A bit worried now..

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A bit worried now..

Post by pcalf101 on Mon Jun 06, 2016 7:34 pm

I am on the brink of buying a 2001 hijet romahome demountable.
Low.mileage, seems ok on the eBay pics etc. But now I have a nagging feeling after reading the buying guide. It's put me off really as I know nowt about cars ot engineering.
It's a long way to travel too,but I set my heart on it. Quandary!
Also I'm being stressed out with insurance, nightmare atm.
New member btw

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Re: A bit worried now..

Post by HighlyJetted on Mon Jun 06, 2016 7:50 pm

In the world of cars you are buying a pretty old beast.

Its seen a fair few rain clouds and winters, rust will come as standard.

Anyway if it over heats on the way home, your officially "in the club" Wink
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Re: A bit worried now..

Post by pcalf101 on Mon Jun 06, 2016 7:53 pm

You're not filling me with confidence lol

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Re: A bit worried now..

Post by scotia on Tue Jun 07, 2016 8:25 am

welcome Smile
i like romahomes .. i think they look cool.
be shure it doesnt overheat..the rest is fixable Wink
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Re: A bit worried now..

Post by pcalf101 on Tue Jun 07, 2016 8:53 am

Yea it's bothering me a bit. Also I'm struggling with insurance cos it's not classed as a motor home and I'm on disability at the moment

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Re: A bit worried now..

Post by pcalf101 on Tue Jun 07, 2016 2:36 pm

Toyota hiace

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Re: A bit worried now..

Post by Logi on Tue Jun 07, 2016 2:57 pm

pcalf101 wrote:Toyota hiace

?

Welcome anyway Smile
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Re: A bit worried now..

Post by pcalf101 on Tue Jun 07, 2016 4:06 pm

It's confusing me why so many are buying these and it warrants a forum if they're so shitty

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Re: A bit worried now..

Post by sputnik on Tue Jun 07, 2016 5:42 pm

pcalf101 wrote:It's confusing me why so many are buying these and it warrants a forum if they're so shitty

Think you probably answered this yourself when you said you'd set your heart on one!

They do have a few common problems but if you follow the buyer's guide, choose carefully and are prepared to also be realistic about a 15 year old vehicle that was pretty cheap when new then you may just unlock a a tiny world of fun. As Scotia says it is worth spending the time to avoid an overheating one - again, just follow the guide re the test drive procedure.

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Re: A bit worried now..

Post by HighlyJetted on Tue Jun 07, 2016 8:33 pm

pcalf101 wrote:It's confusing me why so many are buying these and it warrants a forum if they're so shitty

I feel the same about VW/Audi group vehicles and new BMW's. They seem so popular yet they are great big complicated money pits.

This is possibly one of the best vehicle community groups out there - I'm a member on loads of groups but this one is magic.

I think Hijets are what you would describe as an enthusiasts vehicle.

People love VW campers, yet they are unreliable rotten old slow money pits.
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Re: A bit worried now..

Post by pcalf101 on Tue Jun 07, 2016 9:02 pm

So do I buy it then or what?!
Why did they make a vehicle so crap? Why is nothing easy Grr lol

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Re: A bit worried now..

Post by Raggy on Tue Jun 07, 2016 9:40 pm

No one can answer the first question for you only give advice, the second one is answered by the previous post...its an 'enthusiasts' vehicle, thats why there is a need for our mad cap forum. Post a link to the one you are looking at, it may help with advice.
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Re: A bit worried now..

Post by pcalf101 on Tue Jun 07, 2016 10:08 pm

It's an elderly woman selling it. Demountable pod from a Bedford originally. Ridiculous low mileage, which ironically makes me smell a rat.
She's hardly used it, looking at the mot history. Again makes me dubious.
Perhaps I'm just a neg guy!
Just want a motor home that works really, haven't got time or money to be an enthusiast.

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Re: A bit worried now..

Post by Logi on Tue Jun 07, 2016 10:24 pm

We all have them, you're not really going to get an unbiased opinion here...... Wink
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Re: A bit worried now..

