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JaRok2300




Joined: 01 May 2014
Posts: 394
Location: Worcester, UK

PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2018 1:57 pm    Post subject: Campervan/Van Choices Reply with quote

Any of you guys got any experience with campervans or vans in general?

Looks like my company car scheme is going to be a non-starter when mine goes back in November, and seeing as I don't use it much these days I'm thinking of an older alternative as a 2nd/weekend car.

I'm only looking to spend a max. of about 10k on a ready built camper. I'm currently leaning towards the newest, lowest mileage VW T4 I can find but these do come with an extra "scene tax" that is of no interest to me. On the plus side this does mean spares and specialists seem to be more readily available than other brands.

Other options I've looked into are:
Vivaro/Trafic - Keep hearing of injector issues that can scrap the engine but can get a much newer one for the same price.
Bongo/Freda - Head gasket/over heating issues. Seem quite expensive for a relatively old import, almost VW levels.
Transit - Rust

Any feedback on the above or other options that I should be considering?
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GrahamO




Joined: 10 Apr 2005
Posts: 10151
Location: United Arab Emirates or an airport

PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2018 5:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ask ed_m - He had a camper van for years I recall and may still do unless he has grown up Smile
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fat buddha




Joined: 13 Jul 2004
Posts: 2520
Location: rural Zuzzex

PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2018 5:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I'm only looking to spend a max. of about 10k on a ready built camper. I'm currently leaning towards the newest, lowest mileage VW T4 I can find


I think you might struggle to find one at that price level with your leanings - these things hold their value very well. you might get one for 10k but it will either be pretty old or need some work.

I'm on my 4th motorhome - been at this since about 2004 - and unless you use it a fair bit is a pricy luxury (we do use ours a fair bit and have done lots of Euro trips in it, plus many weekends away at tris)

I did know of someone flooging a T4 camper a few weeks ago but they were looking at close to 30K but can't remember details now, or if they did sell.
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JaRok2300




Joined: 01 May 2014
Posts: 394
Location: Worcester, UK

PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2018 10:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeh, the T4's I've looked at are between 15-20 years old but spares and specialists are still readily available due to the VW scene and popularity, the same thing that keeps the prices up.
My experience with older cars/bikes is that mechanicals can always be changed but once the rust sets in you're on a slippery slope. They seem pretty good in that respect (arches & windscreen surrounds as opposed to structural areas) unlike the older T2/25 models.

30k for a T4 seems really high as they stopped making them in 2003, are you sure it wasn't a T5/6?
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Andy916




Joined: 08 Oct 2011
Posts: 691
Location: Cambridge

PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2018 10:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yup, 10k buys you a crap old VW, with plenty of maintainance/bodywork expense thereafter.

Surprised to hear you say Bongos are expensive, they were cheap and cheerful last time I looked, but they too are rot-prone now.

I went through the options a couple of years ago, and discovered how good the Jap-import Nissans are (Toyota and Honda do similar, but the E51 Nissan is more numerous in UK). You can buy a ready-built camper, but I opted for a top-spec fresh import for 9k, a rear camper conversion for 3k and LPG conversion for 1.5k. It's the size of a T4 but more luxury MPV than builder's van - 3.5L V6, 4WD, front/rear aircon, curtains, half leather. You can add a Thule rack on the back (bad place for road muck on these vans) but I went for an interior front-spindle mount. 25mpg on a run, 20mpg on LPG at half-price which makes it more economical and way cleaner than any diesel.

Here it is: https://forum.elgrandoc.uk/threads/triathlon-camper.5376/ It's been brilliant in the 18 months I've had it.

Edit, the above forum requires membership but search for images of e51 rear camper ...



sleeping config, can also set up as full-width bed
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Last edited by Andy916 on Fri Aug 24, 2018 11:08 am; edited 4 times in total
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2 scheds




Joined: 28 Jun 2006
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Location: The comeback trail

PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2018 10:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Andy916 wrote:
Yup, 10k buys you a crap old VW, with plenty of maintainance/bodywork expense thereafter.

