Camper Van Advice…

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  • Camper Van Advice…
  • trail_rat
    Member

    So you identify you want something bigger and go to vwt5

    T5 is imo is a good compromise if you hae to use it as a car daily but its too much of a compromise as an out and out camper imo.

    Does beat a tent mind you.

    Stupidly over priced though

    Go to a campervan sales yard and have a poke about see what layouts are availible ad costings

    Dont forget the engine – to many are built on base model chassis to keep price down and struggle to go

    Premier Icon uphilla
    Subscriber

    Thanks Trail rat – now realize original post reads wrongly – it is the bed size I would want bigger, not necessarily van – had a look around camp sites used and some vans seem to have a full width bed at the cost of other stuff – but mostly stuff I could cope without

    trail_rat
    Member

    i was in france for 3 weeks camping out of our van

    what struck me most is VW van folk almost always had a tent stuck out and bar sleeping did most things in this tent.

    so really its a mobile bed.

    stoner has quite a good compromise i think with a pop top Vw but thats absolutely as small as i would go and presumes you dont mind putting the bikes on the back or the roof of the van – both absolute no nos for me.

    whats wrong with bike on the back?

    Premier Icon bigjim
    Subscriber

    I lived for 5 months in a 30 year old toyota Hiace, so you get used to what you’ve got. However I guess in the UK you might need to be more comfortable inside as its likely to be horrible outside, so more space might be good. I’d go pop top over a hi top too.

    Premier Icon uphilla
    Subscriber

    Hi, have been thinking about buying a camper van so last week hired one to see how it would work for us.

    Overall liked the experience (compared with tent, caravan etc.) though the hired van did highlight likes & dislikes – it was a high roof transit.

    I would be interested to hear what others see as essential. For me I would want something bigger than a 3/4 bed hired van had. Don’t feel need for fitted loo/shower. Cooker, fridge, sink, water might be good. Roll out awning or maybe a free standing tent seems essential.
    People seem to like the VW T5’s on here – but expensive, have heard Mercs are cheaper but as good. Any other alternatives? What about ability to stand up inside, this did seem good, but with and awning might not be so vital.

    Appreciate any advice, thanks!

    Scamper
    Member

    Took delivery of our T5 conversion a few weeks ago – so much still to learn. Yes they are expensive and I don’t want to even consider what more spacious motorhome we could have got instead. However, they work well as a daily drive – the turning circle alone seems better than my Passat.

    A 3/4 width bed is enough for the two of us, but everyone is different. Its vital you decide if you wish to use the bed for passengers or not, ref the whole “crash testing” can of worms.

    We also have a pop top (with removable roof bed boards) but at the moment our 23 month old sleeps in his travel cot in the drive away tent which clips on an awning rail.

    We also have barns doors and bike on the back. Personally I don’t see no need for the more expensive single door vans.

    back2basics
    Member

    mazda bongo with pop top, cheap as chips, heave on gas, but lots of electrics and blings, japanese reliability

    alternativley

    renault traffic/nissan/vaxhaul van and bung in rock and roll bed.

    We have a Mazda Bongo conversion.

    Bloody brilliant.

    Premier Icon Simon
    Subscriber

    Bongos are quite a bit smaller inside than a VW T4/T5, I’m ready for something bigger.

    trail_rat
    Member

    Where do bikes go when you sleep aa ??

    Not all my camping is on campsites !

    Anyone know how hard it is to get a van conversion classed as a camper by dvla for insurance, does it need sink cooker and bed?

    thomthumb
    Member

    i’ve got a t5 with a home conversion. only got a bed as i need double bed + 2 bikes.

    I have a cooker and stuff that can go in the outside tent if needed.

    A 3 way fridge would be a great thing to have – without kind of limits how long you can live for without popping to the shops or having to plan a lot with food.

    renault traffic/nissan/vaxhaul van

    If i wasn’t set of a VW i’d have one of these. I wouldn’t have a merc- i’ve never heard anything good about them.

    you need to be sure what you want it for. is it bike races (no electric, mostly weekends), easy weekends away, long trips, 2 week holidays etc. what you do with it will influence what you buy/ have to go with it.

