Self build (used) purchase a good idea?

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Jac Sprat, Feb 14, 2018.

  1. Jac Sprat

    Jac Sprat Funster

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2015
    Messages:
    1,564
    Location:
    Norfolk
    Ratings:
    +1,103
    Now i am.at last in the happy position (following our recent sale) of money in bank looking for the right van - these self builds on ebay have come to.our attention - often newer, less mileage, bigger choice of layout and cheaper .....Talking about the pvcs.
    What is the general consensus on these? Apart from difficulty of resale afterwards judging on some low prices...
    What kind of safety standards are they likely to have? Can anyone build anything and then sell it withour being accountable ? Any other considerations ?
    Advice humbly requested.
     
  2. gerry mcg

    gerry mcg Funster

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2016
    Messages:
    706
    Location:
    Glasgow, Scotland
    Ratings:
    +1,422
    We (briefly) considered doing a self build but discounted it pretty early on.
    There is no doubt you can get a bespoke van for a fair bit less than a known manufacturer, kitted out to your exact requirements, but the downside we saw is that it is always going to be much less desirable and difficult to move on, therefore worth considerably less when you come to sell it again.

    For some, it makes sense but we didn't think it would work for us financially

    We didn't feel comfortable buying someone else's custom / DIY project as it would have been designed with the original converters particular need in mind and that would not necessarily be what we wanted.
     
    • Like it Like it x 1
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
    • Useful Useful x 1
  3. Jac Sprat

    Jac Sprat Funster

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2015
    Messages:
    1,564
    Location:
    Norfolk
    Ratings:
    +1,103
    Thanks. My thinking is that we might keep this next one for life so resale would not be such an issue .
    From.my.initial research there is a huge variety of layout. Found one with us very.much in mind.....
    I would need to be reassured re safety standards though....
     
    • Like it Like it x 1
  4. dave newell lvs

    dave newell lvs Trader-Vehicle Services

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2008
    Messages:
    3,014
    Location:
    Telford, Shropshire
    Ratings:
    +5,002
    Having seen quite a few self builds i can tell you the standard of work will vary enormously from better than a regular converters offering to a total death trap. My advice would be before you part with any money have the vehicle professionally inspected with a view to safety of installation on gas and electrical systems. Top quality conversions will make more money (think of Ralph and Bevs Boxer conversion). Cheaper conversions are cheaper for a reason and could cost you a fair bit of money to correct stuff like ventillation, fridge installations are frequently poor to dangerous (3way types), has bottle storage, leisure battery and associated wiring is often poorly done with wires of top thin gauge and a lack of correct fusing etc.

    D.
     
    • Like it Like it x 3
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
    • Funny Funny x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
  5. Fletton

    Fletton Funster

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2014
    Messages:
    1,212
    Location:
    Nth East Lincs
    Ratings:
    +6,323
    I would only consider a purchase from someone I knew.... or perhaps someone who had taken lots of pics and documented every part of the build...

    There are conversions and “conversions”... imo..

    I would be concerned about - what one couldn’t see...

    Edit:. As above... from @dave newell lvs
     
    • Like it Like it x 2
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  6. tofo

    tofo Funster

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2007
    Messages:
    6,830
    Location:
    Kirby cross further from londin
    Ratings:
    +8,604
    One moto often used by self builders

    The self build is never finished
    Or I’ll do that later

    If your thinking of some only else’s D.I.Y. Project why not do it yourself
    :whistle2::whistle2::hi5:
     
    • Like it Like it x 1
    • Nice One! Nice One! x 1
  7. Terry

    Terry Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2007
    Messages:
    11,155
    Location:
    South yorks
    Ratings:
    +7,565
    like what others have said(y)
    You will be able to tell 90 % of the quality of the build by what you see
    Get seller to get Habitation check done and that should cover the gas installation is up to standard ....if it looks like a shed then it probably is a shed, in the bits you cannot see:D
    A good self build will be a lot cheaper to buy but will have been built probably a lot better than manufacturers without a lot of problems...good self builders will have used new fridges,cookers, loos and sinks.
    They should have taken photos from start to finish, that will give you a good idea of quality. insulation is very important.
    Finding a good self build is the fun part. Trusts your instincts
    Terry
     
    • Like it Like it x 2
  8. chaser

    chaser Funster

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2013
    Messages:
    10,434
    Location:
    uttoxeter
    Ratings:
    +17,542
    • Like it Like it x 1
  9. Borderland

    Borderland Funster

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2014
    Messages:
    641
    Location:
    Borders
    Ratings:
    +3,395
    As already mentioned self builds can vary enormously on quality but there will be a good number of them that have been built by the owner for their own use and will be of much better standard than a mass produced one that has been built to sell on at a profit. A self build will also be built with maintenance in mind making it easier to get to the various items in the van such as the water heater.
    If the converter has photos of the work carried out showing the insulation and the progress of the build at different stages then that will be a good way to judge the quality of the conversion. If there aren't any photos available I would be cautious. There is a vast difference in the quality of self builds and some are pretty awful but that is obvious as soon as you look at them.
    Buying a self build could mean you getting a much better van at a cheaper price so certainly worth a look.
     
