Gentleman Jack

See other Advice articles filed in ‘Used motorhome buying guides’ written by Gentleman Jack
   
Looking in the motorhomes for sale pages for a head-turning, compact ’van? Read on as we share our buying tips for the 2010-on Fiat Ducato-based Globecar

German brand Globecar, which is relatively new to the UK, offers a great range of panel van conversion motorhomes – cleverly designed, smartly executed and, crucially, at the right price.

Peter Pössl first started constructing vehicle trailers in the 1980s in his native Bavaria.

In the 1990s, he was building motorhomes based on high-top SEVEL panel vans – these were Peugeot Boxers sourced and converted in Slovenia.

The firm later moved production back to Peter’s homeland, and its ’vans began wearing a ‘Made in Germany’ badge.

Sales to the UK were sporadic until 2010, when a more stable dealership network was developed.

This is where we pick up in this buyer’s guide, as we are focusing on Globecar motorhomes on the Fiat Ducato, from 2010 to present.

Checking out the range

Before looking at the two main SEVEL ranges, we need to dispel the myth that Globecar is a small converter.

Last year, it converted more than 4000 motorhomes – including making the Compact for Concorde – making it a significant presence.

Despite a mind-boggling array of range subnames and model numbers, its UK offer easily divides into two main groups.

First, the D-Line – converted on a standard Fiat Ducato high-top panel van and consisting of the 5.41m-5.99m Globescouts, the 5.99m G2 Relax, the Familyscouts and the Campscouts. The latter two stretch the tape to 6.35m.

The H-Lines are identified by their custom-made GRP high-top (hence the ‘H’) featuring a Luton overcab on a panel van. Models are the Vario (4.99m-5.99m) and the Concorde Compact at 5.41m.

All Globescouts and the Roadscout have a permanent transverse double bed at the rear, and an amidships washroom and kitchen. Both cab seats swivel ahead of the half-dinette, which offers two more travel seats.

The Familyscout L features a bigger lounge-diner. The Campscouts and G2 Relax have a longitudinal double bed, or twin singles that convert into a double.

The H-Line’s custom-made high-top facilitates the inclusion of a comfy longitudinal drop-down double bed, so seating areas can be left undisturbed.

The Vario 499 and Concorde Compact both have a full-width rear washroom. The Vario 545 has twin transverse bunks at the rear, and the Globescout Vario has a height-adjustable transverse double bed over a garage-style storage area.

Globecar also offers the option of a low-lie elevating roof on top of the fixed high-top, adding a further double bed.

The essentials

  • Globecar panel van conversions on Fiat Ducato
  • Imported to the UK 2010-present
  • Built by Pössl Leisure & Sport, Ainring, Bavaria, Germany
  • Overall length 4.99m-6.36m (16’5”-20’11”).
      

What to look for

If these ’vans sound like your cup of tea, here is what to check for when viewing models found on the used motorhomes for sale pages.

Base vehicle

This generation of Fiat Ducato is probably the most suitable PVC base vehicle, bar none.

Look for a full service history and make sure there are no scuffs to the bodywork.

Left-hand-drive models are available in the UK (mostly private imports) and these can be a savvy buy for those planning extended European trips.

Take care because some left-hand-drive examples for sale on trader websites are ex-hire, so check previous ownership carefully, and avoid those with worn interiors, unless, of course, they are ‘giving them away’.

Conversion

Examine any prospective purchase for any signs that it’s led a hard life, make sure everything works as it should, and that it has had a recent habitation service.

The real ‘issue’ is that Globecar’s option list was previously on the extended side of long, so make a tick-list and check everything you require is included.

Most items, such as a microwave oven, can be retrofitted, but allow for the costs in your calculations.

Likes

  • Design-led ranges
  • Choice of eight exterior colours and four interior soft-furnishing fabrics
  • Roomy showering area
  • Wide choice of super-compacts
      

Dislikes

  • The sliding door is on the UK offside
  • Owners hang onto them!
      

What to pay

One issue is that most UK buyers of (new) Globecars are experienced motorcaravanners, who have chosen their model very carefully, so they do tend to hang onto them. Thus residuals are strong.

Private sales start from around £30,000. At the time of writing, Dicksons of Perth was advertising a one-owner, 2011 D-Line with 33,000 miles, fully loaded and with a full service history for £33,245 – it looks a peach in the photographs.

Which would we pick? They are all good ’vans! However, Globecar is in a class of its own with its 5.45m models.

The brilliant sub-5m Vario is unique in the UK – and this is our favourite.

Alternatively, how about a Globecar Trendscout on the Ford Transit (now discontinued), or the Knaus Boxstar and Boxlife on the Fiat Ducato.

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