Having looked at many van conversions at the shows I finally decided to change from my pop top to one. I decided on the layout I wanted which is the one with a side sofa facing the side door and which could be used as a bed with minimum effort. Having looked at several vans with this layout I was disappointed with most due to such things as – Sofa around 3 ins too short to be used as a bed (I am only 5ft 6in!), heater and leisure battery blocking the main storage areas, Cardboard heater pipes unprotected and in storage areas, build quality. I then looked at the Constellation 3 at one of the shows and commented to the person on the stand (turned out to be Duncan Wildman who owns the company) that it looked as if it had been designed and built by people who actually used them, which turned out to be true.
I decided to do a hire of one to try it and confirm to myself it was the way to go, also to think about any extras I might want. For the hire which was for two nights in December 2013 I took the hire van to the Caravan Club site at Poolsbrook. I found a few minor non standard changes I would like such as an extra 12v socket near the table for my laptop charger, not having the TV bracket fitted also the Truma heater control, being above the side door, was out of reach from the bed. As this could not be moved to within reach a controller with timer was agreed on.
On returning the hire van I met with Duncan and agreed the changes and the van was ordered with a delivery date of the 1st August 2014. In mid July I was in contact with administration staff at Wildax and insured the new van for a few days before 1st as arranged with them. I later found out there was going to be a delay of a week in delivery so I then had to MOT, retax and insure the old van as these were all due to run out on the 31st July. I also missed out on a planned trip due to this delay. I feel there was a lack of communication within the company which made the problem worse, however suitable compensation was agreed on.
The van has proved very successful and in the 3 years has been used for 300 nights and covered 18,000 miles mostly in Europe staying on Aires and Stellplatz also at shows in the UK. The full facilities in the van have been used for all but a few nights as I cannot see the point in walking to a shower block even if there is one on the site.
A few minor issues have occoured such as edging strip on the tables and kitchen worktop lifting, an LED under the cupboard failed, the drying rack attached to the sink cover fell off. These have been fixed without problem during habitation checks.
If it is possible modifications to the standard specification will be incorporated in a build and often will later be incorporated into the standard specification for the vehicle, yes they listen and are flexible.
The habitation checks have been done efficiently and any minor faults have been fixed without question. The van even gets washed.
If I thought of changing the van I would certainly look at what Wildax were building at the time. However I must admit I am not keen on the darker finish being used at the moment and also think the larger fridge spoils the storage and usefulness to me.
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Wildax (Direct Sales)
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