Choosing a base vehicle for a camper van conversion

Choosing the right type of vehicle for your campervan conversion is critical.  You need a vehicle that matches your camping requirements, budget and vehicle maintenance skill level.

Choosing the right vehicle from the start means you can crack on with your conversion, and not look back.  Choosing the wrong vehicle means delays in starting your conversion, and it’ll probably cost you money too.

Lets look at the types of vehicle available, and which is best suited to you.

Panel Van

Panel vans are popular, spacious and ideal for medium to large camper van conversion.

The surge in recent years of courier services means there are loads of used panel vans to choose from.  Those used by courier services generally have high-mileage, but might have service history.  Vans used by buildings firms are normally thrashed.

Parts are readily available and fairly cheap, because there are so many of these vehicles around.  Used vans are easy to find, and you should have plenty to choose from.

Most come in high top versions that allow you to stand up inside. They also come in short, medium and long wheelbase versions, so you can choose one to fit your needs. If you are building a camper van for a long trip then a panel van is probably the best choice.

Short or medium length panel vans are a good choice for 1,2 or 3 people using the van for short or long trips.  For longer trips you’ll want a high-top so that you can stand up.  Shorter vans can be used everyday as a commuter, as they are reasonable on fuel costs (35mpg).  Popular models include the Mercedes SprinterFord Transit and Iveco Daily.

The popular VW Transporter is rarely found in a high-top or long wheel base, and are generally better for short trips, and especially good as everyday vans, as they are easy and cheaper to drive.  The Mercedes Vito is also a great smaller, everyday van.

Most people can drive panel vans on a car license.  They are generally easy to work on.

See the full list of panel vans.

Mini bus

Mini buses are a good alternative to panel vans. Many are panel vans with windows already fitted, which is good if you want lots of light. Some models are available that are bigger than panel vans, like the Dormobiles used as library vans.

If you want a conversion that will have lots of windows then you can save yourself a lot of hassle by buying a mini-bus.  You can always black-out any windows you don’t want.

Almost all mini-buses will come with seats already fitted.  This is actually a good thing, as they are easy to remove, and you can sell them on eBay.  You can use some of the seats to make a dinning or seating area.

Most mini-buses have an easier life than panel vans.  The miles are normally motorway miles, rather than harder citiy miles that a builders van would probably rack-up.

Popular models are Mercedes Sprinter and Ford Transit.

Most people can drive a mini-bus on a car license.  They are generally easy to work on, and almost always share the same components as panel vans.

Car derived van

Car derived vans are compact, easy and cheap to drive. They are essentially a car with a larger van-type back area.

They are more suited for a weekend camper van, as they are limited for space.  The rear area is a little smaller than a VW Transporter or Mercedes Vito.

These vans are great if you want a campervan for the weekend for 1 or 2 people, and for summer trips when you can spend time outdoors.  When converting one of these vans you need to plan your use of space carefully.  For long trips you might want to consider a panel van, than you can stand up in.

Popular models include Fiat Scudo, Citroen Jumpy, Peugeot Expert and Nissan Vanette.

You can drive these small vans on a car license, and they are easy to work on as they use the same components as cars.

Luton or box van

If you want more space then consider converting a large luton or box van.  Most are simply a box mounted on a pickup chassis. The base vehicles are common makes and models such as Mercedes Sprinter and Ford Transits, so parts are common as they are shared by the pickup alternative.

The boxes are normally made of fiberglass, which are light, but also noisy. They are designed to be very light, and to provide limited insulation for the contents.  Insulating them is a good idea, to add extra strength, reduce noise and to keep you warmer inside, when in cooler conditions.  Some of the boxes have an opaque ceiling which lets in lots of light, but are very noisy when it rains.  You can insulate the ceiling, leaving holes to let the light through.  Adding windows to the side can be tricky as the walls are too thin to work with.  However, more modern box vans have thicker plastic walls which are much better for working with.

