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Thread: Camper van advice

  1. #21
    Master PeteS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fellbeast View Post
    What do you mean by two months? 60 days and/or nights out in the van? Iíve only had to change my gas twice since we got the van at the very start of 2017, although I know the current gas is now very low. So whatís that? 3 canisters in 4 years? Thatís with a couple of big expeditions each year and lots of weekend breaks and days out. Our heating and fridge is all on the leisure batteries and the gas just does the hobs. Maybe we donít cook as much as others, but we sure as heck make shed loads of coffee and tea
    Yes I meant 2 months continuous use. We have plenty of hot drinks and cook 2 meals a day in the van so the hob is on the go quite a lot. We didn't used to have a water heater, so that ate gas heating water for washing up etc when not on a campsite with facilities. However we now have a small electric heater and hot water cylinder that runs off electric hook up or will trickle feed when in transit .
    Sacrificed part of a cupboard but will save on gas.

  2. #22
    Master molehill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark G View Post
    If you have room for a 6kg propane cylinder it will last longer, a refill will cost less than the smaller cylinder, it will burn better in the cold and will be much more widely available.
    I looked at all manner of alternatives, but there are no other cylinders (like calor) that actually fit the small diameter space set for the campingaz cylinders. Even considered filling my own with adaptor from an upside down calor cylinder - but wife vetoed that as she was convinced I would blow myself up!

    Only viable alternative would be to carry a large cylinder and stand it up outside the van, but not wise in the places I stop.
    Don't roll with a pig in poo. You get covered in poo and the pig likes it.

  3. #23
    You can if you like fit a refillable tank under the vehicle that you top up from petrol stations that also have lpg pumps for dual fuel vehicles. It's by far the cheapest way to get gas but it needs a bigger investment up front which might not be worth it if you don't run loads of gas appliances.

  4. #24
    Master molehill's Avatar
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    I thought seriously about going that route, but don't think my van has many years left (age and rust etc.) So the investment didn't add up. I shall stick with what I have but be aware if I buy another van one day or build my own.
    Only by owning and using a camper do you start to appreciate what you do and don't actually need.
    Don't roll with a pig in poo. You get covered in poo and the pig likes it.

  5. #25
    Something else to bear in mind if you are converting a van or buying one that someone else has converted is to check it's registration status. If it's still registered as a goods vehicle it is limited to goods vehicle speed limits - 50mph on normal roads, 60mph on motorways and dual carriageways. I think DVLA have some guidance on the minimum requirements for changing it (along the lines of sleeping arrangements and water supply etc)- you also need to convince your insurance company that your modifications are safe and acceptable to them.
    I know of a number of people who have been caught out by the speed limit thing. One chap apologised to the police officer and said 'Well I was only doing about 75, only 5 over the limit' - the response was that he was actually 15mph over the limit, the difference between a blind eye/friendly warning and a ticket, fine and 3 points.
    Another was a real shame. The guy involved received a ticket through the post, put it down to experience, paid the fine and took the points. The shame was the speed camera office had made a mistake, they had treated him as a goods vehicle when his van was properly registered as a motorhome. He hadn't been speeding but just accepted that he must have been. By the time he found out (when I explained it to him) it was a few years later and he decided there was no point in pursuing it after that length of time. So please check your registration status and be aware of the limits for your particular vehicle.
    Last edited by Mark G; 04-03-2021 at 06:00 PM.

