Lucky, maybe not for us!

May 4, 2019
14
20
Funster No
60,534
MH
Conversion
Exp
Newbie
Lucky, for the van perhaps!

We justbought a big blue transit, she was cheap, unloved and in need of some TLC. She's spent the last few years removing cooking oil so one can imagine the state of the inside!! The wife loves to name vehicles and she decided Lucky was a good name the this van, still trying to suss out the logic there!

We started the strip out and clean yesterday, also obtained an online drawing of what we have in mind and added some rough measurements.

We would like to spend less than 2k converting it and have preference to fully electric heating and cooking for plumbing simplicity.

Any links, tips, suggestions for materials, appliances or general comments are absolutely welcomed!

South Wales UK
IMG_20190503_072927.jpg received_1211493032354004.png
 

Attachments

Nov 4, 2011
2,064
2,552
Uk
Funster No
18,763
MH
A class
Exp
2001
First job would be some form of security to stop it being nicked!!
CAD drawing looks good.
 
Last edited:
Feb 22, 2011
3,078
2,394
Newcastle under Lyme
Funster No
15,397
MH
Hymer B544 A Class
Exp
Since 2015 and in that time I have learnt an awful lot from this site
I don't think electric heating will work unless you're permanently on hook up.
 
Oct 30, 2010
3,167
6,923
Suffolk or France or ........
Funster No
14,290
MH
A Class Carthago Chic
Exp
Since 2008
I don't think electric heating will work unless you're permanently on hook up.
Agreed! Electric only will seriously limit where you can go.
For us one of the joys of a motorhome over a caravan is the freedom of using aires and wilding.
Being limited to sites with hookup will cost you more and stop you finding those quiet, secluded spots.
Horses for courses though. If it suits you, go for it.

Richard.
 
Jun 27, 2018
89
11
Oxfordshire
Funster No
54,625
MH
'10 lwb Sprinter, project
My tip would be to try and up your budget. If doing everything using electricity youll need a big battery bank and a way of keeping the batteries topped up.
 
OP
Sam warren
May 4, 2019
14
20
Funster No
60,534
MH
Conversion
Exp
Newbie
Agreed! Electric only will seriously limit where you can go.
For us one of the joys of a motorhome over a caravan is the freedom of using aires and wilding.
Being limited to sites with hookup will cost you more and stop you finding those quiet, secluded spots.
Horses for courses though. If it suits you, go for it.

Richard.
I'm not averse to installing gas, definitely against diesel heater due to noise and ill rarely be anywhere with hookup. The original plan was 3x 110ah leisure batteries with split charging from alternator and solar top up...
 
OP
Sam warren
May 4, 2019
14
20
Funster No
60,534
MH
Conversion
Exp
Newbie
My tip would be to try and up your budget. If doing everything using electricity youll need a big battery bank and a way of keeping the batteries topped up.
The budget's already over twice what the van cost
 
OP
Sam warren
May 4, 2019
14
20
Funster No
60,534
MH
Conversion
Exp
Newbie
First job would be some form of security to stop it being nicked!!
CAD drawing looks good.
The bike or the van? The rear door is already equipped with deadlocks and the van will have clamp and steering wheel brace fitted when not in use.
 

Hollyberry

LIFE MEMBER
Apr 24, 2011
5,044
16,774
Devon.
Funster No
16,134
MH
None.
Exp
4yrs
:welco:
Read a lot on here about Fords being stolen so first thing should be to do something about locks and add extra security measures. You don’t want all your hard work being stolen by some lowlife.
You’ll need some sort of slats on your bed base/ motorcycle store roof or your mattress will go mouldy. I suppose you could drill a series of holes in the board, just don’t leave it solid.
Several people on here have built their own vans, & I’m sure they’ll be along to offer advice.
It’ll be well worth your £15 to join Fun, you’ll save more than that in your first bit of the conversion.
Good luck, keep us posted with photos as you go.
 
Oct 30, 2010
3,167
6,923
Suffolk or France or ........
Funster No
14,290
MH
A Class Carthago Chic
Exp
Since 2008
Sam, it looks like you've used up your 5 free posts so if you wish to carry on you will need to spend £15 on subs.
It could be the best value £15 you spend in the expensive motorhome world. (y):D

Richard.
 

