Your recommended kit, please

  • Good morning All,

    ATM this is all speculative, but, currently living and working in UK & NL. It has been a drudge for best part of a decade but I didn't really notice it until I went on a bushmoot in wales last year. 2 weeks of sitting in woods, learning basic skills and generally 'tossing it off', so to speak. Revealed just how detached I have become from 'me/ peace/ soul '/ IDK ? So now toying with the idea of getting a good condition 04-06 VW LT 46 & converting it.

    Now the only solid concepts to date are :-

    covert, so can be passed by relatively unnoticed (especially in NL)

    Fuel system mod & engine work to interchange between derv & veg oil

    Good insulation

    Roof mounted solar panels

    Uprate all brakes to one size (think that was naked virago? )

    but the rest ? I'm clueless. I'm looking at best value rather than cheapest. What would you recommend ? and why ?

    i.e fireweavers stoves - good price but what's the weight penalty or choose prospex heaters ?

    side and back windows removal ? weld in steel inserts or replace with dark perspex. so privacy and insulation not obvious

    Just so many things that I know I haven't even considered as yet.

    Any and all advice would be greatly valued and appreciated


    P.S. Thanks in anticipation

  • It'll be a UK van. NL prices are eye watering. Also, NL 'road tax' makes UK's look like pennies. The idea of the van is to bimble off for extended weekends or further afield ( german forests, polish mountains, spanish coasts, welsh mountains or scottish highlands for week/ fortnights.)

  • You ask some very good questions. These are just my thoughts.


    It doesn't sound like you need a very high spec van for your weekends/weeks away, and some of your mods. are going to get quite expensive. if you want to be stealthy you can forget wood stoves and exposed solar panels. Everybody's needs are different, and the perfect van is a mythical beast.


    Try renting a small van, throwing your camping gear in the back and trundling off somewhere for a weekend and see how you get on. You will soon find out what things you really need. You do have to watch cost and weight with a conversion and some people seem to use excessively heavy materials, so try and keep it light and simple. Think also how long you are expecting it to last.


    There are 2 important things in a small stealth camper - you may need to move off in a hurry, so don't obstruct the driving seat, and you will need to make tea in the middle of the night, so don't obstruct the stove. The rest of the interior layout follows from that.


    An LT would be plenty large enough for one person - maybe too large, and I'll probably be lynched for saying it but I would avoid a VW. There are cheaper vans which are just as good, and to some people, VWs do have a negative anarchic hippy image which is best avoided.


    I stealth camp in a Kangoo which is really a bit too small, but it can be hidden anywhere, costs nothing, and I have a lot of fun with it.


    Anyway you will get some good advice on here, even if some of it is conflicting!

  • Right. UK reg. Stealth anywhere out side the UK won't be an issue, your registration number tells everybody you're not stopping!

    That said, using the van in the UK is another matter.

    I'm not a fan of windows, let alone a woodburner!!

    The choice of whether to have solar or not will depend how long you will be parked up without running the engine.

  • what is the point of veggie oil ? it is no cheaper, does not get more mpg, clogs up the filters more frequently, stealth van ? is a complete waste of time if your going wild camping and i can spot a stealth camper anywhere and if i can so can others, so unless your going to have just a mattress in the back without any cooking heating or any other comforts it is just not going to work

  • A sound sytem of a kind. One loud enough that you can drown out the whining of a bolloxed waterpump on your journey from hell, while your praying to the road gods you reach your destination, because at that time of day, day of week/month, you ain’t got the money or hope of getting it fixed unless your luck changes. Also it’s great to open up your van doors on a sunny morning and kick up some dirt.

  • A sound sytem of a kind. One loud enough that you can drown out the whining of a bolloxed waterpump on your journey from hell, while your praying to the road gods you reach your destination, because at that time of day, day of week/month, you ain’t got the money or hope of getting it fixed unless your luck changes. Also it’s great to open up your van doors on a sunny morning and kick up some dirt.

    looking at speakers from bkelec. Not so much the SPL but more the quality of the music through a Beresford DAC on battery. DO like my music, does affect everybodies mood. Holistically of course

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  • what is the point of veggie oil ? it is no cheaper, does not get more mpg, clogs up the filters more frequently, stealth van ? is a complete waste of time if your going wild camping and i can spot a stealth camper anywhere and if i can so can others, so unless your going to have just a mattress in the back without any cooking heating or any other comforts it is just not going to work

    True, but that gives me the option of putting in poor quality fuel ( who knows where my travels may lead ) and the future prices of fuel ? You know what they will be ? UK Gov't current demonisation policy/scaremongering of derv ? What will they impose of you, the community ? You are sat in your home ! If there ever comes a reason for fuel restriction, your 'mobile' home isn't. You may as well be in a flat if you're now static.

