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Worth the wait! (VW T5.1)

Discussion in 'Transport - 4x4 - Canoes etc' started by SaraR, Dec 14, 2019.

  1. SaraR

    SaraR Full Member

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    Here she is, my little beauty! :D
    I
    just a kombi with insulation and sound proofing in the back, but I've got plans for making it a bit more camper-friendly, without going down the conversion route. IMG_20191208_140428491_HDR.jpg
     
  2. Toddy

    Toddy Mod
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    One of my friends semi converted a van to travel around. For a while it was her only residence.
    Best advice she gave was to get hold of a dehumidifier that will run off a battery. F's took in moisture and gave out enough heat that the van was comfortable regardless of the weather. No problems with mould or condensation.

    I hope you have a lot of fun with it :)

    M
     
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  3. Van-Wild

    Van-Wild Nomad

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    Beauty! A kombi is the perfect base van.... it's what my van started as. Careful, it gets addictive!

    Sent from my SM-G903F using Tapatalk
     
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  4. Nice65

    Nice65 Full Member

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    She’s a little cracker! You really don’t need much more than a sleeping bag and a tenner worth of hob stove for the kettle and pan. I spent many a night in my old Toyota Townace just folding the seats down and getting in a sleeping bag. I miss that horrible looking but very capable machine.

    Got a LWB Fiat Ducato in September, fitting a diesel air heater to it.
     
    #4 Nice65, Dec 15, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2019
  5. SaraR

    SaraR Full Member

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    That's an interesting idea. I was thinking about getting something to keep the moisture down, just wasn't sure what.
     
  6. SaraR

    SaraR Full Member

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    We're going to start out small anyway, in order to get a feel for what we want. No shortage of camping gear in this household! Even if we just go car camping, it is going to be easier than with our usual little car.
     
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  7. SaraR

    SaraR Full Member

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    No kidding! :D I am glad I want it as a kombi more than a camper, cause then I'd go nuts.
     
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  8. Van-Wild

    Van-Wild Nomad

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    My van started out life as a stock camper. Two years later and many hours of labour/love it does its job very well. Our first ever trip around Europe, the van was a month old and the only mod it had was an awning rail! We travelled Europe for 4 weeks in the summer of '17. 2 adults, 2 kids and a our dog. It all worked. Although I love my van even more now, the thoughts of those 4 weeks brings back the best memories..... if you have any questions, ask away I'd be happy help wherever I can. (Maybe I can help you not to make some of the hilarious mistakes that we made in that trip! )

    Sent from my SM-G903F using Tapatalk
     
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  9. demographic

    demographic Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    I've been watching a series on Youtube where an Australian bloke has been doing reviews on/taking apart and giving advice on the Chinese made diesel air heaters.

    I had an Ebespacher (sp?) on an old Transit van but it was a water heater that basically pre warmed the engine on a morning. It wasnt that much use to me but I quite fancy an air heater for the back of my current van.
    This is a link to the very informative series.
    https://www.youtube.com/user/johnmck1147/videos

    I'm not wanting a full on camper myself, just having a workvan thats more versatile and I can kip in sometimes.
    Its got to be able to carry tools almost all the time, sometimes have a motorbike in the back, moving house duties and then I'll sleep in it sometimes.
    A full on camper would be an utter fail 90% of the time for me but an insulated and warm tin tent is about right.
     
    #9 demographic, Dec 15, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2019
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  10. Nice65

    Nice65 Full Member

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    I’ve watched a load of John McK 47 vids, he talks a lot of sense. I bought a 2kw from Diesel Heater Midlands who have been brilliant to deal with. It was going in on Thursday but the weather was too foul to be out there under a van so I’m hoping to do it next week.
     
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  11. demographic

    demographic Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    Please tell us how you get on as I'm very interested in this.
     
  12. Nice65

    Nice65 Full Member

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    Sure. I’ve been looking into it for months now and become aware of a few possible pitfalls. I bought one from eBay and it arrived with the fan jammed solid and not mounted properly on the spindle. It was easy enough to return, but a pain nonetheless. Then I found Diesel Heater Midlands on Facebook. Curt and Abbie are great to deal with, even helping a bloke out via FaceTime on his phone to fix a problem on a heater that hadn’t even been bought from them. There are also a couple of Chinese diesel heater Facebook groups where there’s good information to be had once you’ve sorted out some of the idiot comments like “will it run on veg oil or petrol”, etc. Clue’s in the name. It’s a diesel heater. :D

    Weather permitting it’s going in next week, I’ll keep you posted.
     
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  13. SaraR

    SaraR Full Member

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    Thanks, I'll check those out.

    Same for us re van vs camper, so I'm mulling over designs for a bed frame that can be taken apart and left in the van (or at home) in a bundle, but that is easy to set up in the boot when needed. I'll *just* fit in the boot when sleeping but we need a bit sticking out by the sliding door for DH's legs. I'm currently thinking rectangular posts and joist brackets/hangers and bed slats from IKEA. I saw a bed made out of octonorm that looked cool but fiddly.

    Other than that and maybe some thermal screen covers to help with the warmth we're covered for now.
     
  14. SaraR

    SaraR Full Member

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    Thanks, I'm sure there will be loads of questions!

    What's your advice on leisure batteries? Especially when also thinking of getting a diesel heater and possibly solar panels?

    As you might guess, we're unlikely to stay in proper campsites (so no electrical hook-ups) if we can help it and will probably not stay more than one or two nights in any one place.
     
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  15. SaraR

    SaraR Full Member

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    Oh and does anyone know how to get the single rear seat to fold forward without breaking the plastic handle on the side of the backrest? The handle moves but the seat won't budge. I'm worried the handle will snap if I pull it up any further.
    Or do I just need to stop being a wuss shove it forward harder?
     
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  16. Van-Wild

    Van-Wild Nomad

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    Ours was stiff when new. Needed to lift the handle with a bit of weight on the back rest, then kinda give it a shove! Over constant use it eased up.

    Sent from my SM-G903F using Tapatalk
     
    #16 Van-Wild, Dec 15, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2019
  17. SaraR

    SaraR Full Member

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    Thanks, I'll try that! I want to lift it out completely so that we can transport long things and also to access the boot without going outside.
     
  18. Van-Wild

    Van-Wild Nomad

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    We only have one leisure battery in our van, run off a split charge from the engine. It charges while we drive. We also have a diesel heater (eberspacher D4)which runs off the leisure battery, as well as solar. The solar drip feeds the leisure battery when we are static. We have a 100w semi rigid panel on the pop top. Like you, we never stay on sites, preferring to 'wild camp' in remote places. We have never had an issue with dead batteries and we run a fridge constantly when away, as well as powering ipads, cameras, electric (yes! really...) toothbrushes, charging pocket battery banks, having led lighting on....... the trick is to adapt to using 12v stuff. In saying all of that, for a year we didn't even have solar, only the one leisure battery, again without issue. A 20min drive or simply turning the engine over for 20min will see a rise in charge for your leisure battery.

    Sent from my SM-G903F using Tapatalk
     
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  19. Van-Wild

    Van-Wild Nomad

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    When you fit the leisure battery I'd strongly suggest getting as many 12v USB sockets fitted as you can. That way you can run/charge stuff as you drive, saving valuable charge for when you're static. We have a total of 8 USB ports in the van. 2 behind the drivers seat, 2 on the left of the rear seat and two on the shelf unit. We also have a double USB socket in the cab.

    Sent from my SM-G903F using Tapatalk
     
  20. SaraR

    SaraR Full Member

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    That's super helpful, thank you!
     

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