Bus conversion

Dec 31, 2012
90
73
Funster No
24,102
MH
van conversion
Exp
Just starting
Evenin' all, this is a long one,so maybe best to get a brew on the go before reading! Right here goes, as some on here may know, I'm looking to alter my van in the coming months. I have a Merc 709D panel van conversion. She is a lovely conversion and is as I bought her 2 years ago. The drawback for me is the crossway rear double bed. At six ft across and over five wide, it's big enough (just) but access is always an issue and my wife's spine condition is not improving. So,my first thought was to get someone to remove/adapt this and the adjoining cupboards and wardrobe at either side of the aisle. At this point I need to add that two pull out side benches make into this bed and it is here where the main dinning table sites. I was going to lengthen these two benches to allow 2 x six feet single beds, making them 2'6 wide for standard mattress and raising them up also to provide access and more storage underneath.Phew! a lot of work 'specially with all the cabinetry. Now I'm thinking, why not sell my beloved,(no not the wife;)) and buy an 814 minicoach.It would have more power and torque, be a nice blank space, probably with auxiliary heating and a big boot in the back to put our mobility scooter in.So I guess what I want to know is, what are the drawbacks? I know I've seen some minibus conversions on line and some look a bit rough, however I assure myself that with enough budget I could really have a tasty custom camper. Anyone have any thoughts?
 

jonandshell

Free Member
Dec 12, 2010
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My first thoughts are lots of glass windows!

Too hot in summer, too cold in winter, too much condensation!
 

scotjimland

Free Member
Jul 25, 2007
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Phew! a lot of work 'specially with all the cabinetry.
indeed, but how much more work would it be to covert the coach...?

My thoughts are these..

It's a lot of work, and to do a decent job you would need a fair size budget.. £7 - £10k , as mentioned it has a lot of glass, some of which will have to be removed and blanked off.. do you have all the skills for this type of conversion, or do you plan on farming some of the work out ?

Metal work
Carpentry
Electrical fitting, 12v and 230v
Gas fitting
Spray painting

It's a lot more work than converting a panel van.

At the end of the day, it will always just be a converted bus.. expensive to run, too big for a lot of sites and when you eventually sell you won't get a fraction of what you put into it..

Either put you money into the van you have or sell and buy a second hand motorhome that better suits your needs..
 

Terry

LIFE MEMBER
Dec 27, 2007
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Hi barearse,Cheapest option of course is alter what you have -provided you can match up to what you have,or contrast it ;)Another bus conversion is well do-able with the advantage of you have what you want and all interior would be new :)-not cheap (say 12/15 ish all in)but if you keep it for a good few yrs then losses become minimal-
My own Ambulance cost me 10.5k but since I have had it almost 8 yrs I don't think it owes me much :D I am tidying up the outside and selling her,and to be honest I don't think I will loose much (y)if at all :)
We loved the layout so never had to change it.In fact that's why I never changed it for 8 yrs simply because my wife always said "what layout will you do better than what we have ?" and my reply was always the same -keep same layout but have a newer van :)her reply was always the same again we don't need a newer van there is nothing wrong with this :( Circumstances change so now it's time to change and I have all the goodies ready for my next van so parting with the old one (no rush) or preferably sell the Transit conversion so I can seek out the next one to be done :D
terry
 
OP
B
Dec 31, 2012
90
73
Funster No
24,102
MH
van conversion
Exp
Just starting
Thanx for the advice guys, I'm certain I will be sticking with the Vario type. I saw one on E-BAY,814 so 6 cyl non turbo. A factory minibus version with no side sliding door, access just through the cab doors. So the body was identical to mine. But space freed up with no side door. It's got a blanked off rear and the lower half is hinged boot door. I thought in many ways it would really suit my needs, secondary heating,10 yrs younger and nice tidy blank interior .
 

Snowbird

LIFE MEMBER
Apr 24, 2009
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Thanx for the advice guys, I'm certain I will be sticking with the Vario type. I saw one on E-BAY,814 so 6 cyl non turbo. A factory minibus version with no side sliding door, access just through the cab doors. So the body was identical to mine. But space freed up with no side door. It's got a blanked off rear and the lower half is hinged boot door. I thought in many ways it would really suit my needs, secondary heating,10 yrs younger and nice tidy blank interior .
A better option than the 814 6 cylinder would be the 814 Vario with the 4 cylinder OM 904LA turbo intercooled. Lovely smooth powerful engine up to 170 BHP and giving 20 MPG consistently.
 
OP
B
Dec 31, 2012
90
73
Funster No
24,102
MH
van conversion
Exp
Just starting
Hi barearse,Cheapest option of course is alter what you have -provided you can match up to what you have,or contrast it ;)Another bus conversion is well do-able with the advantage of you have what you want and all interior would be new :)-not cheap (say 12/15 ish all in)but if you keep it for a good few yrs then losses become minimal-
My own Ambulance cost me 10.5k but since I have had it almost 8 yrs I don't think it owes me much :D I am tidying up the outside and selling her,and to be honest I don't think I will loose much (y)if at all :)
We loved the layout so never had to change it.In fact that's why I never changed it for 8 yrs simply because my wife always said "what layout will you do better than what we have ?" and my reply was always the same -keep same layout but have a newer van :)her reply was always the same again we don't need a newer van there is nothing wrong with this :( Circumstances change so now it's time to change and I have all the goodies ready for my next van so parting with the old one (no rush) or preferably sell the Transit conversion so I can seek out the next one to be done :D
terry
Thanx Terry, feel certain I will be paying you a consultive visit before I'm thru! My big Merc is certainly no longer than the tag axel jobbies. Also very solid and reliable. It's just this bus or van? I have a huge metal box on the back of Matilda to carry the wife's mo scooter.The bus avenue would negate the need and shorten the length by at least 3 feet. Lots of bus conversions, if I spend a realistic amount, I feel certain I would have a vehicle exactly for our needs and would not be looking to change.;)
 
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