Minxy Girl

LIFE MEMBER
Aug 22, 2007
18,865
18,934
E Yorks
Funster No
149
MH
Globecar Campscout
Exp
Since 1996
Welcome to the fun house! :D

Observations:

Security - you really DO need to get some decent locks on the front and a good immobiliser otherwise it does run the risk of being nicked.

Layout - if you are definitely going to be carrying a bike in the back make sure you install some vents to allow any fumes to escape outside and that the 'garage' is totally sealed from the interior so no fumes can permeate inside - this is vital if you install any gas equipment for cooking/heating so you don't end up with it going boom and you being crispy!

Heating - forget electric, it just won't work, so gas or diesel is the way to go, diesel will be the easiest, cheapest and safest and you can get some Chinese diesel heaters on Ebay (which may heat water too), there were some threads on this forum about them and I don't think they were expensive at all so have a shuftie.

Cooking - you can get diesel cookers but they are expensive, so instead look into gas for this - if you intend to re-register the van as a MH it will need to have a fixed 2-ring cooker with gas supply but this can be done by putting the gas cupboard in the kitchen unit, just make sure it is sealed from the interior and has sufficient drop vents to make it safe, the door can be on the back of the unit so it can be accessed from the sliding door.

Bed - as has been mentioned, on top of the solid garage 'roof' put some sprung bed slats - they aren't expensive and will ensure your mattress is kept in good condition and improve the comfort of the bed, you could get a good second hand double bed and use the slats off that (Gumtree, Freecycle etc).
 
Jul 5, 2013
7,351
5,509
Tunbridge Wells
Funster No
26,797
MH
A class
Exp
Since 2013
I'm not averse to installing gas, definitely against diesel heater due to noise and ill rarely be anywhere with hookup. The original plan was 3x 110ah leisure batteries with split charging from alternator and solar top up...
You will stand no chance trying to heat your van with 12v electric. You can have a roof full of solar panels and lots of batteries but all that will happen is you will goose your batteries in a few hours. Choice of gas or diesel and if you don't want diesel you have a choice of one! Unless you go on EHU every night.
 
Jan 28, 2008
5,895
6,014
walthamstow east london
Funster No
1,353
MH
renault burstner delphin
Exp
7 years campers before that
im on a self build facebook site and the number of people on there who think they can run cookers and heating from batteries is amazing the usually have been reading some obscure american rv site which tells them its possible they always miss the bit about the 6kwa genny they tow
 
Sep 14, 2018
17
14
Scotland
Funster No
56,193
MH
Peugeot Boxer self build
Exp
15 years
a £1,000 van will last 1 year. Don't waste money on that.
My first van cost £1,000 (plus another £1k to convert) and lasted three years. I learned a lot in that time, thought it was worth every penny and every hour of my time spent building it to learn what I really wanted. Next van cost £1,800 (plus about £1k to convert) and lasted 10 years. You don't have to spend a fortune to get a good van, just take care and find one that has been looked after and you may get years of fun out of it :D
 
OP
Sam warren
May 4, 2019
14
20
Funster No
60,534
MH
Conversion
Exp
Newbie
I'm back! Registered and paid but for some reason permissions didn't work for a while 🤷‍♂️.

Update:

Okay, so electric heating is out, security definitely going to be looking into, I hear it is the obd port that is the weekness?

Pretty much finished welding the van now, there were a few extra hidden bits, it's now in the garage for a couple of minor repairs and then will start fit out.

Ordered the steel to build the bed frame and the vinyl for the floor today, also going to use above the cab for storage and a microwave, layout ideas have changed slightly enabling more headroom and I've started insulating. Power washing all the old chip fat is also done and new carpet in the cab.

Bit of an old unloved bus but we'll turn it around 😅
 
Feb 16, 2013
12,050
15,391
uttoxeter
Funster No
24,713
MH
ambulance conversion
Exp
50 years
I'm back! Registered and paid but for some reason permissions didn't work for a while 🤷‍♂️.

Update:

Okay, so electric heating is out, security definitely going to be looking into, I hear it is the obd port that is the weekness?

Pretty much finished welding the van now, there were a few extra hidden bits, it's now in the garage for a couple of minor repairs and then will start fit out.

