Viewing 28 posts - 1 through 28 (of 28 total)
  • Everyone likes a campervan build
  • TheLittlestHobo
    Free Member

    Well I haven’t got any of those stage by stage pictures (Yet) as I am still in the planning stage. I thought it might be worthwhile asking on here for any suggestions for must have bits and bobs that I can incorporate before I get too far and find I have missed something.

    I am a little OCD so I don’t like the thought of wires showing and things hanging about. Wherever possible the wiring will be incorporated into ducting within the insulation and hidden from view. I have access to main dealer tooling and equipment and I can get pretty much everything I do checked by a professional to ensure correct. I don’t want a Home from Home so it is going to be a smaller van (Mercedes Vito already purchased and arriving end October). Its to be used by myself when I want a break and for me to travel UK and Europe with my 10yr old daughter climbing. I will have a foldaway tent of some sort to store anything bulky when we are pitched up for more than a night but intend to have it pretty much self contained.

    Current plan is

    1) Merc Vito 113 Compact panel van
    Glazed rear tailgate
    No Bulkhead (All plastics finished correctly, no gaps)
    Factory Parking Sensors F & R
    Factory Cat 1 Alarm
    3 seats in front

    To install

    2) R & R 3/4 bed
    3) Side cupboard unit
    4) Smev Gas & Water
    5) Roof Solar Panel
    6) VSR Split charge system including second leisure battery
    7) Curtains Allround including cab divider
    8) Front Screen thermal cover
    9) Electric hookup on separate circuit to batteries. I don’t know why but I don’t see the need to have my batteries getting any more charge than driving and solar.
    10) LED interior lights x 4 all on separate switches. I want to be able to read if my daughter is asleep
    11) Lockable Valuables safe – Passports and money
    12) Coolbox 12v/240v – I don’t plan on fitting a fridge but a coolbox which I can plug into mains hookup if on site or plug into 12v system will be handy
    13) Of course the vehicle will be insulated (I wont bore people with my plans for that)
    14) Extra glazing to both side load doors. Sliding window on one near gas hobs. Vito has benefit of 2 x SLD so when its nice out can cook with both doors open for extra ventilation.

    I already have quite a lot of camping gear so I would just be using them to get me started and then adding to it as I go along.

    I mentioned the toilet situation to my daughter and she just sighed. She has no issues with the vehicle not having a toilet.

    Any suggestions of things you found you need or must have welcome.

    khani
    Free Member

    Exterior power/plug sockets are useful for using stuff in an awning

    trail_rat
    Free Member

    9) Electric hookup on separate circuit to batteries. I don’t know why but I don’t see the need to have my batteries getting any more charge than driving and solar.

    Your going to have two sets of lights as well then 12v/240 on seprate 12v/240 circuits ? ? seems madness to me as if your already at the point where your on EHU then your batteries must be flat already as other wise why bother going to EHU site ? fitting a proper power controler with a decent charge system would negate that.

    something ive come to appreciate- is fit windows with proper easy to use fly screens , dont know which sliding windows your using but none of the factory fit ones ive seen are much fun when its 20+ outside and the mozzies/midges are out….

    small van like that will appreciate an awning more than any other kind of van ime – a coleman canopy shelter or the like if a roll out is too extreme.

    surroundedbyhills
    Free Member

    Insulation – heavy or light, but condensation is to be avoided – in the short term to avoid damp and mould and in the long term to stop your van from rusting inside out. Light = yoga mats, Heavy = cellotex and bubble foil.

    RnR beds according to my mate who has one is neither comfortable as a seat nor a bed. I bought LWB van so fitted a fixed bed with memory foam mattress.

    try these guys http://www.sbmcc.co.uk – worth the joining fee.

    TheLittlestHobo
    Free Member

    Khani – Do you mean plug sockets on the side of my van? Hmmm I suppose making the sockets inside the van easy to plug into might be a benefit.

