First Camper, Advice please!

Discussion in 'The Beginner' started by Frosty3006, Sep 26, 2013.

  1. Frosty3006

    Frosty3006 Read Only Funster

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    Hi guys,

    My names Sam and I'm new to this site.

    I'm looking at moving away from my home in Sussex for anything from a few months to long term.
    I've got my heart set on heading to Cornwall and popping back to Sussex for bits of work every now and then.

    My dilemma is that I am a complete newbie to anything campervan related!
    A little about what I'm after,pretty basic really but I am after something reliable and fairly cheap to run. Ideally a kitchen unit/hob&sink, bed , with some storage for a board etc.

    I am going between cheap VW vans, to Bongos, to old transit and Talbot campers and more!
    My budget of 4-5k max dosnt give me the widest search but I'm really struggling as to what will be value for money. I'll be fairly busy outdoors in the days, but I want some degree of comfort and ability to cook and eat at night.
    Small vans strike me as small, but equally I don't want to be struggle with a big old bus of a camper down country roads and in car parks!

    I'm sorry if this is a common subject, I will continue to look around for tips on here but I'm after a van soon as I need to get away!

    Many thanks

    Sam
     
  2. Wissel

    Wissel Read Only Funster

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    Hi Sam, are you intending on living in the van?

    When you say board I assume you mean a surf board? What area of Cornwall are you looking to stay in? (makes a difference on which van may be better as parts of Cornwall have more height restriction)

    Welcome to the forum :BigGrin:
     
  3. old-mo

    old-mo Funster Extra Special Life Member

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    Hi and welcome to the "Funsters"...

    Personally I would look for an up together small coach built M/Home, rather than a fliptop or elevating roof...

    They can get pretty cold and not the easiest to warm up in the winter...

    Or even a van type conversion..

    We had a tranny with solid lift up roof when the kids were younger and tried to do all the winter CC&C DA, local meets...

    Twas cold... :Sad:

    Just my opinions on pop up roofs.. :Smile:
     
  4. Frosty3006

    Frosty3006 Read Only Funster

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    Thanks for the quick response guys!

    Wissel I am looking at living in the van for 3 out of 4 weeks (one will be spent living on site at work location).
    I plan to do a mixture of cheap out of season campsites and some wild camping where appropriate! This way I can grab a hot shower every couple of days without too much worry.

    Yes ill be wanting to put a surf board in or on the van, and will have other bits and pieces such as some climbing gear. Not loads though!

    I've got my heart set of the West and North coast, Perranporth is a favourite place of mine.

    There seems to be pro's and con's for both types of vehicles.
    I can get an old motorhome/large van conversion such as a transit for a few grand. But its slightly on the large side, and also might attract attention when just pulling up and sleeping any old place.

    The smaller vans such as VW's are newer, easier to drive and park in places like Cornwall. But they come at a premium and im unsure how cramp spending evenings in one would be!

    Any tips are welcome, it all helps me with my research!
     
  5. Wissel

    Wissel Read Only Funster

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    Perranporth is nice - always been a favourite of mine as well :BigGrin:

    Do you have the time to convert a van?

    Perranporth's main car park does have height restrictions but until next summer it would be easy enough to park at the top of the hill in a taller vehicle.

    With regard to smaller vans, the Vauxhall Vivaro is the same sort of size as a T5 without the added VWAT
     
  6. Frosty3006

    Frosty3006 Read Only Funster

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    Hmm ideally I want to buy something and just go! Before any rational thinking sets in and interrupts my very early mid life crisis! :BigGrin:

    I recently read about the clamp down on many people staying in campers in and around Cornwall. Do you think this wouldn't be so much of an issue during the winter months? Last thing I want is a knock on the door telling me im doing something wrong!
     
  7. Carol

    Carol Funster Life Member

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    Hi Sam Welcome to Motorhome Fun, it may seem like a good idea getting a smaller VW type van, but then reality would set in, no fun on a cold wet night with all your clobber in a very small space a small coach built, would have everything you need, and a bit of storage.

    I am not one for saying to new members hit the search button, but just lately there have been a couple of threads for similar vans in that kind of price range, could be worth having a look.