Post by HighlyJetted on Tue Jun 07, 2016 11:55 pm

Think this way - £2000 buys you either a pretty low grade hijet typically. Which will need typical maintenance, tyres, servicing, MOT's, Insurance etc.. as a minimum with any vehicle. Then if it needs fixing, and cars do need fixing quite often, especially 10 year old ones, then it will cost even more.

Or you could have 40 nights in £50 per night hotels with zero problems or troubles what so ever. Those £50 per night hotel rooms are far superior to the accommodation of a Hijet.

So if a camper owner is going to use it for less than 20 times in a year, is it really worth owning compared to hotel costs?

I often look at £30k nice camper vans. That's 200 hundred nights in £150 per night hotels right there, they even cook your breakfast, wash your bedding and give you soaps and towels, plus you don't have to drain your own pee and poo down a sess pit Wink


Can you tell I don't own a camper? Laughing Laughing Laughing
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Re: A bit worried now..

Post by pcalf101 on Wed Jun 08, 2016 11:17 am

When you put it like that! I'm being completely bonkers buying it

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Re: A bit worried now..

Post by tornas on Wed Jun 08, 2016 11:56 am

On the other hand...

Like you, I am an absolute nitwit when it comes to car mechanics.

Three months ago I bought a Hijet van (not a romahome). Before I bought my van, I went to look at another one. I followed the steps in the buyers guide, went for a test drive, tried to overheat the poor little car, succeeded, and walked away with my money in my pocket.

Found another van on Marktplaats (Dutch Ebay/Gumtree). A 2000 1.3 model. Very decent mileage, about 40K. Looked at the overall condition- was very good. Took it out for a test drive, raced it, overreved it, battered it, but couldn't get it overheated. Checked the cooling liquid - looked clean and transparant.

Like you, I was biased. I had read this forum and knew that good Hijets are scarce. Couldn't believe that this 16 year old van could be in a great condition. Maybe it was too good to be true.  

But I had already fallen in love, and I really wanted to own a Hijet. And there were no signs that it was a bad car. So I bought it anyway.

It has been three months since and up untill now no technical problems whatsoever. I'm very happy with the little van. Already did 4 camping trips! And during a two day car mechanics beginners course the teachers told me they were impressed with the mechanical condition of the car. It has some rust on the underside but nothing that can't be fixed easily.

What I'm saying is: it is VERY important that you do some reading up, and check and test the car thoroughly before buying it. But you will never be sure it's not a lemon. This is where your feeling comes in. Do yo REALLY want to own a Hijet? Then you will just have to take a (more or less calculated) risk.

And to be honest: the risk should also be part of the fun. If it's not, then I would recommend to buy a more reliable, decently made car. But I personally think those cars are very boring.

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Re: A bit worried now..

Post by HighlyJetted on Wed Jun 08, 2016 12:27 pm

I get 20 to 40 cars a week through my doors here at my place.

They all have their problems.
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Re: A bit worried now..

Post by Raggy on Wed Jun 08, 2016 1:02 pm

I was lucky with the body condition on mine and that's what swayed it for me...however...I did get caught by the no thermostat and cracked head problems, however in my case it was worth it as there were too many good points. As said I don't mind tinkering and...here is my big plus point...I have a local garage that's used to them as they were dealers in the past. Don't just jump as the first one as tornas said, I 'went' (as opposed to browsing the net) looked at a couple before I found and was happy with my current one. There are always romahomes coming up for sale so look around. If you are not sure about a Daihatsu based one what about the Citroen C15 based ones?
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Re: A bit worried now..

Post by pcalf101 on Wed Jun 08, 2016 2:14 pm

Yea the citrona are always much dearer to buy. It seems a bit daft to try and get it to overheat on purpose, but I'll do my best whe I view it

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Re: A bit worried now..

Post by tornas on Wed Jun 08, 2016 2:59 pm

It's not daft. If the cooling system is not faulty it should not overheat so you're just determining whether the car is OK. If the owner has problems with it and doesn't want you to overrev it, that's a bad sign and you should not buy it.