Box vans are typically wider than panel vans, and allow more space inside.  They are good for 1 or 2 people on long trips.

Luton vans have the very handy part that hangs out over the cab, which is ideal for adding a permanent bed.

In the UK ex British Telecom vans are a good buy, as they have service history, and there are normally many around.

Popular models include Ford Transit, Mercedes Sprinter and Fiat Ducato.

Depending on your country, and when your driving license was issued, you might be able to drive these vans on a car driving license.  Check though.  Parts are normally from pickups, and these vans are generally easy to work on.  Bigger models might need specialist tools.

Ambulance

Fiat Ducato AmbulanceDuring the 1980’s Ambulance conversions were popular due to the high price of panel vans.  Today panel vans are much cheaper, and Ambulances are more expensive.  But an Ambulance makes an excellent vehicle for a campervan conversion, for those with better engineering skills and enthusiasm.

Today’s Ambulance are purpose built or adapted.  They normally have higher powered engines and upgraded suspension, normally air powered.  The rear section is integrated with the cab, is normally fully insulation with a hard lined interior, which makes a great finish.

Decommissioned ambulances normally come with the expensive medical equipment removed, but you will almost certainly have a mass of wires and fittings hanging around.  To a DIY or engineering fan this should be easy to remove and adapt.  Removing the excess wires is recommended as the combined weight of the extra wires, boxes and junctions will be considerable.  Also be aware than many ambulances have 12v and 24v systems.  Check them all, don’t assume.

Typically the ambulance will come with the blue lights still on the roof.  Legally you might have to remove them, of simply paint over them and remove the wiring.

Modern ambulances come with lots of tinted windows, which is perfect for a camper van.  The rear doors open wide and easily.  Typically there is no side door though.

Ambulances can make great campervan conversions, but know what you’re letting yourself in fore before you buy such a vehicle.  Many of the parts will be more expensive as they are custom fitting for the ambulance.

Typically you can drive an ex-ambulance on a car driving license.  Parts are often the same as the panel van chassis, but often more expensive, high-quality parts will be fitted.

Bus

For maximum space and a permanent home then consider a bus. Whilst they offer incredible space, they will limit where you can drive and park. Used models are not normally expensive to buy, but parts and fuel can be expensive.

In comparison to vans, or even a mini-bus, a bus offers masses of room.  So much room makes a perfect vehicle for living in.  You can build proper bedrooms and total separate kitchen and living areas.

If you are using the vehicle for motocross you can add a custom made storage area for you vehicles.  I have seen some bus conversions where people have added a storage area in the back for a small car.

Whilst internal size is a great plus point for a bus, the external size is its downfall.  Driving a bus around is not easy.  Between towns you’ll have no problem, as you’ll follow the same routes as the public transport buses, but once you get into villages and smaller towns you could find yourself limited to where you can go.  Some campsites don’t have room to maneuver a bus, but with such a self contained vehicle your need for a campsite is much reduced.  And after all, there are other campsites.

If you enjoy visiting out-of-the-way places, and remote beaches and beauty spots, a bus has the greatest of problems.  Small bridges often have weight restrictions, and buses tend to be over those weight restrictions.  Buses also don’t handle rough terrain so well, as there long wheel base grounds out more easily.

Buses are cheap to buy used as there are so many of them, and few people looking to buy them.  They are generally very reliable, built with commercial vehicle components, and serviced their entire lives.  Think of cities like London, were 50 year-old buses still roam the roads.

If you want masses of room, and have the space to store such a big vehicle then a bus conversion might be for you.

In some countries, depending on when your driving license was issued, you can drive a bus on a car license, as long as it is not your job.  However, check before you buy.  Parts can be expensive, but last a very long time.  Parts can be tricky to fit, as they are bigger and heavier.

  1. Hi all,

    I’m scoured the web trying to find out the legalities of a car camper conversion.

    Think: BMW X5, VW Touareg or an old Mercedes E300 estate car… I would love to make something super stealthy out of an old one of these.

