Motorhome prepping

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Re: Motorhome prepping

Postby Deeps » Sat Oct 28, 2017 7:05 pm

TopSod wrote:There’s a group on Facebook called small vehicle campers (or something similar). Some great ideas on there for turning small vans (Berlingo, Connect etc) or estate cars into campers.
I’ve 2 small vans at the moment, a Caddy and a Connect. Seriously considering turning the Connect into a camper. You can buy a kit for £800 to fit yourself if you’re not great with the tools to make one, and it includes a rock and roll bed and all the storage. I’ve always romanced the idea of a camper but as mentioned earlier, it’s the costs while it’s just sitting doing nothing.


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If you're using something smaller than a mobile home like a van/estate car then you could use it as your main car though, maybe not great if you need a 'family' car for a couple of kids but maybe as the second car ???

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Re: Motorhome prepping

Postby grenfell » Sat Oct 28, 2017 9:49 pm

Never owned one myself but I've a couple of friends who have at one point . One friend who's not short of a bob or two brought one of the new VW's that are ( or is that were) built in Brazil . Looking like the older style campers it was decent enough for use as a camper but was fairly dreadful on the road. The engine was quite small , the same as fitted in the Polo as I understand , and as such was seriously underpowered . Add to that poor brakes and steering and he didn't keep it very long.
The other friend started out with an early Fiat . Again quite a small engine but then it was a small camper. Again decent enough but they are pretty rare nowadays and almost class as classics. He replaced that with a VW , a Devon if I recall correctly , which was larger and had a 2 L engine. Heavier on fuel but just about useable for everyday use as long as you're not doing hundreds of miles a day. It's worst aspect was having a propensity for needing regular exhaust pipe replacement. He eventually got rid of the camper and now has a caravan.

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Re: Motorhome prepping

Postby triffid » Tue Oct 31, 2017 11:22 am

As a 'cheaper' way into motorhome-ing we bought a £4000 van (LWB Citroen Relay aka FIAT Ducato) & did a home conversion. Couple of windows, lined & insulated basic kitchen, basic seating/ beds, separate loo/shower spent shade over £1000.

We used it for two major trips 1st being two months (UK-France-Germany-Czechoslovakia-Austria-right around Italy-France-Belgium-Holland-France-UK) then 2nd 6 weeks (UK-France-Spain-Portugal&back). Absolutely brilliant.

We sold the van for just a little less than the converted cost so I doubt 'depreciation' was more than a few hundred pounds over the 3 years of ownership.

As other posters have said the fixed costs (MOT/Insurance/Tax etc) can mount up. To get any good value you have to make use of the thing.....


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Re: Motorhome prepping

Postby Toddie » Tue Oct 31, 2017 3:25 pm

A van conversion is something i will do in my life. After seeing the idea in a few blogs and on the Tube, i became hooked on the idea almost instantly. A sprinter conversion is what i'd love to do.

OP - have you looked into van conversions at all? If not, have a search on the Tube some of them are a better standard than your generic camper. And it seems you get more bang for your buck when you're converting one yourself (if that's something you'd be partial to).
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Re: Motorhome prepping

Postby omega man » Tue Oct 31, 2017 7:03 pm

We were lucky enough to import ours from the states well before the "vw boom" so paid what at the time seemed a lot but judging by todays inflated prices was a real steal..
Over the last 10yrs or so I've done a full restoration from the ground up, including up-rated brakes,adding a servo/discs, suspension upgrade and she catches a few by surprise with a sneaky Japanese engine switch :o

By no means 'preppy' but we spend lots of time camping in remote areas all over the UK and can squeeze in a mini holiday any weekend we like.

Here she is;

S73F2677.JPG


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Re: Motorhome prepping

Postby PreppingPingu » Thu Nov 02, 2017 10:20 pm

Toddie wrote:OP - have you looked into van conversions at all? If not, have a search on the Tube some of them are a better standard than your generic camper. And it seems you get more bang for your buck when you're converting one yourself (if that's something you'd be partial to).


I love the idea of converting a van, having watched various programs on it but neither myself or my hubby are mechanically minded. Hubby sells cars but doesn't have much to do with what make em run and neither of us have any trade skills so I would worry about making a hash of it. Yes I can have a go at stuff and we do fine from a DIY point of view, but I know our limits and I recon we ought to leave conversion for those that know what they are doing!
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Re: Motorhome prepping

Postby triffid » Fri Nov 03, 2017 4:59 pm

PreppingPingu wrote:
Toddie wrote:OP - have you looked into van conversions at all? If not, have a search on the Tube some of them are a better standard than your generic camper. And it seems you get more bang for your buck when you're converting one yourself (if that's something you'd be partial to).


I love the idea of converting a van, having watched various programs on it but neither myself or my hubby are mechanically minded. Hubby sells cars but doesn't have much to do with what make em run and neither of us have any trade skills so I would worry about making a hash of it. Yes I can have a go at stuff and we do fine from a DIY point of view, but I know our limits and I recon we ought to leave conversion for those that know what they are doing!



Hi PP,
To make a basic conversion is pretty easy. Def. a DIY possibility.
You can sub-out fitting the windows (an 'local' Autoglass car window fitter should have no problems fitting the windows, which you can buy over the 'net).
Most vans will already be lined with plywood - remove this & stuff the gap full of insulation (you could used rockwool but possibly a better alternative would be aluminium-ised camping mat). Replace the plywood, this can be tidied up with a combination of a nicer veneer or even (don't go overboard) using Pergo -type laminate flooring on floors and walls (at least to kitchen unit height)
You can buy pre-made campervan furniture (there was an episode of 'Wheeler Dealers' where ED China did a very basic conversion of a VW Transporter
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x3id7eh but we made our own (MDF / Veneered chipboard)

The benefit (to us) was that when we did the conversion -2006- we could purchase a van (a year 2000 Citroen Relay extra LWB, Max height) for under £4 k. £1k for the conversion meant that we were ready to go for £5k. You can't buy a 6 year old, professionally converted, van for that sort of money - from a dealer you'd be paying probably £10-12k (min) so it made sense, for us at least.
The reason (apart from my natural meanness!) we wanted a home conversion is that for our budget we wanted a newer reliable van; at the time £5k would have meant a 15 year old (if professional conversion) Renault Traffic. 20 mpg & mirrors the size of matchboxes - hardly ideal for a 6000 mile trip, over the Alps around the Amalfi coast etc etc
Last edited by triffid on Fri Nov 03, 2017 5:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Motorhome prepping

Postby korolev » Fri Nov 03, 2017 5:12 pm

One thing to be aware of if converting a van is that insurance companies can be a bit funny about DIY conversions and they may only be willing to insure it as a van rather than as a camper.

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Re: Motorhome prepping

Postby triffid » Fri Nov 03, 2017 5:19 pm

korolev wrote:One thing to be aware of if converting a van is that insurance companies can be a bit funny about DIY conversions and they may only be willing to insure it as a van rather than as a camper.



When we did our conversion 11 years ago insurance wasn't a problem. Can't remember who we used (think they were in Wisbech?) but I'd suggest the OP do an internet search & get a couple of quotes before starting work.
eg https://www.adrianflux.co.uk/camper-conversion/
http://vandogtraveller.com/insuring-diy-motorhome/

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Motorhome prepping

Postby TopSod » Mon Nov 20, 2017 10:49 pm

As long as you get the logbook changed to camper by DVLA, they have no choice but to insure it as a camper.

Point worth mentioning on insulation, don’t use anything that is traditionally made for your loft, it’ll hold moisture and rot your van. Go for the reflective bubble stuff or similar


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