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Author Topic: New van + full time living  (Read 6377 times)

Dodge

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New van + full time living
« on: March 17, 2017, 11:02:38 AM »
Hi =]

I've gone and bought myself an LDV Convoy to live in fulltime

My main reason for this is a combination of a few things;
- Not the best paying job
- Family are scattered from North Wales to Yorkshire
- Kids have moved up to Newcastle
- I work in South Manchester and have friends in North Manchester
- My car has already done 20k in the last 6 months
- Fed up of house-shares!
- Some debt to clear

So once all added up , van life seemed the only option available.

I really wanted to do the full conversion on this but lack of time/place to work on it meant it needed to be already converted.
Managed to find one with everything, solar, inverter, shower, hot water heater, diesel heater, cooker/sink. The works!

My plan as soon as I get it, is to model the van i 3D, jot down where all the wiring/pipes etc go, model in the current layout, and work on alternate layouts/space saving ideas. Then over summer, spend a few days completely stripping/spraying/refitting it!

Anyone else on here living full time in a van in the UK/have a blog?

Cheers!

Dodge

kryten

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Re: New van + full time living
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2017, 12:35:20 AM »
Hello and welcome. gogglet72 lives full time in his converted ambulance, check out his youtube channel. one awesome inch lives in his van full time but he is in Canada. he is converting his while living in it, he also has a youtube channel.

Camper_Dan

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Re: New van + full time living
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2017, 08:07:49 AM »
I would be very wary of this strip it down and start over mentality.  I've seen  too many where people tore everything out then got overwhelmed and wind up selling for a loss.

Tearing stuff out is much easier than building it back, and even those who succeed frequently regret it.  It's very time consuming and can also get very expensive.  Another option to consider is live in it as-is and save up for something better.  Keep doing that until you have your dream vehicle. 
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Dodge

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Re: New van + full time living
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2017, 10:25:43 AM »
Hello and welcome. gogglet72 lives full time in his converted ambulance, check out his youtube channel. one awesome inch lives in his van full time but he is in Canada. he is converting his while living in it, he also has a youtube channel.

Cheers will check them out!

I would be very wary of this strip it down and start over mentality.  I've seen  too many where people tore everything out then got overwhelmed and wind up selling for a loss.

Tearing stuff out is much easier than building it back, and even those who succeed frequently regret it.  It's very time consuming and can also get very expensive.  Another option to consider is live in it as-is and save up for something better.  Keep doing that until you have your dream vehicle.

Yeh I can understand it being a bit overwhelming,
Maybe doing a section at a time, beds first, then cooker, then shower etc might help reduce the impact!

Camper_Dan

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Re: New van + full time living
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2017, 07:08:23 AM »
I believe I would at least try it out as it is first, what your current visions are might change dramatically once you 're out and actually using it.
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Dodge

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Re: New van + full time living
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2017, 09:33:18 AM »
Well, 2 weeks down in the new van.
It has everything I need, and seems to be doing well, needs a lot of work but its all manageable

Got a a million little jobs to make it more my own place, and its new adjusting to a smaller place and fitting everything in!

So far so good!

Camper_Dan

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Re: New van + full time living
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2017, 01:01:53 PM »
Sounds like you're making it work and you're happy.  That's all that counts.

Keep us posted!
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Dodge

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Re: New van + full time living
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2017, 01:14:09 PM »
End of the day i dont have much of a choice ha,
But yeah, there have been some great moments, like coming in from work, chilling on the bed whilst the kettle boils, surfing the net,
Nothing needs to be done, or needs work just yet, just have a brew haha

Will hopefully get a blog up soon

Camper_Dan

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Re: New van + full time living
« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2017, 01:36:28 AM »
There's simply nothing better than the feeling of coming home to the most comfortable place on earth, no matter where you're at. 

I used to dread the thought of returning to a motel, now, returning to my van/home is always something to look forward too.  Head home, cook a great meal, kick back and enjoy the scenery in total warmth and comfort no matter where I am.  No need to leave home for any reason, until I'm good and ready. 