    Would the DVLA change the V5 to show “motor caravan” if all the guidelines for a conversion are followed? (hob, water etc…)

    Thanks

    G

    Reply

    1. Hi

      This sounds like a great idea. I’ve seen a few primitive conversions like this that worked well.
      I don’t think the DVLA will re-classify a car as a motorcaravan, as they are looking for larger van-type vehicles to fall into this category.
      However, it’s worth contacting them, perhaps your local office as they will ultimately inspect it if they want to, and see what they say.
      Let us know how you get along.

      Cheers

      Darren

      Reply

  2. Hi,

    This site is great, loads of good info here to consider but I cant find any opinions on Welfare vans as a base.

    I am in the early stages of setting up a business and have found myself on the road more than expected. I have an estate which when loaded with stock I cant sleep in, so i’m looking at something bigger to carry stock and sleep in when required.

    I’m down at the lower end of the market (approx 2.5k)and want to buy the best vehicle I can which will give me the least issues. I suspect the van needs to last me a few years and be capable of regular high mile use, it will be my daily driver.

    I am currently looking at reasonable age and milage empty vans, a little older higher mileage welfare vans or already converted campers or race vans which have all the gear but at the price look a bit worse for ware.

    What would you recommend is the least expensive path to go down? I thought the welfare vans would be a good middle ground but I don’t know how easy it is to modify the layout as i am 6’2 and need a proper size bed, none of this sideways business.

    Looking forward to your opinion

    Nathan

    Reply

    1. Hi Nate

      Welfare vans are a great base for conversions.
      The most important rule when considering wha base vehicle to buy is, how far from what you ultimate want is it?

      How much time do you have to do changes?
      How much budget do you have for changes inside the van?
      Will you be sleeping in the van all year round? If so you’ll need very good insulation and a heater.

      I would make a list of the key factors for you, then consider all existing campervans and welfare vans to see which fit you best.

      Reply

  3. Hey, i was thinking about converting a Suzuki carry (or similar sized van) or something like a Volvo estate/ford mondeo estate for traveling around the UK and Europe after i finish school/collage.

    what are your thoughts on converting such a small vehicle ? i think it’ll be ok as long as i have enough room for a bed (which is the only issue for me really since im about 5″11′ and probably gonna grow for a bit longer…).

    my second biggest concern is sustainability – i dont want to rely on other people more than need be (so generating my own power and being able to ‘stealth camp’ would be important to some degree aswell. im not sure if this affects my question but i thought id add it in yesterday.

    my second option would be to convert something like a VW transporter or a ford transit etc. but i just love smaller vans and the idea of converting one into a camper (for long term travelling) so would converting a smaller van or an estate car be a decent idea or am I better off with a slightly bigger van ?

    Reply

    1. Hi Reece

      I would go for a slightly bigger van. Once you are travelling you will really appreciate the extra space.
      Having a compact vehicle offers little benefit once you are on your trip.
      Unless you get a diesel small van or car, you wont save much in fuel costs.
      A white Ford Transit is just about the stealthiest van you can get. A Suzuki Carry or car full of stuff is not quite so stealthy.

      But, I like your idea and challenge of using the smaller vehicle.
      I would go for a bigger van, but go with your heart and have the trip you want.

      Cheers

      Darren

      Reply

      1. Hey Darren, thanks for the advise – I think I’ll go for a bigger van like a transit after all, if the suzuki is too small though.

        Thanks,

        Reece

        Reply

  4. Peugeot expert tepee conversion?
    Hi there, I’m planning convert a small van into a camper – I like the Peugeot experts as they have 3 seats in the front. I’ve found several wheel chair access tepees – wandering if they’re suitable? Is it easy to remove the ramp etc? Is it better to get a van with less windows? Thanks

    Reply

    1. Hi
      Hi

      It should be fairly easy to remove most of the ramp. You might end up leaving odd hidden bracket or hinge.
      Getting a van with windows can things a lot easier to get your conversion started.
      However, make sure the windows open, or else you will be stuck inside a greenhouse.
      Also, think about curtains, etc to block the light when sleeping.
      Otherwise, windows are good, especially on a smaller conversion.

