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Old 15-07-10, 12:30
carl s's Avatar
carl s carl s is offline
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Default Hindsight- or "What you'd differently if you were converting your camper again?"

I thought I'd start a thread where people who have already converted their van to a camper can share their thoughts on what they'd do differently. so that other people can learn from our mistakes

1) Seat Rails
My main bugbear is the fact that the RIB seat base is fixed to the floor, the seat itself moves on a slider back and forward, but the boot floor space doesn't get any bigger.
As I use the camper as my daily car I'd like to have a slider system that moves the seat forward and back so I can have the option of a big boot during the week, and a big living space on the weekend when camping.

2) The Radio
My advice would be don't bother messing with the RCD200 radio in the van if you want it to do more things. I added a Parrot bluetooth connection, plus a Ipod connector, spent ages installing them and they worked OK but were still limited by the sound and menu system of the factory radio. (plus all the wires/boxes of gubbins rattled lots) So in the end i pulled it all out and bought a JVC double-din unit with bluetooth handsfree, CD, Radio, and full iPod control. Plus it gives much better sound
The irony is the JVC unit took about 30 minutes to install and cost less than the add-on parrot & ipod connectors I had bought for the factory radio.

3) Single seat
I spent ages looking for a single seat for the conversion, in the end the convertor found me one, but it wasn't cheap! We also have a folding double seat which I put back in the van one weekend when I needed to carry 5 people before last Christmas. It's still in there and I'm finding it hard to find a reason to put the single seat back in!

The pros of a double folding seat are;
- able to carry an extra person (duh!)
- folds down in an instant and provides a bench for two people to sit on facing the living area, as opposed to a swivel passenger seat which only sits one, so you have to mess about with swivelling the drivers seat with all the associated agro around the handbrake being in the way + buying another swivel mechanism
- Has two big storage compartments underneath which we use to store shoes, boots, footballs, toys etc. The single seat has none, so you need to find somewhere else in the van to put it all.
- when you're on your own, it's a nice big flat area to put all your stuff, coat, maps, sandwich, rucksack etc.
- You can sleep an extra person across the front seats by simply laying an airbed across them.

The cons;
- you can't walk through to the back
- it's not quite as reclined as a single seat, but my wife's got used to it now and says it doesn't notice any more.


Anyone else care to add their experiences with the benefit of hindsight?
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  #2  
Old 15-07-10, 12:41
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creeriver creeriver is offline
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Default Re: Hindsight- or "What you'd differently if you were converting your camper again?"

Good idea for a thread!
Hmm, with hindsight I'd have gone down the 'full' conversion in the first place rather than spending 's on day van interior.
I would have put more thought into type of van I'd bought as well. I bought a panel van and then spents loads on wheels,side bars , lowering etc. R&R bed , insulation and hoofing big sub and stereo.
My other half finally convinced me to have it converted to a full blown camper. If only I'd done this as soon as I bough the bloody van I'm sure I could have saved sewveral thousand pounds!!!
I bet I'm not the only one though? ( bloody hope not cos I'll feel even dumber lol )

I've since had a reimo roof fitted and as I write I am about two weeks away from picking up my newly converted pimp mobile. Can't bloody wait. I have put a lot of thought about what I/we want to use the van for and also the colour scheme etc. Just wish I'd done it sooner.

Gaz
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  #3  
Old 15-07-10, 13:55
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Ann Ann is offline
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Default Re: Hindsight- or "What you'd differently if you were converting your camper again?"

The worse thing we did was put a high top on ours, it made it hard with certain places having barriers, at the time we thought it was brilliant to be able to stand up in it, if we ever did it again we would go for a pop top all the way.
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  #4  
Old 15-07-10, 13:59
bobley bobley is offline
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Default Re: Hindsight- or "What you'd differently if you were converting your camper again?"

Re point 1. Def agree. We've gone T4 with Variotech, T1 with fixed bed and now T5 with 333 Variotech. The 333 is the best but its silly money, std variotech also good but more hassle due to the rear shelf and you have to have 2 stes of belts belt into the van. I still think the 333 is the one factor which will make the van ultimately useful but if I were to order one again I would get the widest one I could. I've opted for the Trio interior which promises a 130cm sleeping area but the bed iteslf is 110cm and then you need a 20cm padded shelf to run down the side.
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  #5  
Old 15-07-10, 14:15
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tonyr1664 tonyr1664 is offline
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Default Re: Hindsight- or "What you'd differently if you were converting your camper again?"

Carpeting the floor... I thought it was a nice idea for the warmth of the kids early in the morning but now that we use it a lot more for beach, surfing, kayaking it's a mare to keep clean. I plan on adding lino when i take the RnR out to fit more side windows.
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  #6  
Old 15-07-10, 16:41
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carl s carl s is offline
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Default Re: Hindsight- or "What you'd differently if you were converting your camper again?"

This is all good guys, keep it coming
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  #7  
Old 15-07-10, 16:55
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td-eye td-eye is offline
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Default Re: Hindsight- or "What you'd differently if you were converting your camper again?"

if your going to build a tall cupboard/wardrobe toward the back (as a lot of folk do)
check that if your putting a r&r bed in it doesn't get in the way of your cupboard doors....
mine does & i have to drop the r&r into the bed possition to get into the cupboard .....
not that drastic but a pain in the but-toks when you've just put it all back only to realise you forgot something...
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Old 15-07-10, 17:23
iss iss is offline
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Default Re: Hindsight- or "What you'd differently if you were converting your camper again?"

good -weaco crp40 fridge you can fit the compressor out of the way
bad - 12vdc only pain in the ass (try and find a psu that has 15 amp regulated o/p)would get a 12v 240v one next time

pop up roof - if i was going to do another van i would save my 2500 quid
good in theory i have two yougsters 4 and 6 who love sleeping up there ,but give it a year or so and they wont wanna lie next to each other and me and err will be sleeping in the awning with the kids one up and one down

bought a 110ah battery in the 1st place
just picked up another 88ah to stick in paralel but hey ho 170 ish now
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  #9  
Old 15-07-10, 19:40
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tourangang tourangang is offline
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Default Re: Hindsight- or "What you'd differently if you were converting your camper again?"

Brilliant thread i will watch this one
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  #10  
Old 15-07-10, 20:11
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Alba_T4 Alba_T4 is offline
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Default Re: Hindsight- or "What you'd differently if you were converting your camper again?"

although I didn't convert the van, definitely agree with the point about the RIB being fixed does restrict the boot space and the fact that the rear cupboard is limited in use due to the bed being in the way. If it's back so I can get in the cupboard with the water and gas then I can't get into the rear cupboard, and if I move it forward I can't get into the forward cupboard.

A tambour or roller door would solve it but I can't seem to track them down anywhere.

Great thread
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