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Author Topic: More active Van Build forums?  (Read 3248 times)

peeela

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More active Van Build forums?
« on: August 16, 2017, 11:06:37 AM »
Anyone know of any more lively and recent van build forums?


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Camper_Dan

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Re: More active Van Build forums?
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2017, 07:24:59 PM »
Greetings & Welcome!

There are a couple of other forums that are busier, but I can't recommend them.  They are busier because they are filled with worthless garbage, bad advice by people looking to make money, and newbies giving advice when they don't really have a clue.

When it comes to forums, you want quality not quantity, and this forum is one of the best.

Cheers!
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peeela

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Re: More active Van Build forums?
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2017, 09:45:06 AM »
Hi Camper Dan, what are you building?


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Camper_Dan

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Re: More active Van Build forums?
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2017, 01:56:21 AM »
I built my current camper van about 10 years ago, and have been living in it happily ever since.  Prior to that, I had numerous vans, and basically made every mistake in the book and then some, mainly thanks to people online who gave the worst advice possible.  Today, in my spare time, I help others build their vans, hopefully avoiding all the mistakes I made.

Here's a few of the highlights of what I've learned:

  • Cargo Vans ARE NOT stealthy!
    Being stealthy isn't about hiding, only criminals hide,  honest campers have no reason to hide.  The more you try to hide the more attention you attract.  Unknown cargo vans aren't welcome in the city at night, and attract cops, thieves, vandalism, and complaints from neighbors.  Nobody gives a second thought to an obvious camper, they just figure you're visiting a friend or relative...
  • Cargo Vans COST MORE to convert.
    Not only do they cost considerably more to convert, but the finished product will be far inferior to following better advice.

    There are several types of people who recommend cargo vans:
    • A) People who have realized their mistake, and are looking to sell theirs.
    • B) Newbies with no experience passing on the advice they've heard, not understanding that it was bad advice.
    • C) People looking to profit.  They know that outfitting a cargo van to their specs will cost you 10x more, and hopefully make them a huge profit.
  • Window Vans make far better camper vans!
    Window vans are safer to drive, don't attract negative attention, cost far less to convert, and having a view in all directions at all times helps keep you safe, and allows you to enjoy the view without opening doors.  Opening windows also allow far better ventilation than roof vents too.
  • Never put any holes in your roof!
    Sooner or later they ALWAYS leak, and always at the worst possible times.
  • Never strip a good interior.
    If the walls, floor, and ceiling aren't intact and in good shape, find a different vehicle.  Spending $1,000+ to end up with something not as practical as the original interior just doesn't make good sense.
  • Older vehicles are more reliable.
    Pre computerized vehicles are far more reliable and have far fewer things to go wrong with them.  Pre computerized vans are almost bullet proof, they were better built when quality was still important.
  • BEWARE OF RUST!
    Body rust can be dealt with, but frame, suspension, or undercarriage rust should be severely scrutinized.
  • BEWARE OF COMMERCIAL ADVICE!!!
    Make no mistake, if somebody wants you to make an online purchase, somebody's making money from it.  People even get paid to promote in store purchases, certain businesses, and even certain brands or products.  Commercial advice is almost never good advice!  Affiliate links are easily disguised, don't fall victim to them.

    A few examples of commercial advise might include such things as:
    • Cargo Vans
    • Stripping a vehicle to improve upon it.
    • Roof Vents
      Opening windows and a <$20 12v fan will provide much better ventilation than even 2x $100+ roof vents.
    • Solar Panels
      Most expensive, unreliable, and finicky power available.  Most fulltimers prefer isolators, generators, or shore power to charge their batteries.  Parking in the sun during the summer is cruel and unusual punishment!
    • Expensive Batteries
      People like to recommend expensive batteries for their own gain, not yours.  My current house battery cost less than $20 from a junkyard and has lasted 5+ years.
    • Added Insulation
      Ventilation not insulation.  Proper and necessary ventilation voids any benefits of insulation, and insulation can trap moisture resulting in mold and rust.  Sun in the winter, and shade in the summer, combined with adequate heating and cooling options is always a better choice than added insulation.  Insulate your body, not your van, it's cheaper and more effective.
    • 12v Compressor Fridges
      Short lifespan, expensive junk that will never pay for itself, and they are power hogs too.  3 way fridges, dorm fridges on an inverter & thermostat, or even ice chests provide much better bang for your buck.
    • Unvented Propane Heaters
      Unvented propane stoves or heaters such as the "Buddy" or "Olympian" style heaters introduce a pound of moisture into the air for every 4 hours of run time.  It is impossible to evaporate the moisture out of a vehicle using such a wet heat source.  Those heaters are also too under powered for actual cold weather use.  Factory campers usually have 20-50+ BTU heaters for good reason.
    • Gym Memberships
      Gym memberships are a huge scam.  Anybody with a van or larger can have their own toilet and shower for under $40.  Having your own is much more convenient than any other option.
    • Almost anything expensive...
      Expensive advice is usually commercial advice, and only somebody else profits from it, not the people following it.  Those people don't care about your comfort or convenience, their goal is a pay day, not to truly help their followers.
My current conversion is the most comfortable and convenient of any I've had, and it's also the cheapest by far, costing less than $300 all in, including my kitchen, toilet and shower, heating, cooling, ventilation, power, and everything. 

