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🚐 🚙 🚌 Campervan/Motorhome conversions, and other related stuff ...


webtrekker

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Just wondering if any other members have gone down the van conversion route?

 

We've recently bought a 2011 Vauxhall Vivaro diesel van and are busy kitting it out as a campervan (of sorts!). It's a SWB model and doesn't have a hi-top, so space is limited, but adequate. I've made a pull-out double bed that slides back to form a seat. Also fitted a reversing camera, leisure battery on a split-charge system, and various other tweaks and comforts.

 

The plan is to mainly do some wild camping in Scotland. My brother-in-law also owns a Vivaro and he and his wife travel regularly to the Berwick and North Berwick areas, where they park up overnight in pub car parks, or designated lay-bys. This has worked really well for them and is much less expensive (as in mostly FREE!) compared to staying on campsites.

 

I'll not bore you with any more, unless this topic gains a bit of interest.

 

 

 

Edited by webtrekker
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6 hours ago, webtrekker said:

Just wondering if any other members have gone down the van conversion route?

 

We've recently bought a 2011 Vauxhall Vivaro diesel van and are busy kitting it out as a campervan (of sorts!). It's a SWB model and doesn't have a hi-top, so space is limited, but adequate. I've made a pull-out double bed that slides back to form a seat. Also fitted a reversing camera, leisure battery on a split-charge system, and various other tweaks and comforts.

 

The plan is to mainly do some wild camping in Scotland. My brother-in-law also owns a Vivaro and he and his wife travel regularly to the Berwick and North Berwick areas, where they park up overnight in pub car parks, or designated lay-bys. This has worked really well for them and is much less expensive (as in mostly FREE!) compared to staying on campsites.

 

I'll not bore you with any more, unless this topic gains a bit of interest.

 

 

 

Good for you mate, best of luck to you both 👍, but, be prepared to rush back home to your 15 minute city if ordered to, you KNOW it makes sense!🤭

Can you answer this one?, = IF travelers like to travel, why do they moan when the police move them on?🤔 Answers on a postcard please Care of Big Jim, head nurse, room 35, secure unit, Broadmoor Hospital, Crowthorne, Berkshire!👍

In all seriousness, there's a road in Brighton, near me, called Wilson Avenuedownload(18).jpg.b2c728605f1d6314f81ab33244dd20b7.jpg very near the sea as you can see, and at the top end near the lights where the racecourse crosses the road there's a long layby and the council have supplied a standpipe for overnighters to top up their water supplies!👍

An old boy from Scotland comes down in his camper for the summer season every year since his wife died,  and rents out his home in Scotland on a short term lease! And just down past that taxi in the pic is a left turn into the caravan club site download(19).jpg.16cd2fc2e57e15e1cd9beac06ba12d96.jpg Guess which one the old boy chooses?🤔🤭 He leaves his camper there in the layby  and travels around on his pensioner's bus pass all over Sussex for little day trips!👍

Edited by Mr Crabtree
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My wife and one of our granddaughters is taking the campervan for a trial run to North Berwick today for the next 3 nights, so we'll see how it goes.

 

We've been tent campers for most of our adult life so we're not afraid to rough it a bit. Having a campervan though means that there's no tent to erect or take down (usually in the worst possible weather!), so that's a plus. 

 

I'm particularly interested in how well the leisure battery will perform. We've had a couple of caravans in the past but they were always on electric hookups. Maybe I'll look into solar charging later this year.

 

 

 

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35 minutes ago, webtrekker said:

My wife and one of our granddaughters is taking the campervan for a trial run to North Berwick today for the next 3 nights, so we'll see how it goes.

 

We've been tent campers for most of our adult life so we're not afraid to rough it a bit. Having a campervan though means that there's no tent to erect or take down (usually in the worst possible weather!), so that's a plus. 

 

I'm particularly interested in how well the leisure battery will perform. We've had a couple of caravans in the past but they were always on electric hookups. Maybe I'll look into solar charging later this year.