Ordered the steel to build the bed frame and the vinyl for the floor today, also going to use above the cab for storage and a microwave, layout ideas have changed slightly enabling more headroom and I've started insulating. Power washing all the old chip fat is also done and new carpet in the cab.

Bit of an old unloved bus but we'll turn it around 😅
Hi welcome, maybe not looking at it right but I don't see any toilet or shower in your layout, essential in my view, we are on our second self build now and this one was built with the bathroom the first thing in and everything else fitted around it.
Someone else suggests a doner caravan which I second , everything you need in one go.
 

Minxy Girl

LIFE MEMBER
Aug 22, 2007
18,865
18,934
E Yorks
Funster No
149
MH
Globecar Campscout
Exp
Since 1996
309315

Just some observations/queries on your layout:

Garage - Is 4ft height enough to allow you to be able to go in with the bike and put it on it's stand/secure it? If the bike sits along the centre of the garage (better for weight distribution too) this gives you storage space either side of it and using storage boxes means you could just remove them to be able to get in to take the bike out.

Bed - Do you really need it to be 7ft deep? If this is only to accommodate the bike length then you can reduce the height where the front wheel sits and this would allow you to have built-in steps for the bed and use a removable plastic step to make getting onto the lowest step easier. This would also give you more usable space in the hab area so the kitchen unit could be widened, also the wardrobe too.

Toilet - make the bottom of the wardrobe into storage cupboard for a pull out porta-potty. When you do need to use it you'd simply move the plastic step, open the cupboard (open towards the rear) and pull it out and a for privacy a lightweight curtain on a right angled rail store at the side of the wardrobe could be pulled out - the kitchen unit would provide some privacy anyway so it wouldn't need to be full length, just to the height of the seat base cushion.

Weight - Just a thought though ... is the rear axle able to take the weight of the bike etc? What's the max axle weight it can take?
 
May 27, 2019
22
16
Funster No
61,196
MH
Just looking
Hi Sam, In the same boat as you, your one step ahead, I haven't bought the van yet. Also a newby to this forum, and a South Walian as well, from the land of the Scarlets. You need to look around at the many caravan parks dotted around the area, you might be able to buy parts, I know a guy who did up 3 vans by using reclaimed parts from caravans. Use youtube for ideas, and check out other sites on the web there's plenty of info and help available. Keep posting on the build. Cheers John
 
Feb 26, 2019
243
293
Surrey
Funster No
58,768
MH
PVC
Exp
N00B !
You mention microwave. Unless you go for an expensive 12v capable version you'd need an inverter or have to be on hook up. 12v or inverters will need a lot of battery that I doubt you can budget. With your budget I'd scrap the idea and stick to a 2 ring gas hob on a changeable bottle and keep space to store a few pots.

Your drawings suggest a hob space, but not even a basic sink? Are you reliant on campsites or if off grid how do you carry and heat water to even wash up in a bowl?
 
OP
Sam warren
May 4, 2019
14
20
Funster No
60,534
MH
Conversion
Exp
Newbie
View attachment 309315

Just some observations/queries on your layout:

Garage - Is 4ft height enough to allow you to be able to go in with the bike and put it on it's stand/secure it? If the bike sits along the centre of the garage (better for weight distribution too) this gives you storage space either side of it and using storage boxes means you could just remove them to be able to get in to take the bike out.



Bed - Do you really need it to be 7ft deep? If this is only to accommodate the bike length then you can reduce the height where the front wheel sits and this would allow you to have built-in steps for the bed and use a removable plastic step to make getting onto the lowest step easier. This would also give you more usable space in the hab area so the kitchen unit could be widened, also the wardrobe too.

Toilet - make the bottom of the wardrobe into storage cupboard for a pull out porta-potty. When you do need to use it you'd simply move the plastic step, open the cupboard (open towards the rear) and pull it out and a for privacy a lightweight curtain on a right angled rail store at the side of the wardrobe could be pulled out - the kitchen unit would provide some privacy anyway so it wouldn't need to be full length, just to the height of the seat base cushion.

Weight - Just a thought though ... is the rear axle able to take the weight of the bike etc? What's the max axle weight it can take?
Design layout has changed a bit, weight isn't an issue and there's now space in the garage for a toilet, full height. Thanks for the suggestions!
 
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