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    Daihatsu/suzuki/bambi

    What does everyone think about these little camper vans. Good, bad ugly ? Are they prone to rust, breakdown , are they thirsty . Are they fun to use or too much trouble? Any thoughts? Love to know what you think/ experienced.

    #2
    I can only talk about the DAIHATSU HIJET 1300 - pickup with a Romahome demountable pod.
    IMHO the best van I have ever owned. If keep my right foot off the load pedal just over 30 mpg - about 3 gallons per hundred miles. I am 6 foot tall and can stand in the "well" at the back.
    With 2 of us and a large dog of course we are a bit cramped, but when everything is done by a system we can cope. April / May we were away for 3 weeks and travelled Lands End and the Lizard to John O' Groats and Dunnets Head via Visit Scotland's "Snow Road" route (2 highest parts of the UK roads ) we then followed the North Coast 500 which includes Beach Na Ba an unclassified road 3rd highest!
    We have owned the van for 18 months - it has been to Scotland 3 times - and many other places. As you can see the front end has been customised - this improved the headlights (a weak point on the Daihatsu). I got the van cheap and so far have done the following.-
    1. Replaced all the tyres (as a precaution even the spare.
    2. Fitted Spring Assisters - an essential I think
    3 Fitted Solar Panel 100 watt and 110 amp hour Leisure battery (we usually wild camp and never use a hookup).
    4 Fitted a compressor fridge.
    5. Replaced the front struts
    6 Replaced some brake pipes
    7. Side lights and all rear lights are LED Interior lights too!
    8. New Clutch
    9 Changed front brake pads
    10. Changed both rooflights
    11 Replaced pod window seals
    12 Painted pod - cab was resprayed with custom job!
    13 Replaced wall covering, cupboard doors and recovered seats and backs - extended the pelmets.
    14 Fitted a 30 litre water tank (essential on NC 500 moto was keep fuel tank and water full and loo empty at every opportunity).

    One major breakdown - the main loom caught fire - cause was where it had rubbed on the front cross member - just one of those things and all was fixed by an auto electrician.
    There is a design fault on the nearside front hub - the stub axle & nut are normal thread - so a little prone to the nut cutting through the soft metal split pin and undoing - the cure is to use a 4mm Allen Key through the hole and bend it being tool steel this will not wear away!
    For the money a great little van - we are pensioners and this little truck is our sole vehicle - being RWD it is very manouverable I can park when VW T5s have failed to parralell park. This little truck is the best all rounder camper / motorhome I have had.

    ​​​​​​​#Jon
    Amor omnia vincit et nos cedamus amori
    https://smallromahome2oldies1largedog.blogspot.co.uk/

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      #3
      I should also say if / when the truck becomes terminal too expensive to repair - MOT or breakdown. The Pod removes with 4 plates to undo - the electrics unplug ata trailer plug and 2 wires from the pod to leisure battery. Some have legs - see Donks Dad's posts he swaps his weekly between a van body and camper.
      on
      Amor omnia vincit et nos cedamus amori
      https://smallromahome2oldies1largedog.blogspot.co.uk/

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        #4
        It sounds like a Labour of love. But worth it. They look so charming and fun at the same time. Thanks for sharing .

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          #5
          I have always wanted one!
          but i am scared stiff i would buy a lemon. and that parts would be hard to come by these days.

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            #6
            I know, I'm the same, but if you do enough research into the background and check it's history and be Cautious! You reduce your chances of a lemon. And it helps if you have a friend who knows a bit about vehicles!

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