About to buy…..

Home Forum topic Buying or selling a camper van About to buy…..

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    ……a large panel van or mini-bus to convert into a camper. It would have to sleep 5 (2 adults, 3 children). I’m not particularly interested in showers and kitchens etc, the build would be pretty basic.

    Anyway, I’d like some advice on which vehicle to go for. I’ve been looking at Ford transit LWB Jumbo’s and LDV Convoy 400 vans and m/buses. Are either of these a good bet in terms of reliability/maintenance etc. Perhaps there are other manufacturers/models I should consider.

    I’d like to purchase ASAP. My budget is around £2000 for the vehicle, give or take.

    Thanks in advance for your help, I look forward to “chatting” with some of you soon.

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  1. VW T2 Bay – How High????
    Looking around for a T2 Bay project at the moment, but can’t seem to find any info on how high they are, without driving around the country measuring every single one before I stick an e-bay bid in!!!

    The reason – very limited garage clearance! With the up/over door I currently have about 1.85m. I could get the door changed to a side opener (altough I’d rather spend the cash on the van!) which would give me 2.0m max.

    To make it worse, it needs to sleep 2 adults & 2 kids, so a limited space pop top is essential!

    Any advice, anyone with a van they could measure????



    1. There are different roof
      There are different roof configurations to consider. In lowest to highest order (when not camping):
      Van (flat roof) – 2.04m
      pop-top (roof down) – 2.12m
      plastic roof (allows standing inside) – varies, but more than 2.2m

      Other things to consider are: are the tyres standard height, and is the suspensions height standard?


      Looks like a Bay Window won’t fit in your garage 🙁

  2. The LDV sounds like a good
    The LDV sounds like a good choice.
    It already has the seats, and lots of windows which is always good.
    Give it a good mechanical check over before you buy, and a service should you buy it.

    The Vauxhall vans are good I believe, the same chassis as a Nissan I think.

    Sprinters are very reliable, but that one is high mileage.

  3. Transits are reliable, and
    Transits are reliable, and parts are easy to get, but they always rust and this will require constant attention to keep it back. They need occasional maintenance. The Transit is the best drive.

    LDV is a more basic vehicle, but a good buy, as prices are lower. They require more maintenance than a Transit, but won’t rust as much. Parts are not so easy to get hold of.

    Mercedes Sprinter is probably the most reliable vehicle, but are more expensive to buy.

    If you want a cheaper vehicle and are prepared to maintain yourself go for the LDV.
    If you want to spend less time under the bonnet, but more time fixing rust go for the Transit (and a better drive) go for the Transit.

    1. Thanks
      for your help Darren.

      I’ve been scouring the internet looking for vans in my area. I’ve come up with these:

      Mercedes Benz sprinter: a bit knocked about 230,000 miles £1,795

      LDV convoy 17 seater mini bus 122,000 miles £1,800

      Vauxhall Movano 150,000 miles £1,995

      All of them are 7-8 years old LWB/high top. Just wondered if you, or anyone else have any comments about these. Are Vauxhalls any good?

      Also, how easy is it to fit more seats (road legal, with seat-belts) in the back of a panel van? We’d need four seats to make it immediately useful (thats why I’m considering the mini bus, get rid of all but a couple of seats from the back). I want to be able to use the vehicle as quickly as possible, chuck a couple of mattresses in the back for now and gradually modify.

      Thanks again. 🙂