I am thinking of selling my motorhome and doing a self build!

daygoboy

Free Member
i have used the vohringer boards etc , great if you want a van that looks just like all the other vans , but far thicker than needed in most situations . nice and easy to use mind,but stupidly expensive . i like 6mm birch because it's got enough plies that it'll hold a screw pretty well. the 60cm square boards i use to fill in between my seats to make the bed are 9mm birch ,which i was a bit unsure of ,but are easily strong enough for the job.
Because I was using framed construction I used the thinnest facing I could readily obtain, ie 3 ply less
than 4mm thick. Most of the framing and battening was 12mm or 15mm so plenty to screw fix to.
I also made most cupboards as panel units with plastic corner fixing blocks, the idea was to make
it practical to remove items, & change the layout if required in the future.

VAN CONV. AUG. 96 007.jpgVAN CONV. AUG. 96 017.jpgVan Interior 033.jpgVAN CONV. AUG. 96 009.jpg
 

Rec

Full Member
Go for it, Phil! Life is too short and unexpected to avoid doing something that will make you happy.
 

Pudsey Bear

Free Member
Over the past few weeks, I have been looking closely at my life and deciding what I can change for the better. Having a project to build my own van will make me happy. I can make a van that really fits my needs whilst having a hobby to tinker with. Whenever I do something to the Hymer I must make sure that It is able to be put right and not devalue the motorhome. I love the idea of just painted MDF panels inside that I can be easily fixed with some wood filler and paint. I will have a fixed bed at the back and a large shower. I don't need sofas just three captains chairs and a table in the front. The kitchen will be simple as will the rest of the decor.

Forget MDF Phil, you are pretty much forced to use light weight like plywood Vohringer or similar from about £80 per 8x4 sheet, or you will be overweight before you finish it.

As for DIY by far your biggest issue if you want it to look nice is the joinery side of things, the gas electric and plumbing are things you can tackle easily.

I'd love to do another but fitness fails me :( :( I'd get a 22 foot refrigerated ( already insulated)
7.5 ton van on MAN chassis, mileage as low as you can find bu they are dirt cheap, the driving test is easy to do and you have less worry about being overweight.

If I can be any help at all just ask.
 

wildebus

Full Member
The choice of the base vehicle is one that I am still pondering.

A Fiat Ducato 35 Maxi H3 L4 makes the most sense, but in my heart, I would love to do a 4x4 Sprinter conversion. The problem with the Sprinter is that its internal height is not that great even on the high roof. Trying to find a LWB super high top 4X4 Sprinter would be very hard to do.

The height in the Ducato H3 is just over 7 feet compared with just under 6 feet in the Sprinter, This gives plenty of room for insulation and to still have a bit of headroom.

But the Sprinter will cost around £10,000 more than the Ducato .


Had a look at a couple of VW vans today ... a 68 Plate 4Motion Crafter for under £30k (sounds good value compared to a 2011 4x4 Sprinter for £20k?) and another 4x4 MAN (so same basic van)
IMG_20190907_164836 by David, on Flickr
distance from floor to bottom orf roof rib was a nad over 6 foot (the floor is built up to fit the transmission and is raised by 110mm according to the guy I spoke to), so that is what you loose going 4x4 over FWD.

I think this would be a more fun option with the double-decker option
IMG_20190907_165716 by David, on Flickr

(lots of Synchros at this festival :) ) I guess you could see a load of interesting ideas at the Overland show (on this month again I think?)
 

mark61

Full Member
Always liked the original T3 Syncro, well original after a handful of T2 prototypes.
Subsequent Syncro's / 4Motions were never the same.
 

mark61

Full Member
I like the Mk 1 LT Synchros. Like a T25/T3 on steroids :)
Oh yes, very nice and proper 4x4 too. You have to go aftermarket now, to get the new Crafter anywhere close to the Mk 1 LT 4x4.

Always thought it was a shame VW didn't also offer Puchs Noriker version, which never made it into real production, a real mini Unimog. Would have been silly money though. Still, Sulzers LT is a fine machine.
 

Mick Jordan

Full Member
I am sure you could do it Phil, but just consider this. You have a very nice van at the moment that you can just jump into and go wherever on a whim. Once you start on a new build, having sold the Hymer, unless you have a good, solid (solid) amount of time to devote to it, you will be doing it,, as and when, and for some time will have a van that you may not be happy to use at any particular time, for quite a while. I started mine 3 years ago, still not finished, have managed to use it somehow or other when I needed/wanted to by being careful about timing of what i needed to have functioning at any particular time, and I'm supposedly retired ! Its been, still is, great, I enjoy working on it, but I will be very happy when I consider it finished !
 

RAW

Full Member
I must point out that I said that I am considering this, I have made no decision yet and I am not in a rush to unless someone really wants to by my Hymer fully loaded.
I am sure you could do it Phil, but just consider this. You have a very nice van at the moment that you can just jump into and go wherever on a whim. Once you start on a new build, having sold the Hymer, unless you have a good, solid (solid) amount of time to devote to it, you will be doing it,, as and when, and for some time will have a van that you may not be happy to use at any particular time, for quite a while. I started mine 3 years ago, still not finished, have managed to use it somehow or other when I needed/wanted to by being careful about timing of what i needed to have functioning at any particular time, and I'm supposedly retired ! Its been, still is, great, I enjoy working on it, but I will be very happy when I consider it finished !
1. @Phil I would buy your Hymer if I won the lottery but at the moment I am struggling Financially to even do the work on old Sylvia (Talbot) :cry:
2. I would also like to do similar and although I have reasonable skills in most areas (used to work in construction) I do find myself often getting frustrated with the build side of things so I am not entirely sure it would make me "happy" :mad: - But as other folk have said if it will make you HAPPY then go for it !!
3. Echo'ing what @Mick Jordan has said - if you sold the Hymer to get funds for the next build project then you would likely be off the road for some time whilst building unless you had another van to use. This might not be the best, but really it's up to you. Personally think the Hymer you have now with the upgrades is one of the best I have seen so far whilst looking at built vans.

This is a great thread, look forward to reading more, :)
Robert
 

wildebus

Full Member
Forget MDF Phil, you are pretty much forced to use light weight like plywood Vohringer or similar from about £80 per 8x4 sheet, or you will be overweight before you finish it.

As for DIY by far your biggest issue if you want it to look nice is the joinery side of things, the gas electric and plumbing are things you can tackle easily.

I'd love to do another but fitness fails me :( :( I'd get a 22 foot refrigerated ( already insulated)
7.5 ton van on MAN chassis, mileage as low as you can find bu they are dirt cheap, the driving test is easy to do and you have less worry about being overweight.

If I can be any help at all just ask.
I would agree 100% with the bit above I highlighted for my own abilities and (maybe generalising somewhat) at a guess most others.
Few folk cannot wire sockets and the like, but even fewer CAN build a really good looking piece of furniture from scratch.
 

daygoboy

Free Member
Some demountables or semi versions can be inefficient spacewise, this oddball
rig is as long as a VW camper van. Probably takes the body off back home and
replaces the hatch.
 

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