    As well I would look to joining Fun and paying the £10. The information and help on the forum it would repay you very quickly.
     
  8. Gunner29

    Gunner29 Read Only Funster

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    met a single lad in France last week touring around the continent. He had a basic commercial van with a campbed & sleeping bag, cooker, pots and pans and a bucket. what else do you need?? If you are on a tight budget why go for a van fitted out with all the equipment.
     
  9. Frosty3006

    Frosty3006 Read Only Funster

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    That's a good point. My main worry would be having things like leisure battery to run phone charger and some basic appliances off.

    Cold doesn't bother me. Ex Infantry with plenty of warm clothing will do me fine!

    Just need it to be somewhere vaguely comfortable with enough room for boards and kit, but best of all reliable!
     
  10. stevensson10

    stevensson10

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    hi sam if I was you I would look for something in the vw range as theres still plenty of parts around but as already been said steer clear from pop ups they are very cold even with the heat on.we had a Talbot but when it came to getting parts for it we ended up getting ripped off and lost money.so be very wary.as for a site I would call on a local farmer and ask him if you could park up on a patch of his for a small fee I don't think youd have a problem. anyway good luck to you steve
     
  11. Gunner29

    Gunner29 Read Only Funster

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    Frosty

    Whats wrong with a car a poncho and a set of mess tins!!!!
     
  12. Wissel

    Wissel Read Only Funster

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    If it were me buying I would go for a high-top van conversion I guess.

    The reasons are, if living in the van, you get more space, probably a toilet, maybe a shower, yet at the same time it will fit in most car parking spaces.

    The VW's are lovely and I wanted to convert a T5 myself this time around. The missus wanted a bathroom in the van so we bought a Peugeot Boxer to convert. As usual she was right, the Boxer is perfect for us.

    The only real downside that I can think of is height restricted car parks. Having said that the only height restricted car park that springs to mind is Perranporth.

    We spend a lot of time at surfing beach's and parking a high-top van is no problem at the places we usually go. These are Newquay (Fistral), Perranporth (top of the hill), St Ives (top car park above the surf beach), Porthtowen, Sennen, Crantock and Praa sands.

    Parking in the height of Summer is another matter :Doh:
    But just as difficult in a car.

    With regard to wild-camping it depends how and where. There are loads of places where your fine parking for 2 nights at a time and a few car parks that allow overnight parking for motorhomes. Out of season is easier.

    I think if your looking at staying in your van a lot I would do what another member suggested and talk to local farmers etc.

    I would also join this forum as there are tons of members here in Cornwall that may have suggestions on different parts of the county. Money well spent :Smile:
     
  13. stevensson10

    stevensson10

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    whats right with it steve
     
  14. mitzimad

    mitzimad Funster

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    as you realy only need the basics i would go down the self build route that way you could get a reasonable late van insulate it build a basic bed and add a leisure battery for the budget you have
    living long term in anything you cant stand up in will stop being fun very quickly
    if you realy need it as ap id be looking at talbot ramblers the petrol ones are cheaper and youll get all you want you should find a reasonable one for 5/6k

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/talbot-ex...mpers_Caravans_Motorhomes&hash=item58a52a2081

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Talbot-EX...mpers_Caravans_Motorhomes&hash=item258320fa7e

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Rambler-G...mpers_Caravans_Motorhomes&hash=item1e7fecc265

    bit over budget but more room
    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Talbot-Ex...mpers_Caravans_Motorhomes&hash=item41774879d4

    watch for body work corrosion and smokey engines noisy gearboxes exhaust manifolds blowing all expensive to repair
    gearchange can be a bit sloppy but that can be fixed
    if you can find one private that is in good nick id go with that as on this age of van a dealers warranty will be near worthless
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2013
  15. Theonlysue

    Theonlysue Funster Life Member

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    first camper

    Hi, one problem with throwing things in a van is that if you need to spend a night on a campsite to empty loo, get water, shower and charge batteries is that they may not let you stay unless you have proper ventilation, which does not exclude self builds.
    If you intend spending the winter in it, and you have to stay in cos of bad weather, a bit of space will not go amiss!
    Always a comprise ha ha
     
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