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Advice wanted - Camper Vans #1586538
12/10/2016 12:21
12/10/2016 12:21
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 5,244
Watford, Herts.
H
Hyperlink Offline OP
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Hyperlink  Offline OP
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Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 5,244
Watford, Herts.
Looking at possibly getting a camper van to travel around Europe for an extended time (multiple months but not sure how many yet) so looking for advice on Camper vans from any owners.

Will probably be a modern VW camper type rather than a mobile home so what should we look out for and what is best avoided. I think we would opt for one with a extendable roof but other than that we haven't really started looking.

We also though possibly getting a LHD vehicle as we will spend most time in Europe but not sure on how this might effect prices etc.

Any advice welcome.

Last edited by Hyperlink; 12/10/2016 12:21.
Re: Advice wanted - Camper Vans [Re: Hyperlink] #1586585
12/10/2016 22:33
12/10/2016 22:33
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 826
Kent
C
cyborg7 Offline
Club member 1400
cyborg7  Offline
Club member 1400
Enjoying the ride
C

Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 826
Kent
Don't know much about these to be honest (but considering ditching the caravan for one), but I do happen to know they'll be loads of inspiration at the NEC this weekend as its the main show of the year:

http://motorhomecaravanshow.seetickets.c...CFWkz0wodk2MB5w

There's lots of Autotrail van conversions that look absolutely fantastic albeit eyewatering prices. http://www.auto-trail.co.uk/ I think they're the benchmark so probably plenty of choice below this. I've been looking on gumtree and prices are considerably cheaper than the dealer & autotrader prices although obviously not without risk.
Good luck and have fun whatever - definitely something I'm itching to do.

Re: Advice wanted - Camper Vans [Re: Hyperlink] #1586586
12/10/2016 22:48
12/10/2016 22:48
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 5,244
Watford, Herts.
H
Hyperlink Offline OP
Forum is my life
Hyperlink  Offline OP
Forum is my life
H

Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 5,244
Watford, Herts.
ah pity we are busy then. TBH it will be at least 2018 before we do it so plenty of time yet....maybe next year - thanks for the heads up though.

I think we would be looking at something smaller than the auto trail range, most likely based on a VW transporter/Transit/Toyota as Mrs H wouldn't want to drive anything too big. We hired a Toyota Hi-Ace camper van in New Zealand which was fine for us. No kids either.

Re: Advice wanted - Camper Vans [Re: Hyperlink] #1586589
12/10/2016 23:24
12/10/2016 23:24
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 3,610
S. Wales. Way beyond my means
Gripped Offline
Club member 1924
Gripped  Offline
Club member 1924
Forum is my job

Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 3,610
S. Wales. Way beyond my means
Time for my 2p again..

Mazda Bongo

I've got lots of info if you need it.

thumb

Re: Advice wanted - Camper Vans [Re: Hyperlink] #1586592
13/10/2016 00:11
13/10/2016 00:11
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 8,960
west bromwich
C
coupedummy Offline
Je suis un Coupé
coupedummy  Offline
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C

Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 8,960
west bromwich
Our bongo is down at Plymouth ATM getting some work. Maybe alittle older than you liked. And smaller especially if your away for some months.


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Re: Advice wanted - Camper Vans [Re: Hyperlink] #1586595
13/10/2016 00:36
13/10/2016 00:36
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 3,610
S. Wales. Way beyond my means
Gripped Offline
Club member 1924
Gripped  Offline
Club member 1924
Forum is my job

Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 3,610
S. Wales. Way beyond my means
Is it at Allan's? He's a bongo legend.

I still think the bongo is a good alternative to a vw transporter. Much cheaper, and not much smaller.

Last edited by Gripped; 13/10/2016 00:37.
Re: Advice wanted - Camper Vans [Re: Gripped] #1586600
13/10/2016 01:46
13/10/2016 01:46
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 23,307
North Wales
Theresa Offline
Former Presidentessa Club member 58
Theresa  Offline
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Forum Fossil

Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 23,307
North Wales
My Mum has a Fiat Ducato which is just a nice size for 1-2 people and it's not massive or horrible to drive. It has the 2.3 engine, so plenty of power for steep hills, etc too.

With it being a Fiat, it'll probably be cheaper to buy than other makes smile

She bought hers new in 2004 and I think the only trouble she's had with it is the drivers window motor keeps packing up.

It's a Tribute model if you happen to see one in your search.

Re: Advice wanted - Camper Vans [Re: Hyperlink] #1586604
13/10/2016 03:15
13/10/2016 03:15
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 8,960
west bromwich
C
coupedummy Offline
Je suis un Coupé
coupedummy  Offline
Je suis un Coupé
C

Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 8,960
west bromwich
Yup at Allan's ATM. Lots of work but we bought it so cheap it's soo worth it.

Op if you do go for a smaller van a pop up room is a must!


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Re: Advice wanted - Camper Vans [Re: Hyperlink] #1586605
13/10/2016 07:30
13/10/2016 07:30
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 6,783
In the coupe.
magooagain Offline
Club Member 259
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Forum is my life

Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 6,783
In the coupe.
Away for months at a time with a small can may start to be a bit cramped,especially if the weather turns.
We also had a very basic hiace van in NZ for two months in spring.
It was a bit limiting.

