Concorde Charisma I880f - Mercedes 616CDI

Discussion in 'Mercedes-Benz' started by Spuffington, Aug 30, 2017.

  1. Spuffington
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    Spuffington Moderator WARLORD Site Supporter

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    Out with the old and in with the new...........whilst Harry has been a fine machine and will be sorely missed, necessity has driven a change and I'm delighted to welcome in the latest addition to the Spuff fleet, a 2005 Concorde Charisma I880f.

    For non-motorhome experts, Concorde is pretty much the Rolls Royce of manufacturers; their units the trusted Apartments on wheels for many a full-timing person or family. Like many small producers of high quality goods, their prices are eye-watering when new, but depreciation plays a useful role in bringing them into the realms of mere mortals and, although far from being cheap at 45k purchase price, a significant reduction on the purchase price of around 180k new back some 12 years ago.

    Some highlights for you:
    • 8.8m long, 2.4m wide and 3.25m high (Harry - 6.7m, 2.3m, 2.85m)
    • Built on a Mercedes Sprinter 616 CDI Chassis with 5-cylinder 156bhp 2.7l turbo-diesel engine and full auto gearbox;
    • Gross Vehicle Weight - 5,990kg, albeit I will probably up-plate it to 6,500kg when I have some spare cash (Harry - 4,600kg);
    • Twin rear axle and air brakes (Harry - twin rear axle but normal hydraulic brakes);
    • 38k on the clock and two owners from new;
    • Berths - 5 (one fixed queem size French bed at the rear, one pull down double bed over the cab and single bed on sofa);
    • Alde Wet Central Heating & Hot Water running off AC hookup or LPG (Harry - blown air heating off gas and hot water off AC or gas);
    • 1.5kW DC to AC Inverter (Harry - DC only or AC only on hookup);
    • 2kW built-in and internally vented air conditioning (Harry - no Hab Aircon);
    • 150L three-way fridge & separate freezer (Harry - 45L fridge w/built-in freezer);
    • Double glazing to all windows & Skylights;
    • 245L fresh water tank and 245L waste water tank (Harry - 125L fresh / 85L grey);
    • 120L LPG tank (Harry - 40L refillable LPG bottles);
    • 120L diesel tank (up from 70L in the normal Sprinter)
    • Kitchen with sink, separate draining area, 3-ring hob, oven/grill/Rotisserie (and space for my Nespresso machine!) - (Harry - sink, 3-ring hob only)
    • Separate, very large, shower cubicle and power shower (Harry - built in shower cubicle wetroom);
    • SOG roof-vented toilet cassette means it can be used without chemicals;
    • Sufficient space for up to 8 people in the living area; and
    • Enormous "Garage" with sufficient space for a motorbike and two push bikes.
    I have had "Carrie" (named by my daughter - can you see a theme here! :D) for about 4wks and done about 800miles in here - inc. the 500miles driving her down from Oban. My Uncle bought her from Aberdeen and drove her across and then I drove her down from his. My first impressions still very much stand........

    Beautiful. Just beautiful. Everything about her exudes class. She's big but she wears it well. She hasn't been looked after quite as well as I'd like to have seen - there are some scuffs on the bodywork and some questionable stickers and bits and bobs stuck around the place. The wipers split on the way back from Scotland to were the first things to be replaed, the cab aircon also wasn't working on the drive down which is a problem when you're sitting in a greenhouse and the number one switch position for the wipers didn't work (although intermittent and full speed did). As I pulled up home, the Inspection 2 light came on and in spite of the seller adamant that it had been regularly serviced, a trip to All Klasse Autos and my trusted mechanic there, it was found that the fuel filter was the original(!) :eek:, the air filter hadn't been changed in years, was clogged up and a cheap pattern part and the oil filter was new but cheap. So I had the full Inspection Service done, Alex also regassed the aircon (running nice and cold now) and replaced the combination Switch for the wipers and indicators. All in all, 800quid down but all the niggles sorted. (y) Just need to get a new set of boots on her now as they're 6yrs old and have UV damage and light cracking to the sidewalls. Budget around 900quid for a set of 6 plus spare.

