Author Topic: Campervan - DIY?  (Read 1020 times)

Owen

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1425
Re: Campervan - DIY?
« Reply #15 on: 20:51:32, 10/05/19 »
  I think you are thinking of a fifth wheeler - ours was A Class camper.


No, it's articulated needs a C+E now. New rules caught a few people out.

richardh1905

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2685
Re: Campervan - DIY?
« Reply #16 on: 21:28:45, 10/05/19 »
Owned an elderly HiAce camper van for a few years, a Japanese import. Turned out to be an absolute disaster - coolant loss and severe overheating on the M74 led to one garage bill after another, but all to no avail. Sold it at a big loss just to be shot of it.

..but we did have some good times in it. Rather claustrophobic with more than 2 though, and the bed was a cushion jigsaw. I have to say I do prefer our large tunnel tent though, a Coleman Mosedale 5, much more space for family camping, and cost only 265.

If I were doing it again, and we might when our youngest grows up, I would buy a low mileage 9 seater minibus and do a VERY simple conversion myself. Just rip the back seats out, add curtains and bench seats that double as beds in the back - no cooker, shower, cupboards, toilet etc - job done.  And it could be used as a van! No way would I buy an elderly camper van again - ridiculously expensive for what you get, and nothing but trouble.

ninthace

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4498
Re: Campervan - DIY?
« Reply #17 on: 21:30:16, 10/05/19 »

No, it's articulated needs a C+E now. New rules caught a few people out.
One of these
http://www.rvimports.com/Winnebago_Brave_id106/
Not mine by the way!
My licence is old enough to include C1+E
« Last Edit: 22:25:38, 10/05/19 by ninthace »
Solvitur Ambulando

ninthace

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4498
Re: Campervan - DIY?
« Reply #18 on: 21:37:46, 10/05/19 »
Here is the challenge to the self builders - the Winnie had: a double bedroom in the back with TV, fridge/freezer, (gas or electric power); aircon; microwave; 4 burner stove + oven; 5 gallons of hot water available for a shower; separate shower and toilet; 5kVa generator under floor; TV above cab; storage bins under floor; hydraulic levelling jacks ...
Solvitur Ambulando

Owen

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1425
Re: Campervan - DIY?
« Reply #19 on: 22:02:59, 10/05/19 »
One of these
http://www.rvimports.com/Winnebago_Brave_id106/
Not mine by the way!
My licence is old enough to include C+E


Yes put a trailer, any type of trailer on that and it becomes an articulated vehicle. Didn't used to be the case but it does now. Basically there have been cases of people driving HGV's with no training and very little idea. The DVLA and VOSA are tightening the rules to get them off the road. I don't know about grandfather rights but I'd check before you try towing a car behind a winibago again.

richardh1905

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2685
Re: Campervan - DIY?
« Reply #20 on: 22:09:56, 10/05/19 »
How do you reverse a giant motor home that is towing a car? Sounds like a nightmare.

ninthace

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4498
Re: Campervan - DIY?
« Reply #21 on: 22:24:19, 10/05/19 »
How do you reverse a giant motor home that is towing a car? Sounds like a nightmare.
  The problem is that the front wheels do not caster.  Easy solution is to unhitch - reverse the car - reverse the camper - hitch up again.  That is why it is a grey area - you should be able to reverse a trailer.  It can be done with practice http://www.caratow.com/faq.php


As I understand it, if you passed your test before 1 January 1997, you are generally allowed to drive a vehicle and trailer combination up to 8.25 tonnes.
To drive a motorhome with a MAM of between 3.5 and 7.5 tonnes, you need a category C1 licence.
My licence, granted in 1968 and last reissued in 2016 includes C1 and C1E until 2020
« Last Edit: 22:31:37, 10/05/19 by ninthace »
Solvitur Ambulando

Islandplodder

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 748
Re: Campervan - DIY?
« Reply #22 on: 09:34:56, 11/05/19 »

