Ford AutoSleepers Duetto 2.5 Diesel Camper Van

Date this was written 5th May 2011. I will add extra things at the bottom and add the date that changes were made so if you revisit this page check at the bottom for additions

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Price: £13,750
Location: East Lincolnshire on the southern edge of the Wolds. 8 miles from Skegness
Mileage: 124,000
Year: 1997 *
Condition: Very Good
Service History: Yes / Shown Below **
MOT: 11/12 months - until April 5th 2012
Tax: Yes *** 6 months
Tyres: 2 new front tyres. Rear tyres very good.
Alarm: Fitted. Make Clifford

* The registration documents show 1997 but I don't think it left the showroom until 1998
** All the main receipts. One Ford garage has conducted most the repairs and servicing in the last 10 years
*** The Van currently has a SORN but I will Tax it just before selling

I am detailing as much information about this camper van as possible because I always feel that adverts never give you enough information and when making a big purchase I think it is important to know as much as possible about the vehicle (and its owner) before travelling half way around the country to view it. Hopefully I can save you and myself a lot of time. Please email me (address at the bottom) if you want to see other pictures or have any questions.

Reason for selling: I have owned the van for 5 years but have not used it at all for the last year. My lifestyle now doesn't justify keeping it. I used to spend a lot of time travelling all over the country and of the mileage I put 80,000 miles on the clock. I can't afford the fuel bills that my previous lifestyle warranted.

Negotiation on price: I am no good at negotiating and therefore will not enter into any haggling.

How I arrived at the value: I have scoured the Internet for similar vans and have travelled to view several of the same van at garages. The vans I looked at were the same model and in all cases were on offer for £15,000 plus. My van is in better condition or has a better service history and has a private number plate that is worth several hundred pounds. The only real difference is a showroom guarrantee - I can not give one of those so have reduced the price accordingly but can give you a very thorough history. It is also very difficult to find an example of these vans much cheaper anywhere.

Type of person I am: I used to go sight seeing and travelling at a drop of a hat or a whim. My job allows me to work where ever I am as long as I had a mobile phone signal. I took advantage of that. I now spend my time canoeing, on the allotment, walking or fishing (and writing long adverts). I have never been a speed freak. The van has never really been used for holidays but it was a big part of my lifestyle and doubled up as a mobile office. For several years it was used on a day to day basis.

History: Over the last 10 or 11 years this van has been owned by the same family. My parents owned it before me. It has been very well looked after and was under a car port for half of this time.

The exterior of the Van: The van looks good and polishes up nicely. There are no real signs of rust anywhere apart from very minor bits however it is basically a transit van and has rusted in all the normal places (mainly wheel arches). I have recently, in the last month, had all the bottom half of the van repaired to remove rust and resprayed. I spent £760 on labour and £150 on paint and this work was carried out to a high standard. For its age this van is in excellent condition compared to others I have viewed. The colour match isnt quite perfect as the original colour has faded on the rest of the van although the colour of the respray was the proper colour. The colour match difference can not easily be seen in many light conditions but if you look you will see the difference.

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Specifications:
Engine 2.5l Diesel Engine with a Turbo
Chassis: Based upon a Long Wheel Base Transit
MPG: On a long run I regularly got 30 to 33 Miles Per Gallon. Short trips will typically be 28
Gear Box: 5 speed manual

Features:

Extras: New aerial for the radio - I sometimes felt that reception with the original aerial wasnt as good as it could have been - this new aerial hasnt been fitted, water filling pipes, long electrical hookup lead, plastic storage box on rear of van for spare fuel / power lead etc, Blue Loo chemical toilet bottle, WD40 for spraying cassette toilet *, new internal water pump **, external reversing camera fitted (without LCD display) ***, spare light bulb kit, plates and cutlery can be left in.