    You forget the fuel shortages of the past. Only emergency services and essential transport.

    I had an emergency pass issued by a refinery at the time. During a shutdown working on the 'Cracker. It'll never happen ? IT DID.

    Stealth van ? OK not completely. I'll have stickers made up with 'Environmental Survey" and a crown or motif emblazoned on it. You can't fool ALL the people ALL the time. However...........

  • you forgot war,plague holocaust etc. i prefer to deal in the present world,older diesel will run on pretty basic fuel even paraffin, environmental survey emblazoned on you truck aint going to help in outer mongolia for instance. yes i do remember the fuel strike and it was possible to keep running using a bit of ingenuity

  • you forgot war,plague holocaust etc. i prefer to deal in the present world,older diesel will run on pretty basic fuel even paraffin, environmental survey emblazoned on you truck aint going to help in outer mongolia for instance. yes i do remember the fuel strike and it was possible to keep running using a bit of ingenuity

    what is the point of veggie oil ? it is no cheaper, does not get more mpg, clogs up the filters more frequently, stealth van ? is a complete waste of time if your going wild camping and i can spot a stealth camper anywhere and if i can so can others, so unless your going to have just a mattress in the back without any cooking heating or any other comforts it is just not going to work

    so your recommended kit is ........ what exactly ? How has this conversation helped to kit my van with the best value ? You'd prefer me to carry on as I am ?

    I'm aware that you're very knowledgable and been roady for a long time, so thanks for the hostile reception & the not valuable input.

    "Environmental Survey' is an initial thought in response to your sneer. Stealth as in not a motorhome rather than camoflague netting. I'm here to add ideas, dicard poor ones. Your ideas were ........?

  • "Environmental Survey' is an initial thought in response to your sneer. Stealth as in not a motorhome rather than camoflague netting. I'm here to add ideas, dicard poor ones. Your ideas were ........?

    when the criminal justice bill came about. I had the idea of vehicle logo livery (conservation/environmental org) etc inc uniform complete with green hunter wellies, to throw nosey folk off or distract the knowledgable from worrying. 20 years later I realised that for every action there is a reaction. I’ve been stealth and in their face. Hid and stood proud. What I have found is there’s a number of folk who will scan a vehicle in all locations. Those that could cause us harm, the NIMBY’s and the Robin Heads. If you park too close with a suggestion of monitoring/surveying etc you can cause fear. Is it hazardous? Do I need to know? Will it effect US? Few relax knowing it’s a BTCV (British Trust for Conservation Volunteers) for example, they usually operate with the full cooperation of landowners involved. Landowners/Farmers don’t always see these organisation favourable also.

    So marking a vehicle in a fixed signage can be problematic in multi area situations. Also Ive found, monitoring and conservation (usually means recording equipment, cameras, laptops, tools etc). Robin heads reason to to exist. Take from those who have parked it unattended and get high.


    I like your quote : “you can’t fool all the people all the time”... just wanted to reassure you that being too straight/official can make you a target too.


    Stealth is about not attracting attention. Blending in. A white van parked in a street can be over looked. Same van in a quite country lane, indicates “stolen, dumped or flytipping”. Motorhome same locations. Resident, residential visitor, cheap skate avoiding paying camping fees.

    In the country lane, it’s expected that the motorhome/camper van type is short term, have a cup of tea, a rest stop, a over nighter. What it’s not is stolen, abandoned, flytipping or out nicking.


    I have a number of magnetic door business signs, some just to create a reason for being out there, two signs saying I’ll be gone first light (one on each side door of the vehicle). Even a dummy speed camera back window for fun times.


    Your heading in the right direction, just don’t over think it. Sometimes it’s just a matter of moving on.

    One thing I do recommend is buying a O/S 1 : 25,000 map of the area your stealthing in. There you will locate a variety of options for quiet nights, weeks stealth park ups. Digital maps are OK but you need a signal for those.

  • side and back windows removal ? weld in steel inserts or replace with dark perspex. so privacy and insulation not obvious

    If it helps, I have an ex- minibus and I have tinted the windows with dark tint and have lined them on the inside, with removable ply/kingspan boards that I made up. leaving a little gap at the top on a couple to see out.

