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Discussion Starter #1
Our T5/T6 travels have got ever longer and we are now seriously considering a bigger van with our own facilities to make us less dependent on camp sites and less prone to poor weather. So as a VW fan a Crafter seems to fit the bill and we can afford to buy new. So has anyone any advice of what to spec.? I would like to start with say;

LWB Highline
Auto
4 Motion if I can afford it
LED headlights

There are quite a few must / nice to have boxes to tick in the configuration / price list but are there any hidden options in the dealer info?

In fact has anyone got a copy of / link to the dealer options?
 

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Hey Van Blanc,

Funny you should bring this up, i'm almost finished my T6 Conversion and we are looking at building on the New Crafter MWB / LWB 4 motion chassis in 2 years time.

As we have decided that we will need more room for a shower as we plan on shipping a camper to the States for a 18 month trip.

I'd stretch for the 4 Motion, LED lights are a no brainer if you want to see, my T6 lights are candles.

If you do find out more hidden options or info please post it.
 

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Can't help re Crafter specs - but would definitely agree that getting a bigger van is great for all weather camping

Only potential downsides are height & length! Make sure it'll fit on your drive & don't forget that many car parks have height barriers these days
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hi again Bryn

Glad to hear you have made progress. Our T6 has been great for the past couple of years but we find on longer trips the amount of stuf we have to cart around is a pain. It makes wild camping and Aires difficult because we have no where to put it overnight especially when it’s wet. We want to be able to travel spring, summer and autumn if not winter and 2 adults and a wet dog in a T6 isn’t working well.

We have made a decision that we need need to join all the other big campers but we don5 won’t a Caravan with an engine, we want a panel van. Then we don’t like all the layouts and equipment we see and I can’t say I am a fan of Fiat Ducato so it has to be Crafter or Sprinter. In which case we will stick to VW. We are in Norway atm, see https://vanblanc.blog, but as soon as we are home I plan to borrow a LWB to make sure I can get it on the drive and have a look inside and underneath. If all things are equal we will order one and do a fit out over the winter.

I will let you know what I find out beyond the online configurator but keep an eye on my FB Page @sussexvanbalnc and the blog above.

It’s going to be yet another project as if in needed another one - see FB @bugblanc 😂

Rgds

Alistair
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Can't help re Crafter specs - but would definitely agree that getting a bigger van is great for all weather camping

Only potential downsides are height & length! Make sure it'll fit on your drive & don't forget that many car parks have height barriers these days
Height was a big consideration for T5&6 as they were/are daily divers but with big van we need a car as well. In Europe big campers tend to be better catered for than in the UK and here in Norway it is definitely not a problem.

I think I will be able to get a LWB on our drive with an N point turn. I am borrowing one from the dealer to have a go. If anything our problem will be getting a car on as well and my garag3 is full of Bug project. Her in doors fancies a Polo GTi so not too big so here’s hoping.
 

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Thanks for the blog link Alistair,

I enjoyed reading it.

We have been out camping quite few times with our old dog, It's a tight fit, but we have been lucky that it was fine weather, and he sleeps under the RIB at the moment

We don't have too many height problems with our Midroof T6, with MaxxFan, Solar and a Seikel lift kit, but then we don't have a lot of height bars for car parks.


Although, i did get caught out last week, when we ducked into the the grocery store and they had lowered the height barriers from the week before from 2.5 mtr to 2.4 mtr
 

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Discussion Starter #8
So the first problem I see from the literature is that the internal height without any trimming is 1961mm but a 4Motion is only 1861mm before floor, roof lining and skylights. Presumably this is to accommodate the drive train but it knocks 4Motion on head.
 

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Good luck with the Big Bus build Van-Blanc
Very much looking forward to this.
Have been thinking about going bigger for about a year now.
After a wet weekend away last week in my T5 SWB, a Big Bus is seriously on the cards.
 

