Hello I'm looking for a van

Discussion in 'Buying a VW Camper' started by LewBLew, Feb 19, 2014.

  1. I travelled just under 200 miles with trailer on the back to pay well over the odds for a completely knackered 79 panel van conversion, without seeing it and without even knowing it was a panel van in its past life! Personally that is the best way and looking at a lot of other peoples experience on hear seems by far the most popular way! You start using logic, common sense and god forbid financial restraints when buying your first van then I question wether being an owner of a classic VW campervan is really for you! No disrespect meant :)
    Moons likes this.
  2. Hello. Good luck with your search but don't rush into any decision until you've looked at most of the conversions. There's no perfect one, as with all, there are compromises. You just have to work out what is important for you.
    We have a lanky son so decided on a Devon Moonraker double top because it has a large pop top with a double bed. It also has a fridge, large fresh water tank, hob and grill. It has plenty of storage (possibly the most in any conversion) but has a 3/4 width bed. A full width bed would be better, but here's one of the compromises for more storage. Mine has a 1600cc engine, it's ok, a bit slow uphills and I'd probably prefer a 2ltr but it's not that important.
    My other choices would have been a Viking with its massive four berth roof but I do prefer the downstairs of the Moonraker. Also the wonderful Westie Berlin with the enviable swivel passenger seat and it's groovy upholstery (green would have been my choice) but it doesn't have a fridge or grill! And I'm not so sure about the LHD, RHD has got to be better hasn't it? Saying that, a Westie is the biz. Any of these three will offer the best sleeping arrangment for a growing family.

    I'm only about 20-30 mins down the road from you and you're more than welcome to pop in for a cuppa and have a look around my van to help you with deciding what to buy. A friend of mine, who lives in the next street, has a Westie Berlin that he may also let you have a gander at.
    Lord Congi, LewBLew and Moons like this.
  3. Ahh im not surprised it's lovely x
  4. Moons

    Moons Moderator

    Yeah - coming down here with your sensible ways!

    It' bain't natral.....
    physiopro likes this.
  5. Moons

    Moons Moderator

    I honestly believe that the best conversion is a rear hinge Westy Malaga.

    I am basing this solely on the fact that I own one and know pretty much fark all about any other conversion.

    Its decisiveness like this that made this currently on its knees country of ours Great.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 21, 2014
    philntfc, LewBLew and Tiny-Pie like this.
  6. Travel to look. It will save you money in the end...

    Or.. You could do what I did and spend thousands on a 'taxed and tested bus that runs great and needs minimal bodywork', thats an 1100 mile round trip from home... that engine is blown to bits and is a total rotbox with wiring done by a quadriplegic monkey.. because you rushed it.

    I'm such a winner :D :thumbsup:
    philntfc, LewBLew, physiopro and 3 others like this.
  7. Haha cheers all. If you see anything on the grapevine which might fit the bill, please let me know :)

    I'm ready to pounce.... if it's right ;)
    physiopro likes this.
  8. LewBLew likes this.
  9. That is gorge :) will make enquiries..
  10. We were in your position this time last year and my best advice would be to try and go to a few shows and check out the various layouts and speak to some owners. Most owners are quite capable of talking for hours about their bus and to answer any questions you have.
    As others have said don't just buy one based on how near it is, travelling a couple of hundred miles to get the right bus could save you a fortune in the long run. Having said that we got lucky with ours as it was only about 45 miles away! We initially looked at spending up to £10k but after looking around decided to go to about £12k as there seemed a marked jump in quality and condition around this threshold, but theres also a lot of shiny tarted up tat as well so go in with eyes wide open and don't be blinded by a new paint job. Whatever your budget leave a bit of money aside as I can guarantee there will be something that you will want to do to personalise and/or improve straight away. I think we spent another £300 or so in the first few weeks making it our own.
    For what its worth we decided on a Westfalia Berlin and I've not found LHD to be a problem at all.
    Good Luck:thumbsup:
    tyke2, ukog17 and LewBLew like this.
  11. Cheers.

    Out of interest @Tiny-Pie what roof do you have on yours and what kit did you fit?
  12. Hi lots of good advice here. I travelled 700 miles round trip for mine. First I got a pal who lived near to do a quick view just to confirm it wasn't a repainted skip. Then went to view and see it in the flesh, went away and looked at a couple more and then had a friendly negotiation with the owner to agree the price.
    Picking up was easy enough. Hired a little car from sunny Yorkshire and left it at the hire co office local to the camper. Then drove the camper home - 9 hours the first trip in her. enjoyed every minute.
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2014
    LewBLew and CollyP like this.
  13. I live in Sheffield, and used to live in Bedfordshire, I took a mate up from Luton to Glasgow to see one, (the one I have now)

    and ended up driving it back from Glasgow to Sheffield, left at about 7 pm got to Sheffield at half 3 in the morning, took my time stopped a lot, sh*t myself worrying about fuel from Carlisle to Scotch Corner as it said it was empty, and. there. is. no. fuel station between the two. very hairy and the relief I had when I got to the station I have never felt before! but it was my first time ever driving a camper, and i tell ya... driving it at dusk in april, looking in the rear view mirror and seeing the big air intakes at the back just summed it up, the reflection of the sun set in the windows...freezing my nads off was all an experience I will never forget. :)
    Tiny-Pie, philntfc, LewBLew and 2 others like this.
  14. No I'd forgotten that website. Making enquiries :)

    I know the feeling when you drive home after buying your dream car. I remember 2 of my 3 Capris driving home and loving the stares from everyone, and the view over that long bonnet :D sigh.... The first one I actually got the keys at midnight after a nightmare journey, and the drive home (uninsured and untaxed - whoops - was a long time ago) was scary as all the petrol stations were closed and I had very little left...

    My Mini was a different story. Exhaust banging like a drum on the underside, and London rush house traffic didn't make it much fun.
  15. When I got my first and was driving it home, so many people were flashing their lights at me I thought something must be really obviously wrong with it so I stopped for a good look. :thumbsup:
    tyke2 and philntfc like this.
  16. I've also had a couple of capris but I rarely mention it. Also had a couple of minis which I dont mind mentioning.
  17. I was I a traffic jam from Dartford bridge until near Meadowhall ( so it seemed) every car at the side had their window drown, stopping for a chat and to compliment the bus. Felt like a celeb.
    LewBLew likes this.
  18. Mines a rear hinge westy style, it's an O'connor's campers roof... pricey but the whole friggin re-build was... it was worth it as I love it and it's so easy to put up and down x
    LewBLew likes this.

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