Starting to plan my new van/truck

May 23, 2012
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Don’t think you have to worry about what drivers say as your not getting to be doing that many miles like a delivery driver. Condition and spares price and availability would be higher on the list.
 
Oct 2, 2008
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Parts is quite a important thing as some of the Ivecos are have a few NLS items .

Having a background that was involved in transport for a good few of those years , my first choice would be the DAF .
 
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Minxy Girl

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Aug 22, 2007
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@Gromett ... just a thought, have you ever driven one of these types of trucks? I appreciate that you won't be moving so much but if they aren't that 'nice' to drive as your current van you might regret it ... o_O
 
OP
Gromett

Gromett

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Feb 27, 2011
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@Gromett ... just a thought, have you ever driven one of these types of trucks? I appreciate that you won't be moving so much but if they aren't that 'nice' to drive as your current van you might regret it ... o_O
Yes, I have driven one or two plus did 3 days training in 18T one as well.
 
OP
Gromett

Gromett

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Don’t think you have to worry about what drivers say as your not getting to be doing that many miles like a delivery driver
When the drivers mention reliability and comfort I tend to listen. I won't be doing 10's of thousands of mile a year but I do the occasional long trip to rallies etc.
 
OP
Gromett

Gromett

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Back to the drawing board on my plans..

I just found this video to see what is under the box.

I was going to have the bathroom/toilet and kitchen in the front 2 metres of the truck. However because I need to mount the black waste tank directly under the toilet this is not possible.
Later models have an exhaust/pollution management system on the other side to the fuel tank.

Looks like I will need to wait until I get mine to figure out the layout. There is also some variability in the height of the inside of the box which means I won't know if I can have a deep enough double floor for grey/black tanks inside yet as well. I will just have to be patient :(
 
May 23, 2012
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Would it not be best to have waste tanks outside and insulated rather than inside , in case you ever have a leak etc ?
 
Aug 18, 2014
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Looks like the DAF LF45 is top of my list at the moment. Seems to be fairly well rated amongst drivers etc and spares appear to be pretty cheap. Probably looking at an 07/08 model with less than 300,000Km on the clock.
I've often thought of doing something similar but here that truck , @ that age,would cost you a minimum of 10k euros with the average being 15-16k + average kms around 500k. :(
 
OP
Gromett

Gromett

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Would it not be best to have waste tanks outside and insulated rather than inside , in case you ever have a leak etc ?
The plan is if I can make a tall enough false floor is to have the grey waste inside. Whatever I do the black waste will be outside.
 
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Gromett

Gromett

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I've often thought of doing something similar but here that truck , @ that age,would cost you a minimum of 10k euros with the average being 15-16k + average kms around 500k. :(
I have been looking at trucks at that age and mileage for around the £3.5K to £4.5K. If I have to go a little older I will.
I am not spending a huge amount on my first truck conversion in case it doesn't suite me. If it does suite me I will be saving up for a much newer truck and doing another conversion in 4-5 years.
Having full timed for 8 years in a very small van I am not 100% certain the large truck will suite me. But only one way to find out (y)
 

Carol

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Oct 2, 2007
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Karl, I keep reading and I'm not convinced a good older Hymer that you could customise would be better in the long run. You would have more room than you have now, it would be winterised all sites CL's would be accessible to you,if you got a keeper you could personalise it to suit you.
Just my ramblings :)
 
OP
Gromett

Gromett

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Karl, I keep reading and I'm not convinced a good older Hymer that you could customise would be better in the long run. You would have more room than you have now, it would be winterised all sites CL's would be accessible to you,if you got a keeper you could personalise it to suit you.
Just my ramblings :)
I don't want to move to another panel van based vehicle that is even older than my existing one. I am looking for a base vehicle that is at least 4-5 years newer than my existing one. If I was to go for another panel van I would be looking for one that was in the 2011-2012 year range to give me another 8 years. I just don't have a £20K budget at the moment. Also it would be a sideways move as I wouldn't gain any space and would actually lose payload. With a truck because they are industrial I am prepared to go for a little older as they are much more ruggedly built. A 2007 Hymer would cost me around £20K and I am looking at a budget of half that in reality.

The beauty of a self build is I get a newer base vehicle with a customised layout and in the case of a truck I get a lot more space..

