Calling all ex bongo owners

Anything non-technical about the Mazda Bongo Friendee van

Moderators: Bongoplod, aitch

User avatar
mikeonb4c
Supreme Being
Posts: 22810
Joined: Sun Nov 05, 2006 10:49 pm
Location: Living with Mango Bongo in the North West but with a tendency to roam

Re: Calling all ex bongo owners

Post by mikeonb4c » Thu Jul 28, 2016 8:47 am

I eyed up Nissan NV200 conversions similarly Chris. But although they may be economical on diesel the cost of the conversions is eye watering and they're small, especially as i get old and clumsy. The Bongo is the optimum compromise i think between liveable in, go anywhere, do any job.
I Bongo, therefore I am...
Bongoing, BonGoing, BonGone
User avatar
cmm303
Supreme Being
Posts: 1665
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2013 8:10 pm
Location: Chippenham, Wiltshire

Re: Calling all ex bongo owners

Post by cmm303 » Thu Jul 28, 2016 2:35 pm

mikeonb4c wrote:I eyed up Nissan NV200 conversions similarly Chris. But although they may be economical on diesel the cost of the conversions is eye watering and they're small, especially as i get old and clumsy. The Bongo is the optimum compromise i think between liveable in, go anywhere, do any job.
the NV200 doesn't look much longer than Bongo. These were a good 5ft longer, maybe more. I'd guess similar to lwb sprinter. Didn't look too big on campsites until Bongo was next to one then you realise that it is a different ball game on the drive, in car parks etc.
Chris with BertieB
'96 White unconverted AFT 2.5L Diesel 4WD
User avatar
mikeonb4c
Supreme Being
Posts: 22810
Joined: Sun Nov 05, 2006 10:49 pm
Location: Living with Mango Bongo in the North West but with a tendency to roam

Re: Calling all ex bongo owners

Post by mikeonb4c » Thu Jul 28, 2016 4:45 pm

cmm303 wrote:
mikeonb4c wrote:I eyed up Nissan NV200 conversions similarly Chris. But although they may be economical on diesel the cost of the conversions is eye watering and they're small, especially as i get old and clumsy. The Bongo is the optimum compromise i think between liveable in, go anywhere, do any job.
the NV200 doesn't look much longer than Bongo. These were a good 5ft longer, maybe more. I'd guess similar to lwb sprinter. Didn't look too big on campsites until Bongo was next to one then you realise that it is a different ball game on the drive, in car parks etc.
I was referring to the yellow thing in the pic and your comment below it which implied to me it was small?
I Bongo, therefore I am...
Bongoing, BonGoing, BonGone
User avatar
cmm303
Supreme Being
Posts: 1665
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2013 8:10 pm
Location: Chippenham, Wiltshire

Re: Calling all ex bongo owners

Post by cmm303 » Thu Jul 28, 2016 10:34 pm

mikeonb4c wrote:
cmm303 wrote:
mikeonb4c wrote:I eyed up Nissan NV200 conversions similarly Chris. But although they may be economical on diesel the cost of the conversions is eye watering and they're small, especially as i get old and clumsy. The Bongo is the optimum compromise i think between liveable in, go anywhere, do any job.
the NV200 doesn't look much longer than Bongo. These were a good 5ft longer, maybe more. I'd guess similar to lwb sprinter. Didn't look too big on campsites until Bongo was next to one then you realise that it is a different ball game on the drive, in car parks etc.
I was referring to the yellow thing in the pic and your comment below it which implied to me it was small?
:lol: :lol: I had flipped between the serious and the simply ridiculous. Sorry! :D :lol:
Chris with BertieB
'96 White unconverted AFT 2.5L Diesel 4WD
User avatar
mikeonb4c
Supreme Being
Posts: 22810
Joined: Sun Nov 05, 2006 10:49 pm
Location: Living with Mango Bongo in the North West but with a tendency to roam

