• Been done to death but I am seeking a bit of advice guys an gals.


    So i'm looking to buy a van that I can;


    Spend a few days at a time in rather than living in or travelling in for long periods. I want to be able to drive and base myself in a spot away from home for a few days so I can go walking without time constraints


    Stick a window in one side door but otherwise remain fairly stealthy as I won't be on campsites


    Insulate reasonably well, my main consideration is to remain condensation free as i'm happy to wear layers and a woolly hat to bed


    Ideally a fairly small base vehicle as i'll be driving a fair bit but long enough for a 6ft guy to sleep in and store some kit


    Cooker can just be a camping stove and a washing up bowl for a sink I assumed, i'll probably skip a leisure battery and sockets at the beginning as I struggle with wiring


    Budget is around 4k - 5k plus the fit out. Obviously the less the better but it will need to be reliable as a main priority


    I've considered Berlingos/Kangoos but they're a tad short. Haven't tried a Citroen Dispatch yet but I generally like PSA HDi engined stuff.


    Any suggestions?


    Thanks guys

  • I think you've answered your own question! Dispatch is about the smallest van with a full 6' load bed......


    I've just done a Berlingo conversion, and a 6' bed is only really possible on the left hand side, taking advantage of the frankly excellent folding front passenger seat....

  • If you move the standard angled bulkhead and fit a straight one the vauxhall combo gives you 6 foot in the back to lay out in.

    You can only accomplish your object in life by complete disregard of the opinions of other people.

  • with that budget you could have almost any van you fancy, I would look at one of the sisters. Peugeot, Citreon or fIat,(breaks my heart saying that but transits aren't what they were) from what I've read they are about the best of the modern crop for payload and fuel consumption. If lined and insulated with a bit of thought you can have a six foot bed/sofa the width of the van which can give a lot more floor space if needed.

    Saying that, none of them get close to the mpg a old transit smiley will get. ( there you go LV, I just can't help it. Smileys rock)It's something to do with saving the planet and emissions crap.

    Personally for stealth I would go for a white non description white Van, no one will ever notice it in a town or city but folk do pay attention in the countryside. There worried your on the rob or fly tipping.

  • Short wheel base Mk6 transit. Get a good low mileage one. Loads of change from two thousand, even if there's rust.

    Or

    Look for a very long time and get a good Mk5. Anything with less than 200,000 miles on a DI will run for a very long time.

  • Short wheel base Mk6 transit. Get a good low mileage one. Loads of change from two thousand, even if there's rust.

    Or

    Look for a very long time and get a good Mk5. Anything with less than 200,000 miles on a DI will run for a very long time.

    LV will be along to give you into trouble for the same old reply.

    On that score, after seeing the grief that my little bro goes thru keeping his 3 yr old transit going, I wouldn't recommend one.

    60,000 miles, needed new EGR valve and a new actuAtor, £1200. Comes as a complete unit so new turbo as well

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  • LV will be along to give you into trouble for the same old reply.

    On that score, after seeing the grief that my little bro goes thru keeping his 3 yr old transit going, I wouldn't recommend one.

    60,000 miles, needed new EGR valve and a new actuAtor, £1200. Comes as a complete unit so new turbo as well

    Yeah, but that's a new Transit.... find a 23 year old one, and it'll run forever!


    To be fair, all new engines are bastards to repair.. the simplicity of older units makes component replacement much easier!!!

  • Yeah, but that's a new Transit.... find a 23 year old one, and it'll run forever!


    To be fair, all new engines are bastards to repair.. the simplicity of older units makes component replacement much easier!!!

    what like my 1995 transit smiley bus?

    It's getting to the point I'm now looking for replacement engines but it's done about 450,000 miles and still doing 34mpg and weighs 3.6/7 t. Just uses a liter of oil every tank of fuel. I don't think me running it almost dry on a long run helped.

  • I didn't realise that, wouldn't have thought a Combo was so long inside...thanks for the info!

    I owned a Combo. It would be the most difficult vehicle I have ever owned. I ran into one problem after another. Admittedly it was the first EFI vehicle I have owned. I bought code reader that had the right plug but did not recognise the vehicle. I overcame some problems. It seems Germans have different way of doing things. I will just stick to Jap vehicles in future or possibly Korean ones.