Thanks for your suggestion though (y)
 
Nov 25, 2013
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Look out for mobile library vehicle for sale, usually DAF 7.5 toner will have a side (hab) door and heating already fitted. They are always low mileage and not driven by idiots
 
OP
Gromett

Gromett

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Feb 27, 2011
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Look out for mobile library vehicle for sale, usually DAF 7.5 toner will have a side (hab) door and heating already fitted. They are always low mileage and not driven by idiots
Already answered that one I think :p
 
Jul 4, 2010
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Converted a Mercedes T2 Panel van, 609D LWB which allowed plenty of payload and had a cruising rear axle for economy. Here's a later T2 in bus form but the panel van version is around too, SnapOn used to use them a lot.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/2006-56-MERCEDES-BENZ-T2-4-2-613-105-BHP-AUTO-MELLOR-COACH-BUILT-DISABLED-PASSEN/132313932853?hash=item1ece866435:g:lAAAAOSwbtNaAZqT

Most rugged vehicle ever had, with the bulkhead left in as secure as you ever would need. Unbreakable and servicing and parts available all around the world.
Was also available in 709D and 809D form for extra power and payload but a rear axle working too hard at 70 mph which affected economy.

Only one drawback, compared with a box or a coach built it's a little narrow, but we managed to live in it for 3 years in some very demanding places and for 2 people it had all the space you could need.

Our second choice at the time was the Iveco 7.5 tonne panel van, pretty robust too but didn't have the familiarity with garages in remote places and the parts service that Mercedes has.

Our LWB van was 7.3 m long and under 3m high if my memory serves.
 
OP
Gromett

Gromett

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Feb 27, 2011
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Converted a Mercedes T2 Panel van, 609D LWB which allowed plenty of payload and had a cruising rear axle for economy. Here's a later T2 in bus form but the panel van version is around too, SnapOn used to use them a lot.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/2006-56-MERCEDES-BENZ-T2-4-2-613-105-BHP-AUTO-MELLOR-COACH-BUILT-DISABLED-PASSEN/132313932853?hash=item1ece866435:g:lAAAAOSwbtNaAZqT

Most rugged vehicle ever had, with the bulkhead left in as secure as you ever would need. Unbreakable and servicing and parts available all around the world.
Was also available in 709D and 809D form for extra power and payload but a rear axle working too hard at 70 mph which affected economy.

Only one drawback, compared with a box or a coach built it's a little narrow, but we managed to live in it for 3 years in some very demanding places and for 2 people it had all the space you could need.

Our second choice at the time was the Iveco 7.5 tonne panel van, pretty robust too but didn't have the familiarity with garages in remote places and the parts service that Mercedes has.

Our LWB van was 7.3 m long and under 3m high if my memory serves.
I have converted a bus before, it was a nightmare for many reasons. Mercs are notorious for rusting which is not ideal for a fulltimer. To be honest the big very square box on the back of an industrially built truck are very attractive otherwise I would stick with an Iveco panel van.
 
Jul 4, 2010
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Not trying to convince you Gromett just adding a suggestion (which isn't the bus bodied version). Spent most of my working life in various areas of the motor trade and the T2's didn't have that reputation in the circles I moved in but bow to your experience.

ps: Because you are reliant on CL's or campsites I think that a box van shape may cause you problems of acceptability as boxes certainly have a commercial vehicle look. Where's as a very large panel van is already half way to looking like a MH. Just an opinion mind.
 
OP
Gromett

Gromett

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Not trying to convince you Gromett just adding a suggestion (which isn't the bus bodied version). Spent most of my working life in various areas of the motor trade and the T2's didn't have that reputation in the circles I moved in but bow to your experience.

ps: Because you are reliant on CL's or campsites I think that a box van shape may cause you problems of acceptability as boxes certainly have a commercial vehicle look. Where's as a very large panel van is already half way to looking like a MH. Just an opinion mind.
You might be right on the rust. but every square bodied merc I have seen over a certain number of years old has the tin worm round it's lower regions... I honestly do not want to go down the route of another panel van no matter the make if I can help it.
 
