Bar Bar Bar Bar Baaaarbara Van! Advice needed!

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  • I've just bought a Merc Sprinter box van to convert into a home and travel round Europe with my family (boyfriend and dog).We've named her Barbara, she's literally just a box on wheels at the moment.Barbara1.jpgWe've got one long caravan window and two round canal boat windows to fit this week. I think fitting the caravan window will be pretty straight forward. Looking for any advice on fitting these http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayI…perSize&item=320862366902What sort of rubber strip should we use? Is it best to make a square frame on the inside to fit them into? Also anyone got any tips for insurance including cover for Europe. Should I stick to commercial van insurance?We're in Cornwall and if there is anyone local who could give us any advice or help with our first conversion please get in touch. Hoping to get a wood burner fitted at some point. We will hopefully be getting a pot belly from a friend.My boyfriend produces music and so we've been looking into extreme use deep charge batteries, split charge relays etc.This is our first project so its going to be a bit of a learning curve, we're hoping to get it live-able by June, leaving the UK mid July....heading to Boom and beyond!!! :wave:Any advice welcome thanks! x

  • One piece of advice, please don't fit a potbelly, you will regret it. I don't say this because I make stoves, there are other people that make them too besides me, but I spent hours listening to people tell me all the things wrong with them before I started designing my first stove. In order. Tiny door, means sawing up the wood into tiny pieces, which is a heap of extra work. Tiny pieces go out very quickly, you wake up freezing at about 2 am because It's gone out. Tiny potbelly, nowhere to put a pan or kettle. That's pretty much all that could possibly be wrong with a stove really...

  • Strongly suggest that you spend as much time as possible in the van before you start to convert. Sleep in it on a matress, use a gas stove and some crates. Work out how you want it set up, them imitate that with temp stuff to see if it works. Try different set ups. How about the bed over there? Do you like the bed in the luton?
    Draw ot the floor with chalk the places where you will have cupboards etc. and then test out living in the space that is left over.
    I think that lots of us who have converted made the mistake on the first conversion we did of designing in our heads, (or on the back of a beer mat), building from what we'd designed, and then afterwards found that the set up just didn't work, so mods have to be made.
    A lot of that can be avoided by mocking up and testing before you build anything.


    And surf through this part of the forum - loads of ideas.


    Also look on E-bay at pictures of conversions that are up for sale, you'll see loads of different stuff, and get lots of ideas.


    DON'T BE AFRAID TO CHANGE YOUR MIND! Lots of times. If your mind keeps going back to the same thing, that may well be what you need to try, but see as many other ideas as you can before you build.
    If you see folk parked up, very often with the right approach, and explaining what you have in mind people will be willing to let you have a look at what they have done in their wagons.


    ENJOY the build, it's gonna be your own unique wagon.


    Good luck.


    :-)

  • Strongly suggest that you spend as much time as possible in the van before you start to convert. Sleep in it on a matress, use a gas stove and some crates. Work out how you want it set up, them imitate that with temp stuff to see if it works. Try different set ups. How about the bed over there? Do you like the bed in the luton?
    Draw ot the floor with chalk the places where you will have cupboards etc. and then test out living in the space that is left over.
    I think that lots of us who have converted made the mistake on the first conversion we did of designing in our heads, (or on the back of a beer mat), building from what we'd designed, and then afterwards found that the set up just didn't work, so mods have to be made


    VERY GOOD ADVICE