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Posted: 27 October 2010 1:06 PM Subject: Compass Drifter
I'm feeling a bit tempted by an old one of these (1995) I am assured that there is no problems with water ingress, no damage to the bodywork and no repairs needed anywhere. It is very competitively priced and I'm thinking it may be a way of upgrading to a better equipped van without costing too much. We could probably recoup virtually all of the outlay by selling our existing little van, so it could be cost neutral. Does anyone know if the Compass Merit is any good? I probably need to move quickly if I decide to go ahead.
Posted: 27 October 2010 2:55 PM Subject: RE: Compass Drifter
Location: NE Lincolnshire - M/H - 2012 Adria Sport S572SL
I don't have any experience of the Compass Drifter Merit.
There are numerous advertised on the web between 1993 & 1998.
Looking at those they have the 1.9Litre Diesel / 2.0 Litre Petrol Engines.
These you may find underpowered, depending on what you currently have.
There are also some with the 2.5 Diesel which have adequate power & IMO would be a more satisfying drive.
Posted: 27 October 2010 3:19 PM Subject: RE: Compass Drifter
Hi thanks Flicka, have just checked and it is a 2.5lt diesel, I know the Peugeot petrol engines of that era are a little underpowered, as that is what is in our current van. It does get you there, but slowly!
Posted: 28 October 2010 2:45 PM Subject: RE: Compass Drifter
Thanks for the warning! I had been led to believe that the van was in Kent, and was prepared to travel to view it. Turns out the guy is living in it in Scotland at the moment, and althought he said he would deliver it at his own cost, that is too far to go and view, and I'm not prepared to just say I'll buy it without seeing it however cheap it is. Obviously wasn't meant to be.
Compass were a brand name from Elddis.
Here is some other info I found:-
Looking around the Drifter Merit was a Model Range of Motorhome from Compass & included (at least) 310, 355, 360, 410 & 460 models.
These included Front Dinnette rear kitchen/washroom (310) through to Front Dinette & Rear U Lounge.(460)
The Drifter range of coachbuilts was the mainstay of the Compass motorhome lineup through the 1990's, built at their factory in County Durham and based firstly on the Talbot Express/early Fiat Ducato, superceeded by the 'new' Peugeot Boxer or Fiat Ducato chassis from 1994. Early 2.5 diesel engines were normally aspirated prior to the introduction of turbo-charged engines around 1994 as a cost option.
Check external corners, especially rear, for damage or evidence of previous repairs. Roofs may be dented or damaged from being walked on or overloaded. 'Bubbling' of paint on coachbuilt body may mean ingress of water - check carefully inside for softness or staining of wallboard. Front overcab bed does not have brilliant headroom. Overcab window and apexes prone to leak. Some 460's will have been used for extended periods and have high levels of wear and tear. If advertised as a turbo, make sure that it is.
The 460 has an ideal 'British' layout, comprising of a forward dinette and kitchen, centre washroom and rear lounge. This setup offers good accommodation for up to six, although you are likely to find only 4 seatbelts. The 460 is reasonably good looking inside and out, with light furniture and warm fabrics, which generally seem to be wearing well. The washroom is adequate with vanity, shower and toilet and there is a decent heating system. Even though getting on now, a good Drifter 460 can still command a premium price on the secondhand market.
Posted: 28 October 2010 3:23 PM Subject: RE: Compass Drifter
Thankyou Flicka, that was very kind of you to look all that up for me. I think this was one of the larger ones at 20ft long. The photos did seem to show everything to be in order, and for its age it did look in good nick, but I was not prepared to tell him I'd have it without seeing it. I think he wants a quick sale as he's bought a new van, but his terms are, the van is in Scotland with me, delivery only. As it is too far away to travel for a viewing, thats put the kaibosh on that one!!