Re: Calling all ex bongo owners

Post by mikeonb4c » Thu Jul 28, 2016 11:07 pm

Silly boy :lol: :lol: :lol:
I Bongo, therefore I am...
Bongoing, BonGoing, BonGone
vanvliet
Supreme Being
Posts: 2081
Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2005 6:33 pm
Location: Fife , Scotland

Re: Calling all ex bongo owners

Post by vanvliet » Sat Jul 30, 2016 12:04 pm

Double side sliding cargo doors are a really nice feature if you go for a small van. This allows awnings ( tent type and caravanstore) or al fresco eating on both sides of the van. Also,a steel factory hightop offers great storage potential ( but over 2m for parking - but not a real issue IMO) . The Ford Custom vans are starting to come on the market second hand as were introduced in ,I think,2012. Extras often fitted are aircon/ twin batteries /230v inverter/ 12v in rear. Loads of companies offer sliding second row windows and swivel driver /pass seat kits are out there too The Reimo 3000 sliding bed on rails can also be fitted - but at a huge cost!
Get some ideas from this website http://auto-campers.co.uk :D
Origo bio stove - no Bongo!
User avatar
mikexgough
Supreme Being
Posts: 6158
Joined: Mon Sep 08, 2008 9:02 pm
Location: Cambridgeshire - where the all the Slodgers reside

Re: Calling all ex bongo owners

Post by mikexgough » Mon Aug 01, 2016 9:56 pm

http://www.promobil.de/bilder/poessl-ca ... how_item=8

is a nice one..... I'm doing some looking just now.... thinking of getting either one of it's big brothers or a Knaus Boxlife in a year or so and they are £11000 less than a VW T5/6
Conversant with Bongo Top Pinion Oil Seals

Bongo owning Velotech Cycle Mechanic
User avatar
mountainmummy
Bongolier
Posts: 488
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 12:30 pm
Location: Stirlingshire

Re: Calling all ex bongo owners

Post by mountainmummy » Tue Aug 02, 2016 7:11 am

Thanks for all the ideas guys :D

Had a one nighter in Killin at the weekend (strangely few midges by the way). Went through the usual twister moves in the evening:

You sit there while I move my leg.
Ok now if you put your arm up I can reach the wine.
Where's my phone?
Stop arguing kids!
Oh no the bloody blind's fallen off again.

I think a lot of our problem is caused by the fact that the kids won't sleep in the roof (I know they're weird) so when they finally fall asleep the four of us are squashed downstairs trying to sleep, read books and drink wine (occasionally). Living in Scotland, sitting outside in the summer evening isn't really an option unless you're one of those rare being that midges don't like. Don't want to have to take an awning for short trips.

I suspect the answer to our solution will be large white, soulless and expensive (motorhome). We'd like to wildcamp more (need a loo) and want to to take longer European trips.

Going to see what we can save for a year or so, do lots of research and maybe even hire a motorhome for a short break to see if it actually does give us what we would like.

If we ever do move on I will cry when we sell the Freda. The only other car I've ever loved was my 2CV which died of rust about 19 years ago.
Why, oh why did I chose such a naff forum name????
User avatar
mikeonb4c
Supreme Being
Posts: 22810
Joined: Sun Nov 05, 2006 10:49 pm
Location: Living with Mango Bongo in the North West but with a tendency to roam

Re: Calling all ex bongo owners

Post by mikeonb4c » Tue Aug 02, 2016 9:27 am

Reading that i can quite see why you need something bigger. Can't match the Freda for driving experience but will be a huge improvement as regards camping. Although there's always an Eriba......
I Bongo, therefore I am...
Bongoing, BonGoing, BonGone
Bongolia
Supreme Being
Posts: 1513
Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2016 2:17 am
Location: Folkestone

