes, anything here take your fancy?

              http://www.smallmotorhome.co.uk/smal...-for-sale.html
              Graham
              Did you know you can follow us on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter or you can visit us at our Website

              Comment


                #8
                What about a Chapel conversion on a Berlingo?
                Better a rainy day on the hill than a sunny day in the office!

                Comment


                  #9
                  I keep my eye on fleabay for C15's especially the HyLo models because it gives me an idea of what mine could be worth now I've done her up and to be honest there are still a couple of well presented models on there.
                  During the restoration of my C15 I found that I could buy all the panels from fleabay either second hand or brand new, many parts are also available too. There are a couple on there in dealers hands but they have been done up by them or someone else. Take a look at this 1994 model (L) I'd be proud to drive this on the road, apparently if you read it properly he/she is offering a choice of upholstery and only done 67,000 miles
                  http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/1994-Lreg-...gAAOSwCGVX5YkS
                  "Take nothing but pictures. Leave nothing but footprints. Kill nothing but time"

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Rob B View Post
                    What about a Chapel conversion on a Berlingo?
                    Hi Rob, yes Chapel is on my list of people to visit, definitely.

                    Panda
                    These broken wings are gonna leave me here to stand my ground........

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Jeff Brown View Post
                      I keep my eye on fleabay for C15's especially the HyLo models because it gives me an idea of what mine could be worth now I've done her up and to be honest there are still a couple of well presented models on there.
                      During the restoration of my C15 I found that I could buy all the panels from fleabay either second hand or brand new, many parts are also available too. There are a couple on there in dealers hands but they have been done up by them or someone else. Take a look at this 1994 model (L) I'd be proud to drive this on the road, apparently if you read it properly he/she is offering a choice of upholstery and only done 67,000 miles
                      http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/1994-Lreg-...gAAOSwCGVX5YkS
                      Hi Jeff,

                      Yes a lot of panels are still available but Henretta had the wing pushed back into the scuttle and the inner wing was bent. Also the front crossmember was bent and various other non available bits were required to repair her. Although second hand panels were available, the insurance company, quite understandably wouldn't give any of the repairers permission to use second hand parts. Even Ant couldn't suggest a definite source of some of the parts.

                      I am a bit cautious, probably quite unecessarily, of the company that you linked. I have been following them on eBay for some years and while I certainly don't know their work, I also don't know the original condition of the vehicles they restore and sell. I always prefer to see an original vehicle, warts and all, rather than a restored vehicle. They seem to restore numerous campers and I am sure that the work they do is fine, but it's just not for me. I'd be very keen to hear from anyone who has purchased a vehicle from them, though.

                      It is interesting that since I bought Henrietta last year, the market for C15 Hylo's has, if anything, strengthened. I bought Henrietta for £5500 and and genuine vehicles in that condition now seem to be fetching anything up to £7500. This is great news for C15 owners!

                      Panda
                      These broken wings are gonna leave me here to stand my ground........

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Graham View Post
                        Hi Panda

                        There 's a couple of Hylos on our website amongst other small motorhomes, anything here take your fancy?

                        http://www.smallmotorhome.co.uk/smal...-for-sale.html
                        Hi Graham.

                        Yes indeed they both do look good. I haven't completely dismissed the C15, but having lost Henrietta to accident damage, I would just be worried the same thing would happen again with another C15.

                        If I were to look at another C15, it would definitely be a Hylo, quite late, at least 1997 onwards, cos I loved the sunroof in the back. Also the late upholstery is excellent, some of the earlier stuff is a bit drab. I also loved the colour coded front seats and I'd definitely want that again. And the cooker in the later ones is nicer too. Also I'd want blown air heating and factory fitted leisure battery and circuit. Henrietta's lesiure battery and 12v system was dealer fitted and it didn't have a distribution board or zig unit, making operation quite confusing. Also factory fitted batteries were under the passenger seat, Henrietta's leisure battery took up a lot of room in the water tank locker (especially after I fitted a 110amp!).

                        So, yes, if the perfect C15 came up for the right money, I'd go and look, certainly. But I was spoilt with Henrietta. She was in very good condition (remember, nearly all the stuff I did was tinkering despite the hard work I made of it......) she was quite late, 1997, had all the toys except blown air heating and I bought her off a vicar's wife, for gooness sake! You still here Joy?

                        Oh don't, I want another one now........

                        Panda
                        These broken wings are gonna leave me here to stand my ground........

                        Comment


                          #13
                          I love the stuff these folk do.

                          https://www.compactcampers.net/our-cars

                          The quality appears to be excellent and the prices very competitive and I reckon they will sneak under most height barriers carefully, if necessary. I adore the layout they use except the rock 'n' roll bed. I'd prefer a pull out side bed. I wouldn't want all their toys, either. But some of them......

                          I plan to contact them and ask if I can visit after my trip to the NEC.

                          Anybody got any experience of them?

                          Graham, I can't stop thinking about another Hylo now!

                          Panda
                          These broken wings are gonna leave me here to stand my ground........

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Whatever you do, if you don't fancy a rock 'n roll bed then don't get talked into it. I didn't like them but ended up with one, and it's the one thing I really hate about my van!

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Caz View Post
                              Whatever you do, if you don't fancy a rock 'n roll bed then don't get talked into it. I didn't like them but ended up with one, and it's the one thing I really hate about my van!
                              Hi Caz,

                              Yes, I've never had a rock 'n' roll bed, but they just seem such a waste of space. I know they are the go to spec. for most camper beds these days but the side bed like in the Romahome (does this have a proper name?) seems much better, with storage underneath and room to sprawl!

                              Panda
                              These broken wings are gonna leave me here to stand my ground........

                              Comment

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