Panel Van Conversions, Pro's and Con's

exwindsurfer

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I put a nice spoiler up front to help the mpg
C4C1AE9B-1457-487F-B01C-E428E6634A76.jpeg
 

barryd

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Yea, but turning the front seats gives you more space
You would gain more
Not really as I have two lounges. One in the front and one in the back. With a front lounge only van with a bed over a raised garage you only have half the day time space. Plus both of us like to "lounge" on an evening in the back rather than sit upright in the same chair ive probably been driving all day in. There is an added advantage on an Aire also that nine times out of ten you are in the back on an evening and everyone else is in the front and if they are all parked the same way nobody is looking straight into your lounge area and with the overhang you can park a bit further back. Gives you space to do something different up the front if the other is down the back doing something else.

I wouldnt really want the scooter in the garage anyway as Ive seen the faff they are getting them in and out. A rack is so much easier and faster.
 

suneye

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I don't think that you need to spend huge money to get a good conversion and there are always ways to get what you want a bit cheaper. We didn't want to pay for lithium batteries and went for lead carbon which do exactly what we want without the problems in cold weather and at a fraction of the price. We shopped around, recycled and made stuff ourselves and got exactly what we wanted.
 

barryd

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Dont want to go off topic too much but what is the deal with Lithium batteries that cost £1000 each? What do they do that my normal battery I bought in France for a hundred Euros in 2015 doesn't do?
 

suneye

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They are lighter, last longer, cope with deeper discharge and are generally more efficient but not sure that makes up for the price, especially when a lot of the problems with using a normal battery for a leisure battery is addressed by carbon for less than £200. They have their own problems though, mostly that they don't like the cold. Having said that if you have the money and want the best they fit the bill.
 

grath

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Not really as I have two lounges. One in the front and one in the back. With a front lounge only van with a bed over a raised garage you only have half the day time space. Plus both of us like to "lounge" on an evening in the back rather than sit upright in the same chair ive probably been driving all day in. There is an added advantage on an Aire also that nine times out of ten you are in the back on an evening and everyone else is in the front and if they are all parked the same way nobody is looking straight into your lounge area and with the overhang you can park a bit further back. Gives you space to do something different up the front if the other is down the back doing something else.

I wouldnt really want the scooter in the garage anyway as Ive seen the faff they are getting them in and out. A rack is so much easier and faster.
Can't agree at all Barry
If you are not turning the front seats they are a complete waste of space when parked up and you miss the view.
Regarding looking into others vans, just turn around, easy as that and another advantage is if you go for a European van you will get the door on the correct side for Europe, it works much better and easier tofu in.
Again I need to say, we could get our scooter out from the garage very nearly as quick as from the rear rack. It just needs a routine and quick release fittings. None of these straps over the handlebars and around the springs .
We used just one strap, same as when on the rack. Easy peasy!
It just needs thinking about and you will have a much greater choice of suitable vans.
Works for Johny Forigner (y)
 

mark61

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No. I would never want a trailer of any description. Just not practical for us on a long tour. There are a couple of suitable Coachbuilt vans that are up to the job of what we want with the right layout but they are a bit like hens teeth at the moment. Im not in any hurry though.
Thats a shame, been wanting someone to try it out before I go and try it. :LOL:

I have done plans for one, just not sure if I can be bothered. The idea of having room and extra load capacity for a quad, 100/150 litres extra fuel, make it worthwhile visiting Luxembourg, same amount of extra water, shower, could even have a bath, and other stuff too, still keeps me pondering the idea. Much better for maneuvering on tight lanes than a larger MH.
Downside more expensive ferry and no more enjoying unrestricted M Ways in Germany. Sure there are other downsides too.
 

grath

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Thats a shame, been wanting someone to try it out before I go and try it. :LOL:

I have done plans for one, just not sure if I can be bothered. The idea of having room and extra load capacity for a quad, 100/150 litres extra fuel, make it worthwhile visiting Luxembourg, same amount of extra water, shower, could even have a bath, and other stuff too, still keeps me pondering the idea. Much better for maneuvering on tight lanes than a larger MH.
Downside more expensive ferry and no more enjoying unrestricted M Ways in Germany. Sure there are other downsides too.
I am not adverse to a trailer and if we had a panel van and still had a scooter, I would have had one. It would have been a box trailer so I could carry all the other stuff.
I suppose it would be second nature as Ex Boat trade and Trukie
Don't think I would want a quad though as everybody would think we were French :ROFLMAO:
 

grath

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I am now even wondering if a VW with a drive away awning would meet our needs. It could, one day, replace our car,
Mind you, a couple weeks ago, I did consider a tent while having a 🍷 or🍷🍷🍷
Just a thought!
It would be a massive change and certainly mean more proper aires with facilities
 

mark61

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I am not adverse to a trailer and if we had a panel van and still had a scooter, I would have had one. It would have been a box trailer so I could carry all the other stuff.
I suppose it would be second nature as Ex Boat trade and Trukie
Don't think I would want a quad though as everybody would think we were French :ROFLMAO:
Never thought of being thought of as French 😂

Yes, box trailer, upgrade locks and security stuff, more room for solar panels and as many batteries as you want. Fridge, bar, sauna, hot tub.
I'm liking the idea more now. :LOL:
 

grath

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When we purchased our Exsis it was either the Exsis or Cathargo Malibu with box trailer.
I wish I had gone the other way! 😳
We had a cracking deal offered, but Kath struggled with the sliding door
We even put a deposit down
 

exwindsurfer

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Dont want to go off topic too much but what is the deal with Lithium batteries that cost £1000 each? What do they do that my normal battery I bought in France for a hundred Euros in 2015 doesn't do?
Last way longer unlike lead acid you can only use 50 percent of its capacity
 

Dezi

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Hi, We considered self build a few, many, years back but at the the time I was ferrying a friend to Falmouth art collage
each term time which meant that I passed Murvi's front door on a regular basis and I would call in to get a few tips.

In 1999 they informed me that I could pick up a Fiat long wheelbase van in Ireland for around £10,000 under the price
we would pay in England.

I booked the ferry and got one from J. Donohue Ltd in Ennisdorthy. 52.514684, -6.564552
We paid just under £11,000 including Ferry tickets, temporary insurance and number plates, as opposed to
the £19,965 quoted in April 1999 for a Fiat maxi van on the road price here.

Murvi got to work and six weeks later we had a Murvi morello for about the same price as a self build.
We find that a well converted panel van is ideal for us two and have not run out of storage yet.

So before you go down the self build route have a look around and maybe there is a purpose built van out there
that with a few tweaks could be your ideal unit.

Dezi
 

mark61

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I am now even wondering if a VW with a drive away awning would meet our needs. It could, one day, replace our car,
Mind you, a couple weeks ago, I did consider a tent while having a 🍷 or🍷🍷🍷
Just a thought!
It would be a massive change and certainly mean more proper aires with facilities

Probably better off with the SWB versions of the Master, Sprinter etc. So much more room inside than a Transporter with a similar footprint.

Transporters are very sweet to drive though, and I think you get away with cheaper tolls in France too.
 

Nabsim

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Don’t forget you don’t need to limit your van by what you can park at home, I never even considered doing that when we looked round for new house Caz did though). I just have a storage space for the times I am not in it. Maybe no good if van is you only vehicle but we have the car, if we didn’t one of the kids would run me to it.
I like van conversions and would love to have a go myself but years past being able to do more than think about it lol. If I have any problems with C1 I intend downplaying my van if possible and towing a trailer on it. So long as it keeps going it will see me out, love the size and layout of my 7.8mtr for me
 

REC

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I am now even wondering if a VW with a drive away awning would meet our needs. It could, one day, replace our car,
Mind you, a couple weeks ago, I did consider a tent while having a 🍷 or🍷🍷🍷
Just a thought!
It would be a massive change and certainly mean more proper aires with facilities
I suppose that the way things are going, more will have to use Aires with facilities anyway...would be good in UK for short trips. Outdoor/external shower abroad? !! :oops: not for us though. We don't have an awning, having already got a fairly large easy put up tent which we use if on a site to provide sitting area, outdoor kitchen and driveway marker. It was the headroom which got to us when we had a small base van....both fairly tall, as we get older dressing is easier if able to stand up fully!
 

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