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Friday, February 1, 2008

Fitting out a campervan

Having established what I want to do, what I want to carry in a campervan, the next step is to design the vehicle. Based on my 'cut down' features I am really not interested in the factory-made campers that are offered by the various manufacturers. They are going after the bulk market and I'm particular. Ideally I would love to squeeze everything I want to carry into a Volkswagen Caddy Life. Its small, 1400cc engine for fuel economy, great design inside. One of the great features of the Caddy is the sliding doors on both sides. Nice, but not required.
The design parameters I have established are:
1. Side access: I want a van that opens to the curb-side because I want to place a mountain bike or two on the back. Its ok if there is a backdoor, but it will be incidental. I intend to place a permanent brace on the back to secure the mountain bikes with a lock.
2. Sleeping/seating area: I want a sleeping area in a bubble or at normal height. I want the sleeping space to fit 1.5-2 people. I want to achieve this by having a long, side seat with storage inside it for say the batteries and canoe, plus a table that swings around, but otherwise lowers to support the extension of the bed. I envisage a orthopedic foam mattress than doubles over to make the seat.
3. Refrigerator: Most compact campers have a very small 35-45-litre fridge. I want a more useful 60-litre fridge, and I want to dispense with all the washing basin and taps, and I dont need the gas stove, since I intend to use electricity for everything.
4. Storage: I will need storage for the deep cycle batteries (say 3-4 of them), the canoe, a wardrobe for my clothes, a place for the portable toilet, water tank, planks of wood to support the bed. I will need storage space for my food.
5. Headroom: I will need adequate headroom since intend to work in this campervan, and adequate natural lighting for visbility and working. I would envisage having skirting curtains all around the periphery, with select fly screens. I would prefer not to have a bubble to preserve the appearance of a normal vehicle, so it is more discrete. I dont want people thinking I have my worldly possessions in it.
6. Table: The table will need to be large enough for a laptop and a mouse pad, say 0.5m x 0.5m, though larger is ok if it can be accommodated. I will use the same table for cooking and washing, if not outside.
7. Shower: I would intend to fix to the outer surface of the vehicle an extendable, flexible pole after threading a shower curtain around it. I would draw the water off from the top of the vehicle, so I need a flat roof.
Am I forgetting anyting?
Andrew Sheldon


sandhiya said...

Thank you for the info. It sounds pretty user friendly. I guess I’ll pick one up for fun. thank u

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vance said...

The best home made camper van conversions are better than those one can buy professionally. With every luxury you could imagine, but they always cost a lot to build. However, I have seen excellent budget home conversions completed in a weekend, comprising of a futon in the back of the van, some simple furniture secured to the walls, curtains, a little carpet and a camping stove for cooking.
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