New Self Build Project Initiated...

ActiveCampers

Full Member

Messages
96
2020 hasn't been a great start of year! :(

We have little NV200 van at the moment, also used as car (hence compromise) to allow us to not feel guilty about going off backpacking or cycle trips.....

But our backpacking plans are cancelled this year due to coronavirus and the fact we were flying into Shanghai.....

And wifey has injured foot, which will cancel our cycling trips and forcing us to stay at home for.

So to save us getting bored, we've brought forward our Campervan#2 build - and just ordered a new van (ETA TBD, maybe May/June/July) - a Ducato Sportivo Being little and black it will suit us down to the ground - we are the usual black sheeps of the family lol

Have CAD'd out a full build for 2x, including onboard garage......

How hard can it be! :)

Ducato-Sportivo-Red-on-Black.jpg
 

trevskoda

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Messages
1,477
Just remember you cannot carry bikes /mopeds or anything other than that used for camping in a garage,you can carry them outside on a rack.
Looks fab health to wear.
 

ActiveCampers

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Messages
96
Just remember you cannot carry bikes /mopeds or anything other than that used for camping in a garage,you can carry them outside on a rack.
Looks fab health to wear.
That is debateable - the CYCLES will be on board. In the same manner as 90% of coachbuilts with garages. The conversion will be a "full and proper" conversion and will not be mistaken for goods transport. I believe the regs you mention use the word BIKE and are aimed at day vans with race bikes and the like.
For sure, the bikes will be onboard and I am 100% happy with that :)
 

saxonborg

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Messages
642
Looks good but your bikes appear to take up a disproportionate amount of space, is there any advantage to be gained by partially dismantling them and not laying them on top of each other?
 

ActiveCampers

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Messages
96
Looks good but your bikes appear to take up a disproportionate amount of space, is there any advantage to be gained by partially dismantling them and not laying them on top of each other?
Its MH2 - so short - and we did try to design a version with them next to each other but then we can't get the bathroom and other bits in the size we wanted. The garage area isn't *that* deep (550 and 300) as its split to minimse the depth... So its tighter than you think - and the "walls" will be built in the real world based on the *actual* size of bikes. The 300 is defined by the gaslocker. The 550 is a guestimate, real world may be less (!) Who knows. It can't be deeper as that pushes the fridge back (that has to be a shallow vitifrigo as it is - and even that is recessed into garage wall (!). Any further back the bathroom door gets too narrow or we lose the little wardrobe...

unlike some, we bike a LOT - so ease/speed of getting out and using is important, taking quick release wheel off is enough! Not going to dismantle more than that. For sure, those that seldom use bikes some space can be saved. Also we do snowboarding and wakeboarding so need tall spaces for that. Garage will be lined and water resistant. It will also have the chairs and outdoor bits in (as well as 240v CU and other electronics). Think it'll be tighter than the pics suggest lol.

We did cad many variants of bikes, even having them vertical/sideways etc. But its the rest of the priorities that then get affected. (eg fixed bed or big lounge or bathroom or not using cab) etc. So been a year+ balancing/testing ideas....

(Bear in mind, its the first model I've ever built in sketchup! So accuracy is variable, and doesn't take van structure into account for some elements)
 

Millie Master

Full Member

Messages
399
Apart from asking if you have thought of going for an L4 H2 Ducato for the all important extra internal space which is oh so needed when carrying bikes, have you thought about popping over to the sister site motorhomebuider where there are even more nutters there who love talking about building our own vans.

Oh and did you think about having the bikes lying down flat, one on top of each other in a unit between the wheel boxes and then have a fixed bed over the top of them?

As with all things when it comes to designing and building your ideal van conversion, life is always a series of compromises!

TTFN

Phil
 

alwaysared

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Messages
279
Looks good, nice design I agree with Millie Master regarding the fixed bed but if you don't making the bed up then that's okay, it's a personal choice.

Regards,
Del
 

ActiveCampers

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Messages
96
We prefer small vans, hate coach-built, L4 and dislike L3 :) L2 much more usable for us. We've had 1700+ nights away, 4+mth trips, in L1 or smaller - so fair to say we know what works for us. (We also backpack for 4mths with 9kg or stuff; cycle camp 1000 miles with a couple of panniers. Space is relative! :) )

In those 1700 nights, a fixed bed hasn't ever come up on a wish list, so for us is a total waste of space and did not appear anywhere on our list. It was mentioned briefly to consider and rule out. Its impossible to have a fixed bed with our other list of priorities in a smaller van. Clearly no list of priorities/desires are the same for anyone otherwise we'd all be doing the same. (and I'm not suggesting OUR list is right for anyone other than us)

Our priorities which will not match yours/anyones elses are: L2, cab seats not to be used in conversion (due to insulation/heat loss over winter/alpine wild camping and general discreet pub-stops and wildcamping), winterised, priority for permanent L sofa, option for U sofa, usable loo/shower room; kitchen; and garage for 2x bikes and snowboards; and off-grid, long travel, minimal campsite usage.

