Transit campervan

hobbles, Apr 2, 8:19pm
we are looking into buying a transit campervan.Any mechanical advice about faults to look for would be appreciated. Or any other advice!

jezz43, Apr 2, 8:41pm
old or new model!

hobbles, Apr 2, 8:46pm
2000 to 2004 we like the layout of the inside

hobbles, Apr 2, 8:48pm
we have been doing some reading on here and it doesn't look too promising

hobbles, Apr 2, 8:48pm
and a 1998 that we quite like the look of
but don't know about the mechanics and or problems

whqqsh, Apr 2, 9:09pm
mate had a late 90s transit, diesel, & had nothing but trouble with it. especially electrical & for some reason kept shitting alternators & even shearing off the bolts & bracket. It was uncomfortable, noisy, rough & I hated going more that 10 kms in it. We went up North to pick up car parts & by the end of the 400km round trip we were both grumpy as hell, stinking headaches & I could hardly walk due to the hard crappy seat. I swore Id never get into one of those pieces of shit ever again. He ended up letting it rot in his driveway as it was worh more in depreciation to the business than he could sell it for

hobbles, Apr 2, 9:13pm
thanks, we appreciate your advice - like the layout or not we have decided to keep looking at other makes.Don't want a lemon and we want to be buying a pleasurable experience not a sore grumpy one.cheers

thejazzpianoma, Apr 2, 9:21pm
The 90's model shape is horribly prone to rust as well.
Mercedes, VW and Fiat would be my choices. The most important thing is to get in to a common rail engine if you can, it transforms the driving experience by giving you heaps of response, power, economy and quieter running.

Just a note with the Ducato especially (does apply to others) you will hear about a lot of motor homers that burn clutches out on them. This is not a fault with the Van itself but a fault with the driver.

Usually they are older people who are often a bit deaf and have in many cases never driven a commercial vehicle. They forget that with a motorhome body these things are like driving a heavily loaded van. They seem to think they can just drive off in any gear they want and think nothing of slipping the clutch to control speed as they reverse with too many rev's on.

Then of course they love to whinge and moan to anyone who will listen when the massive torque of these diesels strips the lining off the clutch quick smart.

Commercial drivers can do hundreds of thousands of kilometers between clutches, you can do if you drive it properly.

Best of luck. motorhoming is a lot of fun. If you post your approximate budget people will be able to guide you further.

hobbles, Apr 2, 9:25pm
awesome advice - thank you
we are looking to spend around 30 - 35k
I really like to have a big window at the back, and we want to tow a boat on occasions

hobbles, Apr 2, 9:27pm
And we want to be able to take 1 or 2 grandkids with us so would need 3-4 berth

tmenz, Apr 2, 9:36pm
Some of the Transit models have a problem with the 'dual mass' flywheels disintegrating, damaging starter motors and clutches in the process.

thejazzpianoma, Apr 2, 9:36pm
No problem, you can easily get into something with a common rail motor for that if you look around. Common rail is going to be a big help with towing the boat.

In terms of cabin design just go with what suits you but do bear in mind that those with large overhead compartments increase wind resistance further. This affects power and economy at open road cruise speeds. in other words. most of the time!

If the big rear window is for a view of the countryside thats all good, if you think you are going to find something you can see the boat out of for backing you will often be better off with a reversing camera. Cheap and easy to install if it dosn't have one.

thejazzpianoma, Apr 2, 9:46pm
One other thing with the Common rail diesels, depending on brand just because one you look at of a particular shape has a common rail engine dosn't mean the next one of the same shape/model will.

This is an important consideration given that your budget will be buying into the changeover time for that technology. Also don't pay much attention to engine size, CC rating dosn't mean very much when you get into modern diesel technology and little common rails are often big performers. Best to drive each one and see how it feels.

hobbles, Apr 2, 9:52pm
Thanks again, could you please tell us how we know if it s a "common rail motor" or not

hobbles, Apr 2, 10:11pm
we have googled it and think we now understand the difference - thanks

jono2912, Apr 2, 10:28pm
Haven't read other posts, but Jazz has posted here.

That's the man for advice in this case.

I myself like the Ducatos, they are alot taller!

geoff_m, Apr 2, 10:29pm
Ask on the Motorhome forum (
I know a few people with Transits and from what the rental companies say - not one of Ford's finest on the whole - body rust, engine problems with the lifters, diffs stripping gears, gearbox problems.

I also suggest you look if you can get a 6 berth if you are taking kids with you, so you have the table permanently (rather than pulling it apart to make a bed). That way you can have the kids playing games on the table, or watching TV from the bed etc at the same time. We have 2 boys (22months and 9yo)
We have a Mitsi Canter (ex United rentals originally - you can see what they look like on their website), which is slow, but a great layout.
I suggest if you don't know what you want, rent or borrow one for a weekend and try it out. We rented a Kea for Easter before we got ours, and it was money well spent and it told us what we wanted (6 berth for sure with kids, a permanent ladder to the luton bed so mr 9 can climb up there any time, an oven so you can do garlic bread to go with the saussies.)

hobbles, Apr 2, 10:52pm
thanks for the link to the forum, will spend some more time reading.

checked out the united rental site - they look great except for the $$$, we were hoping to not need another mortgage and only have up to 40k to spend at this time.

hobbles, Apr 2, 10:54pm
jono - my husband is over 6ft tall so needing something with a bit of height

muzz67, Apr 3, 1:10am
Got a 2001 Transit. Goes well, comfy to travel in, easy on fuel. 10L/100km. Previous models have been troublesome,, use a Euro common rail now.Just did 2200km towing motorbikes around South Island. 100kph no worries.
Ours is ex Pacific Horizon, they seem to have good maintenance and layout.
If you intend to purchase make sure the dualmass flywheel has been replaced, usually around 250 000km.Bit expensive.

bigfatmat1, Sep 22, 3:50am
Sometimes you get a good run out of a vehicle. With a transit this is very unlikely. Most common vehicle in our w/shop plagued with problems. Fiat,merc,vw