Not another, yet another van conversion thread.

Viewing 40 posts - 41 through 80 (of 84 total)
  • Not another, yet another van conversion thread.
  • Both my conversions have cost £5-6k in parts alone, thats a fairly good quality conversion with double glazed windows, heating, insulation, pumped water, well equipped kitchen. They also took hundreds of hours, a pro converter would be much quicker but I suspect the labour rate would be well in excess of the parts, especially if you want a non-standard and fiddly layout eeking out all the space.

    The popular vans such as T5s must be quite easy as you can buy pre-built units or flat packs that perfectly fit the van, which takes away countless days of scribing cardboard templates trying to make everything from a small shelf to a whole wall that will fit the wheelarch, curved floor, sloping roof and the next bit of furniture and that water fill point you put in without realising it would get in the way, without any huge gaps, or tight spots that squeak when you drive!

    Premier Icon ampthill
    Subscriber

    not for 5k.

    Cheers trail-rat

    Was that van “nice”. Is painted ply and a fixed bed actually not much of a saving?

    trail_rat
    Member

    Painted ply save you about 1k over vohsprunger.the wood work is the cheap part

    You can go cheaper on the components but they generally don’t last or work very well.

    Fridge , sink/hob /pump / proper isolation box , leisure battery and charger , lighting , switches roof lights and functional windows ,, heater all add up

    I’ve used normal ply and a fixed bed in my conversions…as trailrat says, its the parts that add up.

    Its not hard to sink close to a grand into windows, rooflights and sealant. If you want an oven, compressor fridge, custom space saving tanks and refillable LPG, another grand please. A 2nd hand single passenger seat and a couple of swivels, £500.

    And then there are all the little bits, plumbing connectors, crimps, heavy duty battery cables, fuse boxes, interior lighting. The costs keep on coming!

    At the same time you can do it for less by using cheaper single glazed or caravan windows, 2 way fridges etc but generally (not always) it will show on the outside, and may compromise the layout/storage due to things like the huge vents needed for caravan fridges, or needing jerrycans stored under the sink unit etc.

    andykirk
    Member

    trail rat – Your post at the end of page 1 contains the most complex sentence I have ever seen on STW.

    the00
    Member

    You can save a fair bit by not having a cooker, fridge and sink. Use the money saved to eat out and interact with the locals.

    PrinceJohn
    Member

    Is it finished yet?

    Premier Icon timidwheeler
    Subscriber

    Not finished but we have insulated the floor and now have a window

    null

    And a sky window.

    null

    We cheated and paid a professional to fit them.

    Spin
    Member

    I’ll raise a glass to Roary. After 8 years of faithful service and many adventures our Transit is also on the way out. I’m hoping to get this summer out of it but it’ll be touch and go.

    Premier Icon timidwheeler
    Subscriber

    Best of luck Spin.

    We are trying to decide what to call this van. Between René or Roary 2. Or something else, maybe Robbie. He isn’t as roaring as Roary.

    ElShalimo
    Member

    Call it  Renard (Fox) the Renault

    ElShalimo
    Member

    I must be they only one who thinks that Renard is a great name…..

    andrewh
    Member

    I’m about a week behind you OP, stripping out the ply lining to see what’s what, so following this with interest, and looking for ideas to nick. Plenty of detail please (especially a ‘how to’ guide with the electrics)

    Its not hard to sink close to a grand into windows, rooflights and sealant.

    I’ve budgeted about a hundred and twenty quid…
    Got a skylight here https://magnummotorhomes.co.uk/shop/rooflights-ventilation/mpk-vision-star-pro-rooflight/ Also two tubes of silkoflex and some steel jigsaw blades. That’s the budget gone. Side window? On my previous van I bought a sliding side door from an old minibus for, IIRC about £100 and then sold my old windlowless one for about £150, just swapped the doors over, much easier than cutting holes and factory-fit seals. Currently keeping an eye on the ebay and the like for a suitable replacement door.

    andrewh
    Member

    Actually OP, now I’m on a proper computer and can actually see your pictures, where are you based and if you are local to Edinburgh would you like to sell me Roary’s side door? Can px for a windowless one if you want to keeo him watertight.

    Premier Icon timidwheeler
    Subscriber

    We’re in Buckinghamshire so not really local to Edinburgh. Sorry mate, best of luck though.

    Marin
    Member

    That roof light looks lots better than the one I’ve had fitted which is in effect a sunroof which has a leak again. I’ll see how my mot goes and may get one like that instead. The medium yellow van is 16 years old now so fingers crossed.