    Hab area-wise. Lovely. Not scuffed up, but not massively clean. But at least nothing that some time with a detailing kit, cleaning fluids, cloths and brushes can't sort. What strikes me most though is the amount of space. Harry worked perfectly for me and is, in all likelihood, the perfect van for me. I love how compact he is but has everything you need. Carrie is definitely a like an apartment on wheels. I don't necessarily need that when I'm travelling, but I do now that she's my home. Had I not have been fulltiming, Harry would still have been perfect.

    Carrie is, however, indulgent. The separate bedroom at the back is psychologically so important for separation between living and sleeping - there is a sliding door which separates the two areas. The bathroom, whilst not generous in proportion (apart from the shower cubicle and a basin which I can now shave in) is opulent with wood cabinets and beautiful little lamps over the mirrors. The central heating is devastatingly effective, as is the insulation. To the point where you try not to run it as it heats everything up perhaps a little too hot! Need to play with it a bit to work out the finer art of control.

    I love the large kitchen area and having worktops to prepare and serve on. As well as a "mezzanine" level half way raised off the worktop which fits my nespresso machine perfectly! A large freezer and fridge makes life easier for a week shop and the seating area is so generous that 8 people could sit around for an evening. Particularly comedic is the fact I can sit on the sofa and reach the fridge to pull out a beer! :)

    In terms of driving, there is no getting away from the fact that she's an enormous unit. At over 2m longer than Harry, 10cm wider, 40cm taller and 2tonnes heavier, it requires some adaptations to ones driving style and really needs to be driven like a lorry rather than a van. The large rear overhang results in a significant tail swing, so maneouvres have to be well planned and considered when operating in tight environments. That said, she is not difficult to drive. The autobox, whilst the slushiest of slush boxes, is perfectly matched to her size and weight. You never really feel like you want more performance since it would be completely incongruous with its character. That being said, it's quite a big ask for the 2.7 litre 5-pot which I had in Harry to pull such a big load in Carrie and that, together with the auto transmission, translates to a fairly woeful 17mpg even at a steady 60mph cruise. So, I may consider a remap in due course to improve the economy but I'm also hoping that the new air filter might also improve things. Ride-wise though - cossetting and S-Class Mercedes like. The coachwork feels properly bonded to the chassis in a way that Harry sometimes didn't and there are very few squeaks and rattles - a truly relaxing place to be.

    Nothing is perfect though and the following things have hit my attention and need work fairly immediately. As above, I have sorted the Initial servicing requirements and been given a clean bill of health mechanically but the following needs doing;

    - blind spot mirrors (ordered, just needs fitting)
    - satellite - doesn't seem to be able to find satellite reception. Just spins around. Not a priority though
    - change the halogen bulbs to LEDs and the ones which have already been changed, change them from bright white to warm white / yellow as they're too stark
    - rooflight seal over bed needs investigating
    - ns garage seal - the outer seal is missing and needs replacement. Need 5.5m of the stuff at 11quid a meter from the only importer in the UK :rolleyes:
    - one of the hob rings needs looking at at it's not quite as effective as it should be
    - replace all the tyres (probably for Michelin Alpin

    Over time:

    - replace rear decals which have split and worn on rear panel
    - maybe a remap for some more mpg

    I think that's it.

    In spite of the little issues, I am overwhelmed by it and looking forward to feeling better about "living". Little'un adores it, which is half of the battle and makes me happy knowing she is happy.

    Some library pics for the moment - I'll try and upload some of mine when I sort out what I'm going to do post-Photobucket......

    [​IMG]
    Mine has the nicer Euroliner, deep recessed rear wheel tims though! :whistle:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Layout
    [​IMG]
     
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  2. E39mad
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    E39mad

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    Wow - that is a big bus - good luck with it.

    See what you mean about the rear overhang :eek:
     
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  3. Adie
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    Adie Site Supporter

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    That's mighty impressive Spuff, even has it's own garage! well done (y) As you say a lot more comfortable over the winter months than Harry
     
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  4. Merc? No. BM!
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    Merc? No. BM! WARLORD Site Supporter

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    (y)

    It's bigger than my flat... :LOL:
     
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  5. GunRunner
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    GunRunner Site Supporter

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    Wow...:eek: (y).....that is some machine!
     
