Van conversion views?

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by motorhomer, Jan 21, 2014.

  1. motorhomer

    motorhomer Read Only Funster

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    We are thinking about downsizing from our current (albeit very nice!) van to something smaller, and are wondering about van conversions.

    But the killer seems to be storage.

    Looking at the largest van conversions (6.3mtrs) there still seems a lack of storage unless you get a transverse bed - which we don't want. Ideally we would like a rear lounge that then makes 2 long singles. But we currently carry 2 folding bikes and these appear to present a problem. (not to mention table and chairs etc)

    Yes I know we could get a bike rack but I am reluctant to do that - seems pointless downsizing and then extending the length by adding bike racks! Also we keep the bikes in the van when at home.

    Has anyone solved this problem, or am I trying to do the impossible?

    Thanks

    JeffO
     
  2. Mousy

    Mousy Funster Life Member

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    Check out the Vantage Neo, it has the beds you'd like and storage area at the rear accessed by rear van doors.

    Scott could always adapt this space to your spec. We were going to buy a neo and he was going to make one of the beds slightly longer for us.

    Lovely vans.
     
  3. Mastercamper

    Mastercamper Read Only Funster

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    My Renault Master comes in at 5.988 mtrs.
    Was converted by previous owner who used a caravan as donor.
    It was originally a 17 str passenger carrying vehicle grossing at 3.9 tonnes
    SV Tech recalculated and re plated it at below 3.5 tonnes.
    Because of the long wheelbase on this vehicle, (the back axle is really far back) the weight distribution within the axle limits gives us a massive amount of carrying capacity. SV Tech commented that these vehicles are probably amongst the best for conversion and staying below 3.5 tonnes and still giving adequate load carrying capacity.

    :Smile:
     
  4. phase3begins

    phase3begins Read Only Funster

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    Agree with Mousy. We have a Neo.
    Happy to check measurements etc if required.
    Paul
     
  5. Yorick

    Yorick Funster

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  6. JohnH

    JohnH Funster

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    We carry two folding bikes, one by the side door and one between the rear seats. Doing it this way we can stop en route and use the rear seating. The rest of the gear goes in either the overhead lockers, above the cab, the wardrobe or under the rear seats.
    Folding chairs travel in the toilet area. We have enough storage to then go to the Continent for several months.
    The van is a 6 metre Warwick Duo.
    John
     
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  7. snowdrops

    snowdrops Funster Life Member

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    We've bought a Ford Transit Jumbo. Plans okayed for a rear u-shaped lounge, bed is back to front rather than side to side and will be 6ft. Will also have a closet for separate toilet/shower, front L shaped lounge that makes an extra bed or 2 if necessary. Can eat at either end of the van. Compressor fridge, heating, usual cooking stuff. All this with high-roof so lots of storage above head height. The final version will be amazing and v large, but still good for the odd spot of stealth camping. Bikes can go inside while traveling or at stop, tho we will be using small bike rack now and then. You can get universal ones from Halfords that are tiny and just get strapped on. Oh and a wet rear storage area and a dry one. :Smile:
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2014
  8. Wombles

    Wombles Funster

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    We have looked at van conversion brochures & websites for the last couple of years & went to the NEC at the end of last year to see all the latest models over 2 long days but found that with 3 of us even our favourite for build quality & design, the Globecar Campscout, was just not big enough. We completely changed our minds & now have a 6m Chausson Best Of 04 coachbuilt low profile motorhome. It was £10k cheaper than the van conversions with a 5-10 year shell warranty & 4 berth with a decent sized garage under the double bed which can be raised & lowered depending on your storage needs - fab! The bathroom has a proper shower door forming a decent sized cubicle within it, a big fridge with removeable freezer compartment, 3 gas rings & grill (no oven), 4 belted seats & a great lounge area that converts to another single or double all on one of the last Ford Transit chassis. Even looking at all the other 6m coachbuilts at the show we couldn't find anything else like it so bought one even though we were only planning on looking! We still think the vans are great but with bikes, chairs & all the bits we carry just not enough secure space for longer breaks especially if more than two of you.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2014
  9. motorhomer

    motorhomer Read Only Funster

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    Thanks to all who replied.

    The vantage does look to be a very nice van, I guess we'd better get to some shows to see one in the flesh!

    Otherwise maybe storing one bike by each door is an answer.

    Perhaps we could also look at smaller coachbuilts.

    Its not urgent, I have not been too well recently so looking around is useful activity whilst I recuperate!

    Thanks again

    Jeff O
     
  10. Minxy Girl

    Minxy Girl Funster Life Member

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    One thing to consider is if you downsize will you still use the bikes? We used to take them everywhere with us when we had a coachbuilt, but now that we've got a van conversion we've actually stopped as we've found we don't need them any more. If you don't need them obviously having to store them en-route is no longer a problem. :Smile:
     
  11. TheCaller

    TheCaller Funster

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    We looked at a lot of van conversions before deciding that the Globecar Campscout was the only one that met our requirements, and then still with some compromises.

    We travel with a 24" wheel folding bike (so not exactly the smallest), an electric wheelchair & sometimes a manual folding wheelchair as well. There is also a wheelchair hoist fitted, taking up a bit more space.

    Ok for two, but although we have the optional third berth, I don't think you would want to have that third person along on a regular basis.

    As it's on the Ducato LWB Maxi body, you aren't getting all the benefits of a standard panel van, because at 6.3m it's longer than most. So just because one car moves, it doesn't mean you can now park. Makes you encourage poor parking by others - you know, where they park leaving half a car length in front & the same behind. Very annoying for other car drivers, but perfect for us when they move!

    And you can forget anywhere with a height barrier, of course.

    I've moved up to it, rather than down. We had a VW T4 pop-top before, which would go anywhere a car would go. The main difference is that we can now go to bed without having to put the wheelchair outside. And it's a lot warmer at this time of the year! So after being in a mobile shoebox, we seem spoiled for space, even with the various wheels we have to carry about.

    I'm too tall for a transverse bed in a PVC, so the choice was pretty limited.

    I work mostly at home (or in the van), live in a small town where you can get anywhere on a bike in 10 mins, so sometimes it doesn't move a wheel for a fortnight. As such, it's still a reasonable proposition as an only vehicle. Anything longer or wider & I would have my doubts.
     
  12. Terry

    Terry Funster

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    Have a quick look at my self build :Wink: -link below- loads of storage and cupboards-even empty ones -Only 12ft in the back from rear of front seats,but these both swivel to make a large lounging area :thumb: --must admit that I need a back box to house a couple of chairs,making one in the very near future :BigGrin:
    terry
     
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