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Discussion Starter #1
So after years of dreaming of a camper lockdown changed everything, for two reasons really .

1) having booked our first abroad holiday in nearly ten years and due to depart on the 9th of April Covid19 put those plans to rest good and proper.

2) our eldest dog died not long after and having two big dogs (a Shepard and a Doberman) as well as 2 kids we always felt that it was a bit much to share a van with them. Don’t know if a camper, 2 kids and a Dobbie will pan out but here goes nothing :)

I spent the majority of lockdown scouring every website known to man trying to find a fully converted camper, to the spec we wanted, at a price we were happy to pay. Easy right ?

Having looked at loads, contacted camper converters (most of whom have no idea what customer service is) and wasted time and money bombing around viewing campers which turned out to be, in the main, a bit pants, I had to give up.

So having conceded that what we were trying to find was never gonna happen we have taken the plunge and bought a blackberry (what a colour) t30 180 dsg short wheelbase van with five seats. We’ve also blown the budget wide open and its not even converted but let’s not mention that. Now I couldn’t resist this van, the previous owner loved it, in fact he loved it so much he nearly didn’t sell it to us when he found out we were converting it. It’s already got a banging sound system, full 5.1 front end, lowered, 20’s, Pendle remap, full leather/alcantara retrim including seats and dash, tracker, I could go on. All in all an amazing place to start.

Plans are a lifestyle Aurora poptop (already booked), full interior conversion including a rock n roll bed on rails (how hard is this to sort without spending huge sums of money) swivel seats, backlit vw roundel in the roof and a colour coded trailer. Not sure why I’m popping this all on here but it will be nice to look back in a few months/years time to see how it all planned out 😁 even if it’s only me who ever reads it 🤷‍♂️

Disclaimer : I am a buffoon with anything technical and know my limits so won’t be doing everything myself, I’ll try some stuff, after all that’s all part of the fun, but I’m def going to call in the experts when I’m stuck. Don’t judge.

So here goes nothing, we have a van and soon we hope to have a camper.

After 10 years driving 60-80k brand new Audi’s (perk of the job, I could never actually hope to buy one) it’s been a bit of a shock to live with the “van”. Having said that it makes me smile, I turn back to look at it every time I park, the kids love it, I’m super chilled when I’m in it and I couldn’t be happier with the choice to go for it after all these years.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Here you go 👍 This is what we are starting with which I think is a beaut. When the sun shines on it the colour just bursts off it.

Stage 1 - Black poptop with purple canvas booked for late August (terrified of them cutting a huge hole in the roof) but excited as it kinda feels like we are committed when that’s done
 

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Wow that's a lovely looking van - even more so as a 'starting' point!
Sliding beds on rails are expensive. You're limited to very few options. Crystal Campers and I think SmartBeds do their own version which tend to be limited in amount of movement and are usually restricted to being used in the rear-most or two positions for transporting passengers in the back which severely limits their practicality.
Next up you have the genuine Caravelle (4 rails) / California (2 rails) rails conversion - which is the option I took. A 2nd hand set of 4 rails (Caravelle) and full-width / 3 seat/bed cost me just shy of £2k (£600 rails/bolts & brackets / £1300 for the seat in alcantara & VW 'leather') delivered from Kernow transporters in Cornwall. You'll need a new floor (23mm deep) and new side step and rear threshold plastics and a bed-extension / legs in the load area (or genuine VW Multiflex board/legs which are silly money).
Took me a weekend to fit it myself. Or you can pay someone like OxfordT5 to do the conversion work for you.
Or you can go for a California bed which is only 2/3rd's width - useful if you're fitting a kitchen down the side.
Then there's the Uberbus Flux - which is utterly brilliant, uses the same Caravelle rails as above but uses a modified RIB bed (so will fold out into a full bed), is available in two different widths (full & 2/3rds) but is also mega bucks (£4K+ depending on trim options and whether you require rails & flooring etc).
Most people just opt for a fixed position, standard rock n roll bed or use a kombi-bed system (still fixed position).
It all depends on what & how you want to use the rear load space.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Wow that's a lovely looking van - even more so as a 'starting' point!
Sliding beds on rails are expensive. You're limited to very few options. Crystal Campers and I think SmartBeds do their own version which tend to be limited in amount of movement and are usually restricted to being used in the rear-most or two positions for transporting passengers in the back which severely limits their practicality.
Next up you have the genuine Caravelle (4 rails) / California (2 rails) rails conversion - which is the option I took. A 2nd hand set of 4 rails (Caravelle) and full-width / 3 seat/bed cost me just shy of £2k (£600 rails/bolts & brackets / £1300 for the seat in alcantara & VW 'leather') delivered from Kernow transporters in Cornwall. You'll need a new floor (23mm deep) and new side step and rear threshold plastics and a bed-extension / legs in the load area (or genuine VW Multiflex board/legs which are silly money).
Took me a weekend to fit it myself. Or you can pay someone like OxfordT5 to do the conversion work for you.
Or you can go for a California bed which is only 2/3rd's width - useful if you're fitting a kitchen down the side.
Then there's the Uberbus Flux - which is utterly brilliant, uses the same Caravelle rails as above but uses a modified RIB bed (so will fold out into a full bed), is available in two different widths (full & 2/3rds) but is also mega bucks (£4K+ depending on trim options and whether you require rails & flooring etc).
Most people just opt for a fixed position, standard rock n roll bed or use a kombi-bed system (still fixed position).
It all depends on what & how you want to use the rear load space.
Thanks - looks well doesn’t it 👍. Yeah the sliding bed is quickly taking a back seat (pardon the pun) and we might plump for a nicer fixed one and save a fortune.

Might just have to turn the wife’s A6 into the multi purpose wagon 🤷‍♂️
 

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Discussion Starter #7
So tomorrow is the first time we actually do anything to the van.

Private plate paperwork arrived (had to explain to the #1 son what “dub” means and he still doesn’t get it). Annoyingly you can only do an online transfer between 7 and 7 .....it’s online !

Anyway I’ll fit them tomorrow after the ceramic coating has been applied 😀 - always wanted to get this done but this is the first vehicle I’ve owned that has ever warranted it.

Can’t wait to see the results. Praying for sun tomorrow 🙏
 

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As I've said previously the colour is absolutely stunning! Looking forward to seeing your progress (y)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Been a quiet week or two but have had the sills painted as they had the dreaded brown bubbles starting to show through! Got round to fitting a mesh lower grill and a shiny lip spoiler 🤓 need to slow down a bit though did 1k miles in less than three weeks - I’m back at work so it’s not like I have had too much time on my hands, just take it out at every opportunity ! Holiday in a week then pop top fitting the week after. Currently debating with the wife whether to go full camper conversion or caravelle rails, awning rail and slide pod to keep the van versatile 🤷‍♂️
One way or the other I’m lovin life with the bus
 

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Happy days mate, front splitter really help set the front ends off on these (y)
 
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