    It was not as good on fuel as you might expect but would keep up to speed even in a head wind.

  • I owned a Combo. It would be the most difficult vehicle I have ever owned. I ran into one problem after another. Admittedly it was the first EFI vehicle I have owned. I bought code reader that had the right plug but did not recognise the vehicle. I overcame some problems. It seems Germans have different way of doing things. I will just stick to Jap vehicles in future or possibly Korean ones.


    It was not as good on fuel as you might expect but would keep up to speed even in a head wind.

    Standard obd2 connector and communication. Okay, vauxhall have their own system for programming but the cheap ebay code readers i have both read faults and engine data. 55plus mpg even when leathering it.

    Ok, it has its faults - its a fiat engine!


    As for the op - measured this morning. Its 70 inches from front to back door, that could be increased by moving the bulkhead slightly further forward depending where you have the drivers seat, or stagger it as Matt did with his last build.


    Edit - wardrobe door replacing standard bulkhead, would fit further forward if required.


    20180223_094333-1024x768.jpg

    You can only accomplish your object in life by complete disregard of the opinions of other people.

    The post was edited 2 times, last by Rick69 ().

  • The DI in various guises is widely thought of as being the last commercial (read reliable) engine Ford ever made. The turbo version isn't even slow.

    Sadly too many people, pushed by the dealerships, want a van to be a car not a commercial vehicle.

  • I like my bananas in a rusty transit where they belong.


    Just been getting a distinct vibe here the 21st century is something that is something other people do.

    I think the problem for most of us here is limited disposable income (or virtually non) and although most of us would love 21st century motors they all come with 21st century eco-regs technology - catalytic converters ECUs EGRs and all the other mega expensive bollox that requires a laptop to diagnose and repair or parts and assemblies (unlike older vehicles) are non serviceable and require complete replacement units for mega-dosh.

    Its unfortunate (and obviously an irritation to you) that Ford DI and bloated LDVs tend to fit the bill for affordable reasonably simple transport.

    Practicalities like money always get in the way dont they.

    You have considerable experience with vehicles,make some suggestions instead of criticising other folks choices.

  • it's not ecologically sound to choose a brand new vehicle over one that's years old. The manufacture of vehicles adds more pollution to the planet than driving an old vehicle a modest mileage per year.

    Mile for mile newer vehicles aren't always better for the environment either. There's a lot of examples of the modern Transit Custom being far worse on MPG than my smiley.

  • Its not just the fuel mpg though.All modern vehicles have electronics and exhaust systems thay contain precious and Rare Earth metals and the devastation theyre causing in the moning process and toxic processing for extraction and the devastation to the environment in plastics dumped and the expensive toxic recycling process for used electronics undoubtedly outweighs any environmental benefit from slightly better mpg figures.

    The big problem with many modern vehicles is a relatively minor issue like a failed immobiliser or EGR can render an otherwise perfect van,scrap. How that is environmentally friendly or even sensible,as built-in obsolescence, Id love to know.

  • it's not ecologically sound to choose a brand new vehicle over one that's years old. The manufacture of vehicles adds more pollution to the planet than driving an old vehicle a modest mileage per year.

    Mile for mile newer vehicles aren't always better for the environment either. There's a lot of examples of the modern Transit Custom being far worse on MPG than my smiley.

    Only up to a certain point though, eventually an old vehicle will catch up to the environmental cost of building a new one with its use of fuel and fluids and spares and disposal of old spares etc, especially as newer vehicles have a higher proportion of recyclable parts and the factories that build them are greener. It's also relevant that often older daily driven cars are not maintained quite so well if the owners are running an old car for financial reasons.

    Even if they were built in the same factory to the old designs they would be greener these days simply because the steel would have more recycled material in it, the electricity powering the factories is greener than it was, there are less humans travelling to work in the factories etc etc.

    I know we all like to think the old ways are best but often they are only best for those of us who miss them. I think I read that on average once a vehicle hits 25 years old it starts to cost more, environmentally, than buying a new one does?

