Andy Jenkinson

See other Advice articles filed in ‘Caravans for sale – buying guides’ written by Andy Jenkinson
   
Enjoy German build quality from £5k with a 2004 Geist LV – it might take a while to find one on the used caravans for sale pages, but they're built to last

Geist caravans were introduced into the UK market at the end of 2003, for the 2004 season.

Although it was a German name – part of the Erwin Hymer Group, in fact – the tourers were built to suit British tastes. Geist caravans were basically LMC-brand models changed to UK specification as they came down the line.

The LV range was aimed at the mid-market buyer and was seen as a good alternative to a British caravan, particularly because it also offered German build quality.

It hit the UK shores with five layouts, all of which were four-berths except for the two-berth 485 model, pictured here.

The profile was distinctive, but not particularly attractive. The interiors, meanwhile, were traditional but retained a definite Continental feel.

Thicker-gauge aluminium was used for the exterior, which also had smooth sides. The BPW Swing V-Tec chassis was employed, with a Winterhoff hitch stabiliser.

Model history

The LV485 was a couples’ van with a spacious end washroom and was the only two-berth layout produced by Geist: the others were all family models, with three fixed-bed floorplans and an end-washroom four-berth.

The LV485 was made until 2005, when the LV range was dropped and replaced by the Xklusiv line-up; all Geist models were also moved to Al-Ko chassis.

For 2004, the specification of the 485 included blown-air heating, a Status TV aerial, a full oven, a fridge, a Heki roof vent, an Omnivent extractor fan, a remote-control awning light plus a door spy-hole. No radio/CD player was fitted, but the relevant wiring was in place so one could be added later.

The upholstery was made in the UK, and was fitted after the caravan arrived at the importer. There were two options for the soft furnishings, and bolster cushions in the lounge areas came as standard. The LV485 had great storage, too.

By 2005 the Geist had been given new upholstery, graphics, internal spotlights and a stainless-steel sink unit with drainer.

Geist stopped importing caravans in 2010.

Buyer's checklist

  • Look out for any water stains by the front window frames
  • Keep an eye open for any damaged panels
  • Inspect upholstery for support
  • Check the tyres/alloys
  • Find out whether the van has an uprated chassis
  • Watch for chassis cracks – most with this problem were uprated
  • Check whether the kitchen sink/drainer is badly scuffed
      

What to pay?

Searching in the used caravans for sale pages for one of these models? You may have to look harder than normal for a pre-owned Geist LV, but you’ll usually get a good, solid tourer.

An entry-level 485 could cost as little as £4395 privately, but with dealers they cost from £4995-£5295.

At the other end of the range, a top 640 could set you back as much as £7595.

Alternatives

  • How about a Coachman Pastiche 460/2? Pay £5295 and you’ll get a 2006 model and more kit.
  • Or what about an Abbey GTS 215? It is better equipped and a decent build, for £6595. It should be easy to sell on, too.
      

Verdict

Geist had a UK run of six years and in that time it drew quite a following. Its models were solid, with very few suffering from damp issues.

Geists can be had for relatively little money these days. There were chassis problems on pre-2005 models that you’ll need to look out for, but otherwise a Geist caravan is ideal for those looking for German quality at the right price.

Factfile

Some details on the featured 2004 Geist LV485:

  • Price: £4995
  • Berths: 2
  • MiRO: 1193kg
  • Payload: 207kg
  • MTPLM: 1400kg
  • Internal length: 4.82m
  • Width: 2.29m
  • Seen at: Red Lion Caravans, 300 Southport Road, Scarisbrick, PR8 5LF (call 01704 889 973 or go online)
      
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