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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know this should probably go in the Panel Van section but I wanted a wider audience.
Having been pondering the purchase of a van for almost as long as Methusula was about, I think we have finally decided on a panel van conversion.
Visiting the show at Newbury was the clincher and, although they weren't exhibiting , I am drawn to the Mazda Montague as produced by 321Away.
Any comments?
 

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321 just convert a standard Mazda Bongo which have never been a Panel Van - it is their conversion that gives it the name of Montague.

The Bongo can be 2 wheel drive/4 wheel drive some with an elevating roof. Ours is a 2.5 Turbo Diesel 8 seater with a roof tent but w/out any conversion. it has served us well for 5 years without problems and normally sails through the MOT it's a 1995.

Best of luck in your search.

We are going to get a MH in the near future.
 

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We had a Mazda Bongo. 1999 version. Lift-up roof. Removed the rear bench seats and fitted a kitchen unit there.

Best thing about the Bongo? 2.5 litre turbo-diesel, automatic, 4WD.
Went like the clappers - brilliant to drive.

Downside? Poor fuel consumption.

We bought ours from: http://www.wellhouseleisure.com/

We changed to the Hymer because we wanted a bit more luxury but we do miss our Bongo.
 

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Still got my Montague AFT, called Monty don't you know 8)
Sits 7 folk with central seat reversed. Rear kitchen unit.

Although we've had our Auto Sleeper for exactly 2 years, still keep Monty for day to day driving, but seems a shame that we don't use him for camping in anymore. I suppose I should really get down and decide to sell him. But he's one of the family, always a pleasure to drive, being automatic. Had Monty since August 2005, been down the west coast of France & also down to Slovenia, also trailed a caravan with him around UK & France again as well, when we were trying to make up our minds to be a tugger or not.

Pippin is right about the fuel consumption, if you put your foot down!
But we found at about 55-60 mph we are getting 26 mpg on a 2WD 98 model. Check out www.bongofury.co.uk you'll find plenty of debate. All Bongo owners are as mad as fruit cakes but a very social bunch. Their annual Bash always attracts around nearly 200 Bongo's of all description, it's very hard to find 2 Bongo's fitted out the same way, even from the same conversion company.

For what it's worth, we looked at newer models from 321 when we were thinking of maybe upgrade to a newer 2001 model, but we were not at all pleased with the finish of the conversions. I think that finding cheaper ways to do the conversions makes it possible to keep the prices lower :wink:

Have I just talked myself into putting him up for sale, maybe I just have :roll:
 

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As said previously our Bongo has been great, it has never let us down on our long trips to France and the daily use in the UK.

BUT we want a MH with a rear fixed bed and possibly another fixed bunk for our daughter who will soon be 5.

We are looking forward to viewing the different styles of MH's

So ours will be for sale in September and we will miss it.
 

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Hello Bear,

The Bongo Fury website link posted by karlb is a great resource – lots of helpful members on their forums. All the technical information & fact sheets will be worth the joining fee. They have the answers to every conceivable technical problem.

We looked at converted Bongos for months before finally deciding to buy a VW T4 California Auto. Both vans are great to drive, both are reliable, and if it was to be our main vehicle for daily use, the RHD Bongo would have pipped the VW for handiness in town and acceleration in traffic. However, the wider bed, the swivel front seats, cab access from inside, and especially the wider rock’n roll bed made the VW better suited to our requirements for a campervan. Our Calif also does about 38-40 mpg on tour whereas Bongos drink much more diesel.

Before you order from 321 Away, you ought to look at the fully converted Bongos up for sale privately. The going price for a decent converted Bongo seems to be around the £8,000 mark. The Wellhouse Leisure conversions seemed to us to be the best of the bunch so maybe more desirable. (That’s just a personal opinion.)

Good luck,

SD
 

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Bongos are very popular small camper conversions, and rightly so.

They have become a bit of a cult vehicle.

We had a Wellhouse converted Bongo until recently. We bought it as a low cost alternative to a VW California.

The supply of good used Bongos from Japan has really slowed down so now Wellhouse also convert a variety of similar other Japanese vehicles, which are well worth considering as an alternative.

There is no doubt that a Bongo is a very fine vehicle to drive, but fuel consumption is not great. We used to get 25-30mpg in use as a camper van. People commuting in them get less.

Other Bongo issues are they are a lot narrower than a VW, and have no front seat to rear access (the engine is in the way). But we never go stuck in a muddy field with our 4wd!

But just spend a few days browsing the forum on Bongofury, you will find more than enough advice (if a bit biased) there.

Even the CCC has a separate category describing Bongos now!

http://www.campingandcaravanningclub.co.uk/newtomotorhomes

Oh and here's a picture of (some of) over 200 Bongos in a field....

 

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Quite agree Trevor.

When we got ours back in 2005, you hardly ever saw any on the road, now they pop up everywhere :lol:

Now, we have had our autosleeper symbol a couple of years (doesn't time fly) and you would think that there would be many many around, we hardly see any as we drive around.
Is it something we've said or done :oops: :roll:
 
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