    It obviously varies by vehicle and by use, but its about 25-28% of a cars lifetime carbon footprint is it's manufacture so YOUR old vehicle only has that 25-28% to play with as a saving, the other 70 odd percent yours has already made once it gets past its average.

    As a rough example if you took the average life span to be 15 years and say the cars use remained constant over that 15 years you could split your eco cost "percentage" into quarters, one quarter was its build cost the other quarters were in 5 years chunks, which means you only get an extra 5 years of use from an old car before it costs more than buying a new one, even if that new one is identical and hasn't been improved in any way.

    even if you doubled it and said the average lifespan of a car in the uk was 30 years, you'd still only get an extra ten years use before it caught up.


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  • That comparison is only if the new van and the old van are like for like, or have I got the wrong end of the stick?

    New vans have lots more technology in them which has a larger environmental impact in the build phase, leccy Windows, traction control, ABS, heated windscreen to name a few all have a greater environmental cost than the older vans did. There was less cooper mined as well as all the other precious and semi precious metals involved in making of the older vans, so surely even with older manufacturing processes new vans would produce a higher carbon footprint from manufacturing?

  • You have to admit though that a new van is a lot nicer to drive. My first van was the square backed honda acty - it was basic, noisy and shit to drive.

    Ive had an early astra van, and a smiley transit and driving a few hundred miles got very tiring very quickly. The sprinter i now have is a much better drive, and the combo feels like a car ( the front end is all corsa )

    Yes, newer vans might be more costly to repair but they are a lot better to drive.


    That said, i would have no problem driving slowly - if i had a modern van and it went bang, a set of fabricated engine mounts and a turbod banana or pas xud engine retrofitted would be my ideal solution if it were feasible.

    You can only accomplish your object in life by complete disregard of the opinions of other people.

  • I do agree that newer vans are easier to drive and a lot quieter but as far as combos go, there shite. I've had two of them and yes there like a car to drive but it's hardly a good car there based on. I drove mine from Aberdeen to York and back in a day, not a nice experience. I drove my bus from Aviemore to Lancaster again in a day, still not nice but given the choice I will never have to drive another combo. Just my personal opinion

  • That comparison is only if the new van and the old van are like for like, or have I got the wrong end of the stick?

    New vans have lots more technology in them which has a larger environmental impact in the build phase, leccy Windows, traction control, ABS, heated windscreen to name a few all have a greater environmental cost than the older vans did. There was less cooper mined as well as all the other precious and semi precious metals involved in making of the older vans, so surely even with older manufacturing processes new vans would produce a higher carbon footprint from manufacturing?

    Yeah to some degree you are right, they do contain far more recycled materials than something from 20 years ago though and on average they also last longer and use less fuel so it balances out, modern engines can hit much higher mileages with less maintenance and stay in tune longer, most vehicles also have far better rust proofing so the higher build cost can be offset by less emissions and longer life on top of the other benefits.

    I know we all know of new vans that died at 50,000 miles but most don't or firms wouldn't buy them, and we can see on here vans that have survived decades but don't forget those are the survivors, the rest are all gone.

  • The combo drives a lot better than a n plate diesel 106 and a k plate 2.4 non turbo hilux, the three of which is the sum total of my daily drivers over the last 22 years! I keeps em till they are fucked, never mind what they look like - ive got a welder, some paint and a brush for the bodies...

    You can only accomplish your object in life by complete disregard of the opinions of other people.

  • Your totally right about new vans having more recycled materials in them than older ones, I'm not convinced about lasting longer, I'm not convinced a newer transit doesn't rust as bad as the older ones. Time will tell on that one. As for using less fuel, don't agree. Parkers used van guide states the new transit does 40.9mpg empty. My old smiley bus did 33.9mpg going to Lancaster last month, mine weighs 3.8t, load a new transit to its max and it won't be any better than mine. Ok mine also used 3ish litres of oil but I need new rings. As for how long the engines last, mines done about 450,000 but that is the highest anyone has heard off.

