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  • I had to force myself NOT to buy one of these, when I bought my Iveco. I just have nowhere I could park it up. What kind of mileage do you get from the Alexander?


    I forget the quoted mpg but expected it to be something like 12-15. The figures before some coolant system repair and such was somewhere around £40 to travel 120 miles. The price of diesel has come down and this was when we were paying up to £1.50 a litre. It does seem to be doing better than this but we have still more work to do as it is a high miler and smokes a little too much.


    We are unable to park near home - the neighbours - bless them - got the Polis to make us move because it is 24.6 foot and it overhung the parking allocation onto a footpath. The family of our new mechanic have a farm and we are lucky they can provide storage as well. I have also looked at other farm and campsite storage and have found what I assume to be reasonable winter rates but these depend on distance as well.

  • Thanks pyke13 - I've been getting my stats from http://www.scotvans.com/van-dimensions who put the Transit Connect at 1.2m and the standard Transit low roof at 1.4m. I'll have to get in one and have a look for myself though.


    Got some quotes through and these vans are about £100 a year more expensive but it's affordable. If I get a LWB I'm going to need those reversing cameras like asap or else I might crash as soon as I get home ha.


    This one looks nice: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/2004…101540:g:iR0AAOSw4UtWTfHl - almost too nice. Makes me wonder what's wrong with it.

  • Theres big shiny things on the side of the van, you can even see them from the drivers seat. There like old fashioned reverse cameras ;)
    As for the height im away to take puppy out n will measure the inside of mine, is it just height u need?

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  • hi fivealive,its what holds the rear shocks in place,seen some real bad cases of rot in them,small van will be really hard work for anything more than a weekend,i spent most of 1998 living in a maestro van with my two dear lurchers one of which just loved to roll in fox pooh! all the best mark

  • Whispering => Bedford Bambi


    They can get all that you need in the similar but more modern Suzuki Carry and I for one would have it as a weekend getaway vehicle.


    But truth is small is claustrophobic (and depressing) and you need to be near the communal baths/gym/restaurants and such.


    Some people can retreat inside themselves and not worry about too much about cubicle living (like the Nihon coffin hotels). Personally, I struggled in a one room flat on long term habitation so much that I changed job to avoid living that way.

  • Thanks for the measurements pyke13, I didn't take into account the insulation and whatnot, hmmm. Really glad I did away with those tiny vans now, would have been like living in a matchbox.


    In the end I left that Ford Escort cos not only was it too small but there was massive hole in the exhaust which the guy didn't think was relevant to mention. I almost missed it, good job I took someone with me for a second look.


    I can handle small spaces Oromis, my room right now is slightly bigger than my bed, however I don't want to be lying down all day cos I can't sit up. I am planning on making the most of the gym, and the public library has electric and toilets, and I have access to my Aunt's house as well if needs be, but I'd like to be able to sit down and work from the van on my laptop if possible.


    I've noticed on a lot of these older vans people are saying things like 130,000 miles and I'm thinking how do I know it's really that and not 230,000 miles? Cos some of the odometers go back to 0 at 100,000. Like this one https://www.gumtree.com/p/vans…ducato-2.0-jtd/1149569463 - I can't believe that a 2001 van has only done 140k. And he only wants £900 for it. Feels like you can't trust anybody these days.


  • I've noticed on a lot of these older vans people are saying things like 130,000 miles and I'm thinking how do I know it's really that and not 230,000 miles? Cos some of the odometers go back to 0 at 100,000. Like this one https://www.gumtree.com/p/vans…ducato-2.0-jtd/1149569463 - I can't believe that a 2001 van has only done 140k. And he only wants £900 for it. Feels like you can't trust anybody these days.


    Use this government site:-


    https://www.check-mot.service.gov.uk/


    You can check the MOT history, look for gaps and any changes in the mileage.
    The one you gave has stood for a lot of time (or been used off road without an MOT)


    :beard:

  • My 2001 van has 95k on the clock, and have MOT certs going back years to prove it. Depends what the van's been used for, mine belonged to a plumber so it spent most of the time sat outside client's houses. And in cafe car parks of course.

