VISITS ARE STRICTLY BY APPOINTMENT ONLY
VISITS ARE STRICTLY BY APPOINTMENT ONLY
Base vehicle: An empty single side load door panel van is the best starting point for a full conversion.
The Shuttle and Caravelle are poor base vehicles to convert
Conversion advice. 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 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.
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.
This allows a limited amount of 230v power, use of a larger capacity AGM leisure battery is recommended when using an inverter. Monitoring the leisure battery voltage is crucial when using an inverter to avoid overloading and damaging your system.
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.
Combining the OFF GRID and the ON GRID electrical systems will give a versatile electrical installation ready to take on any adventures.
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: Requires additional leisure battery and an inverter (see on grid/off grid section above)
Sleeping: We use SmartBeds and RIB seat/beds in our conversions. Both manufactures offer simple operation along with the highest quality and comfort. The 2 seaters are our most popular as they are suitable for installation alongside a kitchen. The 3 seater versions are not compatible with kitchen units.
Our RIB and SmartBeds are M1 crash test approved, they come with head rests and inertia reel seatbelts. The RIB bed features Isofix as standard. The RIB also has a larger 'boot' storage are over the SmartBeds
Awnings: We offer the ever popular Fiamma F45s & Thule Omnistor wind out awnings. We have a selection of mounting bracket that allow fitment alongside a Westdubs elevating roof.
We also install the Reimo multirail for use with a 6mm Kador strip and drive away awning. Owing to the quality of the freestanding air beam awnings we are seeing a lot of customers moving away from the multirail.
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. You can add a diesel heater to any of our conversion packages, see here for prices.
We are an official Planar Autoterm diesel heater installer.
Have an error code flashing on your Planar heater?
The heater sometimes takes a while to prime (purge the air from the fuel supply pipe) before it will fire up. If the heater is not being run often it will take longer to prime the system.
The heater will attempt to prime itself when you press the start/heat button on your controller, however it will only attempt to do this for a short time, possibly not long enough to successfully prime itself.
If you have an unsuccessful heater start, then try to start it again, often two or three attempts will be fine if the heater has been stood for a while.
If, however, this method is not working then try removing the heaters power (fuse) for ten seconds, then put the fuse back in and press start, this will reset the heater fault.
Download a copy of the manual for your heaters controller.
PU-27 CONTROLLER (now discontinued)
See our FAQ section for more help