The bed will be designed to be made up "quickly" and no faff - so <60 seconds to convert from sofa to bed and make it. So its never a big deal. I'll make it and be in it before my hot-chocolate is delivered (that is the "target" lol)

I'm on MHB but its quite sparse in terms of activity and content, so tend to use sbmcc more. Do browse ocassionally though. Only so many places you can post the same thing :)

the design will be pretty much built as the CAD - its gone through many iterations and that is what works for us (and bear in mind the CAD doesn't show everything, its a basic model). Changes will occur in the real world though. If Dr Who can lend some tardis tech we may be able to get more in - but unless he is forthcoming …. :) )
 

alwaysared

Full Member

Messages
279
We prefer small vans, hate coach-built, L4 and dislike L3 :) L2 much more usable for us. We've had 1700+ nights away, 4+mth trips, in L1 or smaller - so fair to say we know what works for us. (We also backpack for 4mths with 9kg or stuff; cycle camp 1000 miles with a couple of panniers. Space is relative! :) )

In those 1700 nights, a fixed bed hasn't ever come up on a wish list, so for us is a total waste of space and did not appear anywhere on our list. It was mentioned briefly to consider and rule out. Its impossible to have a fixed bed with our other list of priorities in a smaller van. Clearly no list of priorities/desires are the same for anyone otherwise we'd all be doing the same. (and I'm not suggesting OUR list is right for anyone other than us)

Our priorities which will not match yours/anyones elses are: L2, cab seats not to be used in conversion (due to insulation/heat loss over winter/alpine wild camping and general discreet pub-stops and wildcamping), winterised, priority for permanent L sofa, option for U sofa, usable loo/shower room; kitchen; and garage for 2x bikes and snowboards; and off-grid, long travel, minimal campsite usage.

The bed will be designed to be made up "quickly" and no faff - so <60 seconds to convert from sofa to bed and make it. So its never a big deal. I'll make it and be in it before my hot-chocolate is delivered (that is the "target" lol)

I'm on MHB but its quite sparse in terms of activity and content, so tend to use sbmcc more. Do browse ocassionally though. Only so many places you can post the same thing :)

the design will be pretty much built as the CAD - its gone through many iterations and that is what works for us (and bear in mind the CAD doesn't show everything, its a basic model). Changes will occur in the real world though. If Dr Who can lend some tardis tech we may be able to get more in - but unless he is forthcoming …. :) )
Like I said it's all personal choices, what suits one person may or may not suit another person ;) We're full time so a fixed bed is useful for us along with as much storage space we can get out of a 5.99m van. (y)

Regards,
Del
 

saxonborg

Full Member

Messages
642
Its MH2 - so short - and we did try to design a version with them next to each other but then we can't get the bathroom and other bits in the size we wanted. The garage area isn't *that* deep (550 and 300) as its split to minimse the depth... So its tighter than you think - and the "walls" will be built in the real world based on the *actual* size of bikes. The 300 is defined by the gaslocker. The 550 is a guestimate, real world may be less (!) Who knows. It can't be deeper as that pushes the fridge back (that has to be a shallow vitifrigo as it is - and even that is recessed into garage wall (!). Any further back the bathroom door gets too narrow or we lose the little wardrobe...

unlike some, we bike a LOT - so ease/speed of getting out and using is important, taking quick release wheel off is enough! Not going to dismantle more than that. For sure, those that seldom use bikes some space can be saved. Also we do snowboarding and wakeboarding so need tall spaces for that. Garage will be lined and water resistant. It will also have the chairs and outdoor bits in (as well as 240v CU and other electronics). Think it'll be tighter than the pics suggest lol.

We did cad many variants of bikes, even having them vertical/sideways etc. But its the rest of the priorities that then get affected. (eg fixed bed or big lounge or bathroom or not using cab) etc. So been a year+ balancing/testing ideas....

(Bear in mind, its the first model I've ever built in sketchup! So accuracy is variable, and doesn't take van structure into account for some elements)
Every success with what you are doing I just wish it was me. 👍
 

HurricaneSmith

Full Member

Messages
514
Great drawings, and still free whilst it's a piece of paper......

I know it's only finishing detail, but you might like to consider a flyscreen at the sliding door before the lockers are installed.

Auto-Trail's latest PVC now includes for them (as do other vans.)
 

ActiveCampers

Full Member

Messages
96
Great drawings, and still free whilst it's a piece of paper......

I know it's only finishing detail, but you might like to consider a flyscreen at the sliding door before the lockers are installed.