    From the outside it looks like a minibus with tinted windows and lets out very little light.

    I have curtained off the front so no one can see through into the back.


    The funny thing about being stealth is you can never guarantee it. A van parked up in a new location will always look suspicious to 'curtain twitchers' anything out of place will arouse suspicion. Sometimes the most 'stealthy' place to park can be in the busiest area, there's so much going on that a van parked up for the night isn't noticed. I have spent many a cosy night parked up in built up areas.


    On the other hand, some of the places I thought were out of the way, safe and 'stealthy' have proven to upset people.

  • If you are intending to keep a vehicle in the Netherlands for an extended time (over 3 months) then you will have to change it to local plates and undergo the local test and road tax.

    If you drove into the country, kept moving about and didn't register anything, how would the authorities know how long you had been there?

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  • Too many variables and personal choices to give specific answers on specific vehicles,all id say is forget focusing on stealth because it doesnt matter how disguised your van is, its how and where you park it that matters.

    If you dont use some common sense -as many dont appear to- youll end up drawing attention to it regardless of how stealthy.

    Build your van for what YOU want to use it for and where its most likely to be used.Build in the equipment and storage you want for the purpose and forget the stealth element.

    Windows are good for obvious reasons light /view/ ventilation etc but theyre also a major weak point for security (a couple of seconds max to get in your van) they interfere with your internal storage layout, you have to consider night time and the need for curtains/blinds etc Personally i wouldnt bother with windows just large roof skylights for light and ventilation but you would need to consider windows if you plan to apply to change the vehicle class from van class7 to motorhome class 4.

    Again i wouldnt bother changing class but thats just my own preference.


    Heating depends on where youll likely be most of the time.If its mostly warm destinations a propex or eberspacher heater would be fine and less space taken up.

    Long term cold parkups youre probably better off with a woodburner (theyre dirt cheap to run) but only you will know that likely need.


    As for diesel/veg oil conundrum,despite what this government has said or not said on the future of diesel,diesel vehicles arent suddenly going to vanish overnight theres far too many of them on the roads of Europe and far too many well heeled influential owners and users, for them to do anything drastic.

    All theyve succeded in doing is creating a massive uncertainty as they always do and crippled new car sales, slow hand clap once more.


    Besides which, the technology is already available to reduce particulate emissions further to clean up diesel vehicles and if manufacturers really want to they can turn out cleaner engines and out flank any government dithering or policy.


    Not so long ago LPG and natural gas vehicles were the future according to our government and people rushed to convert their gas guzzlers to LPG, where are they now? Youll struggle to find a 'massive' network of LPG pumps as once promised.

    Youll find them in Italy better than here.


    It may be 20 or 30 years before it becomes a major policy issue to eradicate all diesel and petrol vehicles so you may as well get on with and live your life and forget clueless numpties in government.



    The VW LT46 is a good vehicle, one id certainly consider (If you do, get the larger engined model 2.8? Cant remember offhand Its chain driven cam not belt and more reliable.) There are plenty of similar sized vans by Iveco Merc Fiat Renault Citroen Ford.

    Everyone has their preferences on makes but an older low mileage diesel of at least pre 2009 is what id be looking at to avoid the expensive EGR emissions systems and prefereably pre 2002 ? To avoid the expensive Catalytic exhaust requirements and many of the expensive ECU managed diesels.

    Many of those older diesels will also run on veg oil if youre really set on that requirement (personally i see no point).


    The point im making (badly) is go find your suitable base vehicle,convert it how you want and go have fun with it and bollox to all the what if's,buts and maybe's over fuel availability,non of them might happen or be a major concern in your motoring lifetime.Stealth isnt as important an issue as having a reliable versatile secure vehicle,especially if youre ever going off the beaten track.

  • Where do you find a place to park up in NL? The only areas I can think is Limburg and some parts of Brabant (south of Tilburg, near the border with Belgium). Lots of people live in caravan parks in the Netherlands. You can rent a place for a season or the whole year. I used to live in a caravan park just outside Valkenburg, but I was living in a hut and it wasn't cheap (about €400 a mo about 8 years ago). The woman who was running the place would keep my mail for me but wouldn't allow me to use their address for registration (bank, fiscal number, etc).


    Following this thread because I'm thinking of going back one day.