Bus or Van?

linkshouse

Full Member
I’m in the process of browsing possible vehicles. I’m not ready to buy yet but it doesn’t hurt to browse the field so to speak and consider options.

One aspect I keep turning over in my head is - bus or van?

I want a quite light lounge with windows on three sides ideally (as they are in our dead Hymer), plus I’ll want one for the kitchen area. Given that the back will inevitably be twin doors that means I’m looking at buying five windows.

So, am I better going for a van and installing windows which will be expensive and of course will need fitting. Or, do I go with a bus that will already have windows all round.

I’m thinking that if I went the bus route I’d just ignore the windows internally where I don’t want them and, paint and insulate them as if they were van walls.

Does that make sense? Has anyone here done anything similar.

Many Thanks

Phill
 

Millie Master

Full Member
Phill, why is the Hymer you both seem to love so very much dead? I have known a large nuber of their products and to put it mildly, they are superbly built, so is it the actual build quality which is causing you to consider taking the steps that you are thinking about or are the problems mechanical and if they are, surely they can be sorted out?

As for bus or van, obviously it is as always each to their own, but for me at least the thing that would always swing it towards a van is that you can insulate them far, far better than you can a bus and as you know, insulation is one of thise vitally important aspects which so many people overlook. Quite frankly, acres of single pain glass equates to of course lots of light, but also to lots and lots of condensation and cold.
There is also another of my old chestnuts that regularly spring to mind is that so many buses look oh so very nice with their smooth flowing lines, but look inside their methods of construction and most of them hide construction bodges by the thousand that are in so many cases so bloody difficult to put to rights and which have to be corrected before your build can safely commence.

Ay lad, rather you than me.

Phil
 

linkshouse

Full Member
Phill, why is the Hymer you both seem to love so very much dead? I have known a large nuber of their products and to put it mildly, they are superbly built, so is it the actual build quality which is causing you to consider taking the steps that you are thinking about or are the problems mechanical and if they are, surely they can be sorted out?

As for bus or van, obviously it is as always each to their own, but for me at least the thing that would always swing it towards a van is that you can insulate them far, far better than you can a bus and as you know, insulation is one of thise vitally important aspects which so many people overlook. Quite frankly, acres of single pain glass equates to of course lots of light, but also to lots and lots of condensation and cold.
There is also another of my old chestnuts that regularly spring to mind is that so many buses look oh so very nice with their smooth flowing lines, but look inside their methods of construction and most of them hide construction bodges by the thousand that are in so many cases so bloody difficult to put to rights and which have to be corrected before your build can safely commence.

Ay lad, rather you than me.

Phil
I've shared the tortuous path to the self-build decision on Motorhomer

It is with a heavy heart that we turn our back on the Hymer but I have just run out of steam with the mechanics. I'm loathe to spend the sort of money that it would take to get the engine properly sorted. This is exacerbated by our location making it very expensive just to get it to a garage that is prepared to even look at it.

Back to the conversion...

You have kind of confirmed what the head always knew.

I certainly intend to insulate the van very thoroughly having done a very similar job with acres of Xtratherm in our old Orkney house and felt the benefits.

We are on a tight budget and windows (like everything else for motorhomes) are so expensive I was considering trying to save a few bob, so the heart said go for a minibus type van but the head always knew it could bring condensation and coldness problems.

I suppose I was just engaging in a little wishful thinking that someone on here with personal experience would side with my tight-fisted heart!

Thanks

Phill
 

Millie Master

Full Member
I certainly intend to insulate the van very thoroughly having done a very similar job with acres of Xtratherm in our old Orkney house and felt the benefits.
Phill, some months ago I in chat on another post I put up an idea I had some years ago and which I did actually put into practice in one of our French properties, namely the self double glazing of a single glazed window without actually changing the existing piece of glass....... and it worked!

This was a window in a centuries old but excellent condition oak frame.

I had a piece of glass cut to the exact same size as the recess, but not the same size as the original glass which of course goes into the rebate.
I also bought a roll of high quality plastic coated stainless steel wire of approx 3mm in diameter which I then cut into an exact circumference length of the appature.
I then ran a good bead of very high quality clear silicone adhesive (Stixall) around the entire window recess and then pushed the coated, stainless steel wire into it. This was a slightly messy job but in the end by using lots of meths to wipe off any excess, I achieved the clean result I was looking for. Then after 24 hours and on a very dry, low humidity day I ran another bead of clear Stixall around the entire circumference and then immediately pushed the new pane of glass onto it.

Iam pleased to say that 15 years on from this experiment that the glass is reported to be still condensation free and performing perfectly.

On the previous post I mention above, I suggested that instead of using plastic coated wire, that possibly some square section moulding would be more appropriate as well as using polycarbonate sheeting rather than glass, there might also be a benefit by going for triple glazing rather than double as it would all help. But if and when doing any such work, it is essential to only ever do it when there is low humidity, but mind you in so saying, take a butchers at a lot of the older plastic windows fitted to Mo/Ho's and caravans and they aren't sealed.

Phil
 

Edina

Administrator
I went for a bus, for similar reasons to yours. I blanked out the windows I didn't need.
Condensation has never been a problem and thanks to the eber we are never cold - we use the bus all through the year.
 

linkshouse

Full Member
Phill, some months ago I in chat on another post I put up an idea I had some years ago and which I did actually put into practice in one of our French properties, namely the self double glazing of a single glazed window without actually changing the existing piece of glass....... and it worked!

