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Camper Van knowledge (Read 426836 times)

alpinebisou

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#1100 Re: Camper Van knowledge
November 10, 2020, 04:07:13 pm
Great info on this thread that has served me pretty well in the past. Perhaps could have posted in the GooDADvice one, since it's having our first child that has prompted this. I'm a gumby dad and gumby camper owner.

Really looking for some advice from some parents on van strategy.
As a couple we've had:
1) A Kangoo with some plywood in the back, which we absolutely loved.
2) A Trafic minibus with some slightly more deluxe plywood and the third row seats still in so we could spend more time inside if needed. Didn't really get on with it and got rid.

Now we've got a young one, it seems a more specced out camper van could be in order. In principle it would enable us to live somewhat the same lifestyle of lots of weekend trips, holidays in the van etc. And it seems appealing to have something always available, warm, dry and with the child and climbing stuff to hand. We're somewhat torn between the following:

1) Hold off on the van and maybe try some proper accommodation with the car - seems maybe a faff to be packing/unpacking the car constantly and not so appealing for days out. Low financial commitment though.
2) Go all in now and get a proper self contained camper. A lot of money obviously but the sooner we have it the more use we get out of it.
3) Something we haven't thought of.

I am semi interested in doing a conversion but I just don't have the time/headspace right now.

So in the case of going for a camper, I think it would have to be fairly small - thinking VW size not bigger. Pop top is appealing. One thing that concerns me about these vans is storage space. How have people found getting kid equipment, bouldering pads etc. into these things.

Money is an issue obviously but could probably stump up for something if I thought it wasn't a terrible investment and would do what we wanted.

For context, the kid is weeks old and we live in the Alps so plenty of opportunities to get away to different places. Partner is also a climber / outdoorsy so we want to keep it going as far as possible with obvious kid modifications. Also next few months could mean we have some more free/flexible time with maternity/paternity leave, telecommuting etc.

So who's got some experience with camper van life with a young family. Should I spend my hard earned savings on this or keep it simple for a while? What kinds of approaches have you had to weekend and longer trips with a young one.

Thanks! Andy

Fultonius

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#1101 Re: Camper Van knowledge
April 17, 2023, 01:58:15 pm
Our van has failed it's MOT on extensive rust. We decided to try to tackle it ourselves and it started out well, but soon turned out a bigger job than we had the skills / time / determination to do and we're now needing to make the big decision.

Options are:

1. Get a welder to fix the worst bits, we finish the rest. I expect this will cost around £400-500 as it will need towed there and back.
2. Strip the best campervan bits, scrap the rest £444 quoted.
3. Try to sell "as is" (full disclosure)

It's a 1998, 2.5 TDI VW T4 which, if rust free would probably be in the £3.5k-£5k range but:

-it's LHD
-It's done 250k miles, the dual mass flywheel needs replaced and therefore the clutch might as well get done (£1k)
-The gearbox needs overhauled (£1.5k)
-It's a DIY conversion, which, while pretty good isn't "pro" level.

I'm just not sure anyone's going to want to buy it for much more than the scrap value...  There's about £1500 of campervan bits installed, which would only fetch around £300 second hand according to ebay "sold items".

It would basically need to be someone with welding/fab skills that felt they wanted a project.

Your thoughts?

Paul B

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#1102 Re: Camper Van knowledge
April 17, 2023, 02:05:33 pm
I'd sell it as a project (or at least see if there's interest). It might be that someone with the 'skills' to do it themselves sees the value there.

Have you looked at a replacement? The cost of vans (specifically T5,6,7) seems to be ridiculous these days.

SA Chris

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#1103 Re: Camper Van knowledge
April 17, 2023, 02:12:55 pm
Agree, sell "as is" / full disclosure, someone with better DIY skills might want it as a project. If there are no takers, you have nothing to lose, then go to Plan B.

Other question is, do you still actually need a camper?

Fultonius

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#1104 Re: Camper Van knowledge
April 17, 2023, 02:32:45 pm
We're going for a car for a bit. Not interested in getting a T5 (emissions) and can't afford a T6. We're going to try a car for a year or two, and if we really miss the van we would probably get one of those Peugeot Expert/Toyota Proace things and do a DIY conversion again.

I'm slightly wary of trying to sell on Ebay as you get so many time wasters, but I'm not sure where else is better?

