• This topic has 42 replies, 18 voices, and was last updated 6 years ago by euanc.
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  • Trafic/Vivaro SWB as a camper- will I regret it?
  • codybrennan
    Free Member

    Another van conversion thread….

    Got my eye on a 2010 Trafic, SWB, which I’m going to get into converting. The plan is to get a pop-top roof fitted with roof bed, fully insulate and ply-line, good flooring, leisure 12v, split charge, and (this is the controversial bit)- a side conversion of:

    fridge, dual burner hob, sink, cupboards (as much space as possible, including small roofline cupboards if I can.

    And I’ll be getting in a good-quality RnR bed, with full belts, 3/4 sized too.

    All sounds good….but now I have doubts. I’ll be getting the roof and windows done professionally, and the local company I’ve spoken to mentioned off-hand that converted Trafic/Vivaros were a bit cramped. Apparently, although its more square at the rear than a T5, the front wheel-well/arch intrudes a bit on where they’d normally plonk a fridge, which means that the fridge needs to sit further back, pushing all the other furniture back too….

    Anyone experienced this?

    alexpalacefan
    Full Member

    Look into the seized injector issue. It would be a shame to do the work and have the engine go pop.

    APF

    scotroutes
    Full Member

    I’d say go for a LWB. It’s barely longer to drive and manoeuvre but gives just a bit more flexibility inside.

    codybrennan
    Free Member

    APF- its a 2010 model, so this is the revised injector and engine cover model.

    SR- yeah, was going to email you about this….hmm, does seem like a consensus forming.

    alexpalacefan
    Full Member

    Fair enough, seems you’re on the ball.

    A van is a great idea, enjoy.

    APF

    scotroutes
    Full Member

    FWIW, I was set on a SWB and avoided a LWB until I actually drove one of each and then figured it wasn’t so different to drive. It does just push you over the car length limit on CalMac though so a couple of the smaller ferries want to charge you commercial rate. The bigger ones are fine.

    codybrennan
    Free Member

    Thanks APF 🙂 was good of you to point it out.

    SR- I may have some issues with parking in the LWB, as (oddly enough) I’ve just been handed a parking space at the work car park, which is multi-storey. But the LWB makes the most sense as I’ll potentially have all 4 of us living in it on occasion.

    chakaping
    Free Member

    Have you priced up the pop top?

    Just asking ‘cos I was vaguely interested until I discovered it would cost almost as much as the van.

    codybrennan
    Free Member

    About £2100 to £2500 chakaping, for an Austops one, depending.

    blastit
    Free Member

    Can’t seem to see the front arch in this pic

    sierrakilo
    Free Member

    Pleased to report my Trafic SWB conversion has been one of my better decisions in life ! Bought a new 2012 Trafic sport and did the conversion myself….windows, insulation , carpet lining and vinyl floor…Smart Beds RnR 3/4 bed fitted . LED lights from IKEA and leisure battery from a UPS . 80 watt Solar panel. Smev double burner and sink combo unit and the Grill as well ( for Toast mainly ! )
    Fridge is a top loader from vitofrigo…brilliant as it doesn’t lose its cold air every time you open the door.
    Lots of info and advice from the SBMCC ( Self Build Motor Caravaneers Club ) membership of which gives very good discounts on Insurance and equipment .
    Furniture self made in 12mm and 6 MM ply ….easily built and adapted /changed …..that Voringer ply is very expensive if you change your mind about the layout or design half way through or want to change something after using it for a while .

    Front Swivel seats from Ford Galaxy.

    chojin
    Free Member

    [Quote]sierrakilo – Member
    Pleased to report my Trafic SWB conversion has been one of my better decisions in life ! Bought a new 2012 Trafic sport and did the conversion myself….windows, insulation , carpet lining and vinyl floor…Smart Beds RnR 3/4 bed fitted . LED lights from IKEA and leisure battery from a UPS . 80 watt Solar panel. Smev double burner and sink combo unit and the Grill as well ( for Toast mainly ! )
    Fridge is a top loader from vitofrigo…brilliant as it doesn’t lose its cold air every time you open the door.
    Lots of info and advice from the SBMCC ( Self Build Motor Caravaneers Club ) membership of which gives very good discounts on Insurance and equipment .
    Furniture self made in 12mm and 6 MM ply ….easily built and adapted /changed …..that Voringer ply is very expensive if you change your mind about the layout or design half way through or want to change something after using it for a while .
    Front Swivel seats from Ford Galaxy.[/quote]

    This post is useless without pics 🙂

    spooky_b329
    Full Member

    Can’t see the front wheel arch causing any issues, I suspect they mean something else that prevents the fridge going in the ideal place. Normally the deciding factor is how far you want to be able to recline the drivers seat.