 

 

 

When our girls were nippers we had a very basic Robin caravan and I fitted a cassette player into the wall at the side of their bed and they used to nod off listening to 'Burglar Bill' story tapes, very basic, but lovely memories! The first time I ever towed it we went up the Horseshoe Passhsp.jpg.1c8e59c02b2211631c92bbbb19a9959c.jpg 

horseshoe-pass.jpg.81fe6c32aaf6ca758a8c209101d3fc78.jpg

I can recommend this as a wonderful cure for constipation 👍🫣 Wales, the West Country, the Forest of Dean, and of course that Mecca for all Midlanders,

Weston Super Mare { A.K.A.= 'Weston Super Mud' } YES, the World was our Oyster!

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For anyone toying with the idea of campervan/motorhome touring and wondering where they can stay, I can recommend having a look at the Free-to-join Search For Sites website ...

 

https://www.searchforsites.co.uk/

 

 

2024-02-18_12-28-45.png.f8cb955a2f06c47f4c2436f40a48ba6a.png

 

I'm not affiliated in any way to this site but have found it very handy and easy to use, with reliable information.

 

 

 

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12 hours ago, webtrekker said:

Just wondering if any other members have gone down the van conversion route?

 

We've recently bought a 2011 Vauxhall Vivaro diesel van and are busy kitting it out as a campervan (of sorts!). It's a SWB model and doesn't have a hi-top, so space is limited, but adequate. I've made a pull-out double bed that slides back to form a seat. Also fitted a reversing camera, leisure battery on a split-charge system, and various other tweaks and comforts.

 

The plan is to mainly do some wild camping in Scotland. My brother-in-law also owns a Vivaro and he and his wife travel regularly to the Berwick and North Berwick areas, where they park up overnight in pub car parks, or designated lay-bys. This has worked really well for them and is much less expensive (as in mostly FREE!) compared to staying on campsites.

 

I'll not bore you with any more, unless this topic gains a bit of interest.

 

 

 

That sounds really great! Van conversions and van life in general is kicking off right now, and has been for the last few years. 
What’s not to like? No council tax, no utility bills, just fuel and food to pay for. 
We’ll see a lot more of this soon, as more and more people feel the pinch. 
Have you joined any van life forums yet, I bet you’d get plenty of inspiration and money saving tips from them.

 

Wild camping in Scotland eh, well go careful and watch out for the dogmen scratching at your windows at night. 
And the Bigfoot/wild men that roam the lands! 

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15 minutes ago, LastOneLeftInTheCounty said:

That sounds really great! Van conversions and van life in general is kicking off right now, and has been for the last few years. 
What’s not to like? No council tax, no utility bills, just fuel and food to pay for. 
We’ll see a lot more of this soon, as more and more people feel the pinch. 
Have you joined any van life forums yet, I bet you’d get plenty of inspiration and money saving tips from them.

 

Wild camping in Scotland eh, well go careful and watch out for the dogmen scratching at your windows at night. 
And the Bigfoot/wild men that roam the lands! 

 

We haven't gone as far as van life as yet, but I can see the attractions. Who knows, this van may one day be a life-saver.

 

Mind you, I'd prefer a slightly bigger van if we had to live in it 24/7. The reason we bought the SWB model Vivaro (apart from it being made of galvanised steel and not like your usual Transit rust-buckets!), was because a hi-top van would be less useful in car parks with height restrictions. Also, a LWB van would take up more room outside our house, and we wouldn't want to upset the lovely neighbours too much.

 

I haven't got around to joining any forums yet, but I often come across them when looking for info and tips.

 

Never had any experiences with Bigfoot or Scottish wild men yet, but our tent was jumped on by a swan one night in Castle Douglas. We were asleep and didn't know what the hell had hit us, but the muddy footprints on the canvas in the morning revealed the culprit! 🧐 😱

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, webtrekker said:

The reason we bought the SWB model Vivaro (apart from it being made of galvanised steel and not like your usual Transit rust-buckets!), was because a hi-top van would be less useful in car parks with height restrictions.

 

yup there are a few nice picnic areas around the highlands that have those bars across the entrance. You could always pay a conversion company to instal a pop-up roof onto your van that you could deploy once you pull up somewhere, for a bit more headroom

Edited by Macnamara
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16 hours ago, webtrekker said:

The plan is to mainly do some wild camping in Scotland.