I'm a pretty firm believer in the KISS (Keep It Stupidly Simple) principle these days, and practice the "Recycle. Reuse, and Re-Purpose" philosophy as well.  I try to buy things locally that are both cheap and easy to replace almost anywhere.  Waiting for essentials via mail order, or that are hard to find or expensive, can be very frustrating.

I'm here to help with real world experience, and willing to share both my successes and failures in hopes of helping others.

Cheers!

« Last Edit: August 19, 2017, 02:04:25 AM by Camper_Dan »
My negative karma ratings reflect the number of spammers,
scammers and bad advice that I've exposed, feel free...

Fetasvanstudio

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Re: More active Van Build forums?
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2017, 01:45:12 PM »
I can wholeheartedly recommend the Self Build Motorcaravan Club.  It is UK based, but much of the information is applicable to anywhere.  The folks there are people who have actually done van conversions and it has a very respectful tone.  Mike (Vandog Traveller) and I both used it quite a bit when we built our current vans. 8)

http://sbmcc.co.uk/forums/ 

The forum is free for a few posts, pay for full access, but it's silly cheap at 15 per year, which you will get back in savings on mistakes. 

Best of luck with your campervan build!




Camper_Dan

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Re: More active Van Build forums?
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2017, 05:08:00 PM »
I can wholeheartedly recommend the Self Build Motorcaravan Club.  It is UK based, but much of the information is applicable to anywhere.  The folks there are people who have actually done van conversions and it has a very respectful tone.  Mike (Vandog Traveller) and I both used it quite a bit when we built our current vans. 8)

http://sbmcc.co.uk/forums/ 

The forum is free for a few posts, pay for full access, but it's silly cheap at 15 per year, which you will get back in savings on mistakes. 

Best of luck with your campervan build!

Thank you for that, I'm from the USA, and never heard of that one before.
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scammers and bad advice that I've exposed, feel free...

Roman

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Re: More active Van Build forums?
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2017, 09:13:38 AM »
Self Build Motorcaravan Club really IS the business.
I have been a member for 5 years, TONS of info & is moderated.

intravelwetrust

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Re: More active Van Build forums?
« Reply #7 on: September 04, 2017, 04:25:05 AM »
I'm finding a ne
I built my current camper van about 10 years ago, and have been living in it happily ever since.  Prior to that, I had numerous vans, and basically made every mistake in the book and then some, mainly thanks to people online who gave the worst advice possible.  Today, in my spare time, I help others build their vans, hopefully avoiding all the mistakes I made.

Here's a few of the highlights of what I've learned:

  • Cargo Vans ARE NOT stealthy!
    Being stealthy isn't about hiding, only criminals hide,  honest campers have no reason to hide.  The more you try to hide the more attention you attract.  Unknown cargo vans aren't welcome in the city at night, and attract cops, thieves, vandalism, and complaints from neighbors.  Nobody gives a second thought to an obvious camper, they just figure you're visiting a friend or relative...
  • Cargo Vans COST MORE to convert.
    Not only do they cost considerably more to convert, but the finished product will be far inferior to following better advice.