    Its more likely they mean the rear wheel arch pushes the fridge forward and makes the kitchen furniture smaller?

    codybrennan
    Free Member

    Thanks for all your ideas guys. The tin lid on it today was my work’s car-park scheme- they’d drawn the line at an LWB and wouldn’t budge.

    So: bought an SWB, as I need to stay in gainful employment. It’ll work out fine.

    mark88
    Full Member

    Have you made any progress with the conversion yet?

    Sierrakilo – do you have any photos of your conversion?

    codybrennan
    Free Member

    Should be ready in about a fortnight Mark88, will update with photos then.

    hora
    Free Member

    Tick

    flatfish
    Free Member

    Waiting with baited breath.

    snax
    Free Member

    sierrakilo, Any chance of any photos please?

    surroundedbyhills
    Free Member

    This is my mate’s thread on his Vivaro conversion:

    http://www.vauxhallownersnetwork.co.uk/index.php?threads/vivaro-mountain-bike-day-van-conversion.393402/

    hora
    Free Member

    Wheres best to look for one? All seem to be leggy etc on autotrader

    mactheknife
    Full Member

    This is my Vivaro conversion thread >>HERE<<

    I have a table to fit and a captains chair fitting for the passenger double seat when i get home.

    Trust me, it never ends this conversion malarkey 🙂

    codybrennan
    Free Member

    Looks good, mtn!

    hora- I got mine for £5k- its an ex-AA 2.0Dci, 129k miles, FSH, all seems in good order mechanically. That mileage didn’t seem excessive to me. There are a few ex-AA etc sellers on Autotrader.

    stevomcd
    Full Member

    The clutch slave cylinders tend to fail at about 80,000ish miles. This is an expensive fix as it’s buried in the gearbox. Other than that, great vans.

    Significantly (like, really noticeable in use) wider than a VW, so even if the wheel arch does cause issues, you should still have more space overall.

    codybrennan
    Free Member

    codybrennan
    Free Member

    So, Bumble lives!

    Photobucket: http://s1289.photobucket.com/user/itscodybrennan/library/Bumble%202?sort=3&page=1

    In order:

    Picking him up from outside Nottingham: a 4.5 year old ex-AA Trafic, 2.0 Dci, 2900-

    Home and on the driveway, about to undergo bulkhead removal, etc:

    Back on the driveway after several weeks of work:

    Rear view, showing the 4-bike Fiamma:

    Went for a tailgate model for flexibility- this shows the internal cupboards and rear of the crash-tested bed:

    Cupboards again:

    An inside view- all fully insulated, lined, boarded, carpeted, Altro flooring, custom units, opening windows, LED lighting, 12v fridge/freezer:

    Some cupboard love: 10litre water tank, gas, 130Ah leisure battery, split-charger, PMU, and above you can see the monoxide detector, Eberspacher controller, dual 240v AC outputs:

    Sink, cold running water, dual-burner gas with piezo ignition, sliding window with thermal curtains:

    Monoxide, Eber, 240 again:

    Eber outlet, main fuse:

    Leisure battery shot, and some cabling up to PMU, etc:

    PMU:

    Austops roof, down:

    And up….

    Upper Bed, looking to rear of vehicle:

    Side vents closed:

    …and open:

    Front window, zipped closed

    And open:

    Looking from the outside into the roof, with the bed up:

    Crash-tested bed, upright:

    Kiravans rotating seat-base, front locks:

    …rear locks:

    Front seat partly rotated:

    …fully rotated:

    …and from inside:

    A table, clipped into position:

    Rear bed, up:

    Down:

    Down, down:

    Finally, a view from the outside, roof up, BMW alloys with load-rated tyres, wobble bolts:

    Still to be done: rear curtain installed, additional gas vent to get the gas certificate, some additional LED lights. I got the 68mph restrictor taken off by a local company, makes overtaking more pleasant.

    I love it 🙂 its good to drive, reasonable on full with the 6-speed box (maybe 37mpg average, despite the weight now being 2100kgs, practical, easy to park, has more space than I thought it would (accommodates us 4 easily), and looks better than I thought it would, despite its extreme yellowness.

    I’m going to run an always-on 3g/wifi hotspot inside, just using an Android phone, which will double as satnav etc. Currently going through the change of use with DVSA.

    sierrakilo
    Free Member

    Wow !
    Looks lovely, great job !

