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  • pewe
    started a topic New here and considering purchase of a C15

    New here and considering purchase of a C15

    As I mentioned in the 'Say Hello' forum we are considering purchase of a Roma for short trips away - one or two nights, and having done a bit of research it does seem that buying one can be a bit of a nightmare - and as we cannot afford to make any expensive mistakes not having the money to put them right - I am looking for guidance and hoping to get my questions answered (or at least a fair number of them) here.

    My first experience of looking at one for sale was not very encouraging it has to be said.

    It was on offer from a local caravan/motorhome dealer at £6995 for a 1999 of 120,000 mile vintage.
    It was disappointing that the two main problems we discovered were the interior clearly having been used by smokers and the odour still lingering, and the inner skin of the front passenger door having a large section, about 3 inches in diameter, which had rusted through and was crumbling further. So we gave that a miss.

    We then saw a 1994 advertised at £5500 which looked tidy - but the pod was a cream colour whereas the cab was white, which raised questions which the seller could not answer.

    So researching further I found this site and the thread about pod changes, which probably applied to that offering, and raises my first question

    - How can the potential age of a pod be determined from the layout (I notice some posters mention that this is a give away sometimes).

    My second question is about the layout of the bed - it seems quite short to me (at 6'1" I could not stretch flat) and assuming they are all the same - have any of the taller members here found any practical answers to this?

    Next, mechanical reliability. What are the main mechanical issues that Romas of this age are likely to give, and what should I look for by way of previous servicing/repairs.

    Then, condition. At the age of the vehicles we can afford I suspect there will be bodywork issues. Which are the most common to look out for (do they rust in particular places).
    I am sure that there are likely to be some good buys out there (like the 1991 for sale here appears to be - shame it is so far away), and with the right guidance and a bit of patience hopefully we can find one.

    Thanks in advance for any input offered.

  • Pandabloke
    replied
    Hi Pete,

    I know all who have been following this thread send you their very best wishes. Pop back and see us when you can.

    Panda.

    Leave a comment:


  • kernowjon
    replied
    Oh Pewe,

    So sad - I really do hope that all turns out well for your wife and of course for you. Keep in contact with us all.

    I have been in your shoes and know at this stage it is like a hammer blow - only the two of you can decide what your next steps are.

    Jon

    Leave a comment:


  • pewe
    replied
    Guys,

    Sorry I have not been around for a little while - we had a bombshell dropped a little while ago when my wife was called back after a routine mammogram, and it turns out there are early signs of breast cancer starting and she needs further tests and then treatment.
    So the camper van project is on hold at the moment.
    I will still be keeping my eyes open and popping back to the forum from time to time - but viewing and possible purchase may have to wait for a while - possibly until the spring next year if the provisional treatment schedule is any indicator.

    Thanks once again for all the input.

    Leave a comment:


  • kernowjon
    replied
    Originally posted by smedhed View Post
    Hello Mr. Pandabloke,I hope you don't mind but I have just joined and read some of your posts and thought you may help.
    Thank you for your previous advice.

    I have been looking at past MOTs of the C15 and see a lot of "nearside Headlamp aimed too low", although, not on the last two. Is this suggestive of rot?

    The last MOT had 3 advisories:

    Oil Leak

    Front Coil spring corroded

    Rear Coil Spring corroded

    Are these very bad things?

    Cheersman!
    The springs are not the end of the world - budget £500 to replace front and rear springs - always replace as a pair regardless of the MoT advisory. full set about £150 from Autodoc allow the rest for fitting - think about new shocks at same time should not increase the labour charge.

    Oil leak if only from top end Rocker Cover insignificant - maybe a drain plug that needs a new copper washer next oil change - all insignificant. Could be a damaged casting and expensive.

    Jon

    Leave a comment:


  • smedhed
    replied
    c15 romahome

    Originally posted by Pandabloke View Post
    Doh!

    Panda
    Hello Mr. Pandabloke,I hope you don't mind but I have just joined and read some of your posts and thought you may help.
    Thank you for your previous advice.

    I have been looking at past MOTs of the C15 and see a lot of "nearside Headlamp aimed too low", although, not on the last two. Is this suggestive of rot?

