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Old 13-08-19, 11:42
IanWT IanWT is offline
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Default Born of Frustration!

Hello all, this is my first posting on the forum but......

After many 20+ years of haggling with my other half and then remembering/being reminded that I need to focus the finances on our house....I have finally taken the plunge and borrowed some money to fulfil a childhood dream and buy a VW camper (T4/T5)!

So in preparation, I've read the magazines, I've joined a load of forums, scrolled through eBay, Gumtree, Facebook, Garages and goodness knows where else and as a newbie I cannot believe the number of pitfalls, traps, scammers, dreamers and the downright greedy. How on earth anybody without extensive knowledge of VW's stands a chance has got me stumped!!

I cannot understand how the same vehicle on the same year, same spec and generally the same condition can vary in price soooooo much, by literally thousands!!

The ones that are expensive, you assume they must be fantastic and then you view them turn out to be really disappointing.... then the ones that are cheap, raise suspicion because...well...they're cheap!

Then you read the adverts....star ship mileage and often a huge long list of repairs that run into literally thousands of pounds....very scary!

Then to confuse you further, you see another advert where the similar van with similar mileage and they say no problems, no repairs, ultra reliable!

As a buyer with little mechanical knowledge it becomes a veritable minefield knowing what to do for the best!

So then you think, OK...I will go to a dealer to be safe and they seem to stick a finger in the wind and charge what they like...... and people seem to pay it!

Now I might be totally unrealistic and I appreciate that there is always going to be a difference between a VW camper and most other van makers due to the many reasons that we all want one but c'mon.....surely it can't be that hard to find a good, honest, sensibly priced conversion which has been looked after, with no hidden horrors waiting for you upon purchase?

So, before I give it up as a bad job and return the loan money, I thought I would ask the experienced members of this forum (as it seems to be the best one!!) what can I realistically expect to find for a maximum of 15K? I totally understand that some conversions are beyond spectacular and despite being old are worth a fortune but for a newbie that simply wants as new as possible/with as low miles as possible with a pop top, kitchen with 240V etc...what can I realistically expect to get?

I know it sounds like a bit of a moan but what I thought would be a pleasure to do has become a bit of a lottery and the trouble is...I haven't won the lottery to fund it!!!
Many thanks in advance
Ian
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  #2  
Old 13-08-19, 12:07
smarty63 smarty63 is online now
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T5 Post Icon Re: Born of Frustration!

Welcome to the Forum
Why not get yourself a panel van and convert when funds are available.
12 k would get you a decent spec van - 3k to start converting.
you will always pay a premium for a fully kitted camper.
I started with a panel van and camped in it with just the windows in, insulated and carpeted. Camp bed in back. Still enjoyed the experience.
Lots on here camped in a bare panel van, blow up bed.
This way you will learn an awful lot about how you want your layout and want you need.
Good luck with your search
atb
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Old 13-08-19, 12:24
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stuartt5t30 stuartt5t30 is online now
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Default Re: Born of Frustration!

2nd what smarty says
Welcome to the forum as well bud
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Old 13-08-19, 12:54
IanWT IanWT is offline
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Default Re: Born of Frustration!

Thank you for the replies, I agree that would have been my preferred option but I literally haven't got the time...too many commitments! Part of the reason to get one is to force time to relax a little! I know you are both right and I will pay more of a premium but I would take on something that perhaps needs some improvements but is functional if it saved me some money
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Old 13-08-19, 13:06
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Pduk Pduk is offline
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Default Re: Born of Frustration!

Welcome aboard Ian, there are good ones out there you just have to keep looking, it's worth it in the long run.

I currently have a bare backed van with windows in and spent a week camping with a blow up mattress in there, was great, but I can see that's not exactly what you want. There are plenty of conversion companies that sell converted vans, but for 15k I think you'll struggle to get a fully converted with all the extras externally too ie bigger wheels, bodykit, side bars and spoilers. But practically it'll be sound.

Pete (Pduk)
2013 White T5.1, Click here to view my build thread
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Old 13-08-19, 14:06
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stuartt5t30 stuartt5t30 is online now
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Default Re: Born of Frustration!

Father in law just had his t6 converted by revampavan
Pop top units r&r bed lesiure battery etc 17k just for conversion!
Hard to see how you would buy a well converted van for 15 tbh
But im happy to be proved wrong
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Old 13-08-19, 14:14
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stuartt5t30 stuartt5t30 is online now
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Default Re: Born of Frustration!

Ps pduk ditch the air bed for one of these there sooooo much better
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/MASSIVE-7...-/320861855561
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Old 13-08-19, 20:21
IanWT IanWT is offline
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Default

Thank you all for the feedback.....so what exactly will I likely get for 15??

Sounds like it will be a standard fit but how old/mileage if I want a pop top? Is it better to retrofit the pop top layer down the line?
Thanks
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Old 15-08-19, 12:33
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Pduk Pduk is offline
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Default Re: Born of Frustration!

Quote:
Originally Posted by stuartt5t30 View Post
Ps pduk ditch the air bed for one of these there sooooo much better
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/MASSIVE-7...-/320861855561
Thanks Stuart, I'll be looking to install a pull out bed at some point, once I figure out what exactly I want in the back.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IanWT View Post
Thank you all for the feedback.....so what exactly will I likely get for 15??

Sounds like it will be a standard fit but how old/mileage if I want a pop top? Is it better to retrofit the pop top layer down the line?
Thanks
I paid 12.5k for mine, have a look at my build thread and you'll see what I got for that money.

A guy at work initially paid 14k for a 2012 T28 swb with full conversion in the back (bed, cupboards, sink, hob etc) but looked standard outside, until his other half insisted on sportline bumpers, 20" alloys, pop top etc etc, it cost him 26k in the end

Many retro-fit pop tops down the line with no issues.

Pete (Pduk)
2013 White T5.1, Click here to view my build thread
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  #10  
Old 15-08-19, 20:36
IanWT IanWT is offline
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Default Re: Born of Frustration!

Thank you, that was very helpful and in line with what I beginning to see what is realistic! I guess it is important to understand that whatever I buy it is going to cost a lot more in the end! But.. that's probably part of the fun!
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