* WD40 is needed to spray toilet cassette to keep it operating easily, it just lubricates the slider that opens and closes the toilet
** The main van water pump (not the engine pump but the internal caravan side) has failed because the van was left empty of water and my 3 yr old boy turned the water pump on during the last few weeks, this in turn wore it out as it was trying to pressurise the water system for a day or 2. I may get around to fitting this as it should only be a 15 minute job but at this stage presume that it will need you to fit it. The water pump was purchased from Autosleepers within the last week.
*** I fitted an external camera but found the display too big to mount anywhere sensible on the dashboard or windscreen and have since lost the display. In theory various displays can be purchased and the camera cable will just plug in - if not then it is an easy job to fit a new camera system or as I have leave as it is. I didn't find a reversing camera was needed really and I fitted a second rear view mirror so you can see behind the van from a different angle to the main rear view mirror.

The Interior:
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Please note: Some of the images show odd white dots and one or 2 show some dirt. The white dots are caused by the camera flash and the dirt has now been removed...I hadnt seen the dirt before I took the photos. On one of the window blinds there is a white line / mark - this was polish and has been removed. The last picture in this sequence shows the blind that doesnt work well and has creased. All blinds can have a fly screen OR a heat reflective screen - it depends which bit you pull up or down.

Servicing and repairs: I have many receipts and old MOT certificates to show what has been done on the van. The van has had a proper service done by a garage each year that we have had it and in addition to that has had an extra oil change or up to 3 oil changes per year carried out by myself or father depending on how many miles were done that year. I cannot prove all of these oil changes as some of the receipts dont appear to be here but anyone that knows the sound of a good engine will realise it has been well looked after. It starts first time every time and sounds as sweet as you can get for a 14 year old engine.

Receipts / MOTs show:
2011: 4th April MOT 123867 Miles, Welding, brake adjust, paint repairs, respray and 40hrs labour, Car battery, £760, Water pump £104, 2 new front tyres £170, MOT £50, - total spent £1,084
2010 SORN
2009: 10th June MOT 114134 miles, a Ford Visual Health Check document
2008: June 5th MOT 90898 Miles, Green Flag recovery - drive sharft bearings, Ford Garage bill £1,485 for full service (cam belt) brakes discs and pads, 2 wheel bearings, brake pipe, fan belt, MOT and others, another garage bill for exhaust and Timing Belt and V Belt, gasket and oil seal £704 - Total spent £2,189
2007: April 14th MOT 58846 Miles, Garage bill for wheel bearing £81
2006: Dont have MOT, Mileage on garage bill says 14th July 45280 Miles, Swap wheels and tracking £47
2005: Dont have MOT, Milage on garage bill in August shows 41413 Miles, 2 tyres £106 , engine flush and oil£12, MOT bill £40 Milage in Jan shows 39893, Electric engine fan fitted to beef up cooling £150 - Total spent £308
2004: Dont have MOT Mileage on garage bill shows 36972 in April, Brake light, valve and master brake cylinder £594, Window blind replaced £49 , brake pads and oil filter £44, garage bill in December shows 39881 Miles, Exhaust £157 - total spent £844
2003: Dont have MOT, Garage bill shows 35330 Miles, Cam Belt and fuel pump £979, bushes in shock absorbers £65 - total spent £1,044
2002: Dont have MOT, Mileage on garage bill shows 31801 Miles in September, Exhaust £145, Mileage 32528 in November, Garage bill for fuel injectors £267, brake pads £29 total spent £441
2001: Dont have MOT, Mileage shown on garage bill in October is 25962, disks and pads and FDS checks £155, Garage bill in Jan shows 21678, Garage bill for Cam Belt full service £147, Garage bill for oil filter £8 - total spent £310
2000: Dont have MOT Mileage on garage bill shows April 16458, Replace clutch £127, full electrical and FDS check, EGR Valve and thermostat £289, check and tighten suspension £17 , Auto sleeper bill £22, oil filter and oil £22, fit shock absorber £75 - total spent £552

The above is when my family has owned the van and shows that we have spent an absolute minimum of £6,800 looking after this van plus many other smaller items over the last 10 or 11 years. We probably do more and spend more than is really necessary but I always say that you need to set aside £500 a year to properly keep a vehicle on the road maintenance wise. Doing so will make the vehicle last much longer than most people manage. With the way we have looked after this van I believe it will last many years to come and that the mileage isnt high at all for an engine that has been well maintained. Ask around but this engine should be good for 250,000 miles.