 

This is a wonderful idea. I can think of some absolutely incredible places for you to visit in Scotland but one place I can highly recommend is Aberfoyle. It's beautiful. There is a place for camper vans to park up for the night joined on to Queen Elizabeth forest park, it cost something like maybe a fiver, but the Aberfoyle area has load of incredible walks. Well worth a visit!

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2 hours ago, Macnamara said:

 

yup there are a few nice picnic areas around the highlands that have those bars across the entrance. You could always pay a conversion company to instal a pop-up roof onto your van that you could deploy once you pull up somewhere, for a bit more headroom

 

Thanks, Mac. I did look into a pop-top, but the price put me off. Maybe if I had the cash and a bit more up-market van I might consider it. 👍

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4 hours ago, webtrekker said:

 

We haven't gone as far as van life as yet, but I can see the attractions. Who knows, this van may one day be a life-saver.

 

Mind you, I'd prefer a slightly bigger van if we had to live in it 24/7. The reason we bought the SWB model Vivaro (apart from it being made of galvanised steel and not like your usual Transit rust-buckets!), was because a hi-top van would be less useful in car parks with height restrictions. Also, a LWB van would take up more room outside our house, and we wouldn't want to upset the lovely neighbours too much.

 

I haven't got around to joining any forums yet, but I often come across them when looking for info and tips.

 

Never had any experiences with Bigfoot or Scottish wild men yet, but our tent was jumped on by a swan one night in Castle Douglas. We were asleep and didn't know what the hell had hit us, but the muddy footprints on the canvas in the morning revealed the culprit! 🧐 😱

 

 

 

What if it was the hairy man pretending to be a swan? There’s some wiley ones about

 

Yes full time van life is a different matter, I’ve seen removals vans getting kitted out for full time living.

Its all a matter of creativity, time and budget, but literally anything’s possible. 
 

Was thinking about converting an old livestock trailer but the cost would be absurd. 

One of my old colleagues had a land rover with an extendable awning and bellows style concertina type roof extension which when unfolded turned it into a palace, sleeping was on the roof with steps down into the awning, it looked awesome! 

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2 hours ago, Ethel said:

 

This is a wonderful idea. I can think of some absolutely incredible places for you to visit in Scotland but one place I can highly recommend is Aberfoyle. It's beautiful. There is a place for camper vans to park up for the night joined on to Queen Elizabeth forest park, it cost something like maybe a fiver, but the Aberfoyle area has load of incredible walks. Well worth a visit!

 

My wife, daughter, and the two granddaughters hired a Bailey motorhome last summer and toured a part of Scotland: The Kelpies, Blair Drummond Safari Park, Glencoe (went up the ski lift), Fort William and across to Perth. They weren't wild camping, but booked into campsites each night, and it worked out quite expensive, which is where the wild camping idea started.

 

They loved it so much though that we decided to buy our own van this year (from some inheritance money) and convert it. Wife and granddaughter No. 1 are at this very moment parked up on North Berwick sea front, giving it it's first trial run!

 

As you say, some overnight parking places make a small charge, usually between £5 to £20 per night, which is a hell of a lot cheaper than using campsites. Some of these even have services such as fresh water, loos, showers, etc.

 

Happy days!

Edited by webtrekker
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2 minutes ago, LastOneLeftInTheCounty said:

What if it was the hairy man pretending to be a swan? There’s some wiley ones about

 

Yes full time van life is a different matter, I’ve seen removals vans getting kitted out for full time living.

Its all a matter of creativity, time and budget, but literally anything’s possible. 
 

Was thinking about converting an old livestock trailer but the cost would be absurd. 

One of my old colleagues had a land rover with an extendable awning and bellows style concertina type roof extension which when unfolded turned it into a palace, sleeping was on the roof with steps down into the awning, it looked awesome! 

 

Yes, drive-away side awnings, or rear awnings, are a nice feature, but are mainly suited to campsite use. Wild camping spots don't always leave you with much room to put up an awning, unfortunately.

