Play it again, Van

By: Wally Bowater

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Walk-thru review of a second-hand motorhome

Play it again, Van
Play it again, Van

This unit is the result of a combination of professional and DIY manufacture and the end result is a very tidy four-berth home away from home.

The cab and chassis is a 1992 Nissan Atlas with a 4.2-litre diesel engine and a five-speed manual gearbox driving to a dual-wheeled single rear axle. The engine had done around 100,000 kilometres when it failed, so a completely new engine was installed. That engine has done only 4000 kilometres and ran sweetly when tested.

The driver compartment is tidy with a radio/cassette, heating/cooling, adjustable steering wheel for height and rake, three fitted seatbelts, and access to the home compartment.
With a tare weight of 4300kg, the driver does not require a heavy traffic license but the vehicle will need a COF when the current one expires.

At the time of review, additional certificates – an electrical WOF, current registration and vehicle COF – were all current.

The body build and the fitting of two 150-litre water tanks, one for fresh and one for grey, were professionally handled to the customer’s designs and, on completion of that work, the vehicle was delivered to the customer for the fit-out. This was finished in 1994 and the vehicle has been in use since that date.

Other than three cabinets on the upper rear wall and three above the stove, there are no cabinets on any other wall above the windows but there are a number of storage compartments below the living seats.

All of the windows have been double glazed and there is an all-season vent in the roof. In addition, most windows are able to be opened, so there is plenty of available air flow when it is needed. The windows have fly screens fitted and there is a security screen door attached to the inside of the main home door.

The kitchen incorporates a four-burner hob, an oven, a three-way fridge, a gas heater, a 14-litre hot-water system, an Expelair range hood and a microwave. The bench tops are Formica and there is a pull-out pantry with a couple of cupboards under the sink. There is a 10-inch revolving TV just inside the home door for viewing either in the lounge/sleeping area or in the kitchen.

The sleeping arrangements are a double bed in the high-lift Luton, accessed by a removable step ladder, and two singles that can be made up in the rear living area. Extra seat belts have been installed in the living area and these are in addition to the three in the driving compartment.

The Nissan is 12v powered as are all of the lights in the home. A 240v system is in place and additional battery charging comes from a 90-watt solar panel. All four batteries, two in the truck and two in the home, are charged by the vehicle when running by the 240v plug-in and solar panel. Included in the price is a 9kg gas bottle located in the external rear compartment.

Ablutions are accommodated by a cassette toilet, a shower, a very tidy hand basin/cupboard combination, and a liquid soap dispenser. All of these are housed in the one room, which is isolated from the main home by a sliding door.

The general access inside the standard of this Nissan motorhome is roomy and the living area feels spacious. The standard of upkeep has been very good.

The outside passenger-side mirror needs to be locked in place and a couple of exterior mouldings have been sealed but are noticeably amateur. These items are a relatively easy fix either by a capable DIYer or by a professional body fixer. A long roll-out awning is also included.

The $58,000 price tag seems reasonable for a seven-metre motorhome that has covered 140,000 kilometres but needs to be compared to others in the same size range, noting interior fitttings and general standard. Included in the window price of $58,000 are $2000 worth of Road User Charges and a tank of diesel.

Vehicle supplied by City Motorhomes & Caravans, South End Avenue, PO Box 29, Whangarei. For more information ph 09 438 2444, a/h 09 435 6844, mob 0273 441 078.





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