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Subscriber

    Anyone know how hard it is to get a van conversion classed as a camper by d la for insurance, does it need sink cooker and bed?

    Last time I looked it needed a wardrobe, sink and bed, but I guess it depends on the insurer.

    Premier Icon AlexSimon
    Subscriber

    I know that my requirements are unusual, but my perfect van would be:

    Wide enough to sleep widthways
    Big enough so that I could leave the bed made up (hence the widthways thing)
    Big enough to put bikes inside
    Fairly simple layout – none of that trying to look like a house stuff.
    High quality fridge
    Made of metal
    4×4

    The problem comes when I want this for 4 people when there are no vans with 4 seats up front.

    hora
    Member

    Hmmmmm a 5yr old hi ace with a bed conversion/plywood compartment behind bulkhead to slot a bike into??

    thomthumb
    Member

    Anyone know how hard it is to get a van conversion classed as a camper by dvla for insurance, does it need sink cooker and bed?

    cooker, water, storage table, bed, window, door

    some insurers stipulate water must be internal/ of a minimum size.

    Apparently it’s getting tougher but still doable.

    more info here

    Premier Icon AlexSimon
    Subscriber

    hora – Member

    Hmmmmm a 5yr old hi ace with a bed conversion/plywood compartment behind bulkhead to slot a bike into??
    Our old 90s Jumbo 4×4 hiace was absolutely perfect for 2 or 3 people.

    Moki Lake by tryingtimes, on Flickr

    Left in New Zealand though.. sniff…

    Bongos are quite a bit smaller inside than a VW T4/T5, I’m ready for something bigger.

    The LWB is undeniably bigger, but the SWB is arguable. We’ve got a decent side conversion with raising roof, and the raising roof really opens the van up (pun only semi-intended). The conversion also has a dual hob, sink, fridge and a reasonable amount of storage as well as a double bed, and this is before extra storage with the roof raised over the cab.

    They’re also cheaper and more reliable than older VWs, which is what sold it to me. That and a friend (DH racer) sold his rotton T4 as a rotton T4, then paid an extra £2 for a nearly new Citroen Dispatch. Air-con, a decent turn of speed and reasonable MPG all of a sudden became a reality.

    I’m not saying buy a Bongo, but I am saying look beyond VWs.

    Dales_rider
    Member

    Just had my T5 re-classed as a campervan its easy, photos and receipts
    2 burner stove fixed
    And min bed size 6 foot are the main requiirements.
    Fixed table is mentioned but mine is with a stowable table.

    crispyrice
    Member

    I looked at VW vans, but they are too small. Instead i bought a race van, its Merc Sprinter Luton van that has been converted to a camper for motorsport use. It has a garage in the back for bikes (the original owner raced motorbikes), sleeping for 4/5, a little kitchen, a shower and a toilet and the bikes/tools/bbq are secure and out of the way.

    Perfect for a mountain biking trip with the boys or family trip away like the one I am about to embark on in 3 hours 🙂

    Found mine on Gumtree searching for “race van”.

    crispyrice
    Member

    Oh and i forgot to mention it was only £5.5k !

    back2basics
    Member

    if its classed as a camper, i think your restricted to 60mph on mways

    trail_rat
    Member

    if its classed as a van your restricted to 60mph on motorways

    campers* can do 70

    *its only a camper if the DVLA agree – throwing a matress in the back of a transit and doing 70 on the A- road claiming its a camper will not work

    mark90
    Member

    if its classed as a camper, i think your restricted to 60mph on mways

    Only if over 3.05 tonnes unladen. Often a camper van can have a higher speed limit than the base white van, depending on weights etc.

    Speed limits here:
    https://www.gov.uk/speed-limits

    justatheory
    Member

    I’ve got a motorhome with a fixed bed, shower/toilet, sink, hob etc. I’ve used the shower once – which might say more about me than the usefulness of having a shower – but the toilet comes in handy!

    I absolutely love it, been skiing in Scotland with it, toured Cornwall and touring France for two weeks, starting tomorrow. We are even thinking of shipping it to NZ when we move.

    Did consider a VW T5 style and they look cool but went for the extra space. Whatever you get I’m sure you’ll love and have a great time in.

