Bondi Beach, Australia

Blog Archive

Saturday, 26 January 2019

Storing away your camper van for the winter

Just a tip for you. If you've any gas vents and sink waste in your van? 

I always tape mine over when stored over the winter to prevent creepy crawlies coming in from the cold...!! I simply use masking tape to cover over any of the vents, gas vents and the sink waste.  The sink waste is better with a flush with bleach too, of course ensure the gas is turned off, water storage emptied etc. I’ll post more as as put away for the winter






Tuesday, 21 August 2018

Register your camper van with the DVLA


Registration
And finally you need to register the van with DVLA as a camper van, insurance is far cheaper but a lot of insurance firms don’t / won’t insure until it is converted and registered

You used to have to take the van to an MOT station and they would check everything was fitted, but nowadays you can send a letter to the DVLA with your V5 with photo evidence and a description of what you have done and they will register if happy with that

DVLA say…
“It is a legal requirement that all UK registered vehicles are classified correctly on the V5C log book. All campervans, motor caravans and motorhomes fall into the DVLA category of ‘motor caravan’. If you have converted a van into a motor caravan then you must return the V5C to DVLA for body type amendment. DVLA is required to record the details of vehicles for road safety and law enforcement. The body type information held on the vehicle record must describe what a vehicle actually looks like. This description, in addition to other distinguishing features, enables the police and other enforcement agencies to identify a particular vehicle. Therefore, the body type will not be changed unless the exterior of the vehicle actually appears to be a motor home. This document provides general guidance relating to the registering of DIY motor caravans. Every effort has been made to ensure that it is factually correct but recipients should check with the producers of this document if they are unsure about any of the content”

In order for a converted vehicle to qualify as a motor caravan it must have certain minimum features, as follows:
· a door that provides access to the living accommodation
· a bed, which has a minimum length of 1800mm or 6 feet. This can be converted from seats used for other purposes during the day but must be permanently fixed within the body of the vehicle
 · a water storage tank or container on, or in, the vehicle
· a seating and dining area, permanently attached to the vehicle. The table may be detachable but must have some permanent means of attachment to the vehicle. It is not good enough to have a loose table
· a permanently fixed means of storage, a cupboard, locker or wardrobe
· a permanently fixed cooking facility within the vehicle, powered by gas or electricity
· at least one window on the side of the accommodation If the vehicle has all of these features present, permanently fixed and installed properly, then it is a legal requirement to have it reclassified as a motor caravan on the V5C.

Basically this is to stop people throwing a mattress and portable stove inside the van and calling it a camper van to benefit from cheaper insurance


Registration

And finally you need to register the van with DVLA as a camper van, insurance is far cheaper but a lot of insurance firms don’t / won’t insure until it is converted and registered

You used to have to take the van to an MOT station and they would check everything was fitted, but nowadays you can send a letter to the DVLA with your V5 with photo evidence and a description of what you have done and they will register if happy with that





DVLA say…

“It is a legal requirement that all UK registered vehicles are classified correctly on the V5C log book. All campervans, motor caravans and motorhomes fall into the DVLA category of ‘motor caravan’. If you have converted a van into a motor caravan then you must return the V5C to DVLA for body type amendment. DVLA is required to record the details of vehicles for road safety and law enforcement. The body type information held on the vehicle record must describe what a vehicle actually looks like. This description, in addition to other distinguishing features, enables the police and other enforcement agencies to identify a particular vehicle. Therefore, the body type will not be changed unless the exterior of the vehicle actually appears to be a motor home. This document provides general guidance relating to the registering of DIY motor caravans. Every effort has been made to ensure that it is factually correct but recipients should check with the producers of this document if they are unsure about any of the content”





In order for a converted vehicle to qualify as a motor caravan it must have certain minimum features, as follows:
· a door that provides access to the living accommodation
· a bed, which has a minimum length of 1800mm or 6 feet. This can be converted from seats used for other purposes during the day but must be permanently fixed within the body of the vehicle
 · a water storage tank or container on, or in, the vehicle
· a seating and dining area, permanently attached to the vehicle. The table may be detachable but must have some permanent means of attachment to the vehicle. It is not good enough to have a loose table
· a permanently fixed means of storage, a cupboard, locker or wardrobe
· a permanently fixed cooking facility within the vehicle, powered by gas or electricity
· at least one window on the side of the accommodation If the vehicle has all of these features present, permanently fixed and installed properly, then it is a legal requirement to have it reclassified as a motor caravan on the V5C.