    There are several types of people who recommend cargo vans:
    • A) People who have realized their mistake, and are looking to sell theirs.
    • B) Newbies with no experience passing on the advice they've heard, not understanding that it was bad advice.
    • C) People looking to profit.  They know that outfitting a cargo van to their specs will cost you 10x more, and hopefully make them a huge profit.
  • Window Vans make far better camper vans!
    Window vans are safer to drive, don't attract negative attention, cost far less to convert, and having a view in all directions at all times helps keep you safe, and allows you to enjoy the view without opening doors.  Opening windows also allow far better ventilation than roof vents too.
  • Never put any holes in your roof!
    Sooner or later they ALWAYS leak, and always at the worst possible times.
  • Never strip a good interior.
    If the walls, floor, and ceiling aren't intact and in good shape, find a different vehicle.  Spending $1,000+ to end up with something not as practical as the original interior just doesn't make good sense.
  • Older vehicles are more reliable.
    Pre computerized vehicles are far more reliable and have far fewer things to go wrong with them.  Pre computerized vans are almost bullet proof, they were better built when quality was still important.
  • BEWARE OF RUST!
    Body rust can be dealt with, but frame, suspension, or undercarriage rust should be severely scrutinized.
  • BEWARE OF COMMERCIAL ADVICE!!!
    Make no mistake, if somebody wants you to make an online purchase, somebody's making money from it.  People even get paid to promote in store purchases, certain businesses, and even certain brands or products.  Commercial advice is almost never good advice!  Affiliate links are easily disguised, don't fall victim to them.

    A few examples of commercial advise might include such things as:
    • Cargo Vans
    • Stripping a vehicle to improve upon it.
    • Roof Vents
      Opening windows and a <$20 12v fan will provide much better ventilation than even 2x $100+ roof vents.
    • Solar Panels
      Most expensive, unreliable, and finicky power available.  Most fulltimers prefer isolators, generators, or shore power to charge their batteries.  Parking in the sun during the summer is cruel and unusual punishment!
    • Expensive Batteries
      People like to recommend expensive batteries for their own gain, not yours.  My current house battery cost less than $20 from a junkyard and has lasted 5+ years.
    • Added Insulation
      Ventilation not insulation.  Proper and necessary ventilation voids any benefits of insulation, and insulation can trap moisture resulting in mold and rust.  Sun in the winter, and shade in the summer, combined with adequate heating and cooling options is always a better choice than added insulation.  Insulate your body, not your van, it's cheaper and more effective.
    • 12v Compressor Fridges
      Short lifespan, expensive junk that will never pay for itself, and they are power hogs too.  3 way fridges, dorm fridges on an inverter & thermostat, or even ice chests provide much better bang for your buck.
    • Unvented Propane Heaters
      Unvented propane stoves or heaters such as the "Buddy" or "Olympian" style heaters introduce a pound of moisture into the air for every 4 hours of run time.  It is impossible to evaporate the moisture out of a vehicle using such a wet heat source.  Those heaters are also too under powered for actual cold weather use.  Factory campers usually have 20-50+ BTU heaters for good reason.
    • Gym Memberships
      Gym memberships are a huge scam.  Anybody with a van or larger can have their own toilet and shower for under $40.  Having your own is much more convenient than any other option.
    • Almost anything expensive...
      Expensive advice is usually commercial advice, and only somebody else profits from it, not the people following it.  Those people don't care about your comfort or convenience, their goal is a pay day, not to truly help their followers.
My current conversion is the most comfortable and convenient of any I've had, and it's also the cheapest by far, costing less than $300 all in, including my kitchen, toilet and shower, heating, cooling, ventilation, power, and everything. 

I'm a pretty firm believer in the KISS (Keep It Stupidly Simple) principle these days, and practice the "Recycle. Reuse, and Re-Purpose" philosophy as well.  I try to buy things locally that are both cheap and easy to replace almost anywhere.  Waiting for essentials via mail order, or that are hard to find or expensive, can be very frustrating.

I'm here to help with real world experience, and willing to share both my successes and failures in hopes of helping others.

Cheers!



I'm finding a new forum just because this guys a douche bag.

Camper_Dan

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Re: More active Van Build forums?
« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2017, 07:03:47 PM »
Oops... Looks like I stepped on somebodies toes that was hoping to make money by giving people bad advice...

Oh Well...
My negative karma ratings reflect the number of spammers,
scammers and bad advice that I've exposed, feel free...