It's cold out, pouring down rain, with the wind is howling, and I'm enjoying it to the max, all warm and cozy inside my van.  I've never enjoyed foul weather as much as I do in my van.  A part of it, while being in my own protected bubble.  Such a different feeling from being in a building, and looking out at it.
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Dodge

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Re: New van + full time living
« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2017, 02:29:55 PM »
Month update:

Well its nearly been a month in the van and thought id just post a quick update.

Bar the odd night ive stayed at a friends, its been full time in the van.
And this week has probably been the most difficult bar from the first few days.

I've come to learn that you don't need as much internet as you think you do, to buy as much crap food that you generally do, dont need as many pots or pans to make great food.
You get by on the most simple of things, and the most simple of things can fill you with content.

I've started to take on jobs with the van, ive got an oil, water and fuel leak, as well as welding and some knackered bearings. Most of which is being sorted by a mechanic, as I need a solid job doing right now and also need some reassurance.
Bar that, ive attacked the inside myself, shower unit has been stripped, for the amount i use it (shower at work) it will rarely get used, and instead, going to look at a splitter for my main sink, so if i do need a shower, just attach a pipe with showerhead under my sink and off I go. Also got a folding shower base being worked on and fitting at somepoint.

However this has led to some some more exposed van (good because it wasnt insulated before), more work for me, and some more drafts to battle!

Anyone got any quick tips on temporarily battling drafts until a permanent fixture is in place?


Camper_Dan

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Re: New van + full time living
« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2017, 10:01:32 AM »
Duct tape, with or without plastic sheeting is usually sufficient.

Care should be taken though, if these drafts are coming from ventilation designed to keep the interior skin ventilated, because these are to prevent moisture buildup on the interior skin.  Care should also be taken when adding insulation, because it can cause moisture build up on the inside skin that can lead to mold & rust build up.

Cheers!
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Dodge

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Re: New van + full time living
« Reply #11 on: May 09, 2017, 10:22:14 AM »
The past 6 weeks has been a great experience.
Learnt a hell of a lot in such a short time.
I've managed to adapt to a new way of living, learning to cook different, how to manage time a little better, better at quick fixes or adapting to problems.
OK most of it  has been self inflicted with doing little jobs, or changing something, but its been an experience.

Currently still making the van my own, stripping unnecessary bits to save weight. Was unable to fix a water leak on one of the pipes due to the odd shape of the pipe being used, couldn't find a fitting anywhere, so thought it would be time to completely strip the van back to near bare bones and re-fit/rebuild!

I will try get some images of the process!

Camper_Dan

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Re: New van + full time living
« Reply #12 on: May 09, 2017, 11:29:38 AM »
I'm not a big fan of any plumbing myself, because I frequently spend winters in areas where it can remain below freezing for months...

Most of the full timers I know that do have plumbing, are using all hoses and no piping, so if anything does freeze, the hose will just expand rather than break.  P-traps can be easily duplicated with hose by simply putting a loop in them.

Keep us posted!
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Dodge

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Re: New van + full time living
« Reply #13 on: May 11, 2017, 09:23:01 PM »
What temperatures do you get over there? I think the worst we've had last year was like -5c haha


Well, the van is 90% stripped, and its revealed more problems that i thought.
I could of left it as it was, all fitted etc, but just didnt feel like mine.

Turns out, I may have to strip the floorboards, fill holes and refit! New carpet too.
Just rust, damp, knackered wood all over. So annoying, but knew something like this might happen

Camper_Dan

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Re: New van + full time living
« Reply #14 on: May 12, 2017, 04:14:55 AM »
Last winter was kind of mild for me, didn't get much below about -40f.

The problems you've found remind me of why I'm glad I switched to passenger vans to start off with.  They come from the factory designed to combat any moisture problems.  Something many of the conversion companies chose to ignore.

Make sure you take future condensation/moisture problems into account with your new build.  Everything, clear to the outside metal, top, bottom, sides, doors, EVERYTHING, must be vented to the interior to allow for evaporation.  Every bit of exterior metal will have condensation form on it on  the  inside, and it can't be prevented or stopped, so all we can do is deal with it accordingly. 

If you have weep holes along the bottoms of the walls & doors, make sure they're cleaned up and unobstructed too. They don't really help with the ventilation/evaporation process, but they can help to drain out standing water.

Cheers!
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