Motorhome as a cheaper used car: test

A motorhome for 11,500 euros? Beware of the bargain trap!

A used alcove motorhome with TÜV for only 11,500 euros – that sounds tempting. But what risks does a purchase project in the cheap home price league entail?

D.he ad sounds tempting: A Motorhome with four sleeping places and nine months remaining MOT for – 11,500 euros. The 20-year-old alcove based on Fiat Ducato could be a case for bargain hunters in view of the currently empty dealer spaces. The private seller claims to have invested heavily.
Accessories for self-sufficient campingto offer

Porta Potti

Price *: from 52.90 euros

Mobicool B40 compressor cooler

Price *: 203.73 euros

ECO-WORTHY 120W foldable solar panel

Price *: 149.99 euros

Camping stove

Price *: 78.90 euros

Güde generator GSE 5501

Price *: 1289.00 euros

Biolan Simplett organic dry toilet

Price *: 329.00 euros

* Price: Amazon price on April 20th, 2021

The layout of the alcove motorhome is tried and tested

Alcove Fiat Ducato

Classic dinette with two three-point belts in front of partially renovated interior wall panel.

© Christoph Börries / AUTO BILD

That’s him: A well-designed mobile that is waiting for us as a private offer in a well-kept residential area at the gates of Hamburg. The floor plan is free of negative surprises. The division with a bunk above the driver’s cab and a dinette in the middle of the vehicle has been tried and tested thousands of times by countless manufacturers. In the rear, the bathroom with a shower tray integrated in the floor is installed on the driver’s side, and on the opposite side on the passenger side, there is an L-angle kitchen with a refrigerator, a large sink and a three-burner gas hob. The gray-colored patterned upholstery fabrics meet the taste of a bygone era – that of the 90s. Given the compact size, the storage options are not too generous External length of only 5.35 meters to get over. The maintenance condition is more decisive for an older used vehicle. And that prompts us to do one Mixture of head shaking and disgust-shock rigidity.

– Good room concept– Weak motorization
– Proven base vehicle– Outdated emissions standard
– Practical L-shaped kitchen in the rear– Increased risk of water damage
– Sufficient bathroom layout– Incomplete vehicle history
– Moderate external dimensions– Repair costs exceed Zeitwer

The service history of this motorhome is completely botched

Alcove Fiat Ducato

Theoretically there are two beds in the alcove. However, its use would be hazardous to health.

© Christoph Börries / AUTO BILD

He has: An enormous need for renovation, which is well above the current value. Theoretically there is room for up to four travelers, but here the frustration reigns. There is mold in the corners and on the ceiling, For reasons of hygiene, it is better not to lie on the alcove mattress for a test. All fixtures look badly worn and have numerous non-original drill holes, the Bathroom looks neglected. The electronic retrofits are a disaster and simply dangerous. Ingress of water both inside and outside were handled extremely unprofessionally. What is particularly annoying is that obvious Massive savings in correct repair parts has been.

Costs: Alcove on a Fiat Ducato 1.9 TD (66 kW / 90 PS)
Test consumption12.0 l diesel / 100 km
CO2318 g / km
inspection350 to 650 euros
Liability *448 euros
Partial coverage *187 euros
Fully comprehensive *682 euros
Motor vehicle tax (S2, weight 3400 kg)310 euros
Spare part prices **
alternator850 euros
Starter905 euros
Timing belt248 euros
water pump1228 euros
Brake discs and pads, front555 euros
4 summer tires 215/70 R 15 C500 euro
* Online tariff of the HUK24 insurance: registration in Hamburg, drivers only policyholders and partners (40 years old), annual mileage 15,000 km, contribution rate 100 percent. ** Prices including wages at brand workshops, independent workshops cheaper

On the floor pan there are roughly dotted sheet metal patches, and the axles also look very rusty. Individual parts were whitewashed with underbody protection paint. The fact that this motorhome is such a disaster is definitely not due to the builder company, but to one of them individually botched service history. How exactly the last general inspection went remains a mystery to us. It goes with the fact that the approval sticker looks strangely frayed.

Ingress of water could have damaged the wooden frame

Alcove Fiat Ducato

90 hp is just enough to drive behind the truck in the right lane.

© Christoph Börries / AUTO BILD

This is how he drives: The 1900 turbo diesel had 90 hp when it was deliveredAccording to the seller, an exchange machine with around 100,000 kilometers should have been installed. This power reserve is the very bottom edge for a 3.4-ton alcove, at the latest on the first long motorway incline it feels uncomfortable between the trucks. The high mileage can be felt in the body, which according to the speedometer has worn down over 205,000 kilometers: With every bump in the ground, the housing structure twists and turns like a trembling eel, accompanied by a nasty creak and crack. Multiple, clearly smelly water inrushes can (do) that Wooden skeleton weakened have, diverse Loosened attachments due to botched repairs do the rest. We save ourselves the search for a detective, where the fuse and screw fundus from the glove compartment should be installed.

Technical specifications
MotorizationFour-cylinder / front cross
power66 kW (90 PS) at 4000 rpm
Displacement1905 cc
Torque196 Nm at 2250 rpm
Top speed130 km / h
Gear / driveFive-speed manual / front wheel
Tank capacity / type of fuel80 l / diesel
Length Width Height5350/2250/3100 mm
Wheelbase / tires3200 mm / 215/70 R 15 C
Empty weight ready to drive / payload (test mobile)2980/3400 kg
Trailer load (braked / unbraked)1400/750 kg
Material wall / roof / floorGFK-SW / GFK-SW / wood-SW
Lying area alcove L x W2100 x 1400 mm
Lying area in the middle L x W1780 x 1000 mm
Fridge / incl. icebox90 l
stove3 flames
Board battery12 V / 100 Ah
Fresh / waste water tank120/100 l
Gas supply / heating2x 11 kg / Truma
Test consumption12.0 l diesel / 100 km
Base price (2001, 1.9 TD)approx. 43,000 marks


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