  • https://www.gov.uk/check-mot-history


    Type the reg and make in and it will give you all the MOT data, though in the case of that gumtree van the milage only goes back to 2011.


    you can read a bit into the evidence of the MOTs, for example.


    all older vans will fail every so often, this van is no worse than most.


    the advisories on it are quite small ones and not serious, but the owner has not done anything about fixing most of them from year to year, this suggests to me the van is not well maintained and probably not reguarly serviced either, at least in the latter part of it life. milage looks about right from the evidence, 16 k a year but the data is limited, the van has also been off the road or not MOTed for 6 months, maybe something serious broke during that period? ask.


    the front suspension triangles look like they have been wearing away for a while, so make sure that is a priority if you talk to the owner. 300 quid i think to replace the pair, and a common Relay wear item.


    edited to add *someone beat me to the link*

  • Im a builder and i only put about 5 or 6 thousand miles a year on a van. The average mileage is about 10 thousand a year, unless its a couriers van. Most modern motors as in post 1990 will have the hundred thousand didgit on the mileometer.

  • Thanks! Got a load of vans picked out for tomorrow so going to put them all through the MOT website and see what comes up. Hopefully a good few of them are free for me to view as most of them are about an hour North of me.

  • Best of luck finding something suitable. Don't rush to buy if you are viewing too many models until you know your preferences?
    I agree with 10K miles as being average mileage quoted for car usage/commuting. Have you got a motor wise friend who can go with you? Have you made out your list of wants and negatives ?

  • I've got my Aunt going with me who knows more about motors than me but I don't really know anyone really motor savvy except my Dad who's up North. I'm pretty sure that I want 1.4m minimum height, and other than that I think I'm not too fussed, just want something that won't fall apart straight away.


    I'm just checking out one of my finds through the MOT website and something strange has popped up. The guy is saying 97,000 miles here: https://www.gumtree.com/p/vans/ford-transit-swb-/1148988843 but the reg NM04EHV brings up 132,000 miles on the last MOT, unless I'm missreading the reg but's hard to see from the picture.


  • I'm just checking out one of my finds through the MOT website and something strange has popped up. The guy is saying 97,000 miles here: https://www.gumtree.com/p/vans/ford-transit-swb-/1148988843 but the reg NM04EHV brings up 132,000 miles on the last MOT, unless I'm missreading the reg but's hard to see from the picture.


    if it's a good 'un then could be a bargaining lever. But normally its best to stay away from misrepresented vans and I suspect there are a lot that may have had mileage adjustments (it needed a new set of clocks - honest guv). Watch out for any ECU and computer related problems; generally these can be expensive to fix.


    there are lots of used motor buying guides on youtube but you seem to be doing alright so far: have fun with it and enjoy the search. As for experienced eyes why not ask for help from a (local?) Hippy Buddy from on here?

  • I'll hopefully find something tomorrow, we'll see. It can't be any worse than the car I have right now which is falling apart. Got 3 to check out tomorrow with another 3 who aren't answering the phone, probably cos it's Friday night party time. Will report back tomorrow with what happens :)

  • Rite tommorrow if I s not to late i will post pics o the inside of my swb low/standard roof. Buy a bigger van than you think, i only lived in mine two days on one day of. You think being able to sit is the only thing important about the height, trust me its not.
    Im suer theres many ppl on here heard me complain about the lack o space.
    After living in a swb van i wouldn't recommend gettinng a small van, a ldv 400 lwb is the smallest i would consider.
    a jail cell is more confutable

  • Thanks pyke13. I'm planning on going away for the odd weekend in the next 6 months, then a longer tour of the UK over Summer, so I won't be thinking about full time living until next year probably. If I find it tough on the weekend trips I'll consider swapping out for something bigger definitely, but I tried to drive one while I was out yesterday and really struggled - I'm pathetic I know.


    Anyway guys, I royally screwed up yesterday. Set off at 9am with my Aunt, had about 10 van picked out to go see. No one was answering the phones the night before hardly, and the same on the day. We drove North for about an hour and were quite close to some but people weren't picking up, and the ones that were said the van had gone. I was getting really stressed out. We had one final guy to see at 3pm. He said he was running late so we waited in Sainsburys cafe for an hour. Then he was still running late and he kept changing the time. In the end we waited for 2.5 hours and by the time he got back it was dark and pouring down with rain. I could hear the van before I could see it and it just didn't feel right - the fuel gauge didn't work and it was pissing it down trying to look. In the end I walked away.


    Went back to a previous van we'd seen, seemed in really good nick - new exhaust, no rust at all, felt good driving it. Was a tad on the small size but it was the end of the day and I couldn't face another day like that the next Saturday so I thought what the hell, it's better than my Ford Ka. Or so I thought.


    Get's home. The wipers stopped working. Like they just move really slowly. Great. Oh well it's only the wipers me thinks, I'm still really happy with the rest of the van and it was only £600 so I've got some money to fix it up - no worries he says going to bed. Wakes up this morning. Van won't start. Ring the guy up and he says that I need to pump the accelertor pedal twice and then start. Doesn't work.