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  6. Verbarthe
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    Verbarthe Site Supporter

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    Love it (y), big bus comfort for sure . Am sure most of the interior will come up really well with a good clean and any other niggles you ve mentioned can be done as and when time and money permits , lovely machine , must seem like going from a Hostel to a Hotel Suite for you , no offence to Harry of course .:)
     
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  7. kleynie
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    kleynie WARLORD Site Supporter

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    That is mega! I remember looking at one of these when I was at Silverstone for the F1 and thinking 'lucky bugger', but of course when you are living in it the reality may be different? Either way, I'd love to have one, but I'd tour all the European grand prix's in it.
    And just think, if you was renting a small flat near London you'd be paying £1k per month at least, so in that respect its a bargain, and you have something to show for the outlay, which renting will never bring.
     
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  8. Mieke
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    Mieke WARLORD Site Supporter

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    Very nice! But it's a good job that you did your Highland trip in Harry. The Concorde would be a real handful down those narrow roads with passing places. :eek:
     
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  9. The CO
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    The CO Admin

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    Good God, look at the siz of that beast! And 17mpg - eep! Looking forward to some more pictures.
     
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  10. snrbrtsn
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    snrbrtsn WARLORD Site Supporter

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    That certainly looks the business
    Almost bus like, would love to see the inside.........
     
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  11. Spuffington
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    Spuffington Moderator WARLORD Site Supporter

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    Thanks for the replies guys. Yes, she's a big old bus and whilst you do have to be cogniscant of that at all times, she's not quite as unwieldy as you think she might be. That said, yes, Harry was definitely the perfect vehicle for threading up narrow lanes in Scotland but I wouldn't shy away from the Highlands again - just requires a bit more planning and some common sense. I'm certainly never wreckless but I think with confidence and skill, the size of your vehicle shouldn't be too much of a hinderance to what you want to do. I had people tell me that I'd never get Harry over Applecross Pass.......! Now I probably wouldn't attempt it in Carrie but I'm no shrinking violet when it comes to making a van work for you.

    Right, I'm attempting using Flikr now instead of Photobucket, so let's see if these photos work......
    [​IMG]IMG_6013 by Duncan Gibson, on Flickr
    [​IMG]IMG_6025 by Duncan Gibson, on Flickr
    [​IMG]IMG_6026 by Duncan Gibson, on Flickr
    [​IMG]IMG_6009 by Duncan Gibson, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_6037 by Duncan Gibson, on Flickr
    [​IMG]IMG_6052 by Duncan Gibson, on Flickr
    [​IMG]IMG_6053 by Duncan Gibson, on Flickr
    [​IMG]IMG_6054 by Duncan Gibson, on Flickr
    [​IMG]IMG_6055 by Duncan Gibson, on Flickr
    [​IMG]IMG_6056 by Duncan Gibson, on Flickr
    [​IMG]IMG_6057 by Duncan Gibson, on Flickr
    [​IMG]IMG_6094 by Duncan Gibson, on Flickr
     
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    Last edited: Aug 31, 2017
  12. kleynie
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    kleynie WARLORD Site Supporter

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    Looks great, I particularly like the shutter over the front window.
     
  13. Harry
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    Harry Site Supporter

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    That's ... um..... big.

    Yeah. Big about covers it.

    Congratulations. I wish you big fun.
     
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  14. bishbosh
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    bishbosh Site Supporter

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    That is big! I'm waiting for the washing/polishing thread! It'd take you 3 days at least :ROFLMAO:;)
     
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  15. Mieke
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    Mieke WARLORD Site Supporter

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    Looking good, Duncan. (y) Your daughter appears very happy with Carrie.
     
  16. Merc? No. BM!
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    Merc? No. BM! WARLORD Site Supporter

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    Eggs, debatable, but bread doesn't go in the fridge, Dunc. :D
     
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  17. Mieke
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    Mieke WARLORD Site Supporter

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    . . . . And only one bottle of beer. Definitely not enough! :D
     
  18. Verbarthe
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    Verbarthe Site Supporter

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    Very nice Duncan , you could at least have done the dishes and made the bed before taking the pics though :sneaky::sneaky:
     
  19. slim_boy_fat
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    slim_boy_fat WARLORD Site Supporter

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    Just try to give us some notice....:ROFLMAO:
     
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  20. RickT
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    That looks ace. - good on ya mate and as you say, so much more room in there. Is that a side awning on it too ?


    2 questions -

    Why is there no beer in the fridge ?
    Are them snail stickers on the wings OEM ? (i doubt it..) plus the, RAM ones on the rear ?
     

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