Day van (sorry) your thoughts.

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  • Day van (sorry) your thoughts.
  • MrSparkle
    Member

    This has been a pipe dream for quite a while but is now shaping up to actually happening. We wanted a vivaro/trafic/primastar van for a minimalist stealth camper. Now seen a decentish van at a local business that specialises in ’em.
    It’s been ply-ed out in the back and we are planning on buying it and initially using it as is with a futon or an air bed in it. How horrendous is the condensation problem likely to be with 2 of us kipping in it overnight?
    eventually we’ll get a window in side door, rock ‘n roll bed and a leisure battery with a lead into the back for 240 supply. Don’t need or want owt else really.

    sharkattack
    Member

    You’d be surprised how fast your breath can soak the inside of a van, especially when you’re asleep.

    Mine was much worse than I expected so I insulated and carpeted it quick sharp. If nothing else it just makes it a much nicer place to be. It’s much quieter when driving and generally shuffling around in it.

    On a cold night sleeping in a naked metal van is like sleeping in a meat locker.

    Marin
    Member

    Not bad leave a window open a crack. Mainly on windows of course solved by an old towel in the morning. That’s my experience from sleeping in a van for past four years. Go for a futon built up for storage underneath. Air beds are crap and best left to tent dwellers.

    wors
    Member

    You got a link for the place that does them?

    MrSparkle
    Member

    Thanks guys. It has got a full bulkhead so until we get side window put it the back would be pretty much a box.
    shark attack – what did you insulate it with?

    Marin
    Member

    If you’re on a site see if the door can be left open a crack and still locked. Insulated mine with cheapo loft lagging and plastic board lined not ply. Lined this with car carpet bought off eBay. Covered any left over metal bits with silver foil insulation. Had quite a few holes in internal bodywork on mine as ex AA van and didn’t want too much condensation inside. Box your wheels in as well and insulation in the boxes for a much quieter driving life. If you’re vagulely handy campers can be cheap and comfortable.

    wors
    Member

    Cheers mate, just up the road too. 😀

    sharkattack
    Member

    what did you insulate it with?

    Started with strips of flashbanding on the panels. Doesn’t have any thermal insulation properties but it stops the panels from wobbling and reduces on the road noise by loads.

    Covered it in foil coated bubble wrap as it was massively reduced at BnQ. Stuff recycled plastic bottle insulation into all the nooks and crannys. Then bought a pre-cut set of 6mm ply panels from Ebay and covered them in carpet from Megavanmats.

    There are loads of options but don’t skimp on the carpets. The stuff from Megavanmats is amazing and a joy to work with. I’m happy with the finish from my first attempt.

    Ended up with this;

    Then I built this which served us well on a Euro road-trip
    LINK

    Having a van is awesome. You’ll enjoy it!

    MrSparkle
    Member

    Update: we’ve bought the van and it’s having an opening side window fitted. We pick it up at weekend. Pretty excited, tbh.

    Premier Icon PePPeR
    Subscriber

    If you could get a 2006 onwards van with the Nissan 2.0lt diesel it would be a better bet with less gearbox issues and fewer engine problems.

    You can also get these vans in Longwheel base format, they aren’t much longer but would be a much more comfortable space for sleeping in!

    jambourgie
    Member

    Bit of a vague question, but what kind of cutoff point age/mileage wise would people suggest when converting your van? What I mean is; my van, originally a work van, but now just a ‘bike van’ is about 10 years old with 130K on the clock. Would love to kit it out properly but a bit worried it could start developing mechanicals too frequently to make it much fun. Touch wood though, it’s never missed a beat so far.

    Sorry for the hijack.

    Premier Icon PePPeR
    Subscriber

    My friends built two day vans on 200,000 plus mile vans.

    I’ve driven works vehicles for 15 years, I’ve driven Fords, Mercedes, Renaults and Citroens, they all run up to 180,000 miles without many problems.

    jambourgie
    Member

    Just what I wanted to hear. 😀

    MrSparkle
    Member

    Progress report.
    We bought the van!


    It’s already ply-ed out:


    Next job is remove all the ply and stick some insulation in and put plastic over as a vapour seal. Ply the roof too.
    I’ve priced up a leisure battery, split relay and inverter so I should be ok to rig that up with all the gubbins mounted under passenger seat. I’ll run an extension lead into the back through the bulkhead so I can have 240v in the back.
    I’m getting an opening side window put in next week.
    Get some sort of matting on the floor in the back. Bung a futon bed in and we are pretty much ready to go.
    Easy as that, eh.

    Premier Icon rsvktm
    Subscriber

    Nice one on getting a van at last 😉 you won’t regret it. Insulate, ply and carpet the roof as well, second the comment re quality of carpet. Would give serious thought to losing the bulkhead, makes it feel a much bigger van and let’s loads more light in. It is easy enough to do. We had issues with condensation on the windscreen overnight using internal screens so got silverscreen externals that cured that issue, we always leave a window slightly open anyway.

    May see you at some events this year. Good luck with the build.

    Peter

    MrSparkle
    Member

    Cheers!
    Yeah, bulkhead should just unbolt but we’ll try without at first. If nowt else it gives us something to bungee the bikes to.
    It’ll be an ongoing process. Oh, going to get an upgrade on the ICE too. CD/mp3 player from Halfrauds for £50 and hook up an ipod to it for some banging choons.

    legend
    Member

    The bulkhead cuts out a load of noise when driving, so I like having it. Bulkhead with a window in it is the best combo though

    MrSparkle
    Member

    Aye, that might be the way to go.

    MrSparkle
    Member

    And today we got the side window put in. A lot of phone calls, mither and gnashing of teeth but we got there.

    Another job ticked off. Next!

    MrSparkle
    Member

    I’ll be making a bit more progress at weekend hopefully but in the meantime…
    It’s got lovely reupholstered seats

    It’d be a shame to ruin ’em with dog hairs and mud etc so we got some seat covers for £15 off Amazon.

    Premier Icon fadda
    Subscriber

    Those “new” seats look lovely – mind if I ask where/how you got them done, and for what sort of money?

    MrSparkle
    Member

    They were already done when we got the van, sorry. There’s a contact link for the place we got the van from up there ^. They might be able to help.

    MrSparkle
    Member

    Bought a futon for in the back. Reckon that’s £60 well spent.

    MrSparkle
    Member

    Been busy today doing the insulating.
    Took the floor out and placed it on top of closed cell foam.

    Cut round it with my mate Stanley

    Put the foam down in the van. Gaffer taped it together.

    Plastic sheeting over the foam and beneath the ply as a token anti- condensation gesture.

    Trial run with the futon. It fits perfectly between the wheel arches.

    Premier Icon mick_r
    Subscriber

    I’ll be round in the morning – do I knock on the house or the steamed up van ? 🙂

    I’ll also talk to you about rock-roll beds and what not to buy (stick with the futon for now if you aren’t planning on rear passengers). Rock roll + passengers = death trap unless you’ve got a grand or two to spare…..

    Premier Icon IainAhh
    Subscriber

    I like the look of those vans. A lot of fun to be had.

    How much did it cost to have the side window put in?

    MrSparkle
    Member

    Mick – only just read your reply! Oops.
    Ian – £250. We wanted an opening one. The ‘normal’ ones are about £150.

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