    Here’s mine:

    Premier Icon Steelsreal
    Subscriber

    I have had T4s T25s etc etc since i was alad and they were then cheap(!)

    Now I have a wife and child requirements have changed, was thinking a T5 kombi with a temporary bed in the back that we could all squeeze into on occasion..

    Then a MWB VW LT came up near where i live, converted to a very nice spec. Has a fixed bunk for my daughter and a massive bed for me and the wife that converts out of the rear seats.

    Stove, sink, fridge, mains hook up, toilet (good with kids) and loads of room. Probably paid over the odds for it but I now have a no compromise van, can go to bed without moving stuff around and is very comfy for the odd overnight.

    Bikes go on the back as the under bed storgae is full of chairs awning tables etc

    absolutely love it

    back2basics
    Member

    ahhhhhhh ta, trail_rat

    kristoff
    Member

    Trail_rat you’re a bit out of date.

    Vans up to 7.5tonne can do 70mph on a motorway .. Reference Uk speed limits (it changed earlier this year).

    So the gain officially speaking speed wise of being registered as a motor home is now on single carriageway and dual carriageways.

    I’ve got a T5 which has seats in the back that I can turn into a full width bed for the occasional night away but
    I’ve no intention currently to turn it into a full blown camper. All depends on your needs, just kampers had no problem insuring it with the altered seating/occasional bed.

    deepreddave
    Member

    crispyrice – if you’re ever looking to sell 😉 Looks spot on, well done!

    trail_rat
    Member

    oops.

    I did modify to A- roads after i read it as well. missed the first motorways instance 😀

    imo all the varying speed limits do is cause hold ups.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    If you want it to be a daily too, then a T5 etc makes loads of sense. But they’re so damn expensive that having an actual car and a proper camper makes even more sense.

    Course, for most people what makes even more sensey sense is to not get a camper at all, and spend the thousands of pounds on hotel rooms. But where did sense ever get us?

    trail_rat
    Member

    Hotel rooms are rarely where i want them though to wake up with a nice sun rise

    ianpv
    Member

    I’ve got a 1999 T4 that I bought as a panel van in about 2005 (for £4K) then home converted to a proper camper in 2009 (cost me about another £4K for tested rock and roll bed, insulation, electrics, fridge, seat swivels, units etc.)

    I love it and I think I get good value out of it – bike trips to scotland, family weekends etc. It’s (relatively) fast and economical, and it hasn’t put a foot wrong in the 70,000 miles I’ve put on it. It’s my only car. Wife has another vehicle that we use day to day.

    But it’s not very big for four people. I’m going to put a hightop on it (in keeping with the budget approach) rather than a poptop to get some more storage space. Pop tops look better and you can still get in some carparks but they don’t make the van any better at carrying stuff around.

    If I was to buy another camper, I think I’d get a race van like that sprinter up there. T5 conversions seem so expensive – how much are you really going to use it? We were on a site with a new T5 conversion and it was the best part of £40K – not even on a brand new van! That’s a lot of hotels/flights/bikes, plus a cheap beater camper which you won’t have to worry about and will still be loads of fun – my mate bought some ridiculous coach built Japanese thing for about £5k, and it is awesome (although slow and thirsty).

    john_l
    Member

    Kristoff – what are you using to convert the seats to a bed?

    Premier Icon Steelsreal
    Subscriber

    the £40k tags on some of the T5s put me off too, so paid a fraction for mine..

    joepose
    Member

    thing about the VW route is that after a while they stop goin down in value and start to go up. in the long term they are a very good investment.

    trail_rat
    Member

    Lol vws are the new housing bubble

    They just happened to be ground breaking in vans thats are nice to drive

    Most vans have caught up – that usp has gone. They still win on car replacement vans though so thatll be why popular.

    How ever as long as most folk aspire to own a t3/4/5 i can get one of the others cheaply like steelisreel there

    Oh and news – vdubs break just like any other car but bits are bloody expensive for parts.

    back2basics
    Member

    there is that lovely hyundia T5 equivalent that ive seen oot and about, not many conversions though, but in a few years would make a great 2nd hand bargain
    i800
    and as a van
    iLoad

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 49 total)

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