I had a tiny camper van for a while, and when it died we put the cooker, sink and mattresses into a transit van and used that as the main vehicle.  The next transit van we just used as a tent substitute, with the advantage that you didn't have to go out in the rain and midges to put it up and cook a meal.
Now I just make sure that any car I buy I can sleep in the back of, at a pinch.   But recently we were admiring something called a Boot Jump.  It fits into the back of a Citroen Berlingo car, (or similar cars of the same shape) and turns it into a basic mini camper.  Then when you want your car back you fold it up and put it into the shed.  They aren't all that expensive, compared to a fitted out camper, about 2,500k or thereabouts new, but the one we were looking at was second hand.  The makers are called Amdro, and I remember we watched a video online showing how they worked.  We didn't buy it in the end, but it is tucked into the back of my mind for the future.  It would be worth a look.

gunwharfman

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3272
Re: Campervan - DIY?
« Reply #23 on: 09:59:55, 11/05/19 »
In the days when I used to commute to London, I knew a bloke who bought a Romahome (a small two-berth on a Citroen diesel base, he travelled in from Leicester) and he stayed and slept in that for one, two or three nights a week, rather than driving home every day. He organised a number of places to park overnight, friends, work colleagues, etc. I'm sure I would have done the same eventually but I'd had enough of it all and changed my employment to the south coast. If I was commuting again I'm sure this is the solution I would go for. But of course people are different and I'm always 'impressed' at the staying power of our neighbour, she gets the 5.30am train to London, four or five days a week and gets home about 7ish in the evening. That routine would destroy me!


Owen

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1425
Re: Campervan - DIY?
« Reply #24 on: 16:11:52, 11/05/19 »
  The problem is that the front wheels do not caster.  Easy solution is to unhitch - reverse the car - reverse the camper - hitch up again.  That is why it is a grey area - you should be able to reverse a trailer. 


As I said "No training and no idea".

ninthace

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4498
Re: Campervan - DIY?
« Reply #25 on: 17:27:49, 11/05/19 »

As I said "No training and no idea".
  Not sure what point you are trying to make.  My understanding is that a "proper" trailer should be able to be driven froward and backwards.  Have you tried reversing a camper/car combination?  If not I can explain why it is more difficult than a conventional trailer.
Solvitur Ambulando

Owen

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1425
Re: Campervan - DIY?
« Reply #26 on: 18:29:56, 11/05/19 »
The point I was trying to make is that the DVLA, VOSA, MOT et al  are right it tightening the rules. If you can't reverse your trailer you shouldn't be driving it.


And yes I can reverse a trailer, a drawbar trailer, a steering front axle trailer and an arctic. That's what I do for a living.

ninthace

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4498
Re: Campervan - DIY?
« Reply #27 on: 19:13:58, 11/05/19 »
The point I was trying to make is that the DVLA, VOSA, MOT et al  are right it tightening the rules. If you can't reverse your trailer you shouldn't be driving it.


And yes I can reverse a trailer, a drawbar trailer, a steering front axle trailer and an arctic. That's what I do for a living.
So  you haven't tried this combination.  As a professional driver you should understand steering geometry.  What you need to understand is in this case the geometry of the trailer tries to stop you reversing it. The front wheels of the car caster going forwards so it follows the towing vehicle - the reverse is true going backwards.  The steering wheels are now at the rear so they will try to turn through 180 degrees and in so doing they turn the steering to full lock.  You should also appreciate that short trailers are more twitchy that long trailers so this can happen quickly.  Now throw in the trailer is narrower than towing vehicle and on a short A frame so it cannot be seen from the cab except through the camera.  That is the point I was making about the combination being a legal grey area as it fights you going backwards.  I am an not incompetent driver.
To give you an understanding - get in your vehicle, put it in reverse, set the steering off slightly.  Now take your hands of the steering wheel and push the loud pedal and see what happens.  I drove the combination for 5 years so I know whereof I speak too.  I would point out  I have no trouble reversing normal trailers either Owen, including many of the types you describe which were ground equipment on airfields.  I can throw in single and twin axle caravans and glider trailers.
Now can we get back to walking and self builds?
Solvitur Ambulando