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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Slimjims "Where to start" FAQ's

Couple of things here... all from my own opinion. So just take them with a pinch of salt.
I have taken so much from this forum. If ONE person reads this and gets any benefit from it, it will be worth the flaming I am kind of expecting in the replies LOL:

Wish I knew all this before I started!

Buy completed or do the work yourself?
People will tell you that you will save money doing the conversion yourself.
To be honest, if you are anything like me, you will NOT save much (if any) money doing it yourself.
But what you WILL get, is a camper unique to YOU, along with a sense of satisfaction that you did all the research and a lot of the work yourself. Confident that you know all the work that has gone in and how to solve/fix things if there is a problem.
If I was to start again, I would start with a totally empty van. Completely from scratch in autumn and use the winter to work on the conversion.

Should I start with a T4 or a T5?
We started with a T4. At the time I preferred the look of the T4, plus the price difference is still pretty big.
If I was to start again, I MIGHT plump for the T5, as some of the custom ones I have seen look lovely.

LWB or SWB?
The LWB isn't a lot longer than the SWB outside but you do get more usable space in the rear (between the sliding door an the rear arches)
The answer to this is what you can find. There are a LOT more SWB than LWB. So people usually end up with SWB, as they don't want to wait for a LWB.
The SWB seems plenty long enough for jus the two of us
If I was to start again and there was a choice between similar SWB and LWB, I think I would go for the rarer LWB. But I don;t think I would wait around too long to find one.

Engine
Diesel vs Petrol

Starting to get to a point where diesel isn't that much cheaper to run that a petrol.
but the extra torque from the diesel is worth it.
If I was to start again, I would stick with a diesel, unless I found a ready converted petrol to LPG van. Which I presume are like Hens Teeth.

Engine(T4)
1.9 vs 2.4 vs 2.5

The 1.9 is fine for plodding along and can be tweaked to it doesn't struggle too much on hills.
Same for the 2.4.
Both can be converted to turbo versions.
As I like my power we went for the 2.5 110 (now tuned to 156bhp) which I am VERY happy with.
Couple of 1 in 4's round my way and even fully laden, she doesn't struggle at all.
(The extra weight of the LWB will also benefit from the bigger engine as much as it will punish the smaller engines)
On the forum, most people who have owned both will recommend the 2.5 over the 1.9 or the 2.4
Although the 2.5 is harder (and therefore more expensive) to work on if things DO go wrong.
If I was to start again, I would go got the highest power diesel engine I could get in both the T4 and T5, as it must be awful struggling to climb hills, with angry peeps behind you!

200,000 miles on an engine!
Yup, 200,000 is getting to be the norm on the T4's now.
People on here are running over 300,000! Looked after well, the engines can go on for a long time.
Engine transplants are now also commonplace. So if you choose a solid van, do all your conversion and your engine gives up the ghost, it is not necessarily a write off.

Order of work?
First an most important thing is to work out your electrics.
Running them after you have done anything else can be more complex.
Even insulating and boarding out.... as you can use these for hiding the electrics.
Second insulating and boarding out
templates and boards can be bought on ebay. Along with carpeting.
Then you need to decided on your layout.
The "norm" now is a 3/4 rock and roll bed (which is a seat that turns into a bed) with a full run of furniture along the drivers side of the van. (See the T4Life website)

Like I said, these are just all my ramblings and may not be 100% right. But I wish I had read something along theses lines when I had started looking.
There are probably loads of this kind of thing on here but I didn't search well enough

Wish I knew all this before I started!


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Let the flames commence LOL:
 

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Yes good advice, this thread will be good for forwarding to a newbie who ask all these questions, so they are now in one place.T:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
good advice for a newb
Yes good advice, this thread will be good for forwarding to a newbie who ask all these questions, so they are now in one place.T:
Cheers guys...

Again, they are just my opinions. T:

Just thought someone should write them down in one place.
 

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I wanted to argue and bicker..but I concur with every point. Obliviously you missed...
"once you have insulated the van, post as many pics on the forum as members love them"!
 

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Am I being too cheeky asking if this should be a sticky?

Seen a lot of questions on these subjects recently....
not at all, its one of the main faults of this forum that at the top of every section there should be a sticky with FAQ's, it would cut down dramatically on the reposts,
 

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Discussion Starter #14
not at all, its one of the main faults of this forum that at the top of every section there should be a sticky with FAQ's, it would cut down dramatically on the reposts,
HE HE HE ... Im not sure WHICH section it would be a sticky in though?

Are people sure it is accurate? Seems strange I would have got something right! LOL:
 

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Another uber "come in handy" list to add to my collection as the never ending quest goes on to actually find a suitable T for purchasement. Cheers fella.
 

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Some really useful stuff there. But on the petrol v diesel front I'd suggest adding that petrol is well worth considering if it's not going to be a daily driver.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Some really useful stuff there. But on the petrol v diesel front I'd suggest adding that petrol is well worth considering if it's not going to be a daily driver.
I guess you are right there. Do you want to elaborate on that... and I will stick it into the post? T:
 
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