      Reply

  5. Dominic Travers January 15, 2017 at 6:50 pm

    Sprinter or transit
    Hi,
    I have decided to undertake my first van conversion. Firstly for fun and secondly for traveling purposes. I have narrowed down vehicles to either a Ford transit or Mercedes sprinter (Both with high tops). Please could you highlight to me which is considered to be better within the camper community? Obviously a ford will be cheaper, is it true that Transits are not as reliable as the Sprinter or is this fiction these days? Do you know if one is more economical?

    Let me know if you have any other tips for a beginner!

    Thanks, look forward to your response! Really enjoyed reading above.

    Cheers

    Reply

    1. There is not a lot to choose
      There is not a lot to choose between these vehicles.
      The Sprinter is probably more reliable, especially when you get to higher mileage.
      The Transit has better bodywork, as the Sprinters are prone to rust.
      Both drive very well.
      Most Transits are front wheel drive, which means the read section is lower to the ground, which is good for a conversion.

      As there is so little to choose between them, I would drive and inspect both, and choose the one you like the best.
      You will save money on the Transit if buying the same year, so buy a newer one perhaps.

      Reply

  6. Looking to convert a Ford Transit or a Mercedes Sprinter
    I have no hardware experience at all; I’m a gambler and I spend a lot of time on the road + living out of hotels. Really going to embrace this lifestyle — and thought that a conversion van was my best hope.

    Pouring over which van would be a better option, a transit or a sprinter? Which one? Why? Is one easier to convert than the other?

    I’m looking for something to sleep in, and maybe lay down/watch a movie in from time to time. Store some clothes etc — I do not require a bathroom.

    How difficult is this to achieve? Is this something I could possibly to on my own?

    Thank you for any input / thoughts that anyone can provide!

    Mark

    Reply

    1. No van is easier to convert
      No van is easier to convert than an other.
      Transits are cheaper to buy. Sprinters are perhaps more reliable.
      Both have rust issues.
      If you have some good DIY skills you could do a conversion yourself.

      Reply

  7. Insulation
    Hey I’m looking at converting a small mpv or van but wanting to save money so going to do it myself, I know how important it is to insulate your vehicle but do you have to insulate a normal car such as a mpv fiat doblo? Is it just panel vans you have to insulate or all vehicles, any help would be awesome Thankyou!

    Reply

    1. I would recommend insulating
      I would recommend insulating all vehicles.
      If you van has a car like interior, it will have some sort of insulation.
      The amount/type of insulation you fit should depend on how you will use the vehicle.
      For occasional summer use you can use some lightweight foam material.
      For winter use you need to much more serious products.

      Reply

      1. Thanks a lot for the info,
        Thanks a lot for the info, would you even suggest insulating the roof? It would be used for an everyday car including in the winter but only used for short trips away during the year.
        Would you advise removing all the plastics in the rear on the sides, insulating and then covering with the carpet?
        Any help would be appreciated
        Thankyou

        Reply

        1. Definitely insulate the roof.
          Definitely insulate the roof. It’s one of the biggest transfers of heat.
          Yes, remove coverings, insulate, then recover and carpet. Plastic wool is good for insulating hard to reach areas.
          Insulation board is best for large areas. Rubber matt is also good cheap alternative.