  6. #26
    Master PeteS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark G View Post
    Something else to bear in mind if you are converting a van or buying one that someone else has converted is to check it's registration status. If it's still registered as a goods vehicle it is limited to goods vehicle speed limits - 50mph on normal roads, 60mph on motorways and dual carriageways. I think DVLA have some guidance on the minimum requirements for changing it (along the lines of sleeping arrangements and water supply etc)- you also need to convince your insurance company that your modifications are safe and acceptable to them.
    I know of a number of people who have been caught out by the speed limit thing. One chap apologised to the police officer and said 'Well I was only doing about 75, only 5 over the limit' - the response was that he was actually 15mph over the limit, the difference between a blind eye/friendly warning and a ticket, fine and 3 points.
    Another was a real shame. The guy involved received a ticket through the post, put it down to experience, paid the fine and took the points. The shame was the speed camera office had made a mistake, they has treated him as a goods vehicle when his van was properly registered as a motorhome. He hadn't been speeding but just accepted that he must have been. By the time he found out (when I explained it to him) it was a few years later and he decided there was no point in pursuing it after that length of time. So please check your registration status and be aware of the limits for your particular vehicle.
    Good point on speed limits and vans and one that I wasn't aware of until a few years ago.
    However, changing your vehicle type with DVLA is virtually impossible in my experience if you've just converted a van. There is a whole load of things you need to comply with, provide photographic evidence and then submit a letter requesting the change. My T6 was down as a panel van and although it meets every criteria for being classed as a motor-caravan, it apparently does not have the visual appearance of one. The only thing, I managed to get changed was that it is now classed as a van "with side windows".
    Going downhill fast

  7. #27
    Master PeteS's Avatar
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    And just to clarify van speed limits are as follows:
    Built-up areas and cities Ė 30mph
    Single-carriageway roads Ė 50mph
    Dual-carriageway roads Ė 60mph
    Motorways Ė 70mph

  8. #28
    Master mr brightside's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Conno11 View Post
    Hi all,

    Just looking for some advice on buying a camper van to travel around in to run in the mountains. Iíve got a limited budget and donít mind doing a lot of work myself to it. Have any of you got any tips for a first time buyer? Thanks
    First you need to start with a good van that is in your budget, then and only then can you add the preference of it being a camper van. If you can't afford a good camper van with a solid chassis, then you get a van and convert it. Getting a rotbox of a camper is the worst move you can make.

    Check out the gov uk mot history checker and use it to look for rotboxes with a poor history, it goes back to 2005 so 15yrs. Repeated failures for welding means the owner was too tight to get it chassis waxed, and repeated advisories for corrosion means you have to be wary.

    In general any Ford will be a rotbox unless it's only just off the line.

    Start with a solid van, then look to see if you can live in it or not.
    Can't climb for toffee...

  9. #29
    Member SCOOT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeteS View Post
    Good point on speed limits and vans and one that I wasn't aware of until a few years ago.
    However, changing your vehicle type with DVLA is virtually impossible in my experience if you've just converted a van. There is a whole load of things you need to comply with, provide photographic evidence and then submit a letter requesting the change. My T6 was down as a panel van and although it meets every criteria for being classed as a motor-caravan, it apparently does not have the visual appearance of one. The only thing, I managed to get changed was that it is now classed as a van "with side windows".
    There's a big Hoo Ha about these changes at the moment as the big camper conversion companies can't get the V5 doc changed to camper van either. As you say the van has to have the appearance of a camper and as such it must have a permanent fixed high top roof and not a "pop top". I used to convert my own vans and had no problem and now have a one from Camper King that I got 2 years ago before the change to the regs so I'm okay but the same model today, although identical is a van with windows and therefore subject to the lower speed limits. I would argue that they fit the rules for a "multi purpous vehicle" and therefore okay despite what the V5 says but you would have to attnd court and argue your case. I'm suprised there hasn't been a test case.
    One step beyond.

  10. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by PeteS View Post
    And just to clarify van speed limits are as follows:
    Built-up areas and cities – 30mph
    Single-carriageway roads – 50mph
    Dual-carriageway roads – 60mph
    Motorways – 70mph
    Thanks Pete, think you are correct about the motorways.
    My last van was registered as a motorhome (based in a LWB Ducato) so has the same speed limits as a car. But it was a lot quieter, smoother and economical at 60 than 70 so I rarely drove it above 60. I also thought I was on holiday so not in a rush to get anywhere.

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