We thought long and hard in choosing our base van, the first seeds were sown when touring in the USA with our Mercedes Benz 206D a 36 year old veteran that had clocked up 260,000 miles. Of course as you might expect in the USA the majority of campers were huge, these have never been our “bag”, we prefer to camp wild and tuck ourselves away out of sight.
This calls for a small van,to our surprise we began to notice many youngsters camping out of the back of small to medium sized vans and pick-ups. With the rising cost of fuel and shipping our van to distant parts, small began to be a top priority . Once sown this particular seed flourished when our Mercedes came to an untimely end in central Mexico.
On our return to the UK we had a pretty good idea what we required from our next camper.
First! As this would be our only means of transport it had to double up as car,trip to the tip van, and of course a versatile camper that at times we would need to sleep in the back of.!
So how to achieve this? No fixtures and fittings other than “Cubby holes” let into side panelling, all our possessions would be in boxes stacked inside the van and on a roof rack, these would be removed when on a “Trip trip the tip”.
We set our budget at £1,5000 and started haunting the eBay sites, anything even half decent was selling for twice our bank roll, but eventually we struck oil.
£990.00 bought us a 1999 1.9D Combi van with just 49,000 miles on the clock that had spent much of its life as a maintenance van on Preston airport.
To date we have spent £500.00 on a new cam belt, front disks and pads, Shocks all round
oil change and filters all round.
So here we have the van,now lets get down to work!