OP
Gromett

Gromett

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Feb 27, 2011
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ps: Because you are reliant on CL's or campsites I think that a box van shape may cause you problems of acceptability as boxes certainly have a commercial vehicle look. Where's as a very large panel van is already half way to looking like a MH. Just an opinion mind.
Sorry didn't respond to thsi point. The CL's are very accomodating of pretty much any vehicle in my experience. My current van looks very commercial, it is very shabby and tatty looking and never even raised an eyebrow. I have seen all sorts on the CL network (y).

CC main sites are a different matter altogether though ... I have had problems on one CC site but never on a CL.
 
OP
Gromett

Gromett

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Feb 27, 2011
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Considering using an IBC tank for my water. Will need to get the truck weighed after the rear doors fitted to see what size I can fit.

https://www.tanks-direct.co.uk/ibc-containers/ibc-tanks.html?potable_yes_or_no=887

The plan would be to only partially fill this when on the road. But when I book into a site for 2-4 weeks I fill it to the top. Will have a similar sized waste tank.
Having a months supply of water and grey tankage would make my life so much better :D
 
Jul 4, 2010
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Hymer Star Line 680
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Considering using an IBC tank for my water. Will need to get the truck weighed after the rear doors fitted to see what size I can fit.

https://www.tanks-direct.co.uk/ibc-containers/ibc-tanks.html?potable_yes_or_no=887

The plan would be to only partially fill this when on the road. But when I book into a site for 2-4 weeks I fill it to the top. Will have a similar sized waste tank.
Having a months supply of water and grey tankage would make my life so much better :D
If you have very large tanks partially filled it may be a good idea to have baffles fitted as X kgs of water sloshing from side to side is mighty powerful
 

Minxy Girl

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Aug 22, 2007
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If you have very large tanks partially filled it may be a good idea to have baffles fitted as X kgs of water sloshing from side to side is mighty powerful
Exactly my thoughts too ... internal baffles are a must but it could make cleaning awkward.
 
OP
Gromett

Gromett

Funster
Feb 27, 2011
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Exactly my thoughts too ... internal baffles are a must but it could make cleaning awkward.
Cleaning? What's that? :p

I have never cleaned my fresh water tank as it is always in use.
 
OP
Gromett

Gromett

Funster
Feb 27, 2011
9,641
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If you have very large tanks partially filled it may be a good idea to have baffles fitted as X kgs of water sloshing from side to side is mighty powerful
If I was putting 600L or 1,000L tank in a 3.5T van then yes absolutely. However in a 7.5T truck that is likely to be close to it's full weight, 600L of water is not likely to cause that roller coaster ride feeling you get in an unbaffled tank. My current van weighs in at under 3.2T and I can carry up to 160KG of water in an unbaffled tank. This equates to 5% of the vehicles mass. In my truck it would be 8% of the mass for a 600L tank. If I go for the full 1,000L and I start to feel the effects of the sloshing I will go for the pipe method of baffling. Basically you get some 4-6" flexible pipe normally used for french drains and just push a bunch of it into the tank. It doesn't reduce the capacity by a huge amount but stop the sloshing immediately.

But to be honest, even If I go for the 1,000L tank I will never carry the full amount of water. I will probably be carrying 200L at most as that is about 7-10 days supply for me. 200L is only 2.6% of the total mass of the vehicle so definitely won't have any effect on the vehicle.

I have looked at the cost of a baffled tank previously but they cost way more than a palletised and caged IBC rated for potable water.

What I will be doing though is getting the palletised version of the IBC and using some 5mm plate steel on the underneath of the truck and the same going through the legs of the pallet. These will be joined by 10mm stainless steel threaded rod to hold it securely down. It will be located right at the front of the truck hard up against the bulk head to prevent inertia related issues.

It is something I have considered before and for this build.

I wasn't happy about putting the unbaffled tank I currently use in my van, but after a few weeks of concern I never noticed any sloshing effects so don't worry about it so much.

Thanks for the suggestion though (y)
 
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Jul 4, 2010
1,193
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Hymer Star Line 680
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Roundabouts and such like are a problem, 200 kgs of water hitting one side of a tank and then the other may cause problems for the tank fittings, ie those fittings connected to and inside of the tank.

If I were to build another camper (not likely though) I would baffle a tank. Our current 120 ltr tank in a B680 Hymer is audible at roundabouts when the water level is less than 75% full. I like your idea of the French drain type pipe, use them a fair bit for their original purpose. They are surprisingly effective too.
 
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