looking for suitable van

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Bruce, Aug 13, 2012.

  1. Bruce

    Bruce Read Only Funster

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    Hi I am a new member looking to buy van for self conversion to do some travel trips abroad Could anybody give us some advice on van sizes please. I would like something just big enough to be reasonably comfortable but small enough that when it comes to tunnel or ferry crossing I don`t have to worry too much about costs. Ideally something about transit medium height (any make would maybe suit) but get confused looking at prices for this on ferry sites, and tolls although I don`t intend to use tolls much Does anybody know how I can get access to van heights and lengths, especially slightly older secondhand models,not just transits
    I am about to retire and would enjoy a new project and would obviously do some home runs first
    It`s just for the two of us
    Thank you for any guidance.......Bruce
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2012
  2. Popeye

    Popeye Funster

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    [HI]just big enough to be reasonably comfortable[/HI] even the smallest weekender type vans are just big enough to be reasonably comfortable.

    [HI]small enough that when it comes to tunnel or ferry crossing I don`t have to worry too much[/HI]..Sorry Bruce, how long IS a piece of string, I would be guessing at when you "worry too much".

    I really think you should visit a show, where lots of older vans are available to view and convince yourself.

    You could also visit the commercial vehicle auctions and climb in and out of the huge number of vans available and convince yourself.

    Franchised commercial vehicle sales departments always have old brochures which would give you all the dimensions of the various vans.

    I wish you well in your search..... Griff
     
  3. Jaws

    Jaws Funster Life Member

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    Up to 7 metres and up to 2.5 meters they are pretty much all the same on the ferries
    Toll roads.. Over 3 meters or twin wheel axles will cost you, as will something that weighs in at 4t ( I know as I fall foul of 2 out of those 3 )

    Other tahn that do not worry about it..
    I tend to go as large as pos cos woman and I like our creature comforts.. Still not that big at 8 mtrs long but enough room for the proverbial cat swinging ( albeit with a small cat ! )

    I think you are actually missing a question you need to answer too.
    How long will you be in it at any one time.. Many of us tend to away for several weeks at a time, and living in a cramped area is not something I could do for very long.
     
  4. Bruce

    Bruce Read Only Funster

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    Hi thank you for response . The worrying part was turning up having booked wrongly, due to size and not knowing the consequences. However generally I just laugh and say I`ve done it again so it might be better trying to get it right at the start.....Thank you again..Bruce
     
  5. Bruce

    Bruce Read Only Funster

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    Thanks for reply

    Thanks for you help probably a max of two weeks semi cramped is all right to start or even LWB
    ......Bruce
     
  6. mondo

    mondo Read Only Funster

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    G'day Bruce...(Not heard that one before eh??) was I you I would have a good look round local dealers/shows etc and get a good idea of what exactly your requirements are..I would lean towards the internal dimensions personally..and what sort of layout you really want..Fixed bed..U-Shaped lounge..Rear kitchen etc..get hold of the motorhome mags...MMM magazine..Practical Motorhome..Which Motorhome...all these can help you with your ideas on layouts and sizes

    Good luck in your search and on your travels when they come...
     
  7. Terry

    Terry Funster

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    Hi Bruce my van is a self build from a ambulance http://www.motorhomefun.co.uk/garage_vehicle.php?do=view_vehicle&id=76---Now if you go down the self build route depending on age of van you want to convert (remember it costs the same to convert a old van as a new one) the new Fiat/Citroen/peugeot are all wider at around 6' 3" and width makes a big difference :thumb:after them the Renault master(5' 11"),then Trannys(newer5' 9/10") ,VW/ MERCSsprinter type and then Iveco(all around 5'7" ish ) the last 3 being the longest :Wink:Normal Panel vans conversions (PVC)are relatively easy to convert where the ambulance are very much more work/ cost involved but they also have big plus points :thumb:The layout is the biggest thing you need to look at once you decide on that you then look at donor caravan 3/4k ish or all new gear 5/6k ish :thumb:eek:bviously you can do it a bit cheaper but it will show on the finished product :BigGrin:After you have built it you will want to use it and eventually sell it for more or less what you have in it :thumb:If you go down the self build throw a mattress and camping cooker in the back it will only be worth as much as a empty van :BigGrin: but done nicely you can get a couple of yrs use and still make a profit :thumb: good luck on which ever way you choose and ask away :thumb::Wink:
    terry
     
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  8. Bruce

    Bruce Read Only Funster

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    just a thank you

    Hi thanks for your answer will take advice.........Bruce
     
  9. Hollyberry

    Hollyberry Funster

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    Best advice I had on here was "Sit in a van and imagine it's raining for 24 hours" Ask yourself is the van large enough, comfortable enough under those circumstances.
    I've travelled Uk to France several times a year on ferries and tunnel and honestly hardly pay any more for a 6.7m m/home than I did for a hog standard car. If your time is flexible just go for the cheapest crossing--midweek, unpopular time.

    Go to a show or a big dealer and sit in lots of vans. Try the beds/bad areas for size too. And the loo and shower! This will all help you to pinpoint exactly what you want.

    Comfort is far more important than a few pounds extra on a ferry.
     
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  10. wivvy's dad

    wivvy's dad Read Only Funster

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    It is said that your third motorhome is the one that will finally be right for you......

    Well, we're on our third, and it still ain't right.

    We have a 2005 year LWB hi-top Transit that was converted prior to our ownership. I'm constantly fiddling with it to get it - while not exactly right - at least better suited to our requirements.

    If I ever got the time, I would rip it all out and start again. I think the only way to get it riight for you is to do it yourself - if you have the requisite skills.

    As has been suggested, take every opportunity to look at other conversions, and ask yourself - could I build it as well/better?

    If not, buy something that has been converted, but be prepared to 'fiddle' with it.

    Good luck.....:thumb:
     
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  11. Bruce

    Bruce Read Only Funster

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    bought transit hi cube mini bus started some work will post some pics when i get used to site
     
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  12. Jaws

    Jaws Funster Life Member

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    Looking forward to watching the progress !!
     
  13. Wildman

    Wildman Read Only Funster

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    Hi and welcome to the fun. If going for a transit do go for a twin wheel or 4x4 variety Ivecko daily is a van well suited to conversion and due to rear twin wheel drive seldom gets stuck in the mud. Ferry rates change at 6mtrs and 7mtrs. comfort above all else. design to be able to lounge in bed and watch TV or laptop if required but also to be able to see the same TV if you are sitting up having dinner. Some days you are just stuck indoors and have no choice. Good luck with the build. My quickest self build took 2 days utilising secondhand furniture and a sheet of plywood. That one remained unchanged for 3 years and was often used fulltime whilst working away. Another took 5 years and was sold before I got the chance to use it but I enjoyed the build.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2012
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