    ElShalimo
    Member

    Back to names:

    Raimond

    Renoir

    Reve

    Remi

    René

    Rochelle

    Roland

    Rose

    Roxanne

    Roux

    Premier Icon nickc
    Subscriber

    We are trying to decide what to call this van.

    Probably something in this you can use

    Premier Icon roger_mellie
    Subscriber

    On my previous van I bought a sliding side door from an old minibus

    That is a great bit of lateral thinking 👍

    Premier Icon timidwheeler
    Subscriber

    Probably something in this you can use.. .

    Urm thanks…

    But seriously, and thank all of you for your input, but I think we’re going to go with Roger T Renault.

    Andrew, Mr TW does the electrics and will post all the info as we get it done.

    ElShalimo
    Member

    I do hope you will use the French pronunciation a la Roger’s Profanisaurus

    trail_rat
    Member

    I’ve budgeted about a hundred and twenty quid…
    Got a skylight here https://magnummotorhomes.co.uk/shop/rooflights-ventilation/mpk-vision-star-pro-rooflight/ Also two tubes of silkoflex and some steel jigsaw blades. That’s the budget gone. Side window? On my previous van I bought a sliding side door from an old minibus for, IIRC about £100 and then sold my old windlowless one for about £150, just swapped the doors over, much easier than cutting holes and factory-fit seals. Currently keeping an eye on the ebay and the like for a suitable replacement door.

    That’s all very well if you just want a window. Spooky was referring to double glazed fully opening camper window with built in thermal builds and mesh fly screens.

    Not all windows are equal

    You enjoy that heki timid wheeler. I had an mpk fitted in mine originally it went brittle and opaque in the sun and broke in short order. Made the hole slightly bigger and went with a fiamma crystal 40 the second time. Still couldn’t stomach the cost of a second heki. Got a heki over the bed , can’t beat having it fully open on a starry night looking straight out from the bed

    Premier Icon timidwheeler
    Subscriber

    It’s been slow progress (mostly due to spending too much time riding bikes and going to the pub). However we have managed to get the wiring in and have pressed on with insulating the walls and ceiling.

    How you getting on Andrew?

    Premier Icon timidwheeler
    Subscriber

    We got a few bits done today. We have been painstakingly adding insulation. The old van was really well insulated and it made such a difference.
    Different types of insulation work better in different places.

    So far this build has the following:
    Celotex 50mm
    Kingspan 25mm and 50mm
    Closed cell foam mat
    Open cell foam mat
    Recycled polyester
    Damper mat
    And silver foil bubble wrap.

    None of which is photogenic. So here is a picture of the hook up. It was a fiddly cut and I ended up drilling 20 odd guide holes. It fits perfectly and I have no doubt will be completely watertight.

    Premier Icon timidwheeler
    Subscriber

    Mr TW has planned out all the electrics as below. We just need to cut holes for the sockets and remove the batteries from the old van.

    null

    couchy
    Member

    The 1.5 cable to the double socket what type of 1.5 cable is it ?, what breaker is backing it up in the DB ?

    Assuming it’s a 16A or 20A mcb and the cable is in the fabric of the vehicle for the installation reference method you’re gonna struggle to get the circuit to comply for overload protection, stick 2.5mm in. 😁

    giant_scum
    Member

    I’m a bit more concerned by the 2.5mm from the input socket to the D.B!

    timba
    Member

    As couchy and giant_scum suggest…
    Unless you’re using mineral insulated cables you almost certainly need to upsize the radials on the mains side, mainly because of the high-spec insulation
    Upsize that input cable as well. Lots 🙂
    You haven’t specified the earth on the drawing so have a look at that too, and clip the cables down more frequently than you would in a bricks and mortar house

    You could consider midi or maxi fuses for the high current items such as inverter and main battery feed. It looks like your inverter will backfeed and make the input socket on the van live, use a dedicated socket just for the inverter, or you can get a changeover relay that goes into the distribution board so everything thats 230v is switched between hookup and inverter in the board.

    How much mains stuff do you expect to run? I’ve had a single inverter in both my vans and they’ve hardly been used, laptop charging before I bought a laptop car charger off ebay, electric toothbrush (killed a couple before realising it was my modified sine wave inverter that broke them) and some old fashioned bike lights.

    Everything is USB now so you may find there is very little mains stuff, so you could go mains charger straight to the batteries, and the 12v everything.

    Premier Icon tillydog
    Subscriber

    Unless you’re using mineral insulated cables you almost certainly need to upsize the radials on the mains side

    Mineral insulated cables? In a camper van?

