Which one?

Andy L

Forum Member
Hi, first post on this forum and hoping for useful feedback.
I previously did a full conversion on a 2009 lwb Sprinter, gas tank, combi 4e, underslung tanks, shower etc. Then sold and brought an A Class - big mistake for me.
Currently running a caravan but about to buy the next van. This needs a full conversion to 2 berth. I am 6'3", wife shorter so long beds.
Thinking of bunks along / behind driver towards the rear. Now the big question - which van?
Thinking euro 6, around 2018 ish. Guess the main choice is Sprinter, Crafter or the Ducato/Boxer/Relay option. We prefer to go off grid regularly and roam in France.
Not sure about adblue? Actual mpg or reliability of these vans.
So please post opinions to help me with as much background as possible.
Thanks Andy
 

Pudsey Bear

Forum Member
Ducato/Relay/Boxer is the obvious choice as it is wide enough and has a more square shape, I'd go for the L4 H2 or H3 if you can find one as you're a long person, the H2 is fine for normal beings but once you insulate the floor and roof it'd be a bit tight for you.
 

Andy L

Forum Member
Ducato/Relay/Boxer is the obvious choice as it is wide enough and has a more square shape, I'd go for the L4 H2 or H3 if you can find one as you're a long person, the H2 is fine for normal beings but once you insulate the floor and roof it'd be a bit tight for you.
Thanks for your quick reply and suggestions. I have not had a newer vehicle than 2012 previously, do you have experience of using adblue as I assume these all require it? Do you own a ducato, boxer or relay - are they reasonable in fuel if driven carefully?
 

Pudsey Bear

Forum Member
Not had the fun that is adblue, ours is an 07 Ducato 2.2 100 multijet 5 speed, not the most powerful version but my mind says why do I need more cubes I'm on holiday, it would hold 80 all day but I'm normally about 55-65 not found a hill it won't go up yet, and mpg is around 30 or 400 miles per tank
 

Darcar

Forum Member
It’s always a difficult decision…
if your lucky you will find the right vehicle. Unless you are definitely looking at a certain manufacturer then don’t limit yourself.
i wouldn’t convert anything that’s NOT euro6 theses day. I believe that it’s going to be the most important or restricting part of van travel soon.
good luck with your search.
darren
 

Pudsey Bear

Forum Member
These LEZ are the very worst idea, everyone suffers in some respects, all they do is move the problem, these older vehicles don't get scrapped do they?, and how do small shops in the LEZ manage to get deliveries? by building newer vehicles to allow entry, which pushes up harm to the climate as well.
 

Andy L

Forum Member
It’s always a difficult decision…
if your lucky you will find the right vehicle. Unless you are definitely looking at a certain manufacturer then don’t limit yourself.
i wouldn’t convert anything that’s NOT euro6 theses day. I believe that it’s going to be the most important or restricting part of van travel soon.
good luck with your search.
darren
Thanks, like you I think euro 6 is probably the way to go, more expensive but we want to plan for ~ next 5 - 10 years van use in the UK and Europe so guess emissions are going to be tightened. I saw something about euro 7 recently.

I keep swaying between the normal candidates - sprinter, crafter, ducato/relay/boxer. My previous sprinter lwb served me well - its a big decision to get wrong!
 

Andy L

Forum Member
These LEZ are the very worst idea, everyone suffers in some respects, all they do is move the problem, these older vehicles don't get scrapped do they?, and how do small shops in the LEZ manage to get deliveries? by building newer vehicles to allow entry, which pushes up harm to the climate as well.
I agree and also sympathise for those living and breathing in the toxic pollution. LEZ is in some respects simply another tax, it forces you to take other routes and doesn't deal with the problem. The worry is that given time, lots of councils will jump on the band wagon and unless you live and travel outside these areas, well all have to pay or be forced off the road (sell up).
 

Millie Master

Forum Member
One of the main advantages of going for one of the Sevel vans is that they have fully galvanised body shells, as such rust won't be the problem it can be on the Sprinter/Crafter combo.
As Pudsey has said their width is also a very distinct bonus as is also their very square profile which makes conversion a relative doddle.

OK the driving experience is not so good, indeed they can be quite ponderous, but their again how many of us need to have a point and squirt vehicle for belting up and down the alpine passes?

As for your height and bed requirements, I hope you aren't one of these people who have to have a space wasting fixed bed when a properly designed and constructed folding bed can give you almost any length of bed whilst at the same time doubling as a large, comfortable and oh so useful day time sofa, and as for some people complaining they take too long to make up/convert, our sofa/bed takes little more than a minute to either make up or down.

Good luck, oh and welcome aboard

Phil
 

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Darcar

Forum Member
These LEZ are the very worst idea, everyone suffers in some respects, all they do is move the problem, these older vehicles don't get scrapped do they?, and how do small shops in the LEZ manage to get deliveries? by building newer vehicles to allow entry, which pushes up harm to the climate as well.
I totally agree with you LEZ are just a way to get more money...
some South America countries have a congestion system, which works on your number plate, where even numbers allowed one day & odd the next....
this is much fairer & still free to go..
Darren
 

Darcar

Forum Member
Thanks, like you I think euro 6 is probably the way to go, more expensive but we want to plan for ~ next 5 - 10 years van use in the UK and Europe so guess emissions are going to be tightened. I saw something about euro 7 recently.

