Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Van to make a camper
#1
[font=.SF UI Display][font=.SFUIDisplay]Right going round the houses here trying to make up my (our) mind on the van to make I to a camper..... been from the starting point of a VW Transporter T5 LWB rightness through to a L3H3 Merc Sprinter....... i have swung the pendulum back, I really wanted the Ford Custom L2 with the sports kit but they like the VW’s command too many ££’s so I am between a Renault Traffic and a Vauxhall Vivaro which are the same van different badges one made if frog land one in Luton !!  I am swing to the newer but smaller engines 1.6D which apparently chucks more power for less fuel then the old 2.0L ..... there seems to be a 140Hp and a 180hp ....... the battle is I can get the older 2L for around £7k but a much new though strangely higher mileage 1.6 but need to splash more like £10k ...... come on van folk what’s the word on van street .... I am set to push the button on it on Saturday [/font][/font]
My real name is Dave 
Reply
#2
Good luck with the Vivaro....

We are de fleeting them 2 years early. Nothing wrong with the 1.6 engine at all... but clutches are letting go as early as 10K... the pedal stays on the floor, then springs up making the van lurch forward. Brakes... various brake fading or loss of brakes.... staff are refusing to drive them. Returned to Vauxhall they fit new callipers on them.... finally door handles ! They are snapping off on the side and rear doors, requiring a full lock unit.

T5, no known vices, all are 70K plus and no real issues bar the stop start system seems to kill batteries....

T6, bag of shit.... no where near the quality of the T5, various electrical issues ..... climate control fan switch blows resistor packs which is caused by a poor alternator..... headlights... can only muster a dull glow.... all going back for recall.

Transit Custom.... the last of the 64s being de fleeted.... 100k to 200k and only a few have suffered from the electric steering failure.

In reality, any ex fleet van will have its issues... they ain’t bought to be pampered... but if I had to put my hard earned dollar into a van.... 
the last Square Transit.... L2H2 with the 125 rwd 2.2.

Reply
#3
The VWs cost a fair bit more as far as I can tell, but they do look good and I reckon will keep the value. 

I’ve heard the Trafic/Vivaro can chuck gearboxes and clutches, but you will not be treating it like a workhorse so should have an easier life(?)

Sprinters get good feedback on the off-road forums as far as I can tell. 

I, of course, know fuck all about vans  Laugh
I am Spartacus 
Reply
#4
Hum more food for though especially as clutches are around £700 a time ..... TBF the older shape transit is half decently pricing and I do like a Merc Sprinter.... think what’s putting me off a bigger base van is wanting it to fit in car parks easier
My real name is Dave 
Reply
#5
The practicalities of size like parking is definitely a consideration, but you do want it big enough to be comfortable to stay in though. 

I reckon you really need to consider how and what you will use it for. If it’s the occasional 1-night stop for a bit of dogging then something smaller should be ideal, but if you are considering weeks away on the continent then bigger may be better. Plus If you have room to stick at least 1 bike in it whilst you are away then there’s your parking issues sorted.
I am Spartacus 
Reply
#6
(25-02-2019, 11:59 PM)Ledwardio Wrote: The practicalities of size like parking is definitely a consideration, but you do want it big enough to be comfortable to stay in though. 

I reckon you really need to consider how and what you will use it for. If it’s the occasional 1-night stop for a bit of dogging then something smaller should be ideal, but if you are considering weeks away on the continent then bigger may be better. Plus If you have room to stick at least 1 bike in it whilst you are away then there’s your parking issues sorted.

Indeed all valid points but not sure Gail is going to be happy with going dogging at Rivi !!! I am thinking pop roof on a short van and a side roll out awning. The bike debate has occurred and I have found a natty sideways tow hitch trailer type thing that seems to fit the bill ... I do like the idea of head to remote UK locations with the bike along for fun time riding once into the area
My real name is Dave 
Reply
#7
And another point....

You may need to have the taxation class to be changed from commercial vehicle to private....just a paper shuffling, but..... and here is the advantage.... speed!

Any commercially registered vehicle has that speed limit issue... 

Generally no one imposes it, but, speed cameras do and those pesky speed camera vans ...

Reply
#8
The downside to a camper is that once you’ve set up camp you need to disrupt it to go anywhere, so a bike in tow is ideal, and why you see a lot dragging a little car behind them. 

