Debate on Twitter and Facebook as to our latest van has
been fierce, with most people recommending their own van as being the ideal new
van for us. It seems we all put our heart and soul into finding our
“perfect” van that really nothing else compares. We’ve got to admit that, for a
time, we wondered why everyone wasn’t running around Europe in an Adria Twin!

We feel we’re incredibly fortunate to have bought a van
which ticked ALL of our initial boxes – lowline, non-fiat, fixed bed, big fridge, big 3.0
engine, 6 speed, German build quality, air-con and very close to our budget. Oh
and a tow-bar and bike rack fitted to boot!
We had originally decided that we would go for a Chausson
Allegro 67 or a Welcome 95 but really didn’t want the old X244 Fiat base and
the bathroom was a bit “ plasticy” on these. 

A 2006 (56) Burstner Delfin T680

We had previously discounted the Burstner Delfin because
they were circa £30k or more and not a great deal less if bought direct from
Germany even if we did have the time.

The story goes a little something like this. The van came
up for sale when we were at the Lincoln show with just 24,000 miles, 12 months
everything and full service history. There was a Delfin T695 on display there so
we went and had a look. It had been a while since we had been in Catherine and
Chris’s Burstner (and we didn’t rummage in their cupboards!) so it was good to
try and pull the thing apart. We couldn’t and we were seriously impressed with
the build. 

So we phoned the seller, the guy sounded genuine and we haggled
hard, got a great price and after a quick HPi check we transferred a deposit
over that evening. Totally unheard of for us, never the impulsive type but we
were so sure that this van was the one that instinct took over!
Just one snag – the van was 300 miles away in Portsmouth!
That meant a 600 mile round trip for Sophie in a Smart Car and a 300 mile drive
back home in an unfamiliar van for me. I’d never driven a Renault Master before
but so far we’re very impressed with the 3.0 DCI 140 engine. 30’s MPG, 6 speed,
bags of power and cruises / handles very well for a van of its size. It definitely feels more like a “truck” then a “car” but that’s not necessarily a bad thing!

Any pre-2006 Burstner is subject to a habitation window
delamination recall. There was two options – a nasty plastic nut screwed into
all four corners of the windows (with many now suffering from crack fatigue or
water ingress) or full replacement which Burstner would cover 60% of the cost. Fortunately
the previous owner of ours had them replaced, so no worries there. Also the
eBox is fully working – you can time the interior (or exterior) lights to go on
and off!? Is this really a 2006 van?

The bathroom really is something to behold. A full size walk in shower (no more wiping the floor down) and literally tons of slide away storage which I think even we will have trouble filling!

It would have been nice to have had a performance T615 –
same layout but with the AL-KO chassis, under slung storage (and a bin!) but
quite frankly we’re lucky to have got a non-Fiat Burstner at all within our
budget so we’re incredibly happy.

Of course, with any new van comes a mass of DIY tasks
which we will attempt to write some information on as we undertake.

Those include: 2x 125AH leisure batteries,  2100W inverter, remote-controlled LED lighting upgrade (semi-done, write
up to follow), refit one of the blown air heating ducts, get the auxiliary belts changed (engine has a camchain,
but belts are new due) and fit our ‘laptop dashboard dock’. Etc etc. Oh, and the chintzy net curtains are first to go! We are looking forward to having our first family holiday in her. 

The only task left is to think up a name!


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