A slightly larger professional conversion of a lwb high top van would be a good choice imo.

Pop ups are a lot of faffing about. But I except that's just my opinion.

I am thinking about changing our large camper van for a converted van next year.

You won't go wrong touring France for a few months. Camping paradise.



Re: Advice wanted - Camper Vans [Re: Hyperlink] #1586632
13/10/2016 15:36
13/10/2016 15:36
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 11,159
,
S
samsite999 Offline
I AM a Coop
samsite999  Offline
I AM a Coop
S

Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 11,159
,
If you are going to be away for a month or so at a time, I honestly think a bongo or VW is likely going to be to small. we have a talbot and even thats small once you have packed it up for two people for a long weekend.

Re: Advice wanted - Camper Vans [Re: Hyperlink] #1586633
13/10/2016 16:01
13/10/2016 16:01
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 8,852
Cambridge & Cotswolds
M
MeanRedSpider Offline
Je suis un Coupé
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Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 8,852
Cambridge & Cotswolds
My dad and bro did 6 months around Europe in a 70'd Dub camper.

If you're worried about living space, get an awning.

Re: Advice wanted - Camper Vans [Re: Hyperlink] #1586855
16/10/2016 19:25
16/10/2016 19:25
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 5,244
Watford, Herts.
H
Hyperlink Offline OP
Forum is my life
Hyperlink  Offline OP
Forum is my life
H

Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 5,244
Watford, Herts.
Thanks for the advice.

France will be on the cards no doubt as will Italy - the rest is still open.

I know space will be an issue but need to see how the misses feels about driving anything much larger. I think a week hiring a larger type might be in order to see how things go.

I have been looking at MB Sprinters/VW Crafters type vans particularly in the "race van" config which looks idea for a number of reasons. The open storage area many have looks perfect for storing bikes, tents, extra kit etc and a fixed double bed is also a bonus. Also if its more of a van fit out with too many bodywork mods I am thinking a self build might be a good way to reduce costs.

A key consideration for me will be parts/repairs. Not sure how the likes of bongos stand when in Europe. Something more widespread with plenty of commercial users seems like the best idea.

Re: Advice wanted - Camper Vans [Re: Hyperlink] #1586873
17/10/2016 00:21
17/10/2016 00:21
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 1,723
Brisbane, Australia
Possum Offline
My life on the forum
Possum  Offline
My life on the forum

Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 1,723
Brisbane, Australia
I must endorse Theresa's comments on the Ducato.

"Downunder" they are the most used campervan/mobile home vehicles on the road. In the last month, I have just done over 5000km touring in our Grande Punto and about every 2nd or 3rd one we saw was a Ducato.

I would go for the van conversion rather than the "box" on the cab/chassis due to the size constraints of the larger vehicle accessing narrow roads and parking spaces etc. Also with the "box" type, the departure angle, due to the long overhang behind the rear wheels, can pose a problem.


Re: Advice wanted - Camper Vans [Re: Possum] #1586878
17/10/2016 01:15
17/10/2016 01:15
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 23,307
North Wales
Theresa Offline
Former Presidentessa Club member 58
Theresa  Offline
Former Presidentessa Club member 58
Forum Fossil

Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 23,307
North Wales
Photo here of what my Mum's Ducato looks like. It's a nice size cool

Re: Advice wanted - Camper Vans [Re: Theresa] #1590923
26/12/2016 20:24
26/12/2016 20:24
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 13,200
england
C
came2dance Offline
I AM a Coop
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C

Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 13,200
england
Fiat have their own Camper Van website for advise; help service issues etc. Fiat Campervan The Ducato is probably the most widely used base out there. I have an Italian 7.5 mfr conversion and i have to admit it's ace smile If space its an issue (and even if it isn't) you can get a drive away awning which as the name suggest you can leave in position whilst you go tootling off. You can get air inflated ones which save a lot of faffing around with poles and guide ropes etc

Last edited by came2dance; 26/12/2016 20:27.

[Linked Image]www.chrisdoyle-photography.co.uk

Re: Advice wanted - Camper Vans [Re: Hyperlink] #1591260
04/01/2017 17:01
04/01/2017 17:01
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 7,704
Harpenden
S
sugerbear Offline
Je suis un Coupé
sugerbear  Offline
Je suis un Coupé
S

Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 7,704
Harpenden
I rented a vw T5 california last summer, it really was a brilliant campervan (rental was about £600 a week I think from Hilton Rental near stansted but it was really only suitable for two people unless it had an awning, plus in the UK the doors open onto the traffic (not such a problem in europe). Spent a week travelling over to Wales and back and it was brilliant.

I would have prefered the beach version which has more room but no cooker / storage because although the cooking area was good it wasn't really practical to have a fry up and the extra room / seats would have been more practical with a gas bottle slung in the back. Unfortunately the california's hold there value really well, or at least they do through the dealer network. Electrical everything (pop top, heater, windows etc) made life easier plus the front seats could be turned around. Economy wise it got around 33-36mpg on diseasil.

There is a chap on pistonheads that has converted a bog standard T5, it looks amazing but i reckon a crafter would in the long run be a more practical proposition for a long holiday just because of the additional room. Like this one http://ghostwriter.belodedenko.me/lining-and-insulating-our-crafter/ smile


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