building a campervan

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building a campervan

Postby bennyballbag » Mon Oct 01, 2007 10:37 pm

my parents have a 1984 toyota hiace lwb high roof van and i want to turn it itno a campervan so i dont have to take my commodore camping. the idea i have is to put my fridge( i have a gas fridge) in there and a single bed for the times the mrs doesnt come because she works weekends. im thinking of having the bed up about 650 so i can fit stuff underneath. the van is 1.5m wide and ive got 2.2m inside to play with( i acctually have 3.3m but i want to leave the rear seats there).

most of the places we go camping have no power of water cos thats the way we like it.

is there anything anybody can think of that i should prehaps put in my van to make things easier?? keeping in mind most of our time will be spent outside it aound the fire drinking and having fun.
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Postby waltzingmatilda » Wed Jan 16, 2008 7:21 am

Hi bennyballbag, about all I can suggest is to get some stackable drawers and boxes, for food, utensils and camping equipment so everything is organised and easy to get to and find and have them inside your hiace. if you would like to drag some of these boxes out you can do that too. Happy Camping 8)
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Postby HGMonaro » Wed Jan 16, 2008 9:38 am

Bed up with storage underneath sounds like a good idea. Not sure about the gas fridge though... that will need to be vented to out side I'd imagine?

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Postby Komodo » Wed Jan 16, 2008 10:58 am

3 way (gas) fridge will most definately have to be vented.

I've thought about exploring this option too. Vans can be purchased 2nd hand quite cheap.

Id also look into adding an awning (be it a tarp in some sail track or a fully retractable setup is upto you and your budget.)

I'd probably also look to see if you can add "whirly bird" (i dunno what they are really calld but those spinny vents) ventalation.

I'd probably also look to carpet the walls and roof around the sleeping area just as a bit of extra insulation
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Postby bennyballbag » Wed Jan 16, 2008 12:38 pm

the wirly bird thing sounds like a good idea, the fridge will no be used inside the van it will run outside.
i want to put an awning on it and i will only be a tarp with a rope, and ive got my mrs working on some curtins for it.

i did build the single bed thing and tried it out and the bed was to small and too high so ive got a queen size bed in there now and its much better.and ive still got space inderneith for storage. ive got 4 fish bins with lids that i put all my stuff in.
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Re: building a campervan

Postby Woodsy » Sun Jul 15, 2012 9:54 pm

Lighting, lots of Lighting either hard wired or the battery push on push off type lights that you can mount anywhere.

Insulated walls and roof are a must like people have mentioned it will help keep you warm and keep you cool. The whirly bird would help as well.

Fire extinguisher, spare belts, tool kit, water etc.

i work in a camping store so i could go on and on.
Cheers Josh
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Re: building a campervan

Postby GypsyLady » Mon Jul 16, 2012 2:56 pm

Woodsy wrote:
i work in a camping store so i could go on and on.


How's that going Josh?? Looks like you might well be having a ball.
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Re: building a campervan

Postby Woodsy » Mon Jul 16, 2012 4:42 pm

its going very well Gypsy, get alot of people come in who are building a campervan etc get asked lots and lots of questions!
Cheers Josh
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Re: building a campervan

Postby GypsyLady » Mon Jul 16, 2012 9:37 pm

Woodsy wrote:its going very well Gypsy, get alot of people come in who are building a campervan etc get asked lots and lots of questions!


A dream job Josh.
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Re: building a campervan

Postby Woodsy » Mon Jul 16, 2012 10:50 pm

would be even better if i got to go camping lol

One thing not to forget is the door rubber seals they help a great deal with insulation and another thing that would annoy the crap out of me is vibrations when driving along with all your cooking gear and other gear in the back you could have them arranged / wrapped so that they dont move.

If the van has windows, make up some fly screens that fit over the windows, in summer you will be greatful.

My girlfriend and i want to do something similar but will be setting it up as a dual purpose van so it can be used everyday and also as a camper when we need it to.
Cheers Josh
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Re: building a campervan

Postby xmasbaby67 » Tue Jul 17, 2012 1:47 pm

Glad to hear you are loving your new job Josh :armsup

I good way to stop all the pots, pans, plates etc banging together is to use some teatowels in between then as you will use them camping as well. That's something I do in the campertrailer to stop them from also rubbing together and ruining the teflon.

Another thing I have used is that non slip matting that they use in caravan cupboards. I have lined the drawers in my camper kitchen with it and also use them in between pots, plates etc. You can buy them in placemat size too and they are also good on the tray underneath our dishrack to stop the dishes slipping all over the place while they dry. I also use them to protect the top of my kitchen box from scratches.
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Re: building a campervan

Postby Woodsy » Tue Jul 17, 2012 4:10 pm

That stuff is great hey, i bought a roll of it from kmart ( i think ) and have used it in our cars, i cut a small piece for the ashtray which holds all our spare change and i cut a piece for the dash pocket where we keep our phones etc.

I find with campervans especially converted ones that may of had a hard past life is people put so much effort into getting them ready that they forget about the mechanicals, get it serviced and make sure it has all new belts and carry spares for just incase, they dont take up any room and are peace of mind when you lose a belt in the middle of no where that runs your waterpump..

Make sure the radiator is in good condition and put mesh up in front of it to protect it from flying rocks and bugs, trying to find a pin hole leak in a radiator is not fun. I've seen alot of people running shade cloth to protect there radiators but i dont think it lets enough air through to keep the car cool, you can get wire fly screen that would do a better job and reinforce it with a small frame.

This stuff is really easy to think of, basically think of every car you have ever seen pulled over on the side of a freeway or highway with its bonnet up or with a flat tyre and you will soon realise what you should be focusing on.

I wont go into any more high detail but here are afew more pointers.

* Spare tyres - they should be easy to get to so you dont have to unpack all your gear to get one out, depending on the trip i would even carry 2. Make sure you have a working jack and wheel brace too.

* Air compressor - The type that inflates tyres etc, you will rarely use this but even if you get a flat and have to pull over and inflate the tyre every few km till you get to the nearest town it will be worth having one on board. You can use it to blow the red dust out of the van too.

* A healthy battery - Self explanatory, but keep a set of jumper leads on board just incase, it may not be you who has to use them but you could help out a fellow camper in need if you have them.

There are heaps of others.. but i'll be quiet for now lol
Cheers Josh
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