Camper Conversion - Basic Layout options.

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TeeDee

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Nov 6, 2008
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Uneasy? Nope. Never. I got over the nerves after the first night wild camping. If you mean 'what if.......(insert problem here)' then again, no. I don't like to procrastinate over things. I look at life with a 'What is the situation?' Mindset and then when I've figured out the situation, I get to work on the solution. I don't let the unknown affect me.

Would I miss anything? If my wife and kids didn't exist, then no. I wouldn't miss the household bills, having to speak to people I dont like because my profession requires it, the grind of having to do stuff because my life now requires it..... no. I would miss nothing. If I didn't have a wife and kids I'd be off in a nanosecond. I'd sell everything, which would leave me with about 70k in the bank and I'd save that for sheltered accommodation for when I'm eventually too frail to live nomadically.

Fears or qualms about the future? None at all. I don't live in fear of stuff that hasn't happened.

But that's just me. The travelling lifestyle that I have experienced so far has only ever been absolutley positive in every way, even when it has gone wrong, and every trip leaves me wanting to delay my inevitable return to the perceived 'normal' life.....

That was a tricky question! Maybe throw me a scenario that you may be worried about and I may be able to tell you how I'd deal with it.....

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I guess what im touching upon is something you briefly touched upon - " If you sold everything " I guess that would mean any sort of Property asset etc.

I guess the freedom of getting out of the rat race is there until maybe need to embrace society again?
 

Van-Wild

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Feb 17, 2018
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I guess what im touching upon is something you briefly touched upon - " If you sold everything " I guess that would mean any sort of Property asset etc.

I guess the freedom of getting out of the rat race is there until maybe need to embrace society again?

I'm not materialistic. I'm not emotionally attached to property or assets. I could sell it all and not even think about it.

It's not about escaping the rat race. It's about travelling when, where and how I want. Nothing more. I'm happy in my own skin.

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chandelierman

Forager
Dec 14, 2018
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essex
I'm pondering the basic layout of the Camper conversion I'm going for - at this point its a starting point so much will be revisited and contemplated.

By basic layout I mean the general 'lay' of the design - there seems to be Three basic options ( at least to me )



Static Bed

Facing front

Side ways


Just wondering if any wheeled camper fiends have any input on what is 'best' or maybe there are Pro's and Con's that I'm not seeing ??

Once I ( we ) get to a decision on which direction I'm going to take it I will break the conversion into a rather long ( I suspect ) and potentially interesting ( or boring.. ymmv ) thread in its own right.

The vehicle does come with a large roof rack. For extra external storage.

I maybe should add that I'm not the smallest individual in the world. That may have some bearing..
What van are you thinking of converting? I had a SWB Vivaro that I fitted a R&R bed / stove / cupboards etc but when finished there was no room for me lol so I stripped it all out and sold it to buy a proper motorhome which I only used 4 times in 1 year so I sold that aswell! I am now in the process of converting a L3H2 MK8 Transit van which is about as small as I want to go for vehicle size as it is over 6ft standing height and 3.2mtr internal floor space,I have a cassette toilet and shower / L shape sofa that pulls out into a double bed,I have 3 grands worth of electrics sitting in my hall way ready to go in which will give me solar charging / smart alternator charging / 240v power and Electric hook up … I have a diesel heater to put in and a Bobil water heater kit to install,I have been doing it on and off for the last year and hope to have it finished by May next year
 

TeeDee

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Nov 6, 2008
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What van are you thinking of converting? I had a SWB Vivaro that I fitted a R&R bed / stove / cupboards etc but when finished there was no room for me lol so I stripped it all out and sold it to buy a proper motorhome which I only used 4 times in 1 year so I sold that aswell! I am now in the process of converting a L3H2 MK8 Transit van which is about as small as I want to go for vehicle size as it is over 6ft standing height and 3.2mtr internal floor space,I have a cassette toilet and shower / L shape sofa that pulls out into a double bed,I have 3 grands worth of electrics sitting in my hall way ready to go in which will give me solar charging / smart alternator charging / 240v power and Electric hook up … I have a diesel heater to put in and a Bobil water heater kit to install,I have been doing it on and off for the last year and hope to have it finished by May next year
v3.jpg


Mitsubishi Delica - an antique.

I think the question I posed and the answer you gave are actually co-aligned. Its a question of what do prioritise and what do you sacrifice. I don't want to make the Bed so small that it either feels like I'm sleeping on a clothes line or cannot accommodate a 2nd person.

Equally - whilst I would like to have 'enough' facility to cook a meal or two I'm not planning multi courses feasts. Most likely one pot creations and the ability to wash up. Toilet wise I'm happy to chance it and cross my legs until I find a suitable tree or throne room. I think its a question of what space one allows for each requirement and how one realistically prioritises that space.

A bed you could argue just needs to be 'enough' to lie down upon and sleep - but the reality is people tend to wiggle, sit up and do other activities in a bed.
 
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Van-Wild

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Feb 17, 2018
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View attachment 70668


Mitsubishi Delica - an antique.

Its a question of what do prioritise and what do you sacrifice.

I don't want to make the Bed so small that it either feels like I'm sleeping on a clothes line or cannot accommodate a 2nd person.

Most likely one pot creations and the ability to wash up.

Toilet wise I'm happy to chance it and cross my legs until I find a suitable tree or throne room.

A bed you could argue just needs to be 'enough' to lie down upon and sleep - but the reality is people tend to wiggle, sit up and do other activities in a bed.

I prioritised comfort and simplicity. Like camping, I want stuff that's not complicated to use, easy to fix if it breaks and has multiple uses. I did not want to sacrifice comfort at all!

Bed size, to get an idea of the width you'd need, lay two sleeping bags side by side and then add 1/4 to 1/2 width. That little extra but will allow for wiggle room for two people. If its just you sleeping, the two sleeping bag width will have you sleeping like a king.

