Big Vans - advice needed - Richard Hall
A friend has asked me to find him a replacement for his Transit 190 long wheelbase van, which has rotted beyond hope of repair. Budget is up to £2,500. I was thinking of just getting another Transit, but I see a lot of LDV Convoy vans advertised at around that price, newer and lower mileage than Transits the same price. Are these vehicles strong and reliable? Do they have any particular weaknesses to look for? Also, I seem to remember reading somewhere that they have galvanised bodies - is this true?

Any useful information would be much appreciated. Thanks.

Richard Hall
Big Vans - advice needed - Dave_TD
For about the last 5 years the LDV Convoy has used the Ford Transit 2.5Di engine, we run a T-reg one with this engine. The build quality is appalling, the driver's seat is painful, the noise vibration and harshness is really quite something else entirely, the reliability is patchy (to say the least), and our one has the fibreglass high roof which seems to attract damage every time you load the van up.
It's done 75,000 miles and it's now on its second engine, we have only covered 15,000 miles in 12 months because it has spent so much time in the workshop.
But it's only half the price of a Transit.
We sub work out to a chap who could afford a Sprinter every three years, but he buys a Convoy every two years instead. He's not working this week, because his 51-plate van is having a new diff and rear axle fitted.

So, to answer the original question, I find them neither strong nor reliable, and riddled with weaknesses.

Big Vans - advice needed - Orson {P}
I drive an LDV Convoy in 17 seat minibus form. It's horrible: as DTD says, the drivers seat is painful, as I find my knees end up under my chin. There's no power, so that you end up slowing right down on anything over dead flat. If that's the sort of thing we still build, then I'm not surprised they nearly went under a few years back.

Having also driven Sprinter Lutons, they're far better. Beg/steal/borrow to fund one!

Big Vans - advice needed - Wales Forester
Having just spent 25 minutes typing a reply only to find that it has been wiped out when I tried to post it I will get to the point and say this - DO NOT BUY AN LDV CONVOY!
You will regret it more than you have ever regretted anything in your life!

Big Vans - advice needed - Marcos{P}
My freind ran one for a year and did nearly 60,000 mls before a new lump was needed. Whilst running this van he developed a back problem, lost several jobs while it was bieng repaired and lost even more hair.
He has since bought a sprinter and done 160,000 mls in less than 2 yrs and the van has only been in for routine maintenance and a water pump.

My freinds back is now o.k. but he is bald and scared of LDV CONVOYS.
Big Vans - advice needed - Richard Hall
That all seems pretty conclusive, thank you everyone. But why the engine failures? Surely Ford wouldn't deliberately supply substandard 2.5Di engines to a competitor? Would they?

Richard Hall
Big Vans - advice needed - Vansboy
OK the convoy hasn't moved with the times quite so much as Transit & Sprinter,BUT...
As you only want to spend £2500, you'll be hard pressed to find ANY van that not been well worked, before getting down to this price range.
You'll need to look for a Convoy from a public utility, or council owner.Low miles, not hard driving & well maintained, THEN you'll find what a sound buy, LDV can be.
At least prices for the bits you might need, won't be as scarey as some!
Big Vans - advice needed - Dave_TD
Phew, I did wonder if my original reply was maybe a bit too strong, but I see I'm not the only person with this opinion of them.

Vansboy - Buying a low miles, tidy, not hard driven, well maintained LDV may be a good idea as long as you only want it to do a few miles in, gently, without battering it, and with regular maintenance. In my personal experience Transits, Sprinters et al seem to be able to take a lot more punishment before they break.
Funny that, because the old Maestro vans were (are?!) practically indestructible!
Big Vans - advice needed - Vansboy
My Maestro should click over to 308000 miles by the end of this week, still looks good, too!
Big Vans - advice needed - Miller
Sorry Vansboy but thats the first time I have seen the words "Looks Good" and "Maestro" in the same sentence!

(Speaking as a former Maestro owner!)

I'm a loser, why don't you kill me?!
Big Vans - advice needed - Dave_TD
The H-reg one I used to drive met a sticky end on the A14 about 5 years ago at 349900 miles... with one of the other lads driving it! I got him back though, when I bent the chassis on his Transit pickup.
Big Vans - advice needed - Wales Forester
Apparently Parcelfarce (formerly Parcelforce) are not buying LDV Convoys anymore because of reliability and build problems. Instead they're buying Iveco Dailys and Mercedes Sprinters.
I must say it's taken them long enough to decide the LDV's are crap.
I wonder if Consignia/Royal Mail or whatever they're called this week will follow suit.

On the subject of vans - loosely - I saw a BT liveried Ford Ka in Criccieth, North Wales last week, the odd thing was that it had panelled over rear quarterlight windows making it a very small van! Can't say i've noticed one before.

Big Vans - advice needed - DavidHM
They've only just introduced them, to replace the old Fiesta van. I'm not sure why they didn't just make the new Fiesta into a van, but then there's nothing about the Ka on the Ford vans website, so maybe it's for BT only. I guess they must have had a contract to make small vans beyond the life of the last Fiesta.

Anyway, I get the impression that a Ka is about as far away as you can get from a big van without lopping off a wheel or two, so I'll leave it at that.
Big Vans - advice needed - Wales Forester
I only saw it briefly, I assume it had no rear seats as there seemed to be a mesh bulkhead directly behind the front seats. It was on a 52 plate, looked quite snazzy actually!
I see BT are using Transit Connects now, any idea when the Escort Van is going out of production, if it hasn't already?

God i'm getting sadder! :-)

Big Vans - advice needed - Vansboy
Yes the Escort van has gone, now!
Ka van has had it's biggest order placed with BT, to replace Fiesta, not sure of numbers though.
Just to mention, Post Office used to run 75% Escort 25% Combo, on small vans.This is now in reverse, as they have ordered 25000 Combo,spread over next 5 years.
The reason why you've seen less LDV from the Post Office (they are still buying LDV product)is,there is an accross fleet policy of 25% reduction in numbers of ALL vehicles, at Parcelforce/Royal Mail/Romec just been implemented.Should be a lot of red vans at auction, soon then!!
Big Vans - advice needed - Wales Forester
Apparently the Fiesta van is not dead, the new model will be available in van form from this winter.
Big Vans - advice needed - Dave_TD
I know this is sad, but I had my camera with me... So:
Big Vans - advice needed - Wales Forester
Nice one DTD!
I too would have been sad if i'd had my camera to hand!

Big Vans - advice needed - Vansboy
Royal Mail have just placed an order for 1500 swb Transits, over next three years. These to replace LDV Pilot.

LDV soon to launch a NEW Pilot, a bit late in the game it seems!

Fiesta will be available in new shape van later this year.

Big Vans - advice needed - KB.
I'm actually quite pleased with the way my, recently acquired, 1.6 Maestro Mayfair looks! It's only done 14,000 miles and was kept in a garage by it's one elderly owner. It's polished up a treat and will, hopefully, have a few years left in it. At least I know it won't get nicked! I'm just about to get underneath it to Waxoyl it's nether regions. Not bad for £450 plus a bit for exhaust/cambelt/service/odd bits & pieces.

I haven't yet seen many of the new Transit Connect vans, which replaced the Courier and Fiesta vans. They do a Combi passenger vesion (Tourneo) which looks useful, but is expensive compared to the Doblo and Berlingo etc.



Value my car