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Recommend a car that converts well into a camper

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    Recommend a car that converts well into a camper

    Dear all,

    in light of all the new scary guidances from the DVLA, i am contemplating that my next 'car' will have the ability to temporarily remove the back seats & be converted into a stealth camper.
    Thinking about something with a low engine capacity but a large body & ideally being quite tall in total height. Ideally between 5 and 10 years old.

    Bongo's etc would be ideal except for the large engine and hence car tax.

    So, recommendations on ideal vehicles brands please ?

    thanks

    #2
    Main problem is that unless you can fit sleeping compartment totally in the back (ie without encroaching into front cabin space), your stealth is out of the window.
    So my first requirement would be at least 2m (80") at the back without having to move the driver's seat.
    That is based on my experience of Kangoo conversion, that is fine and very stealthy until I set it up for the night... than my window blinds are betraying my presence inside.
    So what I really want is seriously LWB version of Kangoo :-) and it cannot be achieved with overhang, because I often use my van to tow the trailer and than I want as little overhang as possible.
    Of course this can be easily achieved by getting something like Transit, but that's moving away from the idea of Small Motorhome Camping
    Another consideration (at least form me) is that I am using my campervan as my only vehicle and I really want something like a car (rather than a van or lorry).
    So I will be interested in recommendations (for my next project) - maybe there is something I am missing?

    Chris

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      #3
      For how many people? Do you still need the rear seats, how many will be sleeping in there?

      The Suzuki Carry van is useful for conversion if a) you only need to drive with 2, b) you are quite narrow or want to sleep only 1.

      It would be possible to have 2 people sleeping if you have a thin end cupboard, and slide the seats forward to make the 6 foot bed. All sorts of combinations depending on what gear you want to have built-in.

      You can pick up ex builders/florists/bakers vans at a reasonable cost. I'd always go for the newer shape one with the 1.3 engine. 45mpg and reasonable road tax. Under 2m high too, so no problems with car park barriers! Have a look at http://www.steamydave.co.uk/index.php?page=32 for some ideas.

      There seem to be lots of other cars being converted on here as well. Some look very roomy considering.

      Dave
      SteamyDave http://www.steamydave.co.uk/campervan
      "If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants."

      Comment


        #4
        any opinions on the toyota previa and all the different variants of these ? any pitfalls to watch out for ? what about other manufacturers with similar vehicles ? the nissan serena ? or the mazda bongo ?
        Last edited by RomaDenizen; 30-07-2011, 15:03.

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          #5
          I have my eye on a LWB Kangoo but these are still relatively new so I'll need to wait a few years until cheaper second-hand models are available.

          Other vehicles could include the passenger versions of the Citroen Dispatch/Fiat Scudo. I'm still a Kangoo convert though for the best balance of economy vs space and it's quick and easy to shunt the front seat forwards for camping.

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            #6
            the fiat scudo & ford transit tourneo connect are both very interesting looking, but 1) WILL my car insurance company regard them as a car ? and 2) will my camper insurance company accept that i also have another 'car' ?

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              #7
              If you buy passenger versions then they should be taxed/insured as cars.

              As for your campervan insurer, they like you to have a car and for the campervan to be your second vehicle solely for SD&P.

              Or you could keep and maintain just one vehicle - a Kangoo/Transit Connect/Citroen Dispatch/Fiat Scudo... etc and make this as multi-purpose as possible just as I've done with my van. (It is easier with a van though, rather than a car, because some internal fitting out is acceptable or even expected!)

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                #8
                We don't have such issues with safeguard, no one has ever asked about another vehicle although my wife does have a car. Also when I was working it was insured for commuting and for carrying books and children (I was a teacher).

                Peter

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                  #9
                  Originally posted by karenw View Post
                  I have my eye on a LWB Kangoo ...
                  There is another choice, that I would look very closely at - VW Caddy Maxi.

                  Chris

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                    #10
                    Originally posted by bambuko View Post
                    There is another choice, that I would look very closely at - VW Caddy Maxi.
                    Chris
                    A good choice. I've been looking at one which parks locally and measuring it up. Unfortunately, I haven't seen many for sale and the few I have were waaaaaay out of my budget. They're a perfect size though - small enough to be economical for day to day use and long enough to almost keep the bed permanently set up!

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                      #11
                      vw caddy maxi life looks excellent - is there anything older & hence cheaper ? but similar in size from any manufacturer ?

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Not as far as I know. Both Caddy Maxi and Kangoo LWB are relatively recent development.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by RomaDenizen View Post
                          vw caddy maxi life looks excellent - is there anything older & hence cheaper ? but similar in size from any manufacturer ?
                          The Citroen Dispatch is the next one up from the Berlingo, the older model should be OK for what you want

                          I think that there is space for a bed without sliding the seats forward. It is also wider, the van comes with three seats in the front.

                          There is an equivalent Peugeot model
                          Derek Our Berlingo camping car

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                            #14
                            anybody knows about the Hyundai i800 ? any good & which vehicle preceded it ?

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Derek View Post
                              The Citroen Dispatch is the next one up from the Berlingo, the older model should be OK for what you want

                              I think that there is space for a bed without sliding the seats forward. It is also wider, the van comes with three seats in the front.

                              There is an equivalent Peugeot model
                              A nice looking and reasonable priced conversion of both the Citroen Dispatch, Peugeot Expert and Fiat Scudo (they are basically the same van) is available at www.convertyourvan.co.uk
                              If you had a van coverted with a blackout blind behind the front seats it would be a stealth van.
                              Personaly I would go for the mpv version with limo black tints and blackout blinds fitted alround.

                              Comment

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