    Sorry I missed calls to post up pictures of my DIY Trafic conversion…..this thread had literally dropped off my Radar…..will try and find some and oblige.

    dmorts
    Full Member

    Looks great!

    So, dare I ask what a typical budget is for doing a conversion like this (including purchase of the base van)?

    I suppose you can get to a point where the van is a functioning campervan, but the conversion is still to be completed? That might help spread the cost…

    codybrennan
    Free Member

    I’d budget £5k or so for the van, to get a decent one. That seemed to be the spot where mileage crossed with value in my budget. Be selective- the ex-AA ones seem sound mechanically, but vary greatly cosmetically I found.

    Get one that’s had the injector water ingress issue sorted- this one had, from the factory.

    Beyond that, for conversion: it depends how far you want to go. I was looking for something I’ll get years out of, and will suit continental touring, so went all out on good kit straight away- (Eberspacher, non-chipboard units, decent roof) but you may not need all this. Bear in mind that the DVSA won’t regrade it as a camper unless you can satisfy them that it meets all their criteria.

    I think, if you were prepared to do a decent internal non-pop top roof version, with a non-crash tested bed, no rotatable seat, no heater, windows, units, gas, electrics, lined, boarded, insulated you could fire something together for maybe 3k. Add in a bed like this: 5k. Roof: Austops fit the ones in mine for £2200. Eberspacher- £1000. Captains seat rotator: £250.

    codybrennan
    Free Member

    BTW- I’ve been saving for years, this has been a long-term thing for me.

    dmorts
    Full Member

    The bed was £5k? or £5k total for bed, roof, eberspacher etc?

    codybrennan
    Free Member

    The bed, roof, and Eber all together came to about 4.5k. A non-crash tested bed was cheaper, but I have to carry my kids.

    Go here:

    http://jaccamperbeds.weebly.com

    Its their own design, very well made, and gets crash-tested at Strathclyde Uni. Comes with a certificate for insurance purposes.

    dmorts
    Full Member

    Great thanks!

    sierrakilo
    Free Member

    About 3K is right as thats what I spent. Non crash bed, Side and Back windows, Fridge ,Sink/ Hob, Grill, Solar Panel and Elecs, Carpeting and insulation ,Ply material for furniture, lots of small items ….hinges catches etc, Swivel seats ( breakers £35 each ! )

    sierrakilo
    Free Member



    Don’t want to Hijack the thread, these are from 18months ago…..lots of finishing touches since then, however , as its always evolving, it is never “Finished”….. recently moved the gas storage so that its accessible whilst bed is down. We always turn the bottle off overnight , but need it on for that first brew of Coffee in the morning if we are not on a hook-up ( approx 75% of the time)

    dmorts
    Full Member

    How does a crash tested bed compared to a non-crashed tested bed comfort-wise? I.e. sleeping on it. From the pictures, the non-crash tested one looks more comfortable

    codybrennan
    Free Member

    The company linked to does a variety of upholstery, mine feels like sleeping on a firm memory foam mattress 🙂

    dmorts
    Full Member

    Jac Camper Beds are down the road so would be able to go and try them out.

    Went out to get a sandwich for lunch yesterday and every van I saw was a Trafic/Vivaro/Primastar!

    What options are there for the base van? Is a VW T5 really worth the premium?

    Andy
    Free Member

    Fantastic conversion Codybrennan. Who did you go to for the roof and interior please (apologies if already said and I have missed it). Thanks

    codybrennan
    Free Member

    dmorts- I was impressed with JACs- well engineered and upholstered, lots of choice in finish too.

    T5 SWB is a bit longer, but the T/V/P’s are nicely square. Depends on your needs I guess but an SWB Trafic seems to be about right for me- myself, wife, 2 daughters (12 and 8), all our gear, awning, 4 bikes.

    IMHO- no, the T5 isn’t really worth it right now. It perhaps looks a bit nicer (maybe?), but I found that in the past 18 months good ones have seriously risen in value. A mate has suggested that a lot of retirees and just-made-redundants are getting into having camper vans, and hence the prices are climbing- who knows? But the Trafic is nice to drive, has good economy (mine is 2100kgs, but does 37mpg average, including a bit of town use in there), and is just as reliable as the equivalent VW. I don’t think you’d regret one.

    Andy- this was done by Adventure Campers in Holytown, Lanarkshire. Fantastic guys, as pernickety as they come. Roof is Austops, AC fitted it as they’re Austops accredited. You can go to Austops directly, think they do the full roof install for about £2200.

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 43 total)

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