VISITS ARE STRICTLY BY APPOINTMENT ONLY
Transporter Outdoors ltd
Base vehicle: An empty single side load door panel van is the best starting point for a full conversion, a tailgate is slightly more desirable than the barn door version.
We can convert twin side loading door Transporters.
Maximum safe travel weight is another consideration.
The T5 & T6 have weight categories denoted by a number like T26, T27, T28, T30 or T32. This refers to the vans maximum permissible road weight in kg (i.e a T26 = 2600kg max weight, whereas a T32 has more load capacity at 3200kg)
A T26 Transporter will be close to or even over its maximum permissible limit if it has a full conversion (kitchen, poptop, R&R bed etc)
A T28, T30, or T32 is a much better base van.
The Shuttle and Caravelle are poor base vehicles to convert.
Electrics. The main area that we find confuses clients are electrics. There are a few things to consider when it comes to your vans electrical installation.
Pretty much all conversions have a 12 volt (12v) leisure battery system installed as a minimum. The leisure battery allows the use of the ceiling lights, phone chargers, 12v TVs, fridge/cool box etc without the worry of flattening your vans main engine bay battery.
The leisure battery is recharged whenever the vans engine is running via a DC-DC charger or voltage sensitive relay.
Solar panels can be fitted to charge your leisure battery up if you planning on parking up and not starting the engine for a few days.
The next thing to consider is if you require 230v in your van or not.
In the UK we have 230v in our houses, so, some people like to have household items in their van like a toaster, kettle, coffee maker or hairdryer.
The problem here is the van only produces 12v, the household items require 230v.
How to overcome this
On-grid camping: You are visiting a campsite with an electrical hook up (EHU) This allows you to connect your van to the campsites 230v supply. This supply is used to power up your vans 3 pin plug sockets and also (via an onboard charger) powers all of the vans other systems including the 12v leisure battery.
This allows an unlimited amount of 230v and 12v power. You have no worries of 'running out' of electricity with this method. It is the simplest way.
Off-grid camping: You are wild camping or at a site that does not have an EHU. The 230v system will not work when off grid. The only way to enable your vans 3 pin plug sockets to work when off grid is via the use of an inverter - An inverter takes power from your leisure battery (12v) and steps it up to the 230v that the sockets require.
When off-grid your van will be using the 12v leisure battery only. The leisure battery will eventually go flat, however by either running the engine or using a solar panel (given enough sunshine) the leisure battery can be recharged.
So can you combine the OFF-GRID and the ON-GRID electrical systems?
Yes, our solution at Transporter Outdoors is to install a Clayton Power LPS II unit. The LPS II is an all in one 12v 100ah-200ah Lithium-Ion leisure battery, 2000-3000w 12v to 230v inverter, built in chargers for solar and mains hook up, it also has a DC-DC charger to allow recharging from your vans alternator. All of the 230v and 12v needs are met with this one box.
Cooking in your van: We offer 3 main ways of cooking inside your campervan
(1) Traditional regulated gas cylinder that is housed in a protective cabinet inside one of your cupboards.
Pros: Cheap and easy to maintain.
Cons: Takes valuable cupboard space. Has no visual indicator of remaining gas.
(2) 15l underslung LPG tank with externally mounted fill point.
Pros: Simple to refill. Has remaining gas content visual gauge.
Cons: Much more expensive cost to install. Requires periodic underbody inspection.
(3) Electric (no gas) microwave or induction hob.
Pros: Removes the need to have gas in your van.
Cons: None, if you are planning to only do on-grid camping where you have access to an EHU.
However if you want to use the hob (or any 230v equipment) off grid then you will require a Clayton Power LPS II unit due to its powerful Lithium-Ion battery and inverter
The simplest way of heating your campervan is using a campsites electrical hook up (EHU) and a small plug in heater.
If you would like heat but an EHU is not available (wild camping for instance) then a diesel heater is the best approach. Some of our packages come as standard with a diesel heater, see here for prices.