          Reply

  8. Van conversion
    I have a 2006, 3500 Chevy express extended van. Can you give me some ideas, layoutsetc. on how to convert this into a nice camper? I really don’t know where to start other than insulate and panel, and carpet the sides and floor.HELP!! Best Regards DENNIS

    Reply

  9. re: Ambulance to Camper Conversion
    Hi, I’m going to buy either a Ford Transit or VW LT ex-ambulance in early 2015 to do my own conversion to. I previously had an old H-reg VW LT45 ambulance that I converted to a camper which I used to go snowboarding to the Alps in. I stayed for 4 months on top of the mountain next to the ski lifts where there were only a few chalets and other people in camper vans. I picked up an excellent little wood burner made from a recycled gas bottle. Bought a stack of logs once in the Alps and this lot kept me warm for months as well as making a great toasted ham and cheese baguette! I’m looking forward to having a larger more modern vehicle with all the mod-cons fitted this time – sat nav, air-con, tablet computer, dvd / tv etc. I might even try fitting a shower / bathroom if I can find the parts going cheap enough. I need to find somewhere that breaks caravans for not too much money.

    Reply

  10. Best Car Seats
    Really your blog is Fantastic. I so much like your blog. On future i also want to. create look like this one blog..it’s just Awesome. To find the best protection, keep your baby in a rear-facing car seat for as long as possible – usually until about 2 years old. You can find the exact height and weight limit on the side or back of your car seat. Kids who ride in rear-facing seats hold the maximum protection for the head, neck and spine. It is especially important for rear-facing children to ride in a back seat far from the airbag.

    Reply

  11. Land cruiser troopy conversion
    Hi all,

    I’m planning to drive to Australia with my family (2 adults, 2 toddlers) –I’d like to convert a robust 4×4, ideally one that I can get spares all over Europe/Asia/Australia – perhaps a Toyota Landcruiser Troopy. Does anyone know of any uk fitters that might be able to handle this?

    Thanks,
    Jen

    Reply

  12. first time conversion
    Hi, I’m wanting to start my first camper conversion within the next week hopefully for me, my wife and young daughter. I’m just wondering what van would be best to start off on I’m wanting a swb, I was going to get a mini bus for the windows but finding it hard to get one. I’m not bothered about putting a toilet or shower in as il be using it on campsites, just beds, cooker, sink and storage. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks

    Reply

    1. Hi Zack
      Hi Zack

      The type of van isn’t normally that important.
      More important is what you want to use the vehicle for, do you want to fully stand up in it, what’s your budget?

      Reply

  13. Thinking Of Starting
    New to the camper scene, and im looking for somethong for two , with a small kitchen, basic bathroom a tv and somewhere for my playstation 3 to go, thanks in advance 🙂

    Reply

  14. Family of 5.
    Considering the whole conversion idea as holidays for 2 plus 3 are getting pricey! Any suggestions for the best style/type of van for space and easy of conversion?
    Cheers Trev

    Reply

    1. Sry, forgot to say, I’d need
      Sry, forgot to say, I’d need two rows of seats with full seat belts.

      Reply

    2. There isn’t really a best,
      There isn’t really a best, only really what suits you best. For 5 people you will want something fairly big.
      For space and easy of conversion I would get a Mercedes Vario, see first pic. They have straight interior walls, so easy to convert. Lots of room, and cheap to buy. Problem is they can be slow and not easy to store.

      If you want something more nimble, try a Sprinter (or Transit) LWB, see second pic. These are popular, modern and nippy vehicles.

      You could go for something smaller, but you’ll really struggle for space.

      Reply

  15. Van windows
    Do they make side window kits for the new 2014 Nissan nv200 van

    Reply

    1. Contact these guys, there are
      Contact these guys, there are the best with windows:
      http://www.leisurevehiclewindows.co.uk/

      Reply

  16. Laurence Martin April 25, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    Height and length
    Hello Darren,

    Thank you very much for the opportunity to find out about campervans.

    I’m at the thinking about it place. I’ve only ever owned a trailer tent. My wife and I are soon to be on our own, so we need less space. We don’t want the hassle of a trailer tent or caravan.

    I’ve certain diy skills. Basically, what I want to know is, what’s the best van to stand my 6′ 4″ in, have a 6′ 6″ bed and is economical to run?

