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Thread: Campervan

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    Established TDF Member steelemonkey's Avatar
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    Campervan

    I am thinking of buying a cheap campervan. Any tips?
    Paul.
    If God had meant us to breathe underwater, he would have given us larger bank balances.
    Human beings were invented by water as a means of moving itself from one place to another.

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    Established TDF Member Eddie Clamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steelemonkey View Post
    I am thinking of buying a cheap campervan. Any tips?
    New or secondhand? For scuba use or not?
    Last edited by Eddie Clamp; 07-06-2019 at 09:53 AM.

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    Established TDF Member Chrisch's Avatar
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    There is no such thing as a "cheap" campervan. There are old, shit vans that are less expensive than the overpriced new ones. Best value for money is probably a conversion. Old vans have an old base vehicle that is normally a shitty old commercial that coughs out smoke and does chuff all to the gallon. Anything that is VW is "fashionable" and will be twice the price of any other make (cult status).

    The idea appeals to me but the cost is bonkers and for a lot less money you can stay in a nice hotel.

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    Established TDF Member steelemonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eddie Clamp View Post
    New or secondhand? For scuba use or not?
    Secondhand, some scuba use but not the main use.
    Paul.
    If God had meant us to breathe underwater, he would have given us larger bank balances.
    Human beings were invented by water as a means of moving itself from one place to another.

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    Established TDF Member steelemonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chrisch View Post
    There is no such thing as a "cheap" campervan. There are old, shit vans that are less expensive than the overpriced new ones. Best value for money is probably a conversion. Old vans have an old base vehicle that is normally a shitty old commercial that coughs out smoke and does chuff all to the gallon. Anything that is VW is "fashionable" and will be twice the price of any other make (cult status).

    The idea appeals to me but the cost is bonkers and for a lot less money you can stay in a nice hotel.
    I have seen reasonable Ford based for less than 5000
    Paul.
    If God had meant us to breathe underwater, he would have given us larger bank balances.
    Human beings were invented by water as a means of moving itself from one place to another.

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    Octopus Ink Team gpj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chrisch View Post
    There is no such thing as a "cheap" campervan. There are old, shit vans that are less expensive than the overpriced new ones. Best value for money is probably a conversion. Old vans have an old base vehicle that is normally a shitty old commercial that coughs out smoke and does chuff all to the gallon. Anything that is VW is "fashionable" and will be twice the price of any other make (cult status).

    The idea appeals to me but the cost is bonkers and for a lot less money you can stay in a nice hotel.
    I agree, and you don't have problems fitting a nice hotel/B&B into a car sized parking space.
    Find us on FB - Casnewydd Scuba.

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    Established TDF Member Eddie Clamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steelemonkey View Post
    Secondhand, some scuba use but not the main use.
    My campervan experience is well out of date now. First bought one while serving in Berlin in 1977 Mainly for family use. Travelled all over Germany and into southern France where I dived. We had great fun. 1988 bought a Murvi http://www.murvi.co.uk/ and drove overland from UK to Greece and then by sea to Cyprus where I used it for two years for family and diving. Was DO BSAC 120(S) and van was very useful for towing rib plus diving gear to various locations around the island. Sold it on return 1991 in exchange for a secondhand 6 month old Fiat Autosleeper. Great van but rusted away over 20 odd years, so gor rid of it. Miss it in someways.

    Good luck!

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    A friend of mine just bought a mid 90s LDV Pilot Camper with 100k on the clock that looked like it was a few months away from being turned into a NDAC Taxi. He paid 3000, nearly fell off my chair when he told me.

    All round leaf springs, felt like the guy who built it (Dave from the midlands probably) was trying to compete with the Chevy Corvair for the "unsafe at any speed" title.

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    Pedantic Pig Divemouse's Avatar
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    If you have any practical skills at all (and I assume you do), buy a normal van and convert - you'll get the layout you want for a fraction of the price and you don't have to put up with someone else's taste or ideas of 'safe'. A Fiat Ducato is a really good starter van, we have an Iveco Daily 5.5m ex minibus. It has darkened windows and is tall enough to walk around in. Buy a leisure battery and consider a good sized solar panel for the roof - ours can run a fridge, camera chargers, lights, fan and water without blinking and the solar panel tops it up if we use the microwave or kettle. Don't buy anything 'designed' for motor homes, like kitchen units etc, they have the same tax as anything with 'wedding' in front of it. Line it out and insulate it to prevent cold and condensation. Keep it looking like a van on the outside and you can park in any normal road overnight without being moved on.
    hormone addled, protective, psychotic, hate filled killer

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    Established TDF Member Chrisch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steelemonkey View Post
    I have seen reasonable Ford based for less than 5000
    If you can find something like that you are doing well and it might be worth a punt. The thing to check is chassis rust with an older Ford. Also if it was the old V4 petrol engine in the Transit they were shit (although you could probably put a new engine model in.

    So much depends on the condition of the donor van and of the fittings. Things like windows and vents will be obsolete. The electronics are also probably hard to come by if not obsolete and the cooking gear might also be too old to get parts. If there is a heater it too will be old and several of the manufacturers have stopped an after sales parts service now. Personally I would expect to spend another grand or so to bring the thing up to a half decent standard. Furniture and fittings can usually be repaired if you are a DIY person (I am not). Does the roof lift? There is another potential issue.

    We thought about one for diving and weekends with the mountainbike. Wet gear and dirty bikes don't mix with clean interiors. (Our car smells like an old dog has slept in it). Plus a lot of the world now you have to pay to park overnight and the campsite fee is half a cheap hotel like PremierInn.

    Not trying to put you off (honestly!) but just have a long think about the cost-benefit. A panel van and a caravan is a good alternative as you can put the dive kit in the van and keep the towing shed clean. However some (many?) campsites don't let vans on as there is a prejudice towards pikey travellers. (Our van is new ['17 plate] and not sign written). So after a lot of research we do Travelodge or PremierInn.


 
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