This was a window in a centuries old but excellent condition oak frame.

I had a piece of glass cut to the exact same size as the recess, but not the same size as the original glass which of course goes into the rebate.
I also bought a roll of high quality plastic coated stainless steel wire of approx 3mm in diameter which I then cut into an exact circumference length of the appature.
I then ran a good bead of very high quality clear silicone adhesive (Stixall) around the entire window recess and then pushed the coated, stainless steel wire into it. This was a slightly messy job but in the end by using lots of meths to wipe off any excess, I achieved the clean result I was looking for. Then after 24 hours and on a very dry, low humidity day I ran another bead of clear Stixall around the entire circumference and then immediately pushed the new pane of glass onto it.

Iam pleased to say that 15 years on from this experiment that the glass is reported to be still condensation free and performing perfectly.

On the previous post I mention above, I suggested that instead of using plastic coated wire, that possibly some square section moulding would be more appropriate as well as using polycarbonate sheeting rather than glass, there might also be a benefit by going for triple glazing rather than double as it would all help. But if and when doing any such work, it is essential to only ever do it when there is low humidity, but mind you in so saying, take a butchers at a lot of the older plastic windows fitted to Mo/Ho's and caravans and they aren't sealed.

Phil
That sounds like a plan.

Actually, now you mention it I seem to recall doing something similar on an old house we had in the midlands many years ago.

I reckon if I could remember the details of everything I've done in the past I'd be brilliant :rolleyes:

Getting old's a buggar :eek:
 

linkshouse

Full Member
I went for a bus, for similar reasons to yours. I blanked out the windows I didn't need.
Condensation has never been a problem and thanks to the eber we are never cold - we use the bus all through the year.
Ah, now see that's the sort of answer I was hoping for :D

I also have a diesel heater I intend to transfer from the Hymer to the new conversion.

Phill
 

Nabsim

Full Member
This insulation thing confuses me I must say. I understand about breathing and burning gas creates moisture and cold bridges letting it condensate. The more vans I see though the less I know, I have seen Antoine few now where people are living in the full time, bus or van, insulated or not and there doesn’t seem to be any pattern. I see uninsulated vans totally misty window free and fully winterised misted up and every option in between.

some run log burners, others diesel heaters and some with nothing. Must be a reason and I don’t doubt what folks say about good insulation but it’s a mystery to me.
 

Edina

Administrator
Ah, now see that's the sort of answer I was hoping for :D

I also have a diesel heater I intend to transfer from the Hymer to the new conversion.

Phill
A lot of the mini bus/passenger ambulances we looked at already had ebers fitted.
Good luck with it. (y)
 

Greggbear67

Full Member
My conversion is an ex welfare bus. The Windows I didn't use were painted gloss black inside, then insulated with 50mm rockwool type matting. Over that I clad them with 8mm t&g planks then stained them all dark mahogany. No condensation issues as yet & soon warms up with the night heater. Some of the windows have a sliding portion at the top so I left them all uncovered for ventilation.
 

linkshouse

Full Member
Ah well, suddenly the question becomes moot!

I’ve just bought a 2013 Citroen Relay L3H2 with 190k on the clock. Our son pointed it out to me for sale in Orkney, actually on Hoy.

I know I’m doing the unspeakable, buying it without seeing it but I’ve spoken to the chap seen lots of photos etc so went for it! Because of ferries I can’t pick it up till Thursday so wait for the tears or jubilation then.
 

linkshouse

Full Member
Least you've got a base vehicle to begin now. Good luck with it, hope its ok when you see it.
Ha ha, you and me both. It's going to be a long time till Thursday!

I do know it has a ding in the side, which my son assures me he can sort out (he worked briefly at a body shop) and that was reflected in the price.
 

linkshouse

Full Member
Don't I know it, going in for pre opp for the ticker at Papworth next week followed by heaven knows what on the 20th..... I would say Phill that geting old is a pain in the bloody ass and it comes on soooooooo bloody quickly!
Phil
Hope everything goes well with your opp.

Failing health and mental acuity are a bit of a bummer, but then I do like the freedom of not giving a tos hoot about most other things in life.

Phill
 

Millie Master

Full Member
I’ve just bought a 2013 Citroen Relay L3H2 with 190k on the clock.
Blimey it's still running in!

I was only in an ambulance just the other day, doing a sightly urgent blues and twoes journey in the Fiat version of the very same van as a passenger with the driver going harry flatters at close to 100 mph.
The one in question was still on the original engine and had over 360,000 miles under the wheels!

Phil
 

GEOFF

Full Member
Good luck with your conversion. I am pleased that you have managed to source a van locally. As an avid flush glass advocate, my current camper is based on a Ducato minibus. I love the flush glass look and even if I were to convert a standard van in future I would use dark flush glass. Many advantages in ex buses, but vans are nice too. Geoff.
 

GEOFF

Full Member
If you are interested you can see my minibus conversion in the " Show us your van thread" thread title starts My older french Bed Ducato, posted sept 20 2019. Good luck with your conversion, and please be sure to post some pics. Geoff.
 
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