Surprised to hear you say Bongos are expensive, they were cheap and cheerful last time I looked, but they too are rot-prone now.

I went through the options a couple of years ago, and discovered how good the Jap-import Nissans are (Toyota and Honda do similar, but the E51 Nissan is more numerous in UK). You can buy a ready-built camper, but I opted for a top-spec fresh import for 9k, a rear camper conversion for 3k and LPG conversion for 1.5k. It's the size of a T4 but more luxury MPV than builder's van - 3.5L V6, 4WD, front/rear aircon, curtains, half leather. You can add a Thule rack on the back (bad place for road muck on these vans) but I went for an interior front-spindle mount. 25mpg on a run, 20mpg on LPG at half-price which makes it more economical and way cleaner than any diesel.

Here it is: https://forum.elgrandoc.uk/threads/triathlon-camper.5376/ It's been brilliant in the 18 months I've had it.


Can't look. I'm being asked for username and password.

Could you upload the pics here directly? Smile
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Andy916




Joined: 08 Oct 2011
Posts: 691
Location: Cambridge

PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2018 11:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

2 scheds wrote:
Could you upload the pics here directly? Smile


Should be a few pics uploaded now. Space is tight on this size of van, but you can drive/park it almost anywhere and cruise fast/economically, unlike a big coach-built job.
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JaRok2300




Joined: 01 May 2014
Posts: 394
Location: Worcester, UK

PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2018 3:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's a place near work that sells those, I'll go and have a poke around.

I know you said you've had no issues but what's the spares, expertise situation with them like.
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fat buddha




Joined: 13 Jul 2004
Posts: 2520
Location: rural Zuzzex

PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2018 4:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JaRok2300 wrote:
Yeh, the T4's I've looked at are between 15-20 years old but spares and specialists are still readily available due to the VW scene and popularity, the same thing that keeps the prices up.
My experience with older cars/bikes is that mechanicals can always be changed but once the rust sets in you're on a slippery slope. They seem pretty good in that respect (arches & windscreen surrounds as opposed to structural areas) unlike the older T2/25 models.

30k for a T4 seems really high as they stopped making them in 2003, are you sure it wasn't a T5/6?


actually you're right - it was a well specced T5. my error soz.

I think the option of a Nissan could be a good choice - you don't see many in the UK, but many of the campervan hires in Oz/NZ are based on Japanese vehicles. we're off to Oz in a couple of weeks and doing a couple of campervan hires - vehicles based on Toyota vans (not sure which model yet) - so will be interesting to see how they go. downside is they are automatic which I wouldn't choose if I was buying.
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Andy916




Joined: 08 Oct 2011
Posts: 691
Location: Cambridge

PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2018 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JaRok2300 wrote:
There's a place near work that sells those, I'll go and have a poke around.

I know you said you've had no issues but what's the spares, expertise situation with them like.


Quite a few imported now and spares situation generally good. Mechanical parts are mostly generic Nissan, with various specialists around and loads of forum advice. Local garage services mine. They come over in good condition at 10+ years old but need extra underseal once here (no salt in Japan). They take the miles well, but many Jap imports have low mileage anyway.

The E51 and earlier E50 are all autos, which I like on that sort of vehicle, it suits it well. The 4WD one is selectable 2/4WD, has diff lock, snow mode and power mode (hangs on to the revs for longer) - has been useful in muddy fields and on Lake District verges. 260bhp, smooth and refined, great engine.

Although I paid 9k if buying again (now that I know them) I'd buy a fresh import privately for around 6k or import one via an agent for less again. They're outstanding for the money.
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tin pot




Joined: 08 Jul 2013
Posts: 2592
Location: Bromley

PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2018 11:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Buy a boxster and a pop up tent. Cheaper and less smelly than a camper van.
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