    Regards,

    Laurence

    Reply

    1. Hi Laurence
      You height sounds

      Hi Laurence

      You height sounds the like the priority here. I have a high-top Mercedes Sprinter, and people over 6 feet in height cannot comfortable stand in there. However there is a super high top Sprinter, which is taller.

      There is also an extra high-top Fiat Ducato. The Fiat is also sold as a Peugeot Boxer and a Citroen Dispatch, and all three are essentially the same van with some changes.

      http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/0000-Fiat-Ducato-35-MAXI-3-0-EXTRA-HIGH-ROOF-VAN-XLWB-180-L4-H3-Diesel-Black-Man-/251265616406?pt=UK_Commercial_Trucks&hash=item3a80990a16

      All of these vans will have similar economy to run. The Mercedes will be more expensive to buy, but will probably cost less in the long run, as maintenance is rarely required.

      Reply

  17. Ducato Vans do they make good conversions?
    Hey, does anyone have any experiences or know anyone who has converted a Fiat Ducato http://www.fiatprofessional.co.uk/uk/Models/Ducato_Goods_Transport
    into a campervan. Just wanted any thoughts or things to avoid….

    Reply

  18. camper conversions and life on the road
    Hi,
    Very good site, congrats to all concerned.
    I have lived on the road for many years from the late 80’s through to the mid 90’s in the uk and built and run many different conversions, freecamped almost always.
    Only marriage and kids caused me to buy a house.
    I do still love the free life though, and run an 85 Hymer merc 6 berth which makes a wonderful holiday cottage and gets much use every year.
    With todays technology- iphones, netbooks,led lights, solar panels etc, it has never been so easy for life on the road!
    My advice on building your own camper really begins on how comfortable you want to be and how long you intend to stay in it.
    If all year round, then space is important as cabin fever soon sets in in the winter.
    Sustainable resources and independance (gas, water, batteries,loo,heating, cooking etc) is a large consideration, and if done right gives you so much freedom to camp in the more remote and beautiful places.
    If you want to be comfortable you will need many gadgets to make life nice like shower, central heating,loo,water heater, fridge etc. These can be expensive for a conversion, but are part of most caravans already, so buy a cheap knackered leaky caravan for a song and rob the gadgets and as many fittings as you can.
    Plan your van well: On most vans, the cab area is waste space. Remove the passenger bench seat and fit a single on a swivel at least. Better still, get clever and have seats that fold and become part of the beds. I restored a 68 Bedford CA dormobile, a van no larger than a Vito and that slept 4, and you could still cook while the beds were out!
    Granted, it was too small to live in for more than a few days but a clever use of space.
    My Hymer was chosen using this criteria, and I have lived in it all year round in massive comfort. I bought instead of built because to build such a high spec van would cost as much as to buy and restore a genuine one, with the added bonus of a great re-sale value. Home-built conversions do not command much more price than the bare vehicle.
    I hope this helps some make their mind as to how to begin.
    I am a self-employed builder and jack-of-all trades from wiltshire, and offer a full camper design, build and restore service from home for 100 quid a day plus materials.
    Live life to the full!
    Bob

    Reply

    1. Good advice Bob. Nice to
      Good advice Bob. Nice to hear from you.

      Reply

    2. Your £100 a day
      Hi Bob: I’m thinking around the subject of taking off in a camper conversion but would need your kind of help to do it. Can you give me your email, so we can discuss it further? Best, Simon

      Reply

  19. converting ldv convoy 17 seater mini bus to camper
    has any one got any floor plans or advice on layout

    Reply

    1. LDV CONVOY
      How did you get on converting the convoy. I am converting an LDV Convoy 17 seater low top. Just rough like a travellers van but its lots of space. Just had it serviced.

      Reply

  20. New Life in a Coach or Bus
    My wife and I are considering selling the lot and convertiong a bus or coach and living on the road for 5 or more years, has anyone tried this yet and found any pitfalls, such as somewhere to stop all year round, being hounded by the authorities or even the practicalities of life on the move?
    We are both practical and have worked hard so far, we have camped alot so not afraid of roughing it but neeed some comfort in out 50’s.
    Also anyone recommend any websites on conversions?