I looked at the sideways tow bar rack a while back, but I think the nose weight with bike is quite high as the weight is sat on the hitch rather than spread out like with a trailer. Might not be an issue with a van over a car, but certainly something to consider. 

I think if you want to officially change it from a van to a motor home then there are certain criteria that need to be met. As well as the speed limit benefit that Doc mentioned I think insurance is easier (or probably more likely to cover you) if the class is changed. Some guidelines here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publicatio...-motorhome
I am Spartacus 
Reply
#9
One thing I notice is engine power output....

The amount of factory or professional conversions is that they seem to choose lower power engines when there are more powerful ones in the range.

Notice this on my travels.... many a time a camper will pass me at 70+... but when it comes to a hill they’ve fallen back to a point I sail passed...

Point being, 90bhp in a van is nothing... 120-130 starts to give decent power, my T6 is 150.. makes it more than liveable plus, there is little difference in fuel consumption compared to the 102 manuals we have....

Reply
#10
I keep toying with the idea of a camper van, you see the vehicles that have been converted at a better price but I guess it then comes down to the quality of the work done, interesting points on BHP and issues with certain makes, I want something I can take to events put a couple of cycles in usually some kit that’s it just have something to sleep in cook some food and room for 2 if I take a friend, what’s the starter cost ?
Hope not Hate 
Reply
#11
Dave - reckon you deffo need to look at a pop top option or get one converted into one.

Had a blast in a T5 for about 4 days other side of Christmas and yes a pop top would have made things more comfortable.

Re the tax class it's quite easy to change the category in the log book to 'camper van' from a standard van - few chaps I know have done this and it does come up cheaper on the insurance.

Another thing to look out for is tyres and what load thy can take if you are converting.

Other than that I know fuck all so will shut up Big Grin
[Image: 0s4xliEM.jpeg]

In Madness You Dwell

Reply
#12
Deffo avoiding the 88hp -98hp offerings and looking at the mid or higher outputs, mapping is an option but gets tricky on insurance.... the T5 we borrowed was remapped to 175bhp Andy flew along 

Tonight I am between Merc Vito and Ford Custom and think I may have found a suitable Merc candidate if it’s not been wisked up. 

Yeh looked into re classification so know that’s a deffo job to do, also on Self build conversion there is only really 4 insurers two which will cover you during build but you have to send updated photos during and at the end of work. 

Will need to get a gas safe cert and ideally a sparks cert if doing the 240/12 volt which is my intention

Bike hauling is certainly a thing I deffo will sort and add to the set up as you say Lee it saves breaking camp every time you need a pint of milk
My real name is Dave 
Reply
#13
Nice to see the plan formulating there Dave.

Wait for Kev to come along and demand a photo shoot, step by step.

Reply
#14
Least Kev will be able to give advise on the best hammock anchor points
[Image: 0s4xliEM.jpeg]

In Madness You Dwell

Reply
#15
I keep considering it, but would want it more as a day-van to be quite a versatile vehicle so it could be used for kipping over, moving bikes, mini bus, whatever is needed - I've seen systems which I reckon could be used to easily shuffle stuff in and out to make this versatility possible, but then I start looking at the vans and the price of not buying a shagged stinker starts to be an issue.

Do you have a trusted source for the vans Dave or are you just scouring the market?
I am Spartacus 
Reply
#16
He could also do a good deal on awnings... must be similar to door engineering...

Reply
#17
(27-02-2019, 09:43 AM)Ledwardio Wrote: I keep considering it, but would want it more as a day-van to be quite a versatile vehicle so it could be used for kipping over, moving bikes, mini bus, whatever is needed - I've seen systems which I reckon could be used to easily shuffle stuff in and out to make this versatility possible, but then I start looking at the vans and the price of not buying a shagged stinker starts to be an issue.

Do you have a trusted source for the vans Dave or are you just scouring the market?

No source just scouring.... yep the main issue is decent ones get pricy spotted a mint Ford bit £14k which is over budget ...... may have spotted another Merc in a dealers in Bath I am chasing up Saturday
My real name is Dave 
Reply
#18
Any luck Dave?
To the Regiment! I wish I was there.
Reply
#19
Yeah how's it going Dave?


I started looking around for a cheap but decent van but have come to the conclusion no such thing exists  Laugh   Sad
I am Spartacus 
Reply
#20
Wonder why vans are so expensive Huh
Reply