We’ve been chatting, and are having thoughts about building another campervan/motorhome more suited to longer adventure trips. We’re talking late 2020 early 2021, so just ideas phase for now, but if all goes to plan we’ll have more time and can plan longer trips 🙂 Watch this space.
However, we’ve not seen *any* vans, MWB or LWB that fit what we want. Yet, we reckon its easily (!) doable in a MWB van if you think outside of the box and think it through. Either I’m a genius on van design, or I’m missing something 🙂
The spec we want:-
- MWB Ducato or similar
- 1x double bed (no less than 90% size of standard double)
- L shape lounge (convertible to optional U) with 1.5m2 of permanent seating
- Fridge and kitchen, burners, sink etc
- More storage than most vans:)
- Bathroom, full wet room, with loo/shower/sink
- Hot/cold water
- 200AH+ battery + 200W solar
- 80L *onboard* fresh water (winterised)
- 50+L waste water.
- Diesel AND electric heating
- Fully winterised (better than any pro campervan conversion)
That spec is generally OK and a some on the market meeting most of that criteria.
However, in addition to all that, we want
- Onboard internal heated garage, for 2x mountain bikes & 2x boards (either snowboards, wakeboards or body boards). And yep, I mean at the same time.
- Custom electronics/plumbing – all with easy field maintenance.
All in a MWB fan (that’s 3.2m long load area)
Now that’s the challenge 🙂
As I hinted at the start of the post, pretty much every panel van conversion is based on some obvious assumptions and usage criteria. And on quick glance these assumptions seem a good idea. However, analysing storage and usage in detail, I reckon the defacto assumption can be wrong in some circumstances, and you can make great improvements by doing different.
I’m keeping quiet for now in case I’m being a plonker, but don’t think I am. We’ve designed a working layout to scale, and overlaid other van conversion layouts.
For instance, the Vantage Med: https://www.vantagemotorhomes.co.uk/model-range/5.41m/med is a MWB van – and their conversion floorplans are on their site. Our design, gives a lounge area of 90-95% of theirs; bathroom pretty much the same surface area, kitchen of slightly more surface area, and much more internal storage. And that’s *excluding* the internal garage for bikes and boards!
And the Murvi version http://www.murvi.co.uk/products/the-piccolo/ is the same type of MWB depending on base vehicle. Our design, the bathroom is the around the same surface area (or 90% of), our kitchen has less surface area (but better usage of space) I believe, bigger lounge, same size bed (I think) and I’d say more internal storage. Again, that’s *excluding* the internal garage for boards and bikes!
And I’m not talking about our design having to be flap this up, move that away and fiddle around. I’m actually talking about it all being permanent and usable. In addition, site lines aren’t boxed in, so lounge view is “wide view” over the rest of the van not staring at walls. (The only “fiddling” would be to convert L shape lounge to U shape (30 seconds) and to convert lounge to bed (60 seconds). From the designs we’ve done, it may actually look less boxed in than the two models above…
And as I say, the insulation and winter camping ability would surpass any professional campervan design we’ve ever seen – and we’ve seen a few.
May be a few clues in the above as to the unique decisions we’ve come up with – see if anyone can guess 🙂
As ever, we’d probably get a new van and “high spec” build using the best bits available. Conversion costs for parts only are c. £10k so far….!
So the planning begins.….
….and of course, we may find something that renders our design to the dustbin!