    The last MOT had 3 advisories:

    Oil Leak

    Front Coil spring corroded

    Rear Coil Spring corroded

    Are these very bad things?

    Cheersman!

    Leave a comment:


  • Misted
    replied
    Originally posted by smedhed View Post
    Hello, Sorry if I'm doing this wrong! Could you please tell me is this advert reasonable?
    Hello, as you give your location as Brum you must be close enough to pop around and have a look without too much effort. I would definitely do so as even if it turns out to be terrible you will have added to your experience bank.

    Make a note of the registration number immediately you arrive so you can check the MOT History at your leisure (https://www.gov.uk/check-mot-history).

    As Pandabloke says ask all the obvious questions including: about the MOT and advisories; how long has he (or she) had it; service history i.e. when and where/by whom serviced and does he have receipts or records such as old MOTs and bills; has he had it welded and if so which bits; has it been accident damaged is it Cat C or D; etc.

    Cat C or D damaged and repaired (properly) vehicles can be completely safe and sound but you might find problems if you later want to sell it as some potential buyers don't understand that insurance companies categorise damaged vehicles on strict financial grounds, not the severity of the damage.

    Try to get as much clear info as possible, stuff you can check against the MOT histories and your opinion of the seller to help decide whether you believe what you are being told.

    If you think it is worth buying you might want to get someone knowledgeable (an MOT Tester would be ideal) to take a look at it for you and get a check by HPI or similar, RAC and others offer similar checks.

    Apologies if this sounds like "teaching grannies to suck eggs", hope it is some help

    Leave a comment:


  • Pandabloke
    replied
    Originally posted by kernowjon View Post
    Panda

    The advert says 11 months MoT in the first lines "Great little Romahome 11 months MoT ..."

    Jon
    Doh!

    Panda

    Leave a comment:


  • kernowjon
    replied
    Panda

    The advert says 11 months MoT in the first lines "Great little Romahome 11 months MoT ..."

    Jon

    Leave a comment:


  • Pandabloke
    replied
    Originally posted by smedhed View Post
    Hello,
    Sorry if I'm doing this wrong!
    Could you please tell me is this advert reasonable?
    Thank You

    Great little Romahome 11 months mot
    Northfield, West Midlands
    £3,195.00
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    Want to know more?
    Buy the full HPI report and get additional data.
    Outstanding finance, valuation, mileage check & VIN match for £9.99 (normally £19.99).
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    Posted
    4 days ago
    Make
    Citroen
    Model
    C 15D
    Year
    1990
    Mileage
    130000
    Seller type
    Private
    Body type
    Other
    Fuel type
    Diesel
    Transmission
    Other
    Colour
    White
    Engine size
    1769
    Description
    Romahome 11 months mot only two advisors G reg 130000 miles in good nick for the year inside and out no leaks dry as a bone... 1700cc Diesel engine very good 50 MPG @ 55MPH starts first time the camper is in use with me at present time .. it will come with the drive away awning as in pic had some great fun in this little van sad to see it go but really need something a little bigger ..5 good tyres solid exhaust ideal for trips away fishing or festival's very nice camper any questions drop me a text be glad to answer them
    Hi there.

    I've looked at this advert on Gumtree and in the first instance it looks ok. The seats in the pod have been covered, so it would be worth looking under the covers to see what condition they are in. The pod seems to match the age of the vehicle as well. I may have expected to see a white top cooker in there, not a brown one, necessarily, but that is not a reason not to view it and I am sure I have seen brown cookers in early pods before. The mileage seems commensurate with the age as well.

    You need to ask all the right questions when you view it, like why are they selling it, how long have they had it and that sort of thing. Also it is over 25 years old so it will be showing it's age somewhere. I may have missed it, but I couldn't see an MOT period on it either. Check that out.

    It all seems straight and honest from the advert, so I would certainly consider viewing it if I wanted one like that. But when you view it, that is when the work starts!

    Hope thus helps.

