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Discussion Starter #1
HELP :*

Right people, I would like some advice please.

The Mrs and I have a T5 panel van and bought it with the only thought of having it fully converted into a camper. With the quote coming back at 15k, I am now starting to panic. The initial theory of saving some cash up did not happen and therefore this conversion will have to be accommodated via a loan.

Now the question is, do I stick to my initial plan and just get the full conversion done, which will leave me skint but happy

or

Do I get some kind of day conversion that will still get us away but won't cost near as much?? And if so, what day conversions have you got that work well for wknds away/camping/mountain biking etc??

Any tips/thoughts would be appreciated T:
 

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have you tried other places for a price?


could be cheaper to get different jobs done at difference places?

can you do anything yourself?
 

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HELP :*

Right people, I would like some advice please.


Now the question is, do I stick to my initial plan and just get the full conversion done, which will leave me skint but happy


Any tips/thoughts would be appreciated T:

Well buddy, i have said this a million times because ive seen it again and again.
Save some cash for the breakdowns. Its not if, but when.

These vans can cost a lot to repair:ILU:
 

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15k ! What exactly was you having for that?
what year is your van to me would have a big bearing on how much to spend on the conversion
 

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We have been thinking the same, just sold our t4 which had a full camper conversion, Found that, most of the time we didnt use many of the cabinets and ended up driving around with alot of empty wooden units, wasting fuel and slowing down the van. Have just got a t5 and have had a rock/ roll bed put in and now considering just putting in one unit to carry cooker and sink then use plastic boxes to store other stuff in when we want to go way.
 

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Found that, most of the time we didnt use many of the cabinets and ended up driving around with alot of empty wooden units
Same... sold a T2 that I converted to full camper w/ pop top. Have two small children and never used the poptop to sleep in, stayed in awning. The cupboards are good but never quite the right size / shape for what needs to go in, cooker was useful but never used the sink, stay on sites with washing blocks or use a bowl out the front of the awning. I have a Waeco portable fridge that bungies down when I need to take it around but can leave it at home / in awning when I do not need it rather than a built in unit.

This time around it is full width R&R and day unit with Smev twin burner. I will use the cupboard in the unit for pots/pans/plates etc and stick with my Waeco strapped to the back of the front seats. When we arrive at site the unit can go in the awning and the van is then the lounge and people carrier. Swear by the leisure battery though, first thing being done this time around.

I would have a think about the type of camping / sleeping / touring you will do and if it is just the two of you or children, are you staying on a site for a week or moving on every day or so. If you need to pack quickly then it may be better with a bigger conversion and a wind out awning / sun canopy but if you are making a bit of a base then go day van with an awning.
 

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Agree but even have reserves about split charging as we found that the 12v system was never used s , being old codgers, we always stay at sites that have hook up and toilet facilities, so am more inclined to have a properly installed 240 v system . As you say as long as you have an awning then the interior of the van can stay to a minimum, although when you come to sell the van then a lot of people wont want that
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hi all, woo wee many thanks for all the replies. To answer some questions:

Carl
I have tried one other place for a quote but overall am happy with the quality of the conversion that I have opted for. I think I may leave everything to the professionals as I may shed a tear if I took a grinder to the panels.

Geko
Thanks for that link, I will take a look at that now.

Stoo
I bloody hope it doesn't breakdown as that was one of the reasons we got a T5 as opposed to an old bay or something.

Tarquin
15k is for a full conversion including Reimo roof, RIB bed, windows all round and the usual sink/hob/units/etc. It is a T5 2010 panel van. Still has bulk head and ply lining in at the min. Already done is the colour coded bumpers, parking sensors and alloys ordered.

Rob and 2sixtysix
This is the type of thing that I am thinking, maybe just a good quality day van would do us with a RIB bed. We want a Khyam classic awning as we will be going wknds away with the dog, festivals andI fancy a triathlon next yr so some home comforts may be good after training/events. However, I was told that if you were to only convert a van to this level and not a full DVLA changed camper, then the insurance shoots up to stupid money. Is this the case?