    Reply

    1. Converting and living in a
      Converting and living in a bus is slightly different situation to a van.
      The extra internal space allows a lot of luxuries in a bus. A nice big bed, massive water tanks underneath.
      However, finding somewhere to park is going to be a problem. Wintering in the Algarve should be OK. I have seen big vehicles parked for long periods in several places, but during the summer months you might have problems finding places to stop.
      Galicia in Spain general welcomes visitors of all times as they have only a few.
      Are you thinking of Europe?

      Things to consider when living on the road is
      – mail. You need somewhere for it to be sent, and someone to open and read it, then convey the info back to you. I used my Dad when I am away.
      – Water – You need to fill up whenever possible with drinking water. Waster water can often be dropped onto the ground.
      – Toilet – this needs to be emptied regularly. If using a Thetford toilet, then probably every few days. Often done at campsites, service stations, Aires, or public toilets
      – Campsites – There are few campsites that can accommodation a converted bus, but there are some.

      Reply

  21. Toyota Hiace
    Does anyone know where I can get silver insulated fitted window covers fo my Hiace Devon conversion camper van: its v. cold in winter!

    Reply

    1. Try
      Try http://www.leisurevehiclewindows.co.uk/

      They have a massive range, great people as well.

      Reply

  22. 4×4 conversion help
    I have a mitsibushi pajero 2.5td have had it for years love the 4×4 so would like to convert to wk-end van sleep 2 cook wash in it. anyone ever done one or know how to sort out the rear seat for sleeping. Any advise?

    Reply

    1. 4×4 conversion
      Have a look at SWISS ROOM BOX

      Reply

    2. Paj camper
      The 2rd row of seats and rear seat fold flat into a double bed mate

      Mail me if ya need any help

      Regards

      Rob

      Reply

  23. windows
    have got a ldv maxus, and going to convert to a camper van, problem is cant find any one to put windows in we live on the cambridgeshire suffolk boarder, have phoned lots of windowscreen people and soon as i say ldv maxus they say they cant get the glass

    Reply

  24. toyota hiace van
    Hi any body out there who has or knows about converting a toyota hiace panel van, insulation, wood panel then carpet or upholstery.Which is the best way to wire up with a leisure battery what size amps? i only wont something simple 2 spot lights and 2 strip, radio and dvd player i could carry an extension lead for hook ups and connect that to the battery charger, any advise i would appreciate. Fletcher.

    Reply

  25. Legal Passenger Limits?
    What are the legal limits on passengers traveling in a motor caravan? do all passengers need to be seated and belted?

    Was playing with the idea of a 4 berth conversion, with swivel driver/passenger chairs, but what about the extra to members of my family, will they be allowed to just sit in the rear with the gear?

    Reply

    1. Hi Dave
      If your vehicle was

      Hi Dave

      If your vehicle was made before 2007 you generally can carry passengers in the accommodation area without seat belts.
      However you need to understand that his can be dangerous, and the Police could consider it dangerous, and you could face prosecution.

      Read these article for more information
      https://www.campervanlife.com/forum/campervan-conversions/seat-belts-regulations-and-guidelines-for-camper-vans-and-motorhomes

      http://www.ukmotorhomes.net/motorhome-faqs.shtml#seatbelts

      Reply

      1. Thanx
        Thanx for the reply, info and links much appreciated.

        Reply

  26. LDV Maxus
    I am thinking about buying a LDV Maxus for conversion to a camper. Are there any pointers or downsides for me to look into as I’m not mechanically minded, so anything that goes wrong will have to be done by a mechanic, the bodywork of the one I’ve seen looks good and so does the underneath. Are parts easy to get hold of? Any advice gratefully received.

    Reply

    1. The Maxus seems like a great
      The Maxus seems like a great van.
      More modren than the older Convoy, but not as wide.