Re: Calling all ex bongo owners

Post by Bongolia » Wed Aug 03, 2016 5:29 pm

Hire before you buy is a first class idea although there are cheaper alternatives that would allow you to sleep under the stars and keep the midges at bay.
https://player.vimeo.com/video/72200290
skyhigh123
Bongonaut
Posts: 39
Joined: Sat Oct 15, 2005 7:48 pm
Location: Bristol

Re: Calling all ex bongo owners

Post by skyhigh123 » Thu Aug 04, 2016 8:58 am

I bought a "P" reg Bongo in 2005. It was a full rear conversion from 123Away. I bought it through Ebay and at that time there were less than a page of listings for Bongos-I'd only just heard about them. I kept it for 8 years putting about 10,000 miles a year on it, spending 6 months of the year in SW France.
It never let me down, it was saved on one occasion by Haydn's Low Coolant Alarm. it was regularly serviced and I sold it in 2011 for half the price I paid for it. The only reason I sold it was because with 120,000 miles on it I was getting a little uneasy about it developing a problem in France- not a country noted for its Bongo repair network.

So, in 2011 we bit the bullet and bought this Ford Transit conversion

http://www.manchestercampers.com/page98.htm.

As you can see, it's an Elite conversion- they did lots of Bongo conversions and apart from being a lot newer than the Bongo it does have some advantages. The extra width means that a side conversion and decent sized double bed is entirely practical and it does have the addvantage of a swivelling front seat. I do still miss several Bongo features, notably the electric roof, the automatic gearbox and tthe airconditioning. But as a campervan which can double as an everyday means of transport it takes some beating
vanvliet
Supreme Being
Posts: 2081
Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2005 6:33 pm
Location: Fife , Scotland

Re: Calling all ex bongo owners

Post by vanvliet » Fri Aug 05, 2016 10:55 am

When my son went off to university this left the roof space free for storage when parked up ( he didn't live up there permanently - just on hols! :) ) Bedding and various bags found their way up there and I began to think that overhead storage was the way to go which is why we are probably going for the SWB Ford Transit Custom High Top Length (4.972 mm ) 2.2 diesel 130BHP 310 .On a new van the steel hightop is only £500 extra and is actually looks great as it is not too tall. Yes, there are problems with multi car parks and barriers but I reckon that the advantages are huge. Next,twin sliding glazed doors (with ' pop out' windows) is another option to consider as opening the drivers side one allows access to the kitchen units for al fresco eating and gives a flow of air through the van and an impression of more space. Awning rails can be fitted to both sides of the van - perhaps using one to hold a caravanstore and the other a tent style awning for longer trips .
A bed fitted to a full length floor track allows the seat/ bed to be moved to directly behind the drivers /pass seats ( both rear swiveling ) and this gives a massive load carrying capacity if the van is used as an everyday vehicle.
These five features make a huge difference and allow a smaller van to punch well above its weight in terms of convenience /practicality .
http://www.cambee.co.uk/souk.html
Finally ,if you need still more space a LWB is also available which is 5.39 mm long, so is not really too long for supermarket car parks
We looked at the VW T6 (also euro6 compliant) but in the real world of dealer discounts it is £10,000 more for the same spec :shock:
Origo bio stove - no Bongo!
scanner
Supreme Being
Posts: 7244
Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2007 10:20 pm
Location: Cambs

Re: Calling all ex bongo owners

Post by scanner » Mon Aug 08, 2016 2:17 pm

roosmith wrote:
scanner wrote:If you are having to tow a car around with your motorhome you are not using your motorhome correctly.

Motorhomes are for touring, caravans are for when you want to stay in one place day after day.
Not always, we rarely stay anywhere longer than 2 nights in the caravan. Different people want different ways of doing things. We like the caravan as we have more living space but still have something small to go sightseeing in.
I didn't say you couldn't or shouldn't use caravans for shorter stays, that is of course quite possible.

What I did say was if you feel the need to tow a car behind a motorhome I think you really are getting things the wrong way round.