Thanks all....keep them coming T:
 

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Thats a steep price check out ajc conversions they do things at your pace ...and prices are all on his web page .....fantastic workman ship well worth the trip there where ever you live .
He is always busy can be hard to get booked in but that can only be a good thing T: We had had a holiday in Buxton Derbyshire while Andy had our van for the week . Good luck where ever you go and enjoy :ILU:
 

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Still think your price is high, we have just got our van from Salop vans and he was showing us around one he had converted and gave us a rough idea of costs for various items as £2k for the bed/seat,£2 k for the pop top, £2 k for cabinets, add say £600 for lining/carpet/floor covering, £300 for electrics and you are still nowhere near your quoted price . The advantage of dealing with someone like them is that you could get the van fitted out in stages as and when money comes available, maybe you could find someone in your area who could do the same
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Yeah that's a good point, it may be worth having a day van conversion done as a first stage. That way we can see if we are happy without the full conversion. If not, it goes back in for the full lot.

Does anyone know if insurance shoots up with a day van conversion? I was told that this gets treated like a van with numerous mods and then costs a fortune. Whilst a full conversion, reclassified as a camper through the DVLA brings it back down. I may have to give my insurance company a ring and see what they say.
 

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There are plenty of insurers mentioned on the forum who will accept lots of mods to your van and still charge a reasonable price. Won't be as cheap as a camper but not multiples of the cost.

I can thoroughly recommend Vantastic he did my conversion and prices are very reasonable, I'm sure it would come to less than the £15k you have been quoted.
 

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Hi, - again -
we're a couple of old codgers who got into campers over 20 years ago.
Started big - A-class everything - brill on site too much hassle to drive
have progressively down sized now have SWB poptop
stopped using 240v hook-upon site for anything less than 3 nights - which is rare
Have compressor fridge - runs on 12v - easy peasy
have solar panels - great -
have simple hob + grill - smev
double bed - not RIB - brilliant firm beds but we're too old now - opted for softer lie
porta potti
awning
never fill water tanks, carry small 2/3 litre container [Robinson's juice bottles are good for this] - easy and tastes better
free standing table and couple of fold up chairs
quality radio + iPod and speakers + Kindle [get 12v chargers not 240v]

we use van as day van in UK, so just need brew/drink and loo facilities
we camp in Europe, hook up if staying for more than 3 nights or if it's really hot [use fans] or really cold [small heater]
I don't cook anything that can't be done on 2 hobs

each to their own, and we've spent time and experience paring down requirements, we also cheat and sometimes stay in hotels, but then we're old codgers now

whatever you go for enjoy, it's a moving target and you will refine and add and ditch as you go

PS really recommend all weather tyres - better for wet grass / sand / mud etc
 

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I've got a '11 day van, full width bed, and small pod for fridge and cooker. It's modified too with alloys, side bars ect. Insurance is not a problem, the most I paid was £500 when it was brand new (Brentacre) and this year £460 (A Flux)
Good luck making your decisions.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks again everyone.

Twooks that info is great. This thread has helped me decide that this is the way to go. It sounds like a good plan.

However!!!! I then had a crack with the Mrs to discuss this new masterplan and she replied with 'stuff it, lets just get the full lot done otherwise we will never do it.' So it looks like the full conversion is back on the cards. Although I think the fact that I have previously said that we need the camper sorted before we get engaged has encouraged her to just get it done sooner rather than later.

Thanks again everyone, great forum and replies. A:
 

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Why not then, go for it . Still 15k is WAY WaY over priced you could get it all done to a high standard easy for £10k , still if you want to waste 5 grand that is your prerogative
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Oh don't worry I am still looking for alternative quotes as the 15k was a ball park figure from them. They are producing a full quote now so I will see how that compares. I am looking at the companies that have been mentioned one hear right now. 5K is a lot of money for me, especially if I don't need to spend it. Although some have commented that 15k isn't far off with a full conversion with RIB bed and Reimo roof. More digging required T:
 

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I feel that 15k would be a top end conversion and if done right, the quality should reflect that.

If you pay less, the general impression I get is that you run more risk of low(er) quality.

I have priced up a full, budget conversion of a panel van using decent kit and it's coming out at 10k with an austops roof.

That's doing a fair bit myself and includes some vehicle mods - wheels and shocks - but was surprised at how much it came to!

I struggle on one hand to justify this as I used to be happy under canvas or at a stretch, bivvy bag and sleeping bag! 10k to avoid this is a LOT of nights in a hotel. On the other hand, a decent vag saloon would cost the same as this yet no one would wave to me and I wouldn't be able to sleep in it. Luckily the second argument wind every time and I say go for it!

Dave
 
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