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Author Topic: Hello to all  (Read 3353 times)

Rustbuss

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Hello to all
« on: April 10, 2017, 10:24:22 PM »
We had been toying with buying a purpose built camper for sometime but we could not justify the expensive of a ready-made or even if we could they just didn't feel right. We made the decision to buy a van to convert in August 2016, having run fleets of Sprinter vans in my professional capacity a Mercedes was the obvious choice. It took a month or so of searching until I found a MWB 2002 van that had already been insulated with units from a caravan pretty much nailed in.

Although it had a crude set up with some rather dodgy electrical bits it did have side and rear windows and a full length roof rack and 11 months MOT. Picking the van up in Somerset and staying overnight in an awful Pontins chalet confirmed I was making the right decision for future family getaways!

Very pleased with my purchase it drove the 270 miles home ripping out all the previous owners build it then sat on my driveway for.....5 months, while I planned and researched my build (I was basically procrastinating, scared of my lack of skills) - I did drive half a mile up the road to the woods in December to be questioned by the police (yawn) and freeze my biggie smalls off but that doesn't count!   

Sometime in February armed with bits of old pallets, many packs of B+Q cladding and a shiny new saw I set to work. I am not at all a handy person, I work in a practical type job but ultimately behind a desk, apart from basic DIY and a reasonable effort at building two cupboards into an alcove 10 years ago my skill set is minimal

I always figured that my van should be almost a life lesson to my children, that life can be lived without TV and mains electric. Heat can be had from the wood burning stove, light generated from solar energy and that life can be just as enjoyable when you have less of everything.

I've tried where possible to reclaim wood from old pallets and crates from work, cut offs and end pieces from friends and family and make bits and pieces work or fit without spending unnecessary money, take the car exhaust used for a chimney flue for example.

I've not kept a record of the cost of the van but excluding the wood-burner which was a gift the van currently stands at about 1500 (I spent around a 100 on the cladding, which I wish i'd used pallets but that seemed like a massive job)

The extra rear seat was 28 on ebay with built in seat-belt and the sink bowl 99p

Most of all I've really enjoyed it, it should be finished within a few more weekends and on the road, just our bed to build and some curtains and then modify/build as we use it.

If you are still reading this post, I'm writing this for all those like me who may think you need to be good at wood work, have an expensive drill (mine was 12.99) or worry that it will cost a fortune. Nothing in my van is straight or square and I don't care, it's solid.

The beauty of a van conversion is you can build it too suit your needs, and to your budget, then simply light the burner, crack open a Thatchers and admire your work.
 






« Last Edit: April 11, 2017, 08:44:44 AM by Rustbuss »

Camper_Dan

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Re: Hello to all
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2017, 09:12:39 AM »
Greetings and Welcome!

Thanks for posting, it's looking very good, and I am very much in favor of low budget builds.  Expensive builds might be great for rich people, but cheaper options help out us poor folks a lot more.

Your skills actually look pretty darned good to me!

Cheers!
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RebelQueen

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Re: Hello to all
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2017, 05:00:06 PM »
Hiya and welcome  :)

Great job.. nice to see what you have acheived so far.

It seems like we are on a parallel journey in converting a van for family use. It's nice to see that you think along the same lines as us when it comes to reusing and repurposing things to save costs and reduce waste, as well as showing kids today that nothing has to be expensive so long as your basic needs are taken care of!!

RQ



Rustbuss

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Re: Hello to all
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2017, 09:20:13 AM »
Thanks guys...

I've just bought myself a plastic jerry can with a tap on it to deliver my water using gravity. I know gravity works and it's free so should be great!

MrShoeShineMan

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Re: Hello to all
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2017, 04:52:57 PM »
Thanks for your post it has helped boost my confidence that I can do it a bit cheaper as I cant do the traditional things to raise funds.

Camper_Dan

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Re: Hello to all
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2017, 01:26:31 AM »
Thanks guys...

I've just bought myself a plastic jerry can with a tap on it to deliver my water using gravity. I know gravity works and it's free so should be great!

Trigger spray bottles work really good for water delivery too, very handy for things like doing dishes, and saves a lot of water too.

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sparkyboy

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Re: Hello to all
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2017, 04:37:31 AM »
Very cool!