Conversion
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Motorhome Facts -> Newcomers

Author: MissChief PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2008 10:28 am    Post subject:  Conversion

Hi - Newbie in every sense of the word here

I am looking probably a conversion - maybe one to do myself, maybe i will buy one 2nd hand

I read this sentence on a website "To be classed as a motor caravan you must have a bed 6' long, so you need to use lay flat front seats to make up your bed in this size of van."

What does this imply? If a conversion isnt done right you wont get insurance? What does having your conversion classed as a motor caravan mean? or if it doesnt make the grade is it uninsurable? Or does it just mean its still a transit van with bits inside?

many thanks

Author: johng1974

Location: North Kent - Sussex Border

PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2008 10:59 am    Post subject:  

hi Chief

I cannot believe that quote... i just cant Smile


waiting to be shot down...
John

Author: johng1974

Location: North Kent - Sussex Border

PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2008 11:02 am    Post subject:  

regarding the conversion though... it seems like a great idea to start from scratch.. but it will be a fair amount of work..

However, this fits in with your time frame.. if you could begin now and use the summer to start the build.. you may be ready for next spring..

there are two books worth a look, amongst others, both are haynes, they cover small van conversions and how to build them.. I have them but they are at home, someone else will know the names of them.. bedtime reading?
may help you to decided which route to go down, ie. buy already done and improve, or start from the start...

J

Author: MissChief PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2008 11:29 am    Post subject:  

johng1974 wrote:

I cannot believe that quote... i just cant Smile
John
why? it it utter b------s!?

I found something else on another site. a chap was converting a van into "an adventure wagon"

"I mean plush: quiet, warm, cosy. Somewhere to come back to and flop out or crash overnight. Somewhere where you can relax with a cold beer or a hot cup of tea and listen to some chilled-out tunes. This is not a camper van: there are no plans to cram a family in it for a fortnight, or to live in it, or to do extended catering. If I want catering, I'll go to a cafe. It's a rolling base-camp."

This is more of what I am after, not bothered about a cooker (i got portable stuff anyway because we go camping) or toilet / shower etc. Just a bed / seats, stereo, storage

So it that quote up there not true!? If i were to convert a normal transit van into a moving chillout spot, would there be insrance implications (i dont want to spend 000's then find it is just a nice extension for the house) or any other implications (like MOT etc - remember i said i am clueless!!)

(one last thing - i am re-searching all over the internet, not just asking random questions here)

Author: GerryD

Location: Bedfordshire

PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2008 11:36 am    Post subject:  

It sounds as if all you are trying to do is dump a matress in a trannie. That can never be a motor caravan. My understanding is that it must at the very least have cooking facilities and a full sized bed, although the bed can use the front seats for it's dimensions. It must also have windows. To be classified as a motorcaravan for Tax and therefore insurance it must conform to the set criteria.
Your insurance company will not be happy if you carry out any conversion work without informing them and proving that it is safe.

Author: bigfoot

Location: Wirral. North West England

PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2008 11:37 am    Post subject:  

Over the years many vehicles have been produced which have been able to transform into a sleeping unit: Austin maxi,Fiat Panda,Toyota space cruiser. Lots of vehicles now have fully reclining seats so whats the difference?
Dayvans are a popular title for them. If you use properly constructed equipment and substantsiate it with an engineers report,insurance should'nt be a problem

Author: MissChief PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2008 12:20 pm    Post subject:  

GerryD wrote:
It sounds as if all you are trying to do is dump a matress in a trannie.
well... not quite... I am thinking seating with a table that can be transformed into a bed. And storage for thing like cooking equipment, cutlery, food etc. I think yes windows will be a must so its a bit more than a van with a mattress in. I am new to all this by the way.

bigfoot wrote:

Dayvans are a popular title for them. If you use properly constructed equipment and substantsiate it with an engineers report,insurance should'nt be a problem

Yes, i think this is an apt title.

Where would i get an engineers report? Is that from a garage? And properly constructed equipment... I think the Haynes manuals that johng1974 has mentioned will be a good starter. i wouldnt want to go drilling through a van then find that putting random holes everywhere will have destroyed it for anything but scrap...

Author: maddie

Location: SOUTH YORKS

PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2008 12:28 pm    Post subject:  

Laughing Laughing Laughing HI, ALMOST right,NOT Laughing
Basicly if you have a bed water and cooker Adrian flux and a few other co's will insure it.What you do after that is down to your preference.The bed can be any size with or without the front seat use, single or double.The cooker can also be whatever you deem fit, camping stove to a full size,and the sink / water can be from a bottle into a bowl or tanks etc,it all depends on what you want and how good a job you want. Done using new gear, you are going to spend in excess of 5,000 minimum to do a good job weather this is on a new van or second hand It will still cost the same.If you use a dooner caravan for parts this will reduce your costs but also make your conversion a little more difficult/bodgy as you need to size things differently from originals rather than make from scatch so to speak.When it comes to sale time if you do a good job you will sell at a premium but if not you will not get much more than the cost of a empty van price. The best bit about home conversion is getting the layout and stuff you want and not what the manufacterers say
Good luck, and if you need more info just ask
terry

Author: maggielou

Location: Nottingham

PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2008 12:46 pm    Post subject:  

Hi

My husband and I did a home conversion on a T4 in 2001. To be inured as a motorhome and to have the V5 reflect this it must meet certain criteria as already stated.

If you do not want to insure it as a motorhome and just keep the existing commercial vehicle insurance then you should inform your insurance company and ask to retain the current insurance.

If you do a part conversion you will probably regret it. It is now quite cheap to buy the furniture required for a basic convesion.

I think a Transit van may be wide enough across the rear to fit a pull out bed. Put your little cupboards with worktop and inset sink and hob along the near side and perhaps a storage area on the off side. Then all that is needed is a rail to fit the table to. A water pump in a container under the sink with a micro tap will give you running water. Most garages will do you a simple 12v electric system for lighting and pump.

You can always add extras latter. swivel seats etc.

Sinks, hobs and ready made camper furniture in easily and cheaply available now.

Try the self build website. they are very helpful. cant remember the full name just google self build camper

Good luck

Maggs

Author: MissChief PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2008 12:50 pm    Post subject:  

maddie wrote:
Laughing Laughing Laughing HI, ALMOST right,NOT Laughing
Basicly if you have a bed water and cooker Adrian flux and a few other co's will insure it.What you do after that is down to your preference.The bed can be any size with or without the front seat use, single or double.The cooker can also be whatever you deem fit, camping stove to a full size,and the sink / water can be from a bottle into a bowl or tanks etc
so basically any kind of van with stuff inside has to have as a minimum a bed,water and cooker to get insurance? and do you mean they have to be fitted in - or did i read correctly that I cold have a portable camping stove stored in a box in the back with a 3 litre bottle of water and this will suffice as your water / cooker!?

anyway, this is where i got that second quote from and sort of gives y'all a clue of what i would proabably like.
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maggielou wrote:
If you do not want to insure it as a motorhome and just keep the existing commercial vehicle insurance then you should inform your insurance company and ask to retain the current insurance.
AHA!!! Thanks! I get it now Very Happy I wasnt sure if I did a part conversion if that would invalidate it as a van AND a motorhome. So basically if i put in just a bed and cupboards it would still be insured as a van (though id obviously have to let the insurers know) and if i added water and cooker it would be a motorhome. Riiight - The penny has finally dropped!



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