Previous to that we have a showroom invoice in 1998 that shows that the van had no registration plates in May 1998 which suggest that it was first registered in 1997 and for some reason (maybe buyer pulled out) was de-registered. Hense I mention above somewhere that although the records show that this van was registered in 1997 I dont think that it made it onto the road until May 1998. There is documentation from the motor home dealers assosiation in April 1998 showing that the vehicle had been tested and declared fit. The registration documents show that there have been 6 owners but my family (2 owners) has had the vehicle since Feb 2000 at least so 4 owners between Feb 1997 and feb 2000. I think that the first technical owner didnt actually receive the vehicle.

Please note: There are a fair few invoices missing showing smaller items and extra oil changes but you can see that the cam belt has been changed regularly (3 or 4 times) and we have spent a lot of money on maintenance which I think shows that we looked after this van very well and hopefully suggests that we would have done the oil changes that I mention. The van has been our pride and joy and no expense has been spared at keeping it in tip top condition mechanically and physically.

Please note: The Van has not been used since March 2010 apart from taking it to get its MOT recently and for the respray and body repairs. This sitting doing nothing didn't do the brakes any good and also the heating controls became stiff (the control knobs that guide the air from the floor to the windscreen and also the temperature knob. I have loosened the heating controls so they work but they need a bit more using to free them up more although they do work and I am freeing them up more each day. The brakes are fine but when it next gets serviced expect to have work done on them.

Please note: The van is due another full service. If you purchase the van make this your priority and although it passed the MOT with flying colours it was pointed out that one or 2 rubber bushes for suspension or steering were showing signs of wear and will need replacing at some stage. The bushes are cheap (£7 ish) but they need doing by a garage mechanic unless you are experienced at such things. The MOT certificate report explains this.

I will not hide issues from you: Several years ago a small fault developed with the van headlights. I replaced the steering column indicator stick and also the light switch stick. The fault was intermittant and rarely happened but it turned out not to be either stick but a connector that connected the wires to the light switch. There is a connector block with one bad connection. By cleaning the connector the fault vanished but it appeared once the other day when I was testing it. A simple tap cures the problem but ideally it needs the connector replacing or the connector cleaning again. I have left it as is simply because it has never caused an issue but should ideally be dealt with. You are unlikely to see this fault but if you dont deal with it it may catch you out when you least expect it. When viewing ask about this if I forget to mention it.

Another issue: One of the top small window blinds fails to go up and down properly and could ideally be replaced. It still works but the blind has creased and looks poor now, purely cosmetic and easy to replace for between £50 and £100, obtained by calling autosleepers.

The Interior:
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Please note: The picture that shows the curtain that has slight damage. A tear. This was caused by opening the side door when the curtain was set for night and fully drawn. I didnt fix it because I presume I would make the same mistake again. It could simply be sewn and a popper putting back if needed.

Spares and other things included: These should save you a fair few pound...There are spare fuses (as many as you need), spare bulbs including headlamp bulbs, a new spare oil filter, a new car radio aerial, a long aerial lead for attaching an external aerial (I never got around to putting a TV aerial on the roof of the van), a small very basic tool kit,a large first aid kit, some hose piping for water, a small 1 or 2Kw fan heater, a small oil filled radiator, a 12volt cable for converting the 12v connector near the TV stand to a cigarette lighter connector, haynes manual, light switch assembly (takes 5 minutes to fit), a new water pump and WD40 and silicon spray with toilet blue bottle.

Its bound to happen again: The Calver water heater has connectors that connect to the outside of the van so it can be emptied. These connectors are simple washing machine pipes and connectors. As they are exposed to heat and freezing conditions they go brittle and will leak. Luckily the leak will happen on the outside of the van. It leaked a couple of years ago and I had someone fix it but it will happen again as its just one of those designs that you can be sure will fail. Get it checked after the winter and its a simple fix. If it fails then all that happens, apart from a slight dribble of water on the outside of the van, is that the water pump will struggle to pressurise the system and water wont flow out of the taps very well.