I keep swaying between the normal candidates - sprinter, crafter, ducato/relay/boxer. My previous sprinter lwb served me well - its a big decision to get wrong!
The newest Sprinter is also fully Galvanised.

I’ve not heard anything about euro”7”
I thought that with the ban on building new diesel vehicles from 2030, euro6 was as high as they were going....
can’t see much point in design and testing a new Diesel engines for such a short period of use..

Darren
 

Pudsey Bear

Forum Member
One of the main advantages of going for one of the Sevel vans is that they have fully galvanised body shells, as such rust won't be the problem it can be on the Sprinter/Crafter combo.
As Pudsey has said their width is also a very distinct bonus as is also their very square profile which makes conversion a relative doddle.

OK the driving experience is not so good, indeed they can be quite ponderous, but their again how many of us need to have a point and squirt vehicle for belting up and down the alpine passes?

As for your height and bed requirements, I hope you aren't one of these people who have to have a space wasting fixed bed when a properly designed and constructed folding bed can give you almost any length of bed whilst at the same time doubling as a large, comfortable and oh so useful day time sofa, and as for some people complaining they take too long to make up/convert, our sofa/bed takes little more than a minute to either make up or down.

Good luck, oh and welcome aboard

Phil
I dispute ponderous and I only have the 100 multijet, lord knows what the 160s are like.

And that bed looks too small to me, two singles are easier to make, provide 2 x the storage and much more easy to build just a box with a lid.
 

Andy L

Forum Member
One of the main advantages of going for one of the Sevel vans is that they have fully galvanised body shells, as such rust won't be the problem it can be on the Sprinter/Crafter combo.
As Pudsey has said their width is also a very distinct bonus as is also their very square profile which makes conversion a relative doddle.

OK the driving experience is not so good, indeed they can be quite ponderous, but their again how many of us need to have a point and squirt vehicle for belting up and down the alpine passes?

As for your height and bed requirements, I hope you aren't one of these people who have to have a space wasting fixed bed when a properly designed and constructed folding bed can give you almost any length of bed whilst at the same time doubling as a large, comfortable and oh so useful day time sofa, and as for some people complaining they take too long to make up/convert, our sofa/bed takes little more than a minute to either make up or down.

Good luck, oh and welcome aboard

Phil
Thanks Phil, some useful info on van pros and cons. In my previous sprinter, I built a bed like yours opposite the opening door, this time thinking of a shorter seat in this position, 2 bunk beds along the same side but one above the other coming back from the rear doors. I'm too tall to sleep across the van without the cutout - pod/bulges on either side. Have you come across anyone on this site who has done a similar design?
 

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Millie Master

Forum Member
Thanks Phil, Have you come across anyone on this site who has done a similar design?

Have a look out for @Squiffy or yet another Phil, he has built 2 x L4 Sevel vans, but I don't think he has bunks.

Are you going to be fitting a shower/loo as well in your build?

Phil

ps. There is one other type/make of van you might want to consider, how about the (in my opinion) truly brilliant Renault Master/Vauxhall Movano vans, they being the very first vans to be fitted with fully galvanised shells and in my most humble of opinions they do drive somewhat better than the Sevel vans and as you don't really need the width with your bunks, then you could go for a rear wheel drive H3 L4 and that is one stonking good strong van....... Just a thought
 
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Duckato

Forum Member
@Andy L
My preference if I was to do a third self build assuming an EV Transit van was still too expensive would probably be an iveco daily with the fantastic 8 speed auto box.

Excellent Van especially if you want something cavernous and/or plated at >3500kg.

Galvanisation isn’t always all it’s cracked up to be the steel can rust just as well as any other van if the galvanised coating is damaged plenty of Sevels Vans out there with scabby sills etc from minor accident damage and subsequent lack of cosmetic care.

I would like to think most modern vans are a lot better at rust prevention than either my Sprinter or Crafter though!

The bugbear with all modern ice vans is the wretched, seemingly designed to expensively fail, sensor heavy emissions systems, DPFs can be a constant pita and underslung Adblue tanks rob space for water tanks but I doubt there’s any way around that
 

Millie Master

Forum Member
Hear, hear. Had an oil sensor fail on my previous van (Ducato) and the garage apologised but said the part cost £10 but it was nearly 5 hours labour to actually get to the thing to change it: 4hrs 50 mins undoing and doing up, 10 mins replacing the duff bit.
A bit like earlier Renault Megan's that had spot lights set into their front air dam, it took 7 hoursw labour to change a bulb!! There are so many cars which have to have their engines removed to change the cam belts or chains and quite afe few LR's that have to have their bodies removed to gain access to their engines.............. It is all bloody bonkers these days!!!
 

trevskoda

Forum Member
A bit like earlier Renault Megan's that had spot lights set into their front air dam, it took 7 hoursw labour to change a bulb!! There are so many cars which have to have their engines removed to change the cam belts or chains and quite afe few LR's that have to have their bodies removed to gain access to their engines.............. It is all bloody bonkers these days!!!
Hence why folk in N Ireland dont keep any vh more than 4 years and trade in, our auction house is full of used cars/vans no one wants.
 

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