Ross Barker

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#1105 Re: Camper Van knowledge
April 17, 2023, 03:05:40 pm
I think selling any older vehicle online is a balance of dealing with timewasting mouthbreathers and how much money you'll let it go for. Autotrader probably has fewer timewasters than the likes of ebay/Gumtree/FB, but I don't think as many people using AT are in search of projects.

T4s seem to be reasonably popular (moreso than my old Toyota Avensis, at least), so maybe that means people will be better at not wasting time? Might be worth sticking it on FB anyway, if you find you're getting bombarded with dipshits then you can remove the listing and try something less painful.

SA Chris

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#1106 Re: Camper Van knowledge
April 17, 2023, 03:39:33 pm
Quick google seems to say there are some sites that specialise in campervan selling. Might have less reach, but a more targeted audience? Worth a punt?

Fultonius

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#1107 Re: Camper Van knowledge
April 17, 2023, 04:03:20 pm
I'll start off with the T4 Forum I'm on, and some facebook Van Conversion Groups.

fatneck

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#1108 Re: Camper Van knowledge
September 05, 2023, 12:59:20 pm
What's the best forum for general information gathering as a lurker?

sxrxg

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#1109 Re: Camper Van knowledge
September 05, 2023, 02:20:41 pm
For information gathering it probably depends upon what you are looking for. Lots of Facebook groups for specific models if you want information regarding a specific van you like the look of. Also lots of self build groups for ideas and other groups selling vans for <£15,000 etc.

I only know as I used to own a vintage van and was in the owners group and used some of the selling groups when I recently sold it.

If you decide to self build I have a pretty upto date spreadsheet detailing all the costs of the van we are currently fitting out.

SA Chris

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#1110 Re: Camper Van knowledge
September 05, 2023, 03:13:43 pm
VW T5 Forum UK, online forum (vwt4forum.co.uk) also on facebook, but not as good.

James Malloch

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#1111 Re: Camper Van knowledge
September 05, 2023, 04:09:22 pm
What's the best forum for general information gathering as a lurker?

Not a forum, but for self builds the campervan conversion bible is good! Written by a couple of climbers and itís really informative for all aspects of a conversion (including how long they take and how much they can cost!).

RobK

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#1112 Re: Camper Van knowledge
March 13, 2024, 02:58:50 pm
Has anyone got any recommendations for off-road van tyres? I have a pretty chunky Peugeot Boxer (2600kg post conversion) and often find myself wanting something a bit more aggressive than the bog-standard things it currently has fitted e.g. when parking on soft verges. The Goodrich All Terrains seem a popular choice but also look like they would tank the small amount of fuel economy I have left. Any middle of the road options that might be worth a look?

kelvin

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#1113 Re: Camper Van knowledge
March 14, 2024, 10:29:15 am
Has anyone got any recommendations for off-road van tyres? I have a pretty chunky Peugeot Boxer (2600kg post conversion) and often find myself wanting something a bit more aggressive than the bog-standard things it currently has fitted e.g. when parking on soft verges. The Goodrich All Terrains seem a popular choice but also look like they would tank the small amount of fuel economy I have left. Any middle of the road options that might be worth a look?

My Relay was 2650kg after conversion and I ran Vredstein all season tyres after a trip back from Spain with tyres on the limit gave 43mpg average!
The Vredsteins did okay, averaging 38mpg to and around the Swiss Alps before selling the van.

SA Chris

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#1114 Re: Camper Van knowledge
March 14, 2024, 02:09:46 pm
Any middle of the road options that might be worth a look?

lol.

sxrxg

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#1115 Re: Camper Van knowledge
March 14, 2024, 03:54:53 pm
Has anyone got any recommendations for off-road van tyres? I have a pretty chunky Peugeot Boxer (2600kg post conversion) and often find myself wanting something a bit more aggressive than the bog-standard things it currently has fitted e.g. when parking on soft verges. The Goodrich All Terrains seem a popular choice but also look like they would tank the small amount of fuel economy I have left. Any middle of the road options that might be worth a look?

Assume that you have looked on blackcircles? If you use the caravan/motorhome section it will give you the relevant all terrain options - https://www.blackcircles.com/tyres/caravan-tyres.

Yokohama do an all terrain tyre similar to the Goodrich for around £100 a corner fitted. Also all terrain options from Cooper and General tyres at the mid price point.


 

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