One pot creations are the way to go. Anything else just means more washing up! If your one pot is big enough it also doubles as the sink!

Regards toilets, for onesies a wide mouth nalgene bottle is perfect! Make sure you rinse it out every chance you get though or it will stink. For twosies, yeah you can take your chance I guess. Keep a folding shovel and Bog Roll handy.....

Oh, check this conversion out.... some neat storage ideas for your van. (Which is super cool by the way, I'd consider getting one if I ever got rid of my transporter. Can you get them in diesel?)




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TeeDee

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Nov 6, 2008
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I prioritised comfort and simplicity. Like camping, I want stuff that's not complicated to use, easy to fix if it breaks and has multiple uses. I did not want to sacrifice comfort at all!

Bed size, to get an idea of the width you'd need, lay two sleeping bags side by side and then add 1/4 to 1/2 width. That little extra but will allow for wiggle room for two people. If its just you sleeping, the two sleeping bag width will have you sleeping like a king.

One pot creations are the way to go. Anything else just means more washing up! If your one pot is big enough it also doubles as the sink!

Regards toilets, for onesies a wide mouth nalgene bottle is perfect! Make sure you rinse it out every chance you get though or it will stink. For twosies, yeah you can take your chance I guess. Keep a folding shovel and Bog Roll handy.....

Oh, check this conversion out.... some neat storage ideas for your van. (Which is super cool by the way, I'd consider getting one if I ever got rid of my transporter. Can you get them in diesel?)




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Yes it IN Diesel .
Yes to the vid - Its the Thomas Heaton one I think. I like the fact he has spent some time into lighting and making it feel relaxing and comfortable but also not 'over did' the build.
 

chandelierman

Forager
Dec 14, 2018
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essex
View attachment 70668


Mitsubishi Delica - an antique.

I think the question I posed and the answer you gave are actually co-aligned. Its a question of what do prioritise and what do you sacrifice. I don't want to make the Bed so small that it either feels like I'm sleeping on a clothes line or cannot accommodate a 2nd person.

Equally - whilst I would like to have 'enough' facility to cook a meal or two I'm not planning multi courses feasts. Most likely one pot creations and the ability to wash up. Toilet wise I'm happy to chance it and cross my legs until I find a suitable tree or throne room. I think its a question of what space one allows for each requirement and how one realistically prioritises that space.

A bed you could argue just needs to be 'enough' to lie down upon and sleep - but the reality is people tend to wiggle, sit up and do other activities in a bed.
What are the options to have or not have? For me I like to have my own toilet and keep clean and that’s my Number 1 thing so I have a shower unit which has the wheel arch built into it to save space...my bed is L shaped so I can use it as a single or pull it out to a small double “if I get lucky” lol ….kitchen stuff is something I could sacrifce as there is usually somewhere to get something hot to eat
 
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TeeDee

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Nov 6, 2008
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Exeter
What are the options to have or not have? For me I like to have my own toilet and keep clean and that’s my Number 1 thing so I have a shower unit which has the wheel arch built into it to save space...my bed is L shaped so I can use it as a single or pull it out to a small double “if I get lucky” lol ….kitchen stuff is something I could sacrifce as there is usually somewhere to get something hot to eat

I think for me priority wise it would be :-

1) Good Bed space -easy to deploy and comfortable.
2) Nice sitting space with desk area to either work from or cook a basic brew from
3) Kitchen option with Water/Grey Water accessible from the rear of the vehicle.
4) Toilet - I think I am willing to leave it out of the equation.


I think I'm as likely to be parked up out of the way in some wildy place that I can take the occasional shovel recce as much as I'm likely to be parked in a Cornish layby and getting some overpriced fish'n'chips down my neck.
 
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Van-Wild

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Feb 17, 2018
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I think your number four option(toilet) is fine until you eat some dodgy overpriced chips,then i think a bucket and bin bag would seem like the best thing ever..
Or...... you over do it on the ale......

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Paul_B

Bushcrafter through and through
Jul 14, 2008
5,278
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Cumbria
Our swb vivaro has a r and r bed, diesel heater, pop top bed space (drive Lodge one), leisure battery, LEDs, USB charging points, EHU socket under the rear bumper behind the wheel leading to a double 3 pin socket. Food it's cooked on a trangia and gas stove. It's a part conversion, all insulated, lined and opening windows each side in the middle. We're not sure how much more we want to convert it. Not like we're going to get a change of use anyway.

I've seen delica with a pop top roof in lined out mid conversion. Small pop top and IMHO it's about getting standing height I think. Check out AMV (Adventure Motor Vehicles in Carnforth), they import and sell delicas even get them converted. They use Van Bodies in Morecambe like we did. They've been going for over 25 years but their mostly a coach builder for industrial van fleets and ambulances too. I recommend them and they've done things from small vans or cars through to large vans with garages for race bikes. Seriously good system with bed plates surg garage underneath. You change the number of plates used according to the number of people sleeping in it. Single through to a super king size. That's a big van though.

Look online at as many conversions as you'll pick from a few according to your needs.

I like those removable cooking and storage pods. There's a welsh company that do them and they're neat. Can't remember the name of the company as I looked at them 4 or 5 years ago now.
 

grizzlyj

Member
Nov 10, 2016
28
17
uk
Separett do a folding composting toilet. Not sure how stinky, to not be stinky they normally need a computer fan to help dry out the solids.
We lived in a camper for three years with the house rented out. The only thing I missed was a garden to tend.
Ulrich Dolde does aim a bit at truck campers in his book but a lot of his info was very helpful to me and plenty of others, downloadable https://www.selfbuildmotorhome.com/Main_navigation/Bookstore.html
 
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