Our Van

As mentioned elsewhere, one of our dreams was to buy a campervan at some point later in life. However, we bought one much earlier than planned! So September 2005 saw us buy our toy – a Horizons Unlimited Cavarno 2 from Roy Wood Transits.

To be fair, this van was never designed to be lived in for long periods, and had we known we were going on our adventures when we bought it, we may well not have bought it and may have opted for something bigger.

That said – the van really is superb and stands up well, and as long as you are prepared to make compromises we see no reason why it won’t survive and excel in a long trip! We’ve written a full review which can be seen here. If you are interested in a detailed review then look at the previous link as you will only see a basic summary here.

Specification / Features

Almost everyone we mention “We’ve got a campervan” to appears to assume we’re living in an old VW with very few facilities. When we say its under 5m long, they assume its cramped and has no room at all. That is, until they see it!

The specifications are:-

  • Ford Transit 280 SWB conversion
  • Stealthy gray
  • Uprated to 125 Engine (e.g. absolutely not slow!)
  • Heated electic mirrors
  • Heated windscreen
  • Air conditioning
  • 4 Belted Seats
  • 2 “Captain” rotating / reclining armchairs 🙂
  • Sofa
  • 2 x Single beds or one big double 🙂
  • Bathroom with flush toilet; sink and power-shower
  • Kitchen with full size fridge; 4 hob gas cooker; gas grill; and of course kitchen sink
  • Running Hot and cold water on board (70L total?), and onboard waste too.
  • Gas heating
  • Rear view camera linked to LCD mirror
  • Multiple table positions
  • Loads of cupboard space, Wardrobe, Utility cupboard.
  • TV Aerial and booster built in
  • Habitation area double glazed
  • 240v & 12v power
  • Rear bike rack

We’ve made a fair few modifications and fine-tuned the factory defaults for our specific needs.  All modifications are indexed here which will hopefully be useful to someone.

So clearly, it is a really very cleverly designed home from home with very few mod cons missing. It is very homely and full of fun! You do, absolutely, need to get on well with your spouse! Not many places to hide!

A great investment. Maybe not financially as its never going to make us money – but in the opportunities it has given us.

Update February 2009

When we were looking at vans in 2005 we looked at some second hand ones of various makes.  Generally even the nearly-new ones looked tatty and worn and we always had fears over wear and tear.  Hence we bought new. 

After 18,000 miles and over 200 nights away (8,000 miles and 90 nights within a 100 day period over winter 2008/2009) we are amazed by how well the Cavarno conversion is holding up.  After we clean it and give the van a wash, the condition inside and out is almost new.  The oak framed furniture is virtually unmarked (one exception which was entirely my fault).  Mechanically the van has been faultless and feels like new.  The only failures have been minor and easily fixed – and just due to a failed part and considering its like a house being in constant earthquake we can’t really complain!

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