How do I find this vehicle?

Discussion in 'The Beginner' started by RickJ, Jul 12, 2012.

  1. RickJ

    RickJ Read Only Funster

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    Hi all, I'm a newbie here looking to acquire a motorhome/campervan. I've caravanned in the past (sold it 2 years ago), but now I'd like a campervan, and have put together a list of requirements (below).

    I live on the Isle of Wight, so ferry fares are important, and 6m length is a big price-beak point. I also want to be able to tow a boat, including launching and recovering it, which can involve pulling it up a wet slipway, so towing power and grip are important.

    Essential:

    Panel van based - I need to also use it as normal vehicle
    RWD - to tow boat and haul out of the water
    SWB or MWB, LOA <6m - ferry fares rise for longer vehicles
    Min. 4 belted seats (inc. driver)
    6ft headroom, hi-top (pop-top?)
    2 people - double berth
    Cassette toilet & basin - hand shower? (not fussed about full shower)
    Hob, no oven
    Fridge
    Heating

    Nice to have:

    4WD - better for hauling a boat up a slipway
    Swivel front seats - max use of space
    Removable fittings - ability to use as van
    Option to make up as 2 berths instead of double
    Automatic transmission
    Cruise control

    Budget:

    Used, ideally under £15k
    Absolute max £20k for something special

    Options:

    Factory conversion
    Buy van and get professional conversion
    Buy van and DIY - maybe using kit
    Some combination of above


    It seems that RWD restricts me to a Sprinter or Transit (which come in FWD & RWD). Or are there any others?

    So can anyone offer advice on the best way of getting what I'm looking for - and is it even achievable?

    Many thanks
    Rick
     
  2. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    There is only one way, on yer bike and visit dealer after dealer with digital camera in hand. Only you can know what home you want to buy.

    £15K is plenty for a good van.
     
  3. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    iveco daily do 4x4 .even the peugot, citroen series do a 4x4 . lok hard .if you can manage with lhd .lots over in france .etc. could use a nice vw syncro . lots of choice .
    do it yourself seems best option. factory conversions are usually sun standard .
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2012
  4. haganap

    haganap Funster Life Member

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    Ferry price is negligible for over 6m so not worth discounting a van on that if its your only reason:thumb:
     
  5. RickJ

    RickJ Read Only Funster

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    Thanks for confirming my gut feel, that I'm unlikely to tick all my boxes unless I DIY! Do you have any opinions on ready-made furniture kits, as opposed to cutting timber etc. from scratch?

    The Iveco 4x4 is a brute, and AFAICS only comes in a bare chassis or flatbed. People have built custom-body campers on them, but it's a bit OTT for my purposes (and thirsty).

    I hadn't come across the Boxer 4x4, but after poking around I see it's a conversion by Dangel, not a factory job. That's worth pursuing, I do generally like the Boxer/Relay/Ducato configuration. If it wasn't for the "towing up a wet slope" problem I'd probably go for a regular version of that vehicle.

    I find the VW bodies a bit small for comfort (and light for towing), and I don't think the synchros have been built since about 1990 - I know they last but I'd still like something a bit newer!

    Maybe I'm one step closer - thanks!
     
  6. wivvy's dad

    wivvy's dad Read Only Funster

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    I'm thinking the only serious restriction you have placed on yourself is wanting removable fixtures and fittings - NOT a good idea in my opinion, even if it were possible.
     
  7. RickJ

    RickJ Read Only Funster

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    Depends which ferries you're talking about! If I was talking cross-channel once or twice a year, then not an issue. But being on the Isle of Wight, just about any trip involves taking the ferry to the mainland, something I'm very familiar with. It can cost more to get off the Island than Dover to Calais, and there is a sharp price increase over 6m. The two operators' price structures are a bit different, but 6m is a clear demarcation.

    Paying extra every trip can make quite a difference if using it frequently - which I want to be able to do. I also have other reasons for wanting a compact vehicle, so I've decided to discount LWB vans. If I can fit a good layout into a SWB even better, which might be possible with swivel front seats, but I'm not entirely convinced.

    Thanks
     
  8. superk

    superk Read Only Funster

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  9. RickJ

    RickJ Read Only Funster

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    Well, that's in the "nice to have" category, so not something I'm thinking of as a major restriction! If I'm to do a DIY conversion, as seems increasingly likely, I'll research the idea further. I've seen some people talking about doing it with their conversions, but I appreciate it's probably hard to do in a satisfactory way.

    Rick
     
  10. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    hi you can get vw t4-5 4x4 versions you arent trying hard enough . building your own is best .if you want it to be removed .i used to have a t25 took a weekend to make the furniture .then ten minutes to remove ten to put back. it was my garage truck and camper.
    some iveco daily have diff lock anyway .think you can get 4x4 vans .certainly diff locks .
     
  11. aba

    aba

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    whats wrong with fitting a winch so you dont have to go down the wet slipway???

    or fit a towbar on the front so you can just reverse out thus making it effectively rear wheel drive and when launching you can see where your putting the boat.
     
  12. Snitrats

    Snitrats Funster

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    Mazda Bongo ?:Eeek:
     
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