Paperwork will show one or two breakdowns: On one occassion I left the lights on the van and managed to discharge/flatten the leisure battery. This meant I was 200 miles from home and couldnt start the van. Called Green Flag who jumped started me. The leisure battery charges with the engine running or when you are on electrical hookup. If you ever flatten the car battery and cant start the car then you can use jump leads from the leisure battery to jump start the car....just don't flatten both or if you do make sure you are near electrical hookup or someone else can jump start you. I didnt think that this was all my own fault and replaced the Zigg power supply / battery charger at a cost of £100 just to be on the safe side as it may have been caused by the battery not charging properly. It isnt easy to flatten both but I managed it :). The only other breakdown call out (and technically I didnt break down) was an awful squealing noise coming from under the van - called Green Flag who couldnt work it out either as paperwork shows. I thought it was the drive shaft. Carried on driving for another 100 miles to my normal garage who confirmed it was the drive shaft bearings - which were easily fixed. So no real break downs actually.

Wheel Bearings: I think there has been 5 new wheel bearings replaced on the van in the last 11 years which seemed a lot to me. After speaking to someone they suggested that the van was very heavy and if the bearings arent set right (correct tightness) then they will wear. During a service ask the garage to check that the bearings are correct. When these go it isnt a big deal just that they make a whirling / grinding noise and need replacing. It may even be a common fault on this van model but I did do a lot of mileage so you shouldnt expect problems. I think its nice to be told what to look out for on a vehicle which is why I mention it.

Sat Nav: Included, only because there is a dashboard holder screwed onto the dashboard for this, will be a Nokia N810 (was about £250 new) Internet Tablet with Sat Nav Software. The software works as a Map but if you want it to do proper Sat Nav then a license needs purchasing. The license was something like £50 but may now be free as many Nokia devices come free with Sat Nav. My license ran out but I used this device as a good sat nav for years. The Nokia N810 is also an Internet Tablet so you can connect to the Internet via your mobile phone and browse the internet - always useful for locating things and finding campsites near by. The device has a GPS and can do email, games etc - it is a full blown small computer which has both a keyboard and a touch screen. If you can't make use of this then I'd like to keep it but if you would find it useful then I will include it at no extra cost. The link to see the specs of this can be found at http://www.nokia.co.uk/support/product-support/nokia-n810

Other things replaced but dont seem to show on invoices: I replaced the Zigg Battery charger / power supply 2/3 years go. Both headlamp assembleys changed because the plastic headlamp lenses had got scratched and made the lights a bit dull. £100 or £200 odd pounds; The main van engine cooling fan was replaced / upgraded with a much more powerful one. This keeps the engine cooler when in traffic jams. There is also a push button on the dashboard that was fitted so when it starts to heat up in the summer and you are in a jam you can press it and it turns this fan on which instantly cools the engine...last thing you want is to over heat the engine on a hot day stuck on the motor way!

Insurance: I use Hyway which are part of the Liverpool Victoria Group (LV). This year I switched to them and the insurance was £208 for the year. I was with Directline but they wanted £900 - it pays to shop around!. This van has never been involved in an insurance claim. It has never been involved in an accident.

Contact: Please email andy@arpmel.co.uk. I would be more than happy to answer any questions and produce any information / photos that you need. Viewing is by appointment only and I obviously give you the full postal address should you wish to see the van. Please give me enough notice (24 hours or so) so I can get the van taxed and make sure I can rearrange my day. I would be available at almost anytime and could give you as much time as you needed when viewing.

Payment: will be via bank transfer. Should you require some time to arrange getting the money a non refundable deposit will be asked of £250 so I can stop taking viewings.

Advert: is on Camping and Caravan website. I may advertise elsewhere at some stage and may at anytime take the van off of the market (unless you have paid a deposit) without notice.

Thank-you for viewing my ad

Addition - 5th May 2011

3rd Party Checks Please feel free to get an HPI or AA vehicle check done. I can always find time if you want to arrange a mechanic or knowledgable person to look this van over. This van wasnt bought on finance.



Viewing If you have trouble finding the time to travel to view this van, I could, for the cost of fuel and perhaps £15, travel to you. I would be prepared to travel a fair distance.