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Subject Topic: Campervan as only vehicle Post Reply Post New Topic
28/7/2011 at 3:48pm
 Location: None Entered
 Outfit: Tent
View LML0's Profile View Profile   Reply to LML0 Reply   Quote LML0 Quote  
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Hi,

I have been tent camping for years and now thinking of taking the plunge and purchasing a campervan. Finances as they are I will need to sell my car and have the camper as my only vehicle needed for commuting/shopping etc. Therefore I am looking for MPV sized vehicle. Does anyone have any recommendations as to vehicles. Budget would be around 3000 - I am willing to accept older/high miles vehicles.

Do any of you use your campervan as your only transport? Any pro's con's in your opinion of this?

Thanks in advance


28/7/2011 at 4:15pm
 Location: Ilkla moor baht' at
 Outfit: Compass castaway 500 LL
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If it was me, i'd go for a VW t5 or a bongo as these will go under most car park barriers & easy to drive as a day to day runabout loads on preloved

mick


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28/7/2011 at 4:26pm
 Location: Bolton Lancs
 Outfit: Tent & Toyota Granvia
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Not an actual campervan but a 7-seater mpv (Toyota Granvia) which adapts very well to camping. I have a 2-section home made bed base made out of plywood which fits into the middle of the van when the seats are laid flat, and with the mattress from the old tt forms a very comfortable double bed. A drive-away awning on the side gives me my living space and there's plenty of room in the van to carry dogs, kitchen and larder unit, table(s) chairs, portable loo, and anything else I might need. For cooking I just use a couple of suitcase camping stoves which will store easily. During the week it's my only transport to and from work etc - the only downside is that fuel consumption is on the high side when used as a commuter vehicle, but on a long run isn't too bad, and for me personally the versatility, smooth driving and comfort factor far outweigh the cost of a little extra fuel.

-------------
Tigermouse


I have a very temperamental personality - 50% temper and 50% mental


28/7/2011 at 4:59pm
 Location: None Entered
 Outfit: Tent
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Thanks for the quick replies. I've just looked at the size of the Granvia - it does seem like you can fit a fair bit in there and as you say a drive away awning would be a definite purchase for longer stays. I have looked at the Mazda Bongo and yes it is definitely bigger than your standard MPV but the question would be how much more fuel consumption would be.

Physical size/drivability is not an issue. I regularly drive large vans at work - it is purely the practicality and the increasing costs of fuel that is preventing me from purchasing a larger campervan! So therefore fuel consumption is an issue, however I am willing to relax the right foot a little in exchange for more weekends away throughout the year. Thanks again :)


28/7/2011 at 7:25pm
 Location: Lancashire
 Outfit: VW Autosleeper Trident.
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We have just purchased an old VW autosleeper (but it is not our only vehicle). However it is a good size for the both of us with no real problems about parking or travelling in town. I can't see any problems with it being an 'only' car. We didn't want a big camper just one which was big enough for us. It is very comfy and there is lots of storage space. We do go away quite regularly though and this was important to us.
We looked at the Bongos and you can get a good one with low milage for about 6k but we thought they would be more useful as a 'day' van rather than a campervan. It depends what your priorities are.
'Humprey' is 19 years old but runs very nicely, not a speedy 80mph on the motorway but a good steady 60. I have found it a lot more relaxing driving that way than my usual 'get there as fast as I can' mode. Gives us about 30mpg on a steady run up to now.

-------------
John & Julie

April: Leek
June: York
July: Melvich and Orkney
July: Crowden
August:Pembrokeshire
Sept: Anglesey and Cromer.


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28/7/2011 at 9:22pm
 Location: Norwich
 Outfit: Citroen Relay Campervan
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The Mazda Bongo/Ford Freda 2.5 litre diesel is usually an automatic (there's not many manuals about) and fuel consumption around town is not very good at all - probably only about 18mpg. On a journey, with a light right foot, it's possible to get into the low thirties, but they are a very nippy beast so the right foot tends to get used more - I average about 26mpg on mine.
However, you can happily run them on vegetable oil, mixed 50/50 with diesel, in the summer, dropping to 25% veg oil in winter. Unfortunately, veg oil is now nearly as dear as diesel but, if you can find a source of used oil, it's very handy - I get mine free from a local restaurant I usually try to start any long journey with a nearly empty tank and pull into a lay-by after about 15 miles, once the engine is properly hot, and fill up with used cooking oil - it will happily run on, as near as damn it, 100% cooking oil, but you must top up with sufficient diesel to bring it back to a 50% mix before stopping and letting the engine cool down. It will start on a high mix of veg oil, but doesn't like it and gives off clouds of smoke - not popular on campsites

-------------
Cheers
John


29/7/2011 at 10:11am
 Location: Wirral
 Outfit: Drivelodge Joey
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How many people will you need to carry day to day?