    Panda

    Leave a comment:


  • smedhed
    replied
    c15 romahome

    Originally posted by Pandabloke View Post
    Hi there. My C15 has a bed extension from the factory. I assume they all came with it, but I'm not sure. Slide both the front seats forward and then look at the front of the seating in the living area either side. There should be a recess maybe 7 inches long on either side on top of the fibreglass lockers where a bed extension should slot in across the width of the van. It gives that extra few inches that a six footer like me needs. The bed extension is probably lurking in the Luton area.

    Engines are old fashioned diesels, 1.8 and later 1.9 (if you can find one) and will go to the moon and back while still returning 40 to the gallon at least. Chassis rust is the thing to look at most. Most exterior metal panels are still available at a cost or second hand, but some structural panels are nearly impossible to source, so if you prang it big style, you might not be able to repair it.

    You can look up any MOT history of any vehicle on a DVLA website, back as far as 2006. Just google something like 'vehicle MOT history' and it'll lead you to the site. You can then see what your prospective purchase failed on, previously. If it's shown lots of structural corrosion, probably best skip it.

    Now, the youngest genuine C15 Romahome will be absolutely no later than 2002 registered. Anything claiming to be younger than that WILL be a clone and best avoided. The bodies were never designed to be shifted from chassis to chassis and apparently don't take kindly to being moved. We are sure it can be done successfully, but why risk it? Also C15 Romahomes were on the 765kg chassis/cab and later van chassis were only 600kg so you lose a lot spare weight in the transfer. If in doubt post the advert you're interested in on here and we'll offer our opinions.

    Dating isn't too difficult, even from photos. All C15 pods should be dated hear the top hinge on the door frame at the rear. So if your pod says 92 and the cab is 2000 registered, don't buy it! However, a good rule of thumb for initial dating is to look at the cooker. I wrote a 'cooker dating thread' on here which is a general guide. It's not infallible, but it does help.

    http://www.smallmotorhome.co.uk/foru...ght=Dating+C15

    Oh and C15 brakes are rubbish. At the best, they are barely adequate. Most will try and kill you. But it's part of the adventure. Honestly....

    The biggest thing to remember is that the youngest C15 Romahome is at least 15 years old. Most modern vehicles will have been cast aside by then. So you are essentially buying a very old vehicle. Just so you know.

    Having said that, because of the brilliant design, they still hold a premium in the market place, as you have discovered. A 1999 C15 panel van will be worth maybe £500. A decent C15 Romahome of the same vintage will be ten times that. £5000.

    Age is not necessarily the worry with a C15. Condition is everything. A decent C15 Romahome with some history, little visible rust and able to be used immediately for holidaying should be yours for £5000. Quite possibly much less. There are plenty of folk on here with much cheaper C15's than that but for a good 'un, £5000 is not unreasonable in the market place at the moment. But finding one is quite difficult, as you have found. I purchased both my reasonably sound, late-ish C15 Hylo's from private individuals, one through this forum and one through Gumtree. And I would recommend a private purchase every time rather than retail.

    Don't forget though, that the Berlingos started production in 1997 (I think?) and if you do your math, you will see that they ran side by side with the C15 for several years. Berlingo Hytops are probably better than C15 Hytops, basically cos you get the same package on a more modern designed vehicle. Hylo's are a different matter. C15 Hylo's have solid sides and the complete roof lifts, and have a useable Luton area, while Berlingo Hylo's have fabric sides to the lifting, front pivoting roof, thus little useable Luton for storage. So although the Berlingo is more modern, one could argue that C15 Hylo's are more practical. I do, in fact! The point is, Berlingo prices are starting to come down and I've seen what looked like a reasonable one for under £7000 recently, so don't dismiss them.

    Hylo or Hytop. Up to you. A Hylo will squeeze under most height barriers, if you have the nerve. Hytops won't. And thus Hytops have a bigger Luton area. In your price range, that is basically the difference.

    Now I am no expert. Definitely not. There are others on here who know far and away more than me. But I have just spent a year doing what you are doing, to find a good C15 Hylo. And I did and it was worth the wait!

    Take your time, go with your gut feeling and if you are unsure, just walk away. There will be the right van for you. I know. Believe me!

    Hope this has helped a bit in answering some of your questions.

