Ten days til I get home.... soooo new van ideas!

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  • Hello wonderful beautiful people :D


    It's only ten days until I leave the States and get back to good ol' Blighty. And guess what I cannot stop thinking about... GETTING A NEW VAN!


    Been looking at LOADS of Transits and LDV Pilots/Convoys/400s online. At this present time I am swaying more towards the LDVs but that could change again tomorrow. Got a budget of around £3000 for a new van (new to me, reckon age wise I'm looking for something pre 2001), fixing it up, repairs etc. (got a good mechanic friend who won't overcharge me or 'create new problems') and the conversion. Reckon I will come in under that budget considering I've got loads of things I can strip from my old van and other stuff lying around that I've collected. We all know the costs soon mount up though, so maybe I won't. Either way, that's the sort of moolah I'm looking at spending.


    I've been reading back through posts others have put on here about the pros and cons of these vans, different ages and engines to consider etc. so I won't go on about that. Instead, just wanted to give you guys an idea of what I want in the van:



    • Place to securely store my bike (thinking some sort of box that I can access from the back doors, storing either horizontally or vertically)
    • Wet room (going to have a toilet in there and maybe a shower, maybe some sort of wash stand considering I go to the gym most days so won't always need a fully functioning shower in the van)
    • Reliable heating system. Still haven't decided whether I want to go for a wood burner or a proper caravan diesel/gas heater
    • Workspace for my laptop/papers
    • Bigger-than-single bed, but maybe not a full double
    • Kitchen (a couple of gas hobs, sink, work space, storage for fresh foods, coolbox fridge for now)


    Reckon that's about all for my wants n needs right now... am I missing anything major? Obviously I'll have space for storing clothes/bedding/food blah blah but am I missing anything else feature wise that I could put in?


    Looking forward to hearing your ideas, guys n gals! Hope you're all doing well!


    Raff xxxx :)


  • That's a beauty! Considered lutons too but wondered if I'd push the weight limit on my license if I converted one.. I only have a regular car license up to 3500kg and no plans to get a cat c..

  • alices wonderland great list, thanks!


    Battery/solar - I never used much power in my last van, charged up laptop and phone at a library I was at every day. And charged it from the 12v when moving until the 12v blew up on me. Might get something for this one though so that I can charge on trips away. Need to learn more about proper battery use and safety etc first, but will do my research!


    Water - Will have two tanks under the kitchen sink for clean and waste. Considering a sink hole straight out the bottom of the van for the wet room. I don't envisage using loads of water in there, just enough to get cleaned up, so I reckon I could get away with a pipe flowing out the bottom of the van and some strategic parking over drains so I don't create a mess!


    Roof rack/top box - I thought about putting some roof racking up on the top and having half the roof for a small solar panel and storage (dunno what I'd put in there though... maybe tools and spares) and the rest of the roof with some lightweight decking on for a viewing point (ladder down the side). That last bit is a bit of a dream at the moment but I've seen it done on a Sprinter and it looks ace!


    Stealth - definitely, but not going so so so crazy that no-one would ever be able to tell. I don't mind if I have a couple of things that the trained eye would spot, but certainly not going for all out camper.


    LWB - I reckon I'll be going for LWB. I've seen the extras/jumbos and they look bloody ENORMOUS. Tempting, but LWB might be enough for me. Maybe even a MWB depending on the van.


    Doors - Like the idea of rear doors so I can get out either end of the van and so that I can open up the back doors on a nice day. Oi oi. Side door i'm not desperate for but it might be nice to have that. Not quite sure yet. Not a deal breaker I'll work with whatever I get.


    Fuel type - diesel probably. I'd like LPG but I don't recall seeing many stations around me with LPG. No petrols ta.


    Height - hi top. Need to test standing up in a semi hi top as I was planning to elevate my bed n want to make sure there's useable room both above and below the bed..


    Width - Oh so so technical "narrow enough to fit in standard car parking space". that'll do! ;)

  • Go for a late transit 06-07 LWB HR 2.5 TD RWD T350 tow hitch a must. LEZ compliant??? Sprinters in your price range could burn you. Look what's out there in abundance and consider spares and resale value in the coming next 5 years.


    I think I'll go for a trannie or an LDV. Bit worried about electrics and whatnot on later models though. Don't want a Sprinter really, unless it's an old one. Mainly for the same reason.

  • Woodburner - as long as you are gonna be in places where you can access free wood.


    Pallets burn very quickly, and you need to check that you are burning heat treated ones, not ones that have been chemically treated - as these are very bad for you!


    Ideally find woodland where you can collect your fuel :-)


    - - - Updated - - -


    Insulation!


    - - - Updated - - -


    Air vents!

  • I am happy with my LWB high roof 03 Ducato/relay/jumper/boxer


    2 years and counting and all I have spent is new front brake pipes and a bit of welding for the mot. Cost just 350 quid ish as a bare van. Super reliable so far. doubt I have 2.5 grand in it fully converted and I have a lot of stuff on board.


    I know they are not popular with hippies but they are loved by the vanilla camper crowd.


    I am 6 feet short and I can seep sideways and stand up fine in it, the mattress in the back is a standard 120 cm foam one.


    Swivel front seats though the drivers one is never used, they came as a pair from the breakers, wardrobe, desk, loo, fridge freezer, 43" tv, play station, Xbox, double bed, 3 warter tanks, hot water heater, diesel blown air heating, inverters, oak cupboards and trim, 3 ( OK, 2 but i am buying another one this week) leisure batteries, sink, roll back sunroof, large clear skylight, 400 plus watts of solar panels on the roof, loads of storage under the raised bed and in upper cupboards, fold out or pull out tables all over, 9 drawers, 2 stereo systems, gas hob, microwave, LED lights everywhere including in all the cupboards, deadlocks, LCD security cameras and screens. bookshelf. It is amazing what a small van can squeeze I if you try. The back doors of the van open up and my tools and workstation is tucked in behind.


