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Ok, so almost everyone here has completed a conversion or bought a conversion and finished it, or altered it. Etc etc yada yada.

Considered buying a crafter recently, but i cant part with my beloved T5. She's like family.

I like her. I like... it but dont love. Because i have a variety of "things i wish i knew when i started". So I've decided to rip it all out and start again, applying all of these lessons to the new conversion and hopefully ending up with something with more practicality, usability, less wasted space etc.

What is everyone else's biggest "lessons learnt"?
 

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Hi,

Cutting a long story short this is the inside of my van.


I went for a very classic layout (all be it a very unorthodox colour scheme). R&R bed, side cabinets. 1 low and 1 high. The problem is i missed things out and did things in the wrong order.

Poptop. I should have bit the bullet and installed before i did anything else. They can be installed retrospectively, but its a right PITA. I didn't think i wanted or needed one. I was wrong.

Electrics. I lined the van first. One of the first things i should have done was run all the amenities. Wiring, gas and water.

Battery, I put it under the drivers seat. Never again. If you want to change it. PITA!!!! I'll stash all electrics in an easy to access spot this time.

Cupboard space. The cupboards i have are ok, but theres a lot of wasted space. They could be thought out to make the most of the available space to maximise storage. That i will try to do this time.

Back windows. Didn't think i needed them. I was wrong. I need and want them.

Heater. Didn't install, should have installed before interior. Like the pop top it can go in after the fact... but bugger that.

Im sure theres many more. But i would have to sit in the van and stare at everything. I figure that since we are all locked in our own houses... may as well be productive.
 

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Thanks for the list, a good reference for all. It's certainly a bold choice of interior!

I'm pleased as I dont fall foul of most of these except pop-top and battery placement. I've gone for twin 110Ah batteries, 1 under drivers seat, 1 under bench seat.

I think a lot of the cabinet units which can be bought flat pack waste a lot of space. I decided to start designing mine and have a company cut them to size. I'm looking forward to that bit the most.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the list, a good reference for all. It's certainly a bold choice of interior!

I'm pleased as I dont fall foul of most of these except pop-top and battery placement. I've gone for twin 110Ah batteries, 1 under drivers seat, 1 under bench seat.

I think a lot of the cabinet units which can be bought flat pack waste a lot of space. I decided to start designing mine and have a company cut them to size. I'm looking forward to that bit the most.
Snap, I'll be going for a 2 battery setup also when i do get to that point. Both stashed under the bed in some form. It is handy under the drivers seat. But ive had to replace the battery twice now, once because im a tool and let it go flat which wrecked it. And another time i think it was just a bad battery as i could find no other reason for its failure. But getting them in and out from under the seat... sigh!

Exactly. Buying pre-made cabinets is great, its a pretty universal template and it does suit some to go that route. But i wish i had made my own to start with. Which is what ill be doing this time. Same goes for the bed. RnR is great, handy, comfy but i think i can do better. Not to mention we'll have the pop top with bed built in. So, cabinet's and bed all built in to each other.

(so there will be a fully upholstered RnR bed up for sale soon... :LOL::LOL::LOL:)
 

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Spot on.

I am going for a Rib Altair on rails, for more access to the cabinets and more flexibility carrying bikes etc.

We're doing the full works so every bit of space counts, which is why we've gone for under seats with an ablemail B2B charger + solar panels and victron mppt (not ordered yet). Should keep the batteries in tip top condition.

Look forward to seeing the progress.
 

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Spot on.

I am going for a Rib Altair on rails, for more access to the cabinets and more flexibility carrying bikes etc.

We're doing the full works so every bit of space counts, which is why we've gone for under seats with an ablemail B2B charger + solar panels and victron mppt (not ordered yet). Should keep the batteries in tip top condition.

Look forward to seeing the progress.
Sounds mint man. Interested to see how you get on with all that. You got a build thread on the go? Im not sure if im going to update my old thread as i go or start a new one. But either way i'll be working on some sort of updates.

Why did you decide not to go for the pop top? Just curious. I was convinced i wouldn't want it when i started out. Then when i decided i might want it, i was very much in the Hilo camp purely for the look.. but then after MUCH research and some stories to put me off, i've landed with with either Remio or SCA.
 

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I'm documenting as I go but wont start a build thread till i've got a reasonable amount of progress which too me is leisure batteries and insulation.

On the poptop decision, purely a matter of practicality. We're spending so much on the van at the moment we thought it was best to wait until next year as its not essential. We're most interested in having a working camper asap. Reimo seems to be a good option.
 

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I'm documenting as I go but wont start a build thread till i've got a reasonable amount of progress which too me is leisure batteries and insulation.

On the poptop decision, purely a matter of practicality. We're spending so much on the van at the moment we thought it was best to wait until next year as its not essential. We're most interested in having a working camper asap. Reimo seems to be a good option.
Speaking from experience, I would recommend that the pop-top, if you do decide that you want one, should be one of the first things that you have done.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Speaking from experience, I would recommend that the pop-top, if you do decide that you want one, should be one of the first things that you have done.
SNAP! I followed a similar ethos when i did the first build. Figured it was such a massive outlay that i didn't want to commit to it until i was sure, and i really just wanted the van usable asap. By the time i was sure the van was 90% complete and i was told by several companies that largely the interior would have to be removed in order to properly instal the pop top... Which in part fuelled my decision to start all over again, starting with the pop top.
 

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I can only agree, it makes perfect sense. However, it's just not a priority for us, if I need to remove the whole interior so be it. It's a pain sure but best solution for us at this time.
Looking forward to seeing your progress man. Get the thread started. Always good to have fresh threads to read through. :)
 

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There is now a build thread. Be prepared for some seriously slow progress.
SNAP! Im currently at the point of having to start ripping out a competed van.... Once i start theres no going back. So i haven't started. Im not sure whether to start or to wait, being as getting all the big stuff done cant actually happen until lockdown is lifted. But... Boredom will win and ill start ripping out soon.:ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:

I'll be following you with interest man.
 

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SNAP! Im currently at the point of having to start ripping out a competed van.... Once i start theres no going back. So i haven't started. Im not sure whether to start or to wait, being as getting all the big stuff done cant actually happen until lockdown is lifted. But... Boredom will win and ill start ripping out soon.:ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:

I'll be following you with interest man.
Likewise - deliveries are still fine though and I've got everything I need (I think) to get everything done, though I love an excuse to buy some new tools!
 
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