      The reviews here seem good:
      http://www.roadtestreports.co.uk/road-test-reports/LDV/Maxus/

      I’d go for it!

      Parts should be OK.

      Reply

  27. Vauxhall Combo elevating roof?
    I have a new 2011 Vauxhall Combo CDTI van.I would like to fit an elevating or pop up roof. Does anyone know if this can be done?And where?Thank you.

    Reply

  28. Mercedes Vario/ 814D panel van
    Hi de hi, Is there anyone out there who has converted a merc 709D,811D,814D or Vario LWB panel van. I have one and am about to start fitting it out and would like to see some layout details, drawings or photos to give me some ideas. Regards Richard, in sunny Gravesend Kent.

    Reply

    1. Merc 709d
      Hi Richard
      I have just bought a 1988 709d van that was converted about 6 years ago. I am also looking for a layout and was wondering if you came across any suggestion on your travels.
      I will be ripping most of the camper out as it’s just wrong inside at the moment.

      Col

      Reply

  29. phill cardiff July 30, 2010 at 9:00 pm

    camper convertion
    hi just a quick question about convertions i am thinking of converting a 7.5 ton truck or may be a 14 ton trck into a camper and a place in the back to carry my race car seperate from the camper convertion at the front half and half will be fitting complete caravan into front half electricks bed sink cookwer ectect then rear will have tail lift for car to be lifted up into the garage part at the back seen loads of these done but what do the 1 register as ? 2 tax class ? 3 licence class ? if you can help me or shed some light on this please would be great thanks phill

    Reply

  30. weight
    does anybodey know the approx weight of a ford 1980s transit motorhome???

    Reply

  31. length of single wheel van
    please need help, have bought 3 half tonne peougeot boxer van, have taken off back and need to make new back longer, any rules of max distance from rear single wheel to rear of van. any help would be appreciated. many thanks

    Reply

    1. body lengths
      Its not the legality you need worry about, its 2 other things. First, because of the lever principle, the further you place weight behind the rear wheels, the more it effectively loads the axle.
      2nd, you need to consider the swing out. When you move off from parked, say, and ease the vehicle to the right, the rear will swing to the left. Too much overhang and you will sweep the pavement clear of pedestrians!
      I have an extra long wheelbase iveco daily, which overhangs by 1.4 metres. I would never want more overhang, that much is trouble enough. cheers and good luck

      Reply

  32. Daihatsu Hi Jet
    Hi. I am thinking of using a Daihatsu Hi Jet 7 seater as base model for a camper conversion. Is it advisable?

    I was thinking of a car derived van, but it is for 2 adults and a small child, and I was not sure about regulations as to how many people can legally travel in such a van.

    ANy tips are gratefully received! Thanks

    Reply

    1. No reason you can’t use a HiJet
      No reason you can’t use a HiJet for a conversion.
      How many people do you need to carry when driving, how many will sleep inside?
      What sort of features did you want inside? A cooker, sink, beds?

      Reply

  33. Looking4a garage2convert my Toyota Lucida in a camper??
    HIYA TO YOU IF YOUR READING THIS.

    I’VE BEEN LOOKING FOR YEARS FOR SOMEONE WHO CAN CONVERT MY TOYOTA INTO A CAMPER!?
    I WOULD BUY A NEW VW BUT WHERE I LIVE MY LUCIDA JUST FITS INTO MY CARPORT. BESIDES WHICH MY LUCIDA IS EVERYTHING I NEED-IT CAN CARRY MY ELECTRIC SCOOTER A WHEELCHAIR, MY PARENTS, SISTER, 2DOGS AND ALL OUR LUGGAGES FROM KENT TO NEWCASTLE WITHOUT BREAKING SWEAT. I ALSO WENT TO A FESTIVAL IN DEVON. AND, I’VE ALWAYS WANTED A CAMPER SO I’M HOPING SOME KIND PERSON OUT THERE CAN HELP ME? PLEASE!!!

    Reply

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