Self build vans

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Snowbird, Dec 8, 2012.

  1. Snowbird

    Snowbird Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2009
    Messages:
    10,141
    Likes Received:
    16,390
    Location:
    Liverpool.
    Following on from a previous thread and to save high jacking it any further. What are the funsters views on the best all round vehicle to convert into a camper. Taking into consideration ease of parking, fuel economy, parts availability, size for easy living.
     
  2. Terry

    Terry Funster

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2007
    Messages:
    10,722
    Likes Received:
    6,224
    Location:
    South yorks
    Are we talking new vans or older? Your A class shape size takes some beating :BigGrin:
    Terry
     
  3. Snowbird

    Snowbird Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2009
    Messages:
    10,141
    Likes Received:
    16,390
    Location:
    Liverpool.
    I dont think I will be able to improve on the van I have Terry, but am always up for a project. Am thinking along the lines of an older rear wheel drive or maybe a 4X4 ex military/forestry commission/fire brigade/ambulance type vehicle. Preferably under 7 metres long, with cheap availability of parts that can be purchased and converted for under £12000. There are some cracking vehicles in Germany that have been used by public authorities and have had little use and maintained regardless of cost. I really am my own worse enemy where motorhomes are concerned as its not just a a case of travelling in them but I also love tinkering and trying to improve on them. I always fancied a bus conversion, but am now of the opinion they are to big, so am looking at something smaller and more practical. I would like to do a conversion mainly as a hobby and to give me something to occupy my time and then perhaps present it to my daughter. You are the obvious choice for inspiration :thumb:
     
  4. Jaws

    Jaws Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    Messages:
    18,337
    Likes Received:
    21,682
    Location:
    Narrfoook
    I reckon an ex-ambulance is always a good bet.. That or one of the small council bus type vehicles.. One of the 16 seater type..

    Seen loads of both type done and they always look ok..
    As they have windows in 'as standard', the body has good integral strength..
     
  5. Chockswahay

    Chockswahay Funster

    Joined:
    May 29, 2012
    Messages:
    3,097
    Likes Received:
    4,792
    No way...........I work with Paramedics and they drive ambulance's like they stole them :Eeek::Eeek:
     
  6. Jaws

    Jaws Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    Messages:
    18,337
    Likes Received:
    21,682
    Location:
    Narrfoook
    Aint that how everything should be driven ?

    And think about it..

    Good servicing, reasonable maintenance regime.. now look at other possibles, the sort of thing white van man might well have used..

    Thrashed just the same as an ambulance, sod all servicing done, JUST ABOUT kept on the road at minimal costs
     
    • Like Like x 2
  7. Terry

    Terry Funster

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2007
    Messages:
    10,722
    Likes Received:
    6,224
    Location:
    South yorks
    Will get back to this later / got grandson here and he has just found my new CREE torch :Doh: will have to buy myserlf another :Smile:
    terry
     
  8. Chockswahay

    Chockswahay Funster

    Joined:
    May 29, 2012
    Messages:
    3,097
    Likes Received:
    4,792
    Err....................can't argue with that Jaws:Blush: You have a valid point:Smile:
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Snowbird

    Snowbird Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2009
    Messages:
    10,141
    Likes Received:
    16,390
    Location:
    Liverpool.
  10. Jaws

    Jaws Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    Messages:
    18,337
    Likes Received:
    21,682
    Location:
    Narrfoook
  11. Snowbird

    Snowbird Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2009
    Messages:
    10,141
    Likes Received:
    16,390
    Location:
    Liverpool.
    Jeeeez John, how did he manage to blow an indestructible engine ?
     
  12. Terry

    Terry Funster

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2007
    Messages:
    10,722
    Likes Received:
    6,224
    Location:
    South yorks
    Thats good for money but not quite H/R but I could live with it until shower time unless sat on loo :BigGrin:
    :Eeek: So much for bullit proof :Smile:
    terry
     
  13. Jaws

    Jaws Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    Messages:
    18,337
    Likes Received:
    21,682
    Location:
    Narrfoook
    It was low geared and flat out at about 55mph.. Being a youngster he drove EVERYWHERE at 55mph !
     