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Was reading a paranormal Reddit the other day, and two separate posts describe the same campsite in an area of Scotland being very dangerous, a local Bigfoot type creature has been scaring off the campers, and apparently it’s getting violent. 
 

If I come across the posts again I’ll tell you where the site is so you can avoid it, or if your feeling brave you can visit it! 
 

Sorry will stop busting in on your thread now 😜

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Feel free to bust in on this thread anytime! That's why I put it in General Chat, I like threads with a bit of humour and the occasional wandering off-topic.

 

As long as we're not visited by Sturgeon in the wee hours I'm sure we'll be fine! 🤣

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21 minutes ago, webtrekker said:

Feel free to bust in on this thread anytime! That's why I put it in General Chat, I like threads with a bit of humour and the occasional wandering off-topic.

 

As long as we're not visited by Sturgeon in the wee hours I'm sure we'll be fine! 🤣

Yes I’ve heard she’s established a new ewok colony in the highlands. If she’s their queen then who is their king? 

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16 hours ago, LastOneLeftInTheCounty said:

 

 

Wild camping in Scotland eh, well go careful and watch out for the dogmen scratching at your windows at night. 
And the Bigfoot/wild men that roam the lands! 

Do you mean the Glaswegians? or, the Highlanders?🤔

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11 hours ago, webtrekker said:

Feel free to bust in on this thread anytime! That's why I put it in General Chat, I like threads with a bit of humour and the occasional wandering off-topic.

 

As long as we're not visited by Sturgeon in the wee hours I'm sure we'll be fine! 🤣

Well, you do realise that the 'Poison Dwarf' isn't allowed outdoors if there's more than six inches of snow, purely for health and safety reasons of course!🫣

Here's a nice wee sign to welcome visitors from the 'Not so Free World'🤔images(3).jpg.c60e3f76e3e81fd69ab909cb820ff08f.jpg

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Update:

 

The Happy Campers woke to this sight after a good sleep and a FREE night's camping ...

 

viber_image_2024-02-19_09-12-15-214.jpg.774304258053c28d95747ea88378fbe9.jpg

 

The observant amongst you might recognise Bass Rock on the horizon, or SHIT ROCK as the grandkids have named it, due to its white appearance from the huge gannet colony that live there, and their droppings. A nice, short walk along the beach, in the opposite direction to this photo, takes you straight to the main town, harbour and Scottish Seabird Centre.

 

Photo of Bass Rock (from the net). You can get boat trips from North Berwick to Bass Rock. ...

 

viber_image_2024-02-19_10-16-02-118.jpg.7a86fecb109a3760cc7ef61ac3566433.jpg

 

 

Just putting 2+2 together ...

 

Toyota and others are investigating using ammonia as a vehicle fuel.

 

Those gannets give off 152,000 kg of ammonia annually.

 

Hmm ... now if only there was some way of capturing that ......................

 

 

 

Edited by webtrekker
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Just a quick word on the reversing camera I fitted (wife not great at judging distance behind van using side mirrors).

 

I decided to go for a wifi camera as the ceiling and walls were already insulated and finished, so I didn't fancy laying a camera wire from the back to the front of the van.

 

It's worked out really well and gives an excellent, no-lag view, day and night. The camera I used was an Auto-Vox WC7 Pro. It picks up the power for the camera from the reversing light, so switches on immediately when reverse gear is selected. For those new to this, a wifi camera does not require an internet connection. It has a tiny black box attached that produces its own wifi and the monitor detects this as soon as reverse gear is selected. It's supposed to work up to 50m and I've had no issues with it in the van.

 

Here's my setup (needs a bit of tidying up sometime. Might fit a decent radio while I'm on!) ...

 

AUTO_VOX_reversing_camera_Vivaro.png.afa7cd20e02a07013104803a12e6380c.png

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08KW11THM?psc=1&ref=ppx_yo2ov_dt_b_product_details

 

 

 

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5 hours ago, webtrekker said:

Just a quick word on the reversing camera I fitted (wife not great at judging distance behind van using side mirrors).

 

I decided to go for a wifi camera as the ceiling and walls were already insulated and finished, so I didn't fancy laying a camera wire from the back to the front of the van.

