HELP! Problems with Hymermobil Motor Home - any help/advice very gratefully received

Hello all. I am afraid this is going to be a long post - so get a cuppa (or glass) first! Also, apologies to members of the Inhabitants of Poitou-Charentes group, as I posted this on there yesterday - trying to cover all bases

We emigrated to France 9 weeks ago. A week before we left the UK my hubby traded his beautiful sporty SAAB estate for a Hymermobil Starline, 2002, (I think it is!), plus a cart load of hard-earned too!
I have no comment that is printable on a genteel page like this.

So, we packed it with the all the stuff that was originally going to go in my Audi and his Saab - it did very well down to Dover, and very well until about 20km from our holiday home in Deux-Sevres, where we were planning to spend a few days before heading down to department 86 where we are now living. I was keeping a weather eye on him from my rear view mirror, as I had Sat nav and he hadn't and he just got slower and slower - so I stopped, he stopped. He said there seemed to be a problem with the automatic gearbox - it wasn't shifting up into 4th - even if he put it straight into 4th instead of going through the funny stick shift that automatics have. So we limped to our house in dept 79 and asked a mechanic friend in the village to have a look if he had the time. He couldn't do anything for a few days, so we left him the keys to look it over in his own time. We then decanted a whole mountain of stuff into the house and left it there and came down here in just my car - with the bare essentials!

When he (our friend) tried to look at it . . . the starter motor was b******d! So, he rang us to apologise, as couldn't do much if the engine wouldn't start. We went back down to Deux-Sevres and rang the RAC, they came and hauled it off to a garage in Vihiers(49) and we were straight on the phone to the cowboy, sorry car dealer, in UK - we have a statutory 12 month warranty, and we had (at his strong suggestion, as he knew it was coming to France) also purchased his extended warranty too.

He has been a total tool - digging his heels in, not answering calls, not answering e-mails, asking for the old starter motor to be returned to UK (we did)- galling at the cost of fitting it, asking us to return the Hymer to UK so "his guys" can fix it (!!!)

The RAC have been brilliant, liaising between garage in Vihiers and Delboy in UK, and keeping us up to date. The reconditioned starter motor has now been fitted and they have done a diagnostic yesterday afternoon of the gear box problem. There is a problem (really?) However, they do not touch automatic gear boxes. The garage want us to go and pay the bill (absolutely no problem doing that, we will be there on Saturday to do that) and take it away - but to where? And with it only going up to 3rd gear, not 4th

So, first of all might someone be able to throw any light on what the gear box problem might be?

And secondly, does anyone know of a garage in department 49, or 79, or anywhere within a slow (only up to 3rd gear) driving distance of Vihiers which they know (and trust) could investigate (and then fix) an automatic gearbox on a Mercedes 2.8 Sprinter engine (which is what the engine is)
My OH has already dictated some notes to me about the problem to describe it further, but basically it climbs nicely up through 1, 2 and 3, then displays 4th on the dashboard but will not engage 4th.

We are going up to Vihiers on Saturday to pay the bill (which we then, somehow or another have to get back from t**s pot in the UK) We will then drive it back to our house, where we can leave it in the garden, until or unless someone on here can advise us of a good place to take it to be sorted out - again, our warranty should cover all this - but I have a feeling in my water we may have to take this guy to court to get anything back from him. We just want to get it on the road and start enjoying it.

On a more positive note we have now involve Trading Standards in Stockton-on-Tees (where OH bought the Hymer), and they are very interested in following this up, so we may have an ally in getting hold of our money - in the long term.

Knowing how helpful this forum seems to be I am now in your hands. We will really appreciate any advice/guidance etc you can offer. Thank you very much.

Thanks Roger. Will get OH on that when he is finally parted from his mower. I'll reserve my judgement on whether it's a posh bit of kit until the bloody thing works! Thanks again.

Would suggest the MB agency closest to you which you can find on

just click on 'ou vous trouve'

Posh bit of kit you have there or should be:-)

My quality,classic Hymer is now coming up to its 20th Birthday