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I will be watching progress on the proposed Crafter build with interest as we have been pondering such a move for some time.

I've converted five campers in the past fifteen years a T4, 3xT5s & a T6 all LWB hightops so it's not all new to me.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
OK, Back from Norway fired up with ideas.

The van is on order, a LWB 140 Auto with lots of boxes ticked. I had to do battle with t6he configurator and only 99% happy with the result but hey ho. If you order the best route is a Trendline + Business Pack and then I added LEDs, single seats, folding mirrors, heated screen, rear view camera and tow hitch.

If anyones interested I got 10% discount and by putting a few quid on finance for a couple of months I got 2 free services and a whopping £4.5K deposit contribution. All of which equates to 20% off list. Also if you are tempted the finance deal is up to end of Sept and there is another 2% price increase on 1st Nov.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
We have planned the fit out and I know most of the kit we want to instal so now to hunt around for best deals. Having an away day at the NEC show in October in the hope of getting ideas and picking up kit.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Surprised having 4WD would affect the internal floor to ceiling height. Seems odd.
Had a look at one in dealers in Norway but it doesn't work going for a taller van to stand up in then reducing the height by 100mm and bumping my head.

They had to raise the chassis height to get the running gear in although when you look underneath there is masses of room for heaters, water tanks, battery trays etc..
 

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Had a look at one in dealers in Norway but it doesn't work going for a taller van to stand up in then reducing the height by 100mm and bumping my head.

They had to raise the chassis height to get the running gear in although when you look underneath there is masses of room for heaters, water tanks, battery trays etc..
Raising the chassis height makes sense to add in running gear - For that reason the RWD Masters and Transits are all higher than the FWD models and the Sprinter (never FWD) were always higher then any FWD van in terms of entering to floor level, but the internal floor to height is not lowered to maintain the same overall height for either drive type.
I'm gonna have to look at the specs I think as can't get my head round it.

Hmm. So instead of raising the body, they raise the floorpan to make room so externally the vans all look the same. Seems like an expensive way to do it and now the Transit is the same. Maybe always been like that?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Hmm. So instead of raising the body, they raise the floorpan to make room so externally the vans all look the same. Seems like an expensive way to do it and now the Transit is the same. Maybe always been like that?
Seems like that to me too but then they do sell a lot into Scandinavia - many VW vans and most of them 4Motion. They also offer a 2 rear wheel drive version and I guess that has the same floor height. If they raise the van another 100mm might make it extra top heavy.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
@Bryn23 trying to get my head around power (again ;) ) and looking at Redarc, possibly Manager. As they are from your part of the world do you have any experience of the kit?

Am going for 2x110AF + 200W Solar + MHU + Inverter and want some info display about state, consumption and solar (both available and harvested).
 

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@Bryn23 trying to get my head around power (again ;) ) and looking at Redarc, possibly Manager. As they are from your part of the world do you have any experience of the kit?

Am going for 2x110AF + 200W Solar + MHU + Inverter and want some info display about state, consumption and solar (both available and harvested).
I seriously looked into the manager 30 and 15 Series 2 before i went to Votronic for the triple charger, and Jupiter 100A panel

I have heard good things about the Redarc, they are well made, the only issue at the time was that there was only one lithium charging profile and it was a fixed profile.

But no issues if using AGM.

I ended up with a 240 Ah Lithium house battery last month after selling my current AGM's, so going to Votronic worked out for me.

The VOC on the solar panel, and what the manager 30/15 can handle is worth reviewing, as that is important
 

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I'm interested in how this progresses as going Crafter has always been in our thoughts. Age and time may be against me converting one though having to start from scratch with the design. T5s & 6s have been no problem as I've done four of them.

We are also thinking of going to the NEC again this Autumn just to see what others have come up with.

Van-Blanc what is the delivery time on your order?

Just one more question, has anyone studied the MAN version as sold in some parts of Europe? Is it exactly the same except for the badge?

Rod
 
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