 

It's worked out really well and gives an excellent, no-lag view, day and night. The camera I used was an Auto-Vox WC7 Pro. It picks up the power for the camera from the reversing light, so switches on immediately when reverse gear is selected. For those new to this, a wifi camera does not require an internet connection. It has a tiny black box attached that produces its own wifi and the monitor detects this as soon as reverse gear is selected. It's supposed to work up to 50m and I've had no issues with it in the van.

 

Here's my setup (needs a bit of tidying up sometime. Might fit a decent radio while I'm on!) ...

 

AUTO_VOX_reversing_camera_Vivaro.png.afa7cd20e02a07013104803a12e6380c.png

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08KW11THM?psc=1&ref=ppx_yo2ov_dt_b_product_details

 

 

 

Nice one mate, 👍👍👍👍👍

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5 hours ago, webtrekker said:

Update:

 

The Happy Campers woke to this sight after a good sleep and a FREE night's camping ...

 

viber_image_2024-02-19_09-12-15-214.jpg.774304258053c28d95747ea88378fbe9.jpg

 

The observant amongst you might recognise Bass Rock on the horizon, or SHIT ROCK as the grandkids have named it, due to its white appearance from the huge gannet colony that live there, and their droppings. A nice, short walk along the beach, in the opposite direction to this photo, takes you straight to the main town, harbour and Scottish Seabird Centre.

 

Photo of Bass Rock (from the net). You can get boat trips from North Berwick to Bass Rock. ...

 

viber_image_2024-02-19_10-16-02-118.jpg.7a86fecb109a3760cc7ef61ac3566433.jpg

 

 

Just putting 2+2 together ...

 

Toyota and others are investigating using ammonia as a vehicle fuel.

 

Those gannets give off 152,000 kg of ammonia annually.

 

5 hours ago, webtrekker said:

Those gannets give off 152,000kg of ammonia annually.

You mean ANALLY surely ?🤔

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Mr Crabtree
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Alternative off grid way of living is the way to go, I've had experience of motorhome living & with great memories free from the rat race of cities. Unfortunately authorities don't like it & make it difficult but not impossible. They've made a meal out of the gypsies or new age travellers & news has been a constant negative,  yes there are problems, but not quite as the media portrays. Anything outside of 15 min cities is a no no now eh 😂  Don't discount River living & cruising the 2 thousand miles of British canals. Many good YouTube channels to give you info. Boats vary in prices , but good do uppers for permanent living & cruising can be purchased on a budget close to motorhome prices. Good luck with your mission, every man/ women for themselves 

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Latest acquisitions are a drive-away side awning and a set of 100W portable, foldable solar panels ...

 

vango-faros-ii-air-low.jpg.84d69bda01a682d5b2a0660f7e169be2.jpg

 

https://www.attwoolls.co.uk/vango-faros-ii-air-low-awning

 

 

 

 

81iZAL51ZtL._AC_SL1500_.jpg.72609b781ac525ab045300d66f40fefd.jpg

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07JVJJH47?psc=1&ref=ppx_yo2ov_dt_b_product_details

 

 

I went for portable solar panels for a number of reasons:

 

  1.  I didn't want to drill holes in the van roof for the cables (necessary for a roof-mounted system).
  2.  Roof panels are flat and not angled towards the sun for best performance.
  3.  Portable panels can be stowed away at night, or in severe weather, and are therefore more protected than roof panels and also easier to keep clean.
  4. They're cheaper!
  5. The van can be parked in the shade while the portable panels can be in full sunlight.

I've tested them at home, they are working fine and charging the leisure battery. They come with a nice, strong carry bag with a large front pocket for holding extra cables etc.

 

As for the awning, we haven't had a chance to try it out yet. It's an air awning and comes with the pump. Sewn-in groundsheet. We didn't want it too large, but it's large enough to hang an inside bedroom if needed (which we have spare from another tent).

 

Everything is taking shape nicely now and in good time for the coming better weather.

 

I wanted to slap a sticker on the back, but the wife just gave me **that** look! ...

 

dancse_for_diesel_INVERTED.png.1932430578763f69ff116b27ce33ced8.png

... so I guess it's a no-no! 🫤

 

 

 

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