    TheLittlestHobo
    Free Member

    Trailrat – No one set of 12v lights run off the split charge and solar power. 4 led lights used sparingly should last ages.

    Only reason I would have EHU is if my daughter wanted to use her hairdryer or I needed to charge a load of stuff up. Otherwise I personally wouldn’t be using which is why I wanted to just keep that as a separate cicuit which if we decided to ‘live a little’ we could plug in and give everything a overnight boost.

    Flyscreens – Ahh good shout. They will be factory glass fitted aftermarket so the sliding window is a bit useless really. Might be that I have some nets made for the entire Side doors so they can be used with doors open.

    Drive Away Awning is on the list of stuff to get but that’s not going to effect the build. I am debating a slide out/cassette awning though.

    khani
    Free Member

    Yes on the exterior, we did it on our caravan and found it’s really handy, better than wires hanging out of the windows or trailing out of the door, you can get exterior sockets that are pretty easy to fit and while you can get to the inside before you insulate and panel it’ll be a piece of piss to wire up,

    TheLittlestHobo
    Free Member

    surroundedbyhills – Yes I appreciate R & R bed is a compromise. If I purchase the driveaway awning I expect I may sleep in there anyhow if at a site for more than a day. We have slept on bouldering mats before so not too worried about comfort. As I said, I don’t expect it to be a home from home. As long as it goes flat, is long enough and wide enough for us not to kill each other I will be happy.

    TheLittlestHobo
    Free Member

    I will look into that Khani thanks

    trail_rat
    Free Member

    If that’s all yout want ehu for I would just run a camping extension.

    TheLittlestHobo
    Free Member

    I must admit I was thinking that myself trail_rat. I don’t like the idea of cutting the hole for the adapter and tbh other than plugging the coolbox in for extended periods or as I said maybe a hairdryer and a few chargers I don’t really want it. Can get extension cheap enough

    TheLittlestHobo
    Free Member

    double post

    trail_rat
    Free Member

    Drive away or even a canopy more useful in wind than cassette but a cassette wins for convienance and storage.

    I have a fiamma f45 and must admit that 20mph gusts have me nervous ….but equally I just pack it away at that point and sit in the van.

    TheLittlestHobo
    Free Member

    Yes, I have seen them and they do look a little flimsy in the wind.

    Moses
    Full Member

    Rooflight (not too large) rather than an extra window. It’s more private, more secure, better ventilation when static.

    rear view camera, v useful especially if wired in permanently instead of just when in reverse gear.

    trail_rat
    Free Member

    I would agree on the roofljghts but I get the feeling he doesn’t like cutting holes in the van.

    Rooflight is king for through ventilation in summer.

    Reversing camera really not necessary in a small Vito esp if it has sensors.

    paladin
    Full Member

    TheLittlestHobo – Member
    I must admit I was thinking that myself trail_rat. I don’t like the idea of cutting the hole for the adapter

    Could wire in a couple of 230volt sockets, and have the hookup connection under the bonnet in the engine bay, save cutting holes in the van

    matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    Swivel (single) front seats?

    trail_rat
    Free Member

    Never seen the fascination for swivel front seats and removing all of the bulkhead. Your sticking quite a few heavy things in the van so if you crash that’ll all want to come forwards.

    paladin
    Full Member

    USB sockets scattered around

    Ewan
    Free Member

    If you’re just going to be using it for you and your daughter i’d consider not doing the standard 3/4 rock and roll layout. I ummed and ahhed about it for ages and i’m very glad i didn’t in the end.

    My bed is a pull out from the side which means we can sit on the sofa looking out of the sliding door on what ever nice location we’ve pulled at at – in a Rock and roll you’ll be looking at the back of a seat. Sideways bed also lets you have more options on where you put the fridge. The layout we have allows us to get into the fridge to get milk and put the kettle on without getting out from under the blankets.

    If you’re going to be using it in the UK, then I would fit a heater – it’s not absolutely required, but even last week when we were camping in layby by windgather rocks in the peak it was nice to be able to make the whole place snug. Our propex is fed from our underslung refillable tank – surprisingly easy to fit.