    So now I have a van. But the wipers don't work. And it doesn't start. And I'm pissed off and angry at myself. If there's one thinig I wish they'd taught in school instead of pointless quadratic equations and bollocks about atoms and electrons it's how to fix a car. Anyway - next step is some friends are gonna jump start it cos I checked the voltage and the battery doesn't seem to have enough to start - about 12.2v. Not sure if that's with me trying to start for 15 minutes or if that was the original problem. If that is the problem then I don't get why it started on the guy's drive or at the petrol station, but yet not here. And the alternator should have charged the battery on the way back, unless that's the problem.


    Sorry about that - rant over now.

  • Sounds like two likely possibilities, a tired starter battery, when the engine is cold in the morning you need all the amps possible, and it is under these circumstances that tired batteries are most obvious.


    but since the wipers were slow towards the end, i am thinging the alternator or regualator is dead and while you were driving the battery was draining down. The voltage after resting the night doesn't mean much, it i the batteries ability to deliver the amps that counts, generally if it turns over slowly on the key, it is flat.


    anyway, I have a strong suspicion it wont be an expensive fix, a used alternator is 40 quid and a new battery a wee bit more.

  • Hindsight - the reason for his delay was also starting problems?
    A mobile electrician will sort it out very quickly.
    I am a bit concerned about the wipers - maybe the motor - maybe voltage?


    I am also thinking of the alternator and you have a multimeter then check it with engine running (see YouTube). Alternatively, fuses can be an issue and can be checked for continuity? Most important - check the engine/battery/body earth!


    What are the lights (dipped and main beam)? Are they dim, also?

  • Thanks guys. Lights were working but hard to see in daylight whether they are dim now. I have one of those cheap Chinese voltmeters that you stick in the cig lighter so not sure if it's as accurate as a proper multimeter. I reckon the guy has just left it standing for longer than he said - he told me 2 weeks but I'm thinking maybe longer. When I try and turn it over the dashboard lights seem to go like it's sucking all the power away so I hope it is just the battery as that's an easy fix.


    I'm feeling a little more optimistic. Got someone coming round to jump start me tomorrow and if that doesn't work I'll get the breakdown people out. I'd call them now but I'm with this stupid pay and claim back company - never going with them again. They're great and cheap until you actually need to use the service.

  • It is always worth adding a proper voltmeter to your tool kit, they are 10 or 12 quid or so from Maplins, Machine Mart or Tool mart, or fleabay etc.


    you wont be able to measure the amps of your alternator when running with one, but the volts should be a good indicator. an alternator at idle should put out 14 to 14.5 volts.


    but it sounds exactly like a dead battery. a common issue is people swop out good new batteries for old ones when selling a vehicles, I have done it. A good new battery in your new van is not the worst thing in the world to buy even if the issue is the alternator, but you may also have drained it badly trying to start the van.

  • Glad to hear you are a bit more cool about the van. It is a big step but consider the end result and do the conversion. if the bodywork is good and most of the mechanicals are good then you are ahead already. Much nearer your goal than you were yesterday. Good luck with the jump start - but if the battery has been flattened then expect to buy another.

  • Thanks for all the advice guys, I really appreciate it. The van is a Peugeot Partner 1.9 diesel, 52 plate, 10 months MOT, £600.


    Good news. It starts, it drives, at least for now anyway. Got a friend to have a look and straight away he says it's not the battery. He held the starter on and did the pumping on the accelerator and took a while, an uncomfortable amount of time I felt to have the starter motor going but it did eventually fire up. He told me that with old diesel vans if they've been standing for a while they can be a bit of a pain in the arse to start but if I persevere it should start as long as there's nothing else wrong.


    It was smoking like a chimney and my friend asked me if it had any oil in, and of course being the numpty I am I didn't even think to check. Turns out it was below the minimum on the dipstick and that could possibly be why it's been difficult to start, at least that's what I'm hoping for anyway. It's not smoking anymore so that's good.


    Took it for a drive around for a couple of hours to get the feel of it. It started every time for the rest of the day but that was from a warm engine. The wipers worked, allbeit a little on the slow side - I still think there is something wrong there that needs checking but they got me through the rain today so I can't complain too much. I'm gonna talk to a friendly mechanic that's been recommended to me and get the wipers looked at as well as a "half-service", not sure what that is but everyone is telling me to get one.


    Feeling much happier about the van, especially as I don't have to shell out too much more money on it, but I'll feel better knowing it's consistently started first time every time for a few weeks.