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Re: A bit worried now..

Post by pcalf101 on Wed Jun 08, 2016 4:10 pm

It's a veritable mine field this.
Does anyone wanna come with me?!

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Re: A bit worried now..

Post by pcalf101 on Wed Jun 08, 2016 4:13 pm

It's a veritable mine field this.
Does anyone wanna come with me?!

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Re: A bit worried now..

Post by sputnik on Wed Jun 08, 2016 4:14 pm

As Tornas says above, you are not trying to get it to overheat on purpose. You are trying to get it to not overheat on purpose!

You want to make sure that your decision is ruled by your head and not your heart otherwise you risk throwing your money away. A good hard drive followed by a good long period ticking over should give the answer. Like Raggy, the first one I looked at was pretty tatty but I was still tempted nonetheless - the heart was talking. Fortunately, I stuck to my pledge of following the buyer's guide to the letter and soon had the overflow tank bubbling like a kettle. The head won the debate and I walked away feeling like I had dodged a bullet, leaving the owner spluttering "well, it's never done that before". Aye, right!

The next one, which was miles better anyway, passed the heating/cooling test with flying colours and came home with me. I'll admit that it did make it easier that I was left to test drive it on my own. The seller of the first one looked eye-bulging, white knuckle, terrified as I absolutely thrashed the living daylights out of it around his local streets - I had no prior experience of the visceral thrill of high speed Hi-jet take-offs over speed bumps before... in fact, I'm not sure he had either!

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Re: A bit worried now..

Post by Raggy on Wed Jun 08, 2016 5:27 pm

sputnik wrote:
I had no prior experience of the visceral thrill of high speed Hi-jet take-offs over speed bumps before... in fact, I'm not sure he had either!
Laughing That makes two of us! Didnt realise on that first test drive what speed bumps were like...ooops! Call that the shake down partbof the test!
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Re: A bit worried now..

Post by HighlyJetted on Wed Jun 08, 2016 6:26 pm

sputnik wrote:Fortunately, I stuck to my pledge of following the buyer's guide to the letter and soon had the overflow tank bubbling like a kettle.

Think how much money and heart ace I saved you that day Wink
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Re: A bit worried now..

Post by sputnik on Wed Jun 08, 2016 8:22 pm

[quote="HighlyJetted"]
sputnik wrote:

Think how much money and heart ace I saved you that day Wink

Just so. And that, my friend, is why you are a living leg end!

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Re: A bit worried now..

Post by pcalf101 on Wed Jun 08, 2016 9:51 pm

I don't fancy doing that with an 85 year old seller. How bad is it if it's got a overheating issue?

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Re: A bit worried now..

Post by sputnik on Wed Jun 08, 2016 10:12 pm

I think the general consensus would be that if it has overheating issues, avoid. Unless you are the mechanically minded sort who likes a challenge. From what you say, you aren't and don't! Nothing wrong with that - I'm much the same myself.

I appreciate you won't won't to send some old dear's false teeth flying through the windscreen or cause a heart attack... although it might be mildly entertaining!

Basically you just need to get the engine sufficiently hot that you can see that it isn't boiling over in the expansion tank and that the fan regularly kicks in at the right time to cool things down before it ever gets to the boiling stage. But please note that this involves more than just warming the engine up. You do need, by whatever means, to get the engine to a point that it gets pretty hot. To be honest, all you are doing is checking that a major component of the engine I.e the cooling system, does what it should. It wouldn't be that unusual a thing to check with any vehicle but given that it's a potential problem in hijets you'd be mad not to. The buying guide covers it all really - not sure there is much else to add.

If you have a vehicle already, give it a shot and just see what you need to do to get the engine heated up enough so the fan kicks in. Unless you have a Honda Jazz... the fan seems to run from cold in them!

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Re: A bit worried now..

Post by pcalf101 on Wed Jun 08, 2016 10:46 pm

Thanks for all the advice. It all happening tomorrow. So we shall see!

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