    Panda
    Hello,
    Sorry if I'm doing this wrong!
    Could you please tell me is this advert reasonable?
    Thank You

    Great little Romahome 11 months mot
    Northfield, West Midlands
    £3,195.00
    Images
    Map










    Image
    1 of 9

    Previous image

    Next image

    Full screen gallery
    Mark
    Posting for 3+ months
    Reveal
    07719290745
    Mark
    Posting for 3+ months
    See all ads
    Contact details
    07719290745
    Reveal


    Favourite
    Report
    Vehicle history

    This vehicle has not been reported stolen, scrapped, exported or flagged as unroadworthy.
    Want to know more?
    Buy the full HPI report and get additional data.
    Outstanding finance, valuation, mileage check & VIN match for £9.99 (normally £19.99).
    Buy report now

    Share:
    Share this ad on Facebook

    Share this ad on Twitter

    Share this ad on Google Plus

    Share this ad on Pinterest

    Email this ad

    Stay Safe

    "Meet face to face, never send payment for items you've not seen"
    "If an ad or reply sounds too good to be true, it probably is"
    "Use the 'Reply to ad' button for your safety and privacy"
    "Don't reply to email addresses hidden in text and pictures"
    "Beware of fake Gumtree, eBay or escrow sites and invoices"
    "Don't carry large sums of money with you when meeting up"
    "Tell others when/where you're going to trade, and bring a friend"
    "Don't ship items - always trade face to face"
    "Don't use Paysafe, Ukash or Western Union for Gumtree trades"
    Read all safety tips

    Previous safety tip
    1 of 9
    Next safety tip

    Posted
    4 days ago
    Make
    Citroen
    Model
    C 15D
    Year
    1990
    Mileage
    130000
    Seller type
    Private
    Body type
    Other
    Fuel type
    Diesel
    Transmission
    Other
    Colour
    White
    Engine size
    1769
    Description
    Romahome 11 months mot only two advisors G reg 130000 miles in good nick for the year inside and out no leaks dry as a bone... 1700cc Diesel engine very good 50 MPG @ 55MPH starts first time the camper is in use with me at present time .. it will come with the drive away awning as in pic had some great fun in this little van sad to see it go but really need something a little bigger ..5 good tyres solid exhaust ideal for trips away fishing or festival's very nice camper any questions drop me a text be glad to answer them

    Leave a comment:


  • Misted
    replied
    Originally posted by Misted View Post
    One Peugeot 504 we had did about 250k miles before it was traded in.
    A minor correction, I meant to write 405!

    We did have a 504 but it was not one of those referred to in the post as it had a different (not XUD series) 2 litre petrol engine. A good big estate car but sadly the body was not as durable as the mechanicals and we traded it in for a younger but much less sensible car.

    Leave a comment:


  • Pandabloke
    replied
    [QUOTE=Misted;187986]Hello and welcome pewe. I have sympathy with your struggle as I am looking for a good used van too although at least I have a bigger and younger pool to choose from. We have always liked the Romahome design and execution but I don’t fit the C15 cab so looking elsewhere.
    As any C15 Romahome is at best 15 and possibly 26 years old we have to accept that we are very unlikely to find a van untarnished by rust and many of the wearing parts will have failed and, we hope, been replaced with appropriate good quality new parts.

    Being curious, or plain nosy, I had a look on the web for Romahomes that might suit somewhere not too far from Somerset (Glastonbury). In no particular order:

    1) Citroen c15 hylo romahome diesel with power steering and full service history £5,995.

    On ebay and Gumtree, in Hampshire, SO32 2BY
    The vendor says: "This camper is in a very good condition throughout and probably the best one on the market today it really is that nice."

    The MOT history looks good for 2017 but looking at the 2016 record there are some "Advisories" I would consider carefully and in the 2015 test it looks worse:

    “MOT History: Vehicle CITROEN C15D CHAMP - N653LCD MOT to 1 June 2018 with no advisories. Date first used 30 August 1995

    Test date 2 August 2016 Expiry date 20 August 2017 - Test Result Pass at Odometer reading 131,433 miles
    Front bulkhead slightly corroded in places
    Both front inner wings slightly corroded
    Offside Rear Suspension component mounting prescribed area is corroded but not considered excessive (2.4.A.3)

    Test date 17 February 2015 Test Result Fail at Odometer reading 124,022 miles
    Rear Vehicle structure has excessive corrosion, seriously affecting its strength within 30cm of the body mountings (6.1.B.2)”

    Hi there.