  14. Snowbird

    Snowbird Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2009
    Messages:
    10,141
    Likes Received:
    16,390
    Location:
    Liverpool.
    Hi Terry, I would want to keep the height down because of hight barriers and tolls. Would it be possible to sink a shower tray to give headroom.
     
  15. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2008
    Messages:
    7,594
    Likes Received:
    3,853
    Location:
    roche cornwall
    early mercs are getting harder for parts .lots specialy rh drive have been delisted on the parts screens . tried a few years ago for rhdrive clutch m,cyl. ended up useing escort rear w,cyl rubbers as a fix .
    best is mini artic or 5er .then when you get to 70 you dont need expensive medicals.
    drive on b+e car licence .yet have loads of carrying capability.
    407 are guttless anyway.engine was designed for the 207 really.
     
  16. aba

    aba

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2009
    Messages:
    2,793
    Likes Received:
    1,119
    Location:
    yorkshire
    i dont think you can beat a good square box to start with.

    i feel you could cut a hole in the floor and fit a sunken shower tray as long as you dont go below the lowest point of the chassis but you would be stuck with it in the middle of the van between the chassis rails.

    also the drain into the grey tank could be interesting as the tank would have to be lower or just stick a bucket under the shower drain .

    maybe a full rear washroom affair with the bog at 1 side the shower in the middle and the wash basin at the other side you would probably need a false floor in the shower tray so you dont fall down into it whilst using the sink or bog.
     
  17. wiljoy

    wiljoy Funster

    Joined:
    May 23, 2008
    Messages:
    844
    Likes Received:
    930
    Location:
    Crook, Durham
    I have had nothing but Fiat and Peugeots coachbuilt motorhomes until recently. My present van is on the new Master and what a difference. It is a more civilised drive and smooth, much more car like. It weighs in at 3850kgs and is returning 29 mpg. I have had none of the usual recalls experienced with the Sevel based vans.
    I am so impressed that I have purchased another van based Master (2010) for a conversion project. It is a lower access than usual and slightly longer. I am leaving the three front seats intact so that it has belted travel seating without having to fit heavy mounts in the rear for belts. My layout hasn't, to my knowledge, been used before and allows 6 to sit / dine in the front lounge and has a seperate 2 seat area at the rear.
    Upto now I have nothing but praise for the Renault Master but after only 8000 miles time will tell.
     
  18. Snowbird

    Snowbird Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2009
    Messages:
    10,141
    Likes Received:
    16,390
    Location:
    Liverpool.
    Some good points here. I would prefer rear wheel drive with dif lock if possible. A rear full time bed with storage access from the rear and also inside. 2000 kgs payload would be perfect but I could live with 1500. Am not too bothered about any extra beds as long as a stretcher type could be hung for occasional use. Am not interested in fifth wheels or small artics Al as I personally cant see the point in them. I could do much better with a big 4X4 and caravan, but in my case it wouldn't be a caravan, I would have to build a 4 wheel dray or turntable trailer. Maybe something like the photos papajohn put up some time ago with the MagiDuich fire engine conversions but smaller would be ideal.
    Getting the base vehicle right is paramount to a good conversion and this is where many slip up. If the base vehicle is perfect then the rest will fall into place. The main reason I have been looking at ex military or municipal vehicles is they are built to a spec far exceeding civy vehicles and generally have spent most if not all of there lives in heated storage.
     
  19. golly

    golly Funster

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2009
    Messages:
    1,103
    Likes Received:
    1,998
    Location:
    Co Durham
  20. Snowbird

    Snowbird Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2009
    Messages:
    10,141
    Likes Received:
    16,390
    Location:
    Liverpool.
Loading...

Share This Page