If you only need a 2 berth camper a romahome might suit, not very flash or trendy, but they do seem to have good mpg. Only issue may be only 2 belted seats.

http://motorhomes.autotrader.co.uk/makemodel/make/romahome/search?locationName=York&latitude=53.96667&longitude=-1.08333&postcode=YO31

 

Jules



29/7/2011 at 5:06pm
 Location: Milton Keynes
 Outfit: VW Westfalia California
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I drive a VW T4 campervan as my everyday vehicle with very few issues, in fact although hubby does have a car when we go out as a family we usually take the camper as it's a fantastic family vehicle (bike rack, loads of leg room, fridge on board etc).

Even with a pop-top there are some car parks you can't get in, though, so that's occasionally a pain, and parking spaces are a bit of a squeeze but I always manage to fit in.

Ours is a 2.5l diesel and fuel consumption doesn't seem noticeably bad, although I haven't actualy measured it. I'm pretty sure the differential is a lot less than running another car alongside it



29/7/2011 at 5:29pm
 Location: None Entered
 Outfit: Tent
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Thanks again for all the replies, and helpful suggestions on what works for you. It has certainly giving me food for thought.
In answer to Bigmoney - there will be a max of 4 people (and importantly my 4 legged friend) to accommodate on a daily basis.

Another question. Security wise - do you worry about theft from your camper? I guess with a car everything can be hidden/removed - but for the camper I understand tinted glass can be applied but otherwise. Is it a temptation for would-be thieves whilst left in a car park?
Cheers :)


29/7/2011 at 8:17pm
 Location: Wirral
 Outfit: Drivelodge Joey
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Joined: 05/4/2004


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OK 4 people will limit your choice, as you'll need 4 belted seats which will mean either a mazda  bongo type vehicle or something 'transit' van size , such as autosleeper harmony, or duettto.

Re security, most vans will have cupboards and cubby holes, so most stuff can be kept out of sight, and you can always have an alarm fitted.

Jules



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31/7/2011 at 11:41pm
 Location: Lancashire
 Outfit: Leisuredrive VW T6 campervan
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Our VW T5 conversion is 2.0 metres high so fits under most barriers (except the Tunnel, so we have to pay an extra fiver for the tall train). It goes through tolls as a car, except on the A57 near Lincoln where you cross the Trent and the man charged us a higher rate. It fits into most parking spaces but I'd be a bit unsure in a multi storey car park. It has good milage. It has 2 rear seats with seat belts.
We do have another small car which pre dates the 'van, and we use the car mostly, but use the van if we both need transport at the same time.


06/8/2011 at 2:25pm
 Location: northeast
 Outfit: 1988 vw lt35 70's inflatable tent
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we've a 1988 vw lt35 high top, it's our only vehicle... Biggest problem was finding insurance to cover a camper as a daily driver yet still be cheap!

I'd guess a large transit sized van would be best, ours can sleep 5 sort of comfortably, and came in at 1700, has an oven, grill and 2 ring hob, fridge and loo, and with the leisure battery we can last for nearly a week before we need to go to a campsite and re charge! It's not so good on juice but we live in a small town so can walk everywhere and really only use it for the 'big shop' or trips away and days out.

Here's the link to ours as it was when we bought (photo's) it last year to show you what you can get for not a lot of money.

Good luck in your search!


13/8/2011 at 1:14am
 Location: 
 Outfit: 
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i wouldnt want to drive a LT35 everyday and main vehicle. i have one and wouldnt. i did have a VW T3 as a daily, which was fine (even LHD) but the LT is more tiring and hard work, even though this one has PAS



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