Basically my view is that this is to stop people throwing a mattress and portable stove inside the van and calling it a camper van to benefit from cheaper insurance


Accessories and fittings inside the camper van


I used a combined sink and hob in this van as take up less space, and all the mess to clean in one place - but separate ones cheaper





If you want a loo I used a Thetford cartridge type, but make sure you have a fixing or frame to stop it sliding round in the van when on the move. I used some stainless steel angle

Shower
I opted to not fit a shower, listed to lots of advice. Need gas/vents and heater which is more cost and space, plus a nightmare to keep dry and stop leaks as water will really damage the furniture. Most sites have showers and most people with vans/caravans that I know say they don’t use them

Taps/water
I have 2 x 25Litrs tanks left and right under the back seats, one feeds the above sink and the other is a spare tap in the WC cupboard because you can’t get buckets etc under the tap on the sink for cleaning/filling the loo


Furniture for the camper van


Furniture;  You may prefer to use  a kit or made to measure furniture. This can be the expensive bit...

 

The first van I did I bought a standard kit, various colour options and they fit most vans. Lots of sellers on eBay. For this van I have done a much higher standard of fit out and had the furniture made to order



I used Katrina and Scott in Rotherham, both passionate and interested, Scott fits out vans for people and has his own van, they are both really helpful. Scott cuts everything and knows his stuff, wasn’t the cheapest but his stuff was really good. Here's their email


 

And you can say you know me, they’re using some photos of my van on their web site






Tables/fittings/accessories etc

 

I used this sort of chrome table leg/stand and then used the main table for the base of the bed, like this one here


I have now fitted a smaller 2nd table, if I travel place to place solo then  it means I don’t have to keep dismantling the bed and can use the small one for me



 

If I travel with 2 of us the extra small table is in the  kitchen end so makes a useful place for added space when cooking


 


Ply line, carpeting and flooring inside a camper van


Ply line

Buy the ply from anywhere and pop holes in the ply to drag the wires through



 

Carpeting/lining

I’d use 4 way stretch carpeting, limited on colours but there’s lots and lots of people selling on eBay



I used this guy, the stuff turns up on time etc


 

And use trim spray - a 1 x 500ml tin of high temp adhesive / heat resistant glue should do 2 M2 of lining and this guy sells a pack of lining + glue in one order


Flooring
I used fairy standard flooring that you'd find in your kitchen at home, best fitted before the carpet but can be done afterwards



 


 


First fix wiring and the Panel


First fix wiring inside the camper van. It's important to plan where the switches and lights etc will be, where battery will be, and everything thought through  to have wires in right place. 


Careful not to snag any wires when pulling through steel work as will cause a short. Once the van is ply lined it’s a nightmare to trace wiring, and label every wire up







Technically I could fit out a van without one but if/ when come to sell having  a panel is a deal breaker, most wiring is brought back to where the panel will be so worth thinking through where to position it





Panel


I’ve always used a Zig panel but there’s others, lots of places sell them. Zig been helpful on phone and lots of forums and advice on line, wiring diagrams straight forward

 

There's a supplier here 


 




Converting the camper van from the start

This is a little back to front, as I have already posted images of a road trip to St Ives, but here goes

Cutting for the  glass for the sides with the glue etc, ready to fit




Roof lights/vents too, just be careful with the thickness...


At this supplier I bought a Mini Heki Plus (without fixed ventilation) for roof thickness 43-60mm, when you fit the ceiling and you need to bard over the insulation and foil then the thickness between the outer roof and inner of the ceiling will increase. Just make sure it’s not more than 43-60mm because they don’t make thicker depths of the window opening


Foil lining

I would always line with foil, stops condensation etc otherwise the can will drip moisture  through the night

Wickes do this product and it's not too expensive





Insulation

I used loft insulation and taped it in between the beams/struts of the inside of the van until the ply was on







Copy 2011-2013 Peter Morley all rights reserved. Unless stated otherwise, all images on this web site were taken by and are the copyright of Peter Morley