    I actually attempted to view this one before I bought Hettie.

    It was advertised on eBay and I looked up the address of the vendor on eBay who claims to be a motorhome trader. I went unanounced to the premises in the late afternoon on a week day and the (somewhat 'back street') compound was locked up and there was no one about. A cursory glance at the vehicle through the fence appeared to show that the front bumper was half hanging off, despite the claims of it being one of the best.

    Now, either you are a professional business selling campers during working hours, or you're not. I take no prisoners here. If you have to leave urgently, you leave a note and contact number on the gate. No excuses. Period. That's just me, but that is what I'd do. Harsh, but s good way of judging a trader in my opinion.

    It may be a really good vehicle and the trader might be excellent. Who knows. But I didn't go back. Gut feeling and all that.

    Might help you decide on this one. Hope it helps.

    A very critical and exceptionally cautious Panda.

    Leave a comment:


  • Misted
    replied
    Hello again pewe.

    You asked about reliability. I have no direct experience with the C15 but we have had 4 cars and a van with various versions of the XUD engine and found them to be reliable. One Peugeot 504 we had did about 250k miles before it was traded in. The C15 engines are not asked to produce many horses so should last a long time if serviced correctly.
    Our PSA cars had a few more electrical bits and it was mainly those that gave a little trouble but never caused a breakdown, for example the central locking, rev counter and the digital odometer. Others here will be able to tell you more about C15 specific problems if any.

    One of the many good things about this forum is the search facility, much better than others I have used. I did a quick search using the word “welding” which brought up 6 pages of results. A superficial look suggested the following might contain information about where C15s rust and how difficult they could be to repair:

    Thread: welder needed in the South West
    http://www.smallmotorhome.co.uk/foru...hlight=welding

    Thread: Mot work started
    http://www.smallmotorhome.co.uk/foru...hlight=welding

    Thread: Chassis welding
    http://www.smallmotorhome.co.uk/foru...hlight=welding

    Thread: How viable is rust? - Not strictly on message but may be of interest?
    http://www.smallmotorhome.co.uk/foru...hlight=welding

    Thread: Rusty c15 MOT fail HELP
    http://www.smallmotorhome.co.uk/foru...hlight=welding

    Thread: MOT of DOOM FAIL and now advised to scrap....
    http://www.smallmotorhome.co.uk/foru...hlight=welding

    Thread: Rust
    http://www.smallmotorhome.co.uk/foru...hlight=welding

    Thread: MOT fail help
    http://www.smallmotorhome.co.uk/foru...hlight=welding

    Thread: the demise of little roma
    http://www.smallmotorhome.co.uk/foru...hlight=welding

    Thread: our little girl roma
    http://www.smallmotorhome.co.uk/foru...hlight=welding

    Thread: RomaHome Restore
    http://www.smallmotorhome.co.uk/foru...hlight=welding

    Thread: Common problems of age in C15 Romas
    http://www.smallmotorhome.co.uk/foru...hlight=welding

    Thread: Romahome C15 'Restoration' Project - Should I?
    http://www.smallmotorhome.co.uk/foru...hlight=welding

    Thread: help! when is a c15d romahome expired? aimed at mechanics/welders and know-it-alls!
    http://www.smallmotorhome.co.uk/foru...hlight=welding

    Thread: removal of body shell from c15
    http://www.smallmotorhome.co.uk/foru...hlight=welding

    Hope that may be of help

    Leave a comment:


  • kernowjon
    replied
    Pewe,
    If you want someone to take a look at the one in Penryn pm me. I live about 12 miles away at least I can look and say worth a look ...or ... do not waste your time.

    Although I fear at that price you may be embarking on a restoration project.

    Re Sills take a look at the Chitty threads
    http://www.smallmotorhome.co.uk/foru...itty-bang-bang
    - I believe most of the sills are not structural and it is MoT testers with a lack of knowledge incorrectly failing some vans - Jeff Brown knows about this.

    Jon

    Leave a comment:

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