What do I need my van to do?
I need a self contained living space on wheels to live in for extended periods of time. I’m gonna need a certain degree of ‘stealth’ but not so much that it becomes non practical. I definitely need to be able to park up on a city street and eat/shower/work without being too obvious. This will probably mean I’ll have to contain any drain water from the sink/shower with some kind of waste tank among other things I probably haven’t thought of yet.
Here is what I think I’ll need to live in a van:
- basic shower and toilet
- gas hob
- sink with running water
- sleep two (second bed can be some semi permanent arrangement)
- space for seating and working
The van needs to have stuff like this:
- wide is good – It would be great if I could get a bed in width ways
- it has got to be reliable!
- it has to be water proof
- need to be able to stand up inside (6ft)
- something common with easy and cheap parts
- secure – immobiliser and decent locks
- easy to work with and fit out – standard van shape with loads of fixing points
- decent mpg
- powerful enough for get up hills in the alps
- cheap insurence and tax if possible
I reckon either a Ford Transit, Iveco Daily, LDV Convoy or a Mercedes Sprinter
LDV Convoy it is…
I decided the LDV Convoy high top with a long wheel base would be perfect. I’ve heard mixed reviews about these vans but the only negative points seem to be that they are loud and uncomfortable to drive. The main point hat i consistently hear about these vans is that they are reliable and the Ford TD engines in them are ‘bomb proof’.
The LDV Convoy is wide (about 2m) – hopefully wide enough to have bunk beds going width ways. Anyway, it seems to be one of the widest vans around.
The Convoy seems to have many different variants and in the last 20 years have been used for many different applications from ambulances and police vans to post office vehicles operated by the Royal Mail. They seem to come in 3 main versions: 2.8, 3.1 and 3.5 Ton variations. The early versions (up to 1996) had Peugeot engines before changing to Ford Transit TD engines and then a final upgrade to the Ford Duratorq engine on post 2002 models.
Now I’ve chosen my van, I guess its just the case of checking Ebay for the next few weeks until one comes up with relatively low mileage and in good working order…