    The supply to the whole thing will be from a 16A mcb via 25m of (if you’re lucky) 2.5mm^2 three core arctic flex.

    Internal wiring is also very likely to be done in the same stuff. I would have thought that a 1.5mm^2 spur was ok on a 10A breaker, but not a nellyctrishun.

    Earth wire from the CU to the chassis needs to be 4mm^2 AFAIK.

    Am also concerned about the proposed inverter wiring. Leave it on a dedicated socket. Only certain types of inverter (expensive ones) can be correctly earthed for switching over to an rcd protected distribution system.

    Nice work though, and keep the updates coming! 🙂

    Premier Icon timidwheeler
    Subscriber

    Thanks for all the input.

    Mr TW says…

    couchy, the consumer unit is a standard caravan one with double pole breakers at 6A and 10A. 1.5mm is good up to 14A Method A according to the onsite guide and this conduit isn’t burried in the insulation.

    giant_scum, it’s a campervan, not a steelworks. The supply will be at most 16A over 2.5mm flex. 2.5mm is in line with the regs – see Table 721 page 310.

    spooky, there are maxi fuses in the battery supply that aren’t shown on the diagram, as well as the circuit breaker that is. That thing you think is an inverter is a battery charger.

    There are some concerns arount reversed live-neutral in the supply and the sockets only having single-pole switches and fuses. The consumer unit will complain about this and we intend to use a reversing adapter in the supply cable to fix. The other unresolved issues are around the solar controller being common-positive, which might lead to a small rejig of the -ve 12v side, and the best way to charge from a smart alternator.

    giant_scum
    Member

    Fair point from Mr TW, I’m not up to speed with the current regs.
    I was going to say that about the supply cable after my comment.
    Nice project keep the updates coming, would you consider a name change to Jean Renault?

    timba
    Member

    2.5mm is in line with the regs – see Table 721 page 310

    You’ve clearly thought about it, and so I don’t suppose that you’d be caught out with 25m of coiled hook up cable to span a short distance to the supply. I’d be belt and braces with a short internal supply cable and upsize, it’s a lot easier to replace just the hook up cable and the braces come at minimal cost 🙂

    couchy
    Member

    If you’re happy with 1.5 according to the on-site guide then fill yer boots,there’s more factors to it than just the reference method though. As a designer I don’t use the on site guide I prefer to use the regs as they hold more info and you do need that info. I wouldn’t use 1.5 😀

    Premier Icon timidwheeler
    Subscriber

    We spent a bit of time working out our layout. The van needs to be able to carry any two of the following in any combination: 2x mountain bikes, 2x road bikes, 2x large kayaks. Lots of time was spent experimenting to make sure we got the best use of space.

    Whilst this was time well spent we did faff around a bit. We are off to the Alps next week and staying in the van for a fortnight. We really need to get a move on.

    So we got the electrics and solar panel fitted.

    And got the basic frame in for the bed. We basically built around a kayak and the fridge so we know it will fit. The batteries and wiring are all in but just need tidying up

    Premier Icon spacey
    Subscriber

    Wonderful stuff, please keep the updates coming!

    Premier Icon timidwheeler
    Subscriber

    Just before leaving for our fortnight trip to the alps we got the rear bulkhead/headboard in and finished the bed. The mattress is a proper king size “Casper” mattress. I have a bad back so having a proper comfortable bed is one of the main reasons for doing a self conversions. There aren’t many options that have a real king size bed and room inside for bikes and kayaks.

    Premier Icon timidwheeler
    Subscriber

    We then packed tons of stuff in to the van which we had nowhere to store. At the last minute I realised that I was going to need some form of step to get on and off the bed. Almost as we were leaving the house I cable-tied our old set of decorating steps to the front of the fridge and off we went. I appreciate that the décor is a little bit unfinished 🙂 but we just didn’t have time to do any more.

    We did manage to get the bikes all screwed down. This is a temporary solution. Ultimately the bike mounts will be easily removable so that we can pack the kayaks.

    ElShalimo
    Member

    It’s looking really good!

    Premier Icon timidwheeler
    Subscriber

    Cheers, but lets be honest it is still very unfinished.

    One thing that we did do before leaving was to make a fly screen for the sliding door and one for the passenger window. There was no way I was going to the alps without a fly screen. I used ultra thin midge net and magnetic strip. It worked fairly well although I am going to add a few extra magnets in to strengthen the connection. It only took a gust of wind to pull the magnetic strip away.

    And a view of the door net rolled up and secured with a magnet. You can see all the insulation and the remote control for the light switch.

Viewing 40 posts - 41 through 80 (of 84 total)

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