Auto-Trail's latest PVC now includes for them (as do other vans.)
We did "almost" full time in a SWB pro build Transit - but more "full time holiday" than "full time living". And yeah, everyone is different. (Also whilst our drive is large, its a private lane and tight for L3 to get in/out which would be a faff). Anyway, van ordered and the special is MH2 only :)

The flyscreen is an interesting idea. We're planning a drop-down projector screen behind the "door shelf" lol. The flyscreen we looked at but it is rather expensive for what it is. The problem with self build is you (mostly) have to buy parts at retail prices. We are *thinking* we may do our own. So that is an idea. But you are correct - this is a good feature albeit one hard to justify at retail! Point noted and will have a deeper thought.

Sadly not free lol - I've been buying bits for the last year (and only paid deposit for van on Monday!) - so have 75% of non wood stuff already..... :( Some expensive items to buy over the coming weeks. We have a very detailed spreadsheet of every part budgeted lol so won't get surprised. Had a band-saw delivered last week as there are a few jobs it will be perfect for (or is that justifying a new toy :eek: )
 

alwaysared

Full Member

Messages
279
You probably already know but this place is good for the wood bits, nice quality and lightweight.

Regards,
Del
 

ActiveCampers

Full Member

Messages
96
You probably already know but this place is good for the wood bits, nice quality and lightweight.

Regards,
Del
Thanks, yep. Bought their stuff in current van (also self built) - and visited their factory last year.
Will be buying from Grassroutes in Wincanton as they are closer and cheaper than moreland direct. (but is moorland ply - which is expensive but as you say - excellent quality and weight) We'll be doing "two tone" - so part bardalino oak and part grey beige Zebrano. (and lots of bare bts). Got the wood design sized and through a layout optimiser ready lol. /prepared.
Not sure on edging yet, want to avoid t-edge and bring a better finish, so visiting an edging specialist next week who has 1001 different products.....
 

alwaysared

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Messages
279
Thanks, yep. Bought their stuff in current van (also self built) - and visited their factory last year.
Will be buying from Grassroutes in Wincanton as they are closer and cheaper than moreland direct. (but is moorland ply - which is expensive but as you say - excellent quality and weight) We'll be doing "two tone" - so part bardalino oak and part grey beige Zebrano. (and lots of bare bts). Got the wood design sized and through a layout optimiser ready lol. /prepared.
Not sure on edging yet, want to avoid t-edge and bring a better finish, so visiting an edging specialist next week who has 1001 different products.....
Sounds good, I collected some ply from Morlands factory and found their staff to be a bit hard to talk to but then I'm a Black Country bloke lol.

Regards,
Del
 

bmc

Full Member

Messages
26
Looking forward to this one Ryan. Followed your nv200 conversion with great interest, as I had already converted my own nv200, and I was very impressed with your work.
Been using mine now for 5 years, and although it suits me fine as a solo traveller, I had seriously thought about doing a conversion on a sevel sized van.
Unfortunately, at 77 years of age, I've had to face the fact, that although the mind is willing the body is not, so I'll console myself by following your build.
 

ActiveCampers

Full Member

Messages
96
Looking forward to this one Ryan. Followed your nv200 conversion with great interest, as I had already converted my own nv200, and I was very impressed with your work.
Been using mine now for 5 years, and although it suits me fine as a solo traveller, I had seriously thought about doing a conversion on a sevel sized van.
Unfortunately, at 77 years of age, I've had to face the fact, that although the mind is willing the body is not, so I'll console myself by following your build.
Thanks for nice comment! The NV has done really well, ,faultless over >200 nights, and up to 6 week 5000mile trips mostly wild camping. Been a perfect car during that time too. it was always a "5 year" van to us fitting around bits of work, backpacking and cycling without having a "motorhome" at home. Just gutted in the reasons why we've had to bring plans forward :( But no point stalling and twiddling thumbs due to an arbitrary dates based on now cancelled plans. The NV is designed as a campervan, e.g. get somewhere, get out and walk/bike and just eat/sleep there - it was never designed as a "relaxing motorhome" which this one will be.

This build will be fun - its a project - but won't be cheap lol. Will be using the NV when we can, we'll see if its keep as car or sell nearer the time!

There is a walk through of the van#2 CAD on YouTube if anyone is that interested. (lol!)
 

Rec

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Messages
1,415
Love it! It's quite a challenge to fit everything you need let alone everything you want in a MWB van. But you seem to have thought it out well. I agree, the space seems to reduce when you actually start to fit stuff, but being inventive with solutions is satisfying. And being prepared to " tweak" a little is sensible. We had our van conversion completed and then after one long trip realised that the toilet door was just too tight when opened, solved with a vertical hinge so that the door folded back. Looked fine on paper! Good luck with it.
 
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