    Not many windows though as its stealth, next up is a fiamma type awning, a foldout side step and a towbar.


    I has an outside shower though.


  • Not that I am an expert but I have always dismissed those vans as unreliable. Might have to re-consider. Do you do many miles?

  • [QUOTE=Colin M;


    Pallets burn very quickly, and you need to check that you are burning heat treated ones, not ones that have been chemically treated - as these are very bad for you!
    ![/QUOTE]
    What do you mean by heat treated? This is a new word in wood to me. Do you mean naturally seasoned or kiln seasoned?

  • How tall are you Raffi?


    Massive mate, massive.... a full 5'4" ;) You have a semi hi top, don't you? What I'd like to be able to do is make a platform for a raised bed that I can sit up in and have storage, maybe even bike storage, underneath.

  • Not that I am an expert but I have always dismissed those vans as unreliable. Might have to re-consider. Do you do many miles?


    Admittedly,one is not a trend. 160,000 miles or thereabouts.


    I remember a mechanic mate told me to avoid the pre HDi ones, avoid the 1.9 especially,


    I know there was an issue with the gearboxes, it is a 4 speed box with a 5th gear grafted on and was made out of cheese, but the issue was the older ones fell out of gear easily, so won't leave you stranded anyway, and a cheap and quick fix if they do fail with easily available parts. .


    Injectors can be mega expensive to get pulled, the engine designer had never heard of galvanic corrosion, so can cost 60 quid each to remove them, 50 tonnes pressure need to be applied very carefully.


    I think a tiny bit thirstier than my smily old transit, but quite a lot heavier and larger, faster and more comfy too.


    Would I buy another? If the price was right, yes, but maybe I was lucky or maybe the whole thing will fall to pieces tomorrow.


    C15s, Raffis old van are considered to be bulletproof here in France, but Raffi has had a bunch of issues with hers. So you never know.


    I like the fact you can get loads of off the shelf camper stuff for them, moulded tanks, dead locks, window covers. They are probably the most popular base for camper conversions and have been a while now.


    My swivel seat walkthrough conversion was mega easy, get a second drivers seat base, drill 2 new holes in it, bolt on Peugeot 806 seats. 30 euro total and the job is done and looks factory original.

  • And if he's a mechanic, it may be well looked after......


    or possibly a case of cobblers children.........


    Doesn't look to bad, and there's plenty of time on it, so may still be around when you get back.


    Have we got anyone on here with knowledge who's near to Skeggy? Maybe they could pop over and have a look for you?

  • When I get home to Lincolnshire next week I'll only be about half an hour away from Skegvegas, so hopefully it hasn't sold by then! Yeah I wondered whether it might be cobbled together repairs etc. but if this guy was using it as his work van then presumably he looked after it...


    I might send my brother over there armed with the line "£600 final offer" and a stern face ;) hahaha

  • Grand! I never drive that fast anyway. 55mph is fast enough for me on motorways. Slow lane is my home. haha


    Yeah, I am the same, I have not been over 60mph in years, diesel is too expensive to go fast, I tend to tag along on motorways slipstreaming behind big trucks on long distances, you can save a good 30% fuel mileage that way with a big van.


    I admit to having issues with LDVs cos they look like Sherpas and I hated my sherpas, certainly they are nice and big.

  • Don't discount LPG. My car is LPG and everyone always asks how I deal with the lack of places to fill up. The answer is easily. First off it will also run on petrol, so you're never completely stranded, and secondly, LPG is so cheap you just fill the tank instead of putting £15 in. If I'm just doing my normal 20 mile round trip commute plus a bit of weekend running around, I fill up once a fortnight, and it never costs more than £25. If you have a morrisons nearby, even better. They are 10p a litre cheaper than anywhere else at 49.9p a litre!

  • Just be carful that the painting over rust spots isnt hiding some rusty horrors.


    Yeah mine is a mid hight roof. At your lofty hights of elevation you would have plenty of headroom in a midhight van even after hefty amounts of insulation. Doubt you would get a bike standing up under the seat/bed and still be able to sit up tho so full hight might be a better option for you.

  • Just be carful that the painting over rust spots isnt hiding some rusty horrors.


    Yeah mine is a mid hight roof. At your lofty hights of elevation you would have plenty of headroom in a midhight van even after hefty amounts of insulation. Doubt you would get a bike standing up under the seat/bed and still be able to sit up tho so full hight might be a better option for you.


    Cheers, Trap, that's really helpful :) :thumbup:


    I've been thinking about other ways to have a decent bed in there without it taking up loads of space. Trying to find a braincell in this head of mine that will cooperate and come up with something genius!

  • Cheers, Trap, that's really helpful :) :thumbup:


    I've been thinking about other ways to have a decent bed in there without it taking up loads of space. Trying to find a braincell in this head of mine that will cooperate and come up with something genius!


    The last couple of van conversions I have done have all had the mattress sideways at the very back, raise it up and add a little step or two and you have an enormous storage area accessible through the rear doors. You do not need large amounts of headroom in bed. For comfort sake you really want the bed to be fixed for full timing. Mine is 120 cm, very big single or a small double.


    I find a mattress along one side uses way too much space up and a temporary bed is a fools game.