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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all.
A quick story... Me and the wife got together in 1997 when we were still at college and at the time (I'd just passed my test) I was looking for an aircooled Beetle. Unfortunately my mum and dad weren't too keen and persuaded me not to get one but the idea of an aircooled Bug and then when I met the missus, a Bay van floated around my head for a while. Over the subsequent 17 years we've often talked about getting a VW van - everything from splits, Bays, T25s, T4s and of course T5s but for various reasons we've always seemed to talk ourselves out of it.

Anyway, Just 4 weeks ago we were on holiday in the Isle of Wight and were yet again talking about getting a van of some description when we pulled into a car park and there in the corner was a really nice looking Bay so we pulled in next to it and got chatting to the couple who owned it who said it was the best thing they'd ever done. With that in mind we wandered to the beach and decided that was it - we had to have a restored early Bay! An hour later we'd talked ourselves out of it again BUT because we don't have anywhere to store an older van AND because it'd be slow AND because we need to cart our two kids around and wouldn't have felt safe doing 50 on the M6 with our kids in the back. So plan B was put into action - a loaded T5.

A few weeks previous to this I'd noticed Mark @ Alpine Campers near where we live was selling his ex-demo van which looked in paper like it ticked every box we wanted from a van. Whilst we were still on holiday I dropped him a note and made arrangements to go and view it the week we got back. Bearing in mind we'd never even looked in a T5 let alone driven one it was an eye opener. I'd not expected it to be even half as good as it was. Went home, talked about it and the following morning a deposit was paid and on Monday we collected it!

Mark @ Alpine Campers certainly seems to know how to build a top notch van. Its epic! Only one pic for now but there are a few little tweaks planned to make it our own, first one being a new stereo and reversing camera/parking sensors...

Just glad to finally own our dream!

 

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A very nice van indeedA:T:A:

After owning a aircooled bus for ten years it's a nice change to hop in the t5 with the kids and not worry about if we are going to make it or not. I am sure you will love owning the camper and all it has to offer, now get out there and enjoy it while its still bbq weather:)
 

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A very nice bus indeed, and also a very nice story to go with it rather then, hi im new to the forum my van is broke.....

Welcome along and i hope you enjoy many adventures in your bus (which doesnt have a name yet i presume) next decision!!

Regards Jim
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Cheers all.

No name yet - although it has been discussed. Suggestions welcome!
 

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Cheers. We're absolutely loving it! Went and got fish & chips last night and just parked up on top of the Pennines with the slider open staring at the view and shoving chips in us.

First day out on Saturday in it :D
 

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Discussion Starter #8
So had a day out to Bolton Abbey on Saturday. Absolutely pouring down but were we bothered? Nope, we turned the seats, got the kettle on and had a brew whilst the kids read some books and played snap with the slider open to let some lovely fresh Dales air in. All the while a steady procession of very damp looking people and dogs slogged past.

Bike rack arrived today, racing Sunday and the weekend after should be our first night away in it assuming I pull my finger out and get the awning ordered ASAP!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Loving owning a van more and more and the looks/conversations people start is unreal. You'd get less attention driving an Aston or something!

Anyway, had an unplanned day in the Lakes yesterday. Was meant to be racing my bike, got stuck behind a load of old duffers in vintage cars in a 30mph convoy along the A65 and so sacked off racing 'blind' (with no practice) and so just carried on into the Lakes. Great day out...

Toilet stop en-route @ Ingleton:
 

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Discussion Starter #12
First night away in the van this weekend and it was brilliant. Everything we'd hoped it'd be (but I need to remember to take a pillow!). We even found a friend at a local festival we went to en-route:



Starting to think about things to improve it now (difficult since its pretty much perfect) but:
- Pioneer OEM VW fit nav here and ready for me to fit this week
- VW MFSW wanted at some point
- might trim a few bits in the cab - pillars etc in alcantara
- pressed plates

Can't wait to take it up a notch and get to a load of shows next summer.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Cheers! Gave it a quick clean this morning too - just a quick spray with some Demon Shine stuff, then wash it all off once the dirt had been loosened up and then a wash with a lambs wool mitt, rinse off again and then dry with my AG towel. Quite a lot more metal to clean than my old beemer but its all flat panels so a fair bit less faff to be honest!

Colour is exactly what we wanted and the wheels were a bit 50/50 but we've decided that the suit the van so well they're staying although they might get done in dark grey at some point soon...

Must get some interior shots up as well since you can't beat cranberry leather and alcantara all over the place :)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
So, I've been itching to fit this for the last week or so but was being good and waiting until my GPS aerial arrived so I didn't have to rip it all out again. Turns out I need to anyway because a) I've not fitted the microphone yet as I've not decided where the best place to hide it will be and b) I left my Shed 7 CD in the old stereo so need to plug it back in to eject it. Should have learnt - I didn exactly the same thing when I did a similar swap in my old Octavia vRS....

Anyway, its in and first impressions are very good despite it being a few years old (but it was £150 on eBay so sod it!). Bluetooth, SD card slot, USB running into the glovebox, Nav, CD, ability to run a rear view camera into it etc etc.



Just smartens up the dash no end... now I just need to figure a good place for the microphone and I'm laughing :)
 

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Haha, it will be. Mine was Alpine Campers' ex demo van and the blackberry one is Mark's current demo. They've been reunited today in fact as I dropped it in for its first MOT (passed, cleanly). They look epic together!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
So, few things. Had a last minute dash over to North Wales on Saturday afternoon and had a night in the van on my own. Awoke to this on Sunday morning, then did nearly 3000ft of climbing (and 3000ft of descending!!) in 2.5 hours and 20 miles and then drove home. Two guys in a nice Golf slowed and took some pics of the van on the way home on the M56!



To-do list:
- definitely need to sort the microphone out for the bluetooth but got a plan of where thats going now and how to do it
- MFSW next up after that. Been keeping an eye on eBay and loads of choice so wheel, loom and coding and I should be laughing. May even get VCDS so I can have a play around with some other stuff...

And a spec of the van:
- originally an 84ps 2.0CR mapped to somewhere in the region of 160bhp. Once its moving it flies for such a big thing!
- Pro Sport coilovers
- 22" Overfinch RR wheels
- ABT bumper/Caravelle grill
- full custom conversion including Smev hob/sink, Waeco fridge freezer, Vohringer white units, Reimo roof and bed, Smart Beds Evo bed, twin captains chains up front and all trimmed in cranberry leather and alcantara

= a very happy me :)
 
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