    Don’t bother with an EHU, just get a camping extension for 20 quid.

    I also wouldn’t bother with a swivel front seat – i have a double swivel in mine (cost 300 quid i think) and i’ve literally never used it.

    Photos of our layout:

    Edit: our van is a Trafic high top LWB – so simular width to a Vito but taller if you’ve not got the high top version.

    spooky_b329
    Full Member

    A vote in favour of swivels here…obviously it does depend on the floorplan but I find that extra half meter of space makes a huge difference. Is is pretty expensive to do though. If you are removing the bulkhead and leaving the double seat in, you’ll be surprised how restricted the access to the front is when trying to lean over the headrests or squeeze between the drivers and double! It also nice to be able to quietly use the front doors at night to get in and out, rather than slamming a big heavy side door (that will have let a fair amount of water in if you opened it in the rain!)

    thecaptain
    Free Member

    Can you get a rooflight with zero height extension? Seriously, no more than a couple of cm at most. My van happens to fit in the garage but only with mm to spare. There is a little bit of a hump at the front (vivaro) but the main roof is barely lower.

    andy8442
    Free Member

    A Vito compact? Thats quite a small van for a conversion.

    spooky_b329
    Full Member

    Apparently boat deck hatches can make good low profile rooflights. Definitely waterproof and obviously they don’t rely on a high up-stand to achieve that, otherwise they’d be a bit useless. Plenty strong as well as they are designed to be walked on.

    TheLittlestHobo
    Free Member

    Rooflight – That would be at a later date. Basically trail rat is correct, I don’t like cutting holes in a van. Ventilation for this vehicle can be either opening the TWIN side load doors when cooking, opening one door, or even if I am so concerned, leaving it in our workshops for a few weeks to breathe. I do fancy a roof light but I will need to be 100% on that 1st so maybe at a later date

    I had a Vito Sport crewvan for 5yrs. I can manage easily with the parkatronic front & rear sensors already fitted.

    Hookup under bonnet is worth considering. Would fit in with my OCD and not wanting to cut holes. Hmm, thats a good shout.

    No swivel front seats. Its a 3 seater and the Vito is a PITA to convert to 2. Seat base out, new seat, electrics, swivel etc etc. TBH my plan is to use the undersea space for the batteries and electrics which should keep them nicely out of the way and accessible.

    Will have USB sockets near bed/seat for passengers and when in bed form for phone/computer. Will also have usb sockets in switch panel in cupboard so should have enough

    Ewan I had considered that long and hard myself. However I must have some extra seating as I have a wife and son to consider. At present they aren’t that interested but if it changes I am not refitting it. For this I considered a full width r&r bed with cross front unit. It made a lot of sense but in the end I decided to go with the traditional layout because, truth be told if it doesn’t float my boat I want something I can sell on easily and this is the most popular general layout. Also, Vito has a tailgate and the R & R bed I have can let me and my daughter lay out of the back watching sunsets/views whilst covered. We can even leave seat up and sit in rear facing out of the back 🙂

    Love your van. If this proves to be a success then there is nothing (Other than cutting holes) stopping me fitting a raising roof 🙂

    Vito compact is on the short size. However it will fit the 6ft bed inside, all the cupboards, allow us to eat at a table and do 40mpg quite easily. It will also fit in a lot of carparks height wise, fit on my driveway and allow my wife to possibly drive it.

    Thanks for the suggestions guys

    mark90
    Free Member

    12) Coolbox 12v/240v – I don’t plan on fitting a fridge but a coolbox which I can plug into mains hookup if on site or plug into 12v system will be handy

    The cheap coolboxes will flatten your leisure battery in no time. I’d look at getting a compressor fridge or coolbox, something like the Waeco coolfreeze range.

    TheLittlestHobo
    Free Member

    I was worried about that mark. Will have a think on it

Viewing 28 posts - 1 through 28 (of 28 total)

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