    Mercedes run a million mile challenge from what I can see none of the vehicles were built after 2000. And yes I understand time has a lot to do with miles covered. I would be surprised if a 2016 Mercedes had done that many miles

  • My 2004 Audi A3 does 50mpg without me trying, has leather, climate, dash computer etc etc, has 167000 on it, still on original clutch! Needs new front brakes about every four years and new rears about every three (they seize up as i never have any weight in the back) always starts, has some dents in it as i don't really care much for it but its' galvanised, no rot on it at all.

    Used to just drive old 300 quid bangers and was always having trouble, this thing just keeps on plodding along, passes MOTs with no advisories most years, its not new any more of course but i dare say it'll last a lot longer as a "nice" car than most of my older cars did which weren't that nice to start with! :D

    There's alot to be said for older stuff, i own a '65 Rover P6 so i dont hate old cars and vans.

  • The combo drives a lot better than a n plate diesel 106 and a k plate 2.4 non turbo hilux, the three of which is the sum total of my daily drivers over the last 22 years! I keeps em till they are fucked, never mind what they look like - ive got a welder, some paint and a brush for the bodies...

    I believe it is a better driver than the rest of them. I honestly do!

    The hills will neVer drive as well as a car derived van as its a oFroader

    It's a puegot enough said, saying that my 306 was okish

  • Your totally right about new vans having more recycled materials in them than older ones, I'm not convinced about lasting longer, I'm not convinced a newer transit doesn't rust as bad as the older ones. Time will tell on that one. As for using less fuel, don't agree. Parkers used van guide states the new transit does 40.9mpg empty. My old smiley bus did 33.9mpg going to Lancaster last month, mine weighs 3.8t, load a new transit to its max and it won't be any better than mine. Ok mine also used 3ish litres of oil but I need new rings. As for how long the engines last, mines done about 450,000 but that is the highest anyone has heard off.

    Mercedes run a million mile challenge from what I can see none of the vehicles were built after 2000. And yes I understand time has a lot to do with miles covered. I would be surprised if a 2016 Mercedes had done that many miles

    Haven't seen the figures for a loaded van so i dunno, i bet it goes faster for the same fuel use though, how did you measure your mileage? The trip counter will be well out in an old transit, often set high to avoid lawsuits for speeding and increasing apparent MPG, legally allowed to be 10% out by law.

    Mercs stopped being super reliable when the bean counters made the engineers calm down a bit anything from the mid 90's onwards is built down to a price, you only have to look at the throttle linkage on a w114 to see why those things could do starship miles!!! My ol man still gets 200000+ out of his Merc estate cabs before he moves them on though.

    See that bar running across the head by the third cam cover bolt from the front? That's what they put in rather than using a cable, that linkage goes from the pedal through joints and hinges that isolate it from engine movement all the way to the throttle body, engineers built old mercs to last, they still went rotten though, I know had several. :D

  • I calculated mpg by how many litres of fuel used, not including the first fill up but filling full at the end of the journey. Mileage came from the sat nav, my speedo reads 3mph oVer at 47, clock says 50. Milometer reads spot on according to my sat nav. Miles / liters x 5 = mpg.

    https://www.parkers.co.uk/vans…onomical-vans/large-vans/

    That's my source for. New vans mpg, we've all been taught to believe Parkers to be truly independent and honest. Anyone arguing may end up accidentally destroying society.

    You might be right with new yams doing it faster but you may also be wrong, who can tell with out independent testing. I do know however at 80mph in a fully loaded mk7 transit you can use the top quarter in about 18 miles, forced overtime proved this.

    My old standard size transit did 43ish to the gallon sitting at 60. But it weighed nothing as rust isn't that heavy.


    Don't get me wrong I can see both sides of this argument, there's plus's and negatives for both new and old vans. Saying that it would be difficult to convince me that new vans are more reliable than older vans. There's not much to go wrong on mine, there's more that can go wrong on a 2005(10 yrs newer) and there's more to go wrong on a 2015 transit(20 years newer) but saying that, due to them being newer than mine if it does go wrong garages know how to sort it and parts are readily available. My van is older than most of the mechanics I meet n they have never worked on a smiley.

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