    • Like it Like it x 1
  10. Shrimp

    Shrimp Funster

    Joined:
    May 27, 2015
    Messages:
    1,334
    Location:
    Bedford
    Ratings:
    +2,805
    I don’t think I would be happy with someone else’s self build. We built a kit car many moons ago and we were particular, hubby is an engineer, so we knew it was good...but did anyone else?
    I’m not sure I could buy a van, or anything else, and say it would be the last one, I might change my mind, (I am a woman) or circumstances may change!:)
     
    • Like it Like it x 1
  11. Wissel

    Wissel Funster

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2013
    Messages:
    952
    Location:
    Cornwall
    Ratings:
    +1,713
    As others have said - they vary. Massively.

    Some will be built far better than pro-converters vans, I'm always being impressed by some builders work and their attention to detail. But some of the vans I see built (especially on some FB groups) terrify me.

    To buy one secondhand I'd want to check literally everything. Even better, look out for vans for sale by well known members on places like here. Better again, talk @Terry into building one for you :)
     
    • Like it Like it x 1
    • Nice One! Nice One! x 1
  12. busby

    busby Funster

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2011
    Messages:
    5,298
    Location:
    derbys
    Ratings:
    +6,220
    If your buying the van cheap then you can sell it cheap,,swings and roundabouts,,BUSBY,,
     
    • Nice One! Nice One! x 1
  13. busby

    busby Funster

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2011
    Messages:
    5,298
    Location:
    derbys
    Ratings:
    +6,220
    There would be many mainline van builders that would not have liked you to see photos of the skimpy insulation they put in their vans years ago and the timber work that you can't see. Friend of mine had a 2003 Compass and the water tank was mounted on a piece of chipboard,,,That piece of wood lasted 3 years,,,,My Autosleeper is not brilliant for insulation and my previous Autosleeper Excelsiour was the coldest van i have ever owned,, BUSBY.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  14. Paul and Kate

    Paul and Kate Funster

    Joined:
    May 1, 2016
    Messages:
    1,015
    Location:
    Stoke on trent
    Ratings:
    +3,164
  15. Jac Sprat

    Jac Sprat Funster

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2015
    Messages:
    1,564
    Location:
    Norfolk
    Ratings:
    +1,103
    Sadly i was born with 2 left hands, losing my eye sight and clumsy. Partner has rapidly advancing Parkinson's - otherwise we'd have a crack at it!
     
    • Like it Like it x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
  16. Jac Sprat

    Jac Sprat Funster

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2015
    Messages:
    1,564
    Location:
    Norfolk
    Ratings:
    +1,103
    Dont want to wait around to have someone else build it.
     
  17. scotzsue

    scotzsue Funster

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2015
    Messages:
    1,724
    Location:
    hull
    Ratings:
    +3,844
    My first van was a self build, in 1986 I think, would I buy it with the knowledge I have now? No way, but it did me at the time. I peruse the sale sites, not interested in changing, but out of interes. Am gobsmacked at what some folk think is a 'fabulous van' . If you have found one you think will be right for you get it thoroughly checked over and if all is well go for it.
    P.S. resale? got twice what I paid for it when mine went, think it was the new brass brakepipes that did it :rolleyes:
     
  18. Southdowners

    Southdowners Funster

    Joined:
    May 7, 2015
    Messages:
    1,649
    Location:
    West Sussex
    Ratings:
    +5,901
    I remember from another thread that you intend to take your vehicle when you go skiing. If this is the case then you need to be very careful that the van has adequate insulation.
     
  19. Jac Sprat

    Jac Sprat Funster

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2015
    Messages:
    1,564
    Location:
    Norfolk
    Ratings:
    +1,103
    Thank you. Yes absolutely top.priority which is why we may end up with a burstner. The one I'm.interested in hasnt got airblown heating but he says he can install it for me but i feel dubious. I know nothing about van construction but surely heating to be included in basic design ?
     
  20. Southdowners

    Southdowners Funster

    Joined:
    May 7, 2015
    Messages:
    1,649
    Location:
    West Sussex
    Ratings:
    +5,901
    Its not just the heating in sub-zero temperatures its where the tanks, etc are. They all need to be very well insulated or in a double floor to stop them freezing.
     
    • Like it Like it x 1

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice