LFGSS Camper Van owners?

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  • Fair enough. Only cheaper if you aren't factoring in labour cost though.

    Have you seen these? kits https://www.cambee.co.uk/campervan-kits/­

    Seems like an effective way of running a conversion business if you can draw up a CAD file when you do a model of van and the reuse it.

    Given how much these go for and the cost of the sheet material and fittings there must be a decent margin. https://www.cambee.co.uk/shop/product/cl­assic-kit/

  • most laser cut/CNC ply designs leave me a bit cold tbh. Those Cambees are nicer than some though.

    I think my main gripe with them is that they all end up looking basically the same. They are meticulously designed in CAD (which obviously takes a looooong time) in order to reduce the construction time as much as possible. Its no surprise they only offer 1 van type with little customisation available aside from a few easy to change options.

    I really enjoy and want to concentrate more time on the carpentry/bespoke design side. Ideally every van will be totally different to the one that preceded it. Want a perfectly shaped space for a surfboard/bicycle/pet/canoe/hang-glider/­baby? sure thing

    (I'm aware these are the naive wishes of someone who hasnt actually made a viable business out of it yet...)

  • they all end up looking basically the same

    classic camper conversion, boring same same!

  • So I want to make a collapsible bed (frame) for our Berlingo. Thinking of using 8020/t-slow/v-slot aluminium stuff. The general idea if a large rectangle with 6 legs. The longest bars/rods running the length of the van would split into two for easier storage and safety in case of an accident. Either another long cross beam down the middle, or two or three short ones going horizontal across the bed. Then some IKEA slats on top and a futon or camping matresses.

    There are a few examples on youtube, but they're all pretty complex with rollers and folding bits and bobs. Anyone come across any simple examples? Or have general thoughts?

  • Do you want to make the frame for the slats collapsible, or the frame on which that frame will sit collapsible?

    I don’t think I’d trust the former. Why not make it non-collapsible but install another set of mounting rails up by the roof so you can slide it away when not in use?

  • Also IKEA bed slats are fine if you’re putting a sprung mattress on top to distribute the weight. Not so much if you’re just using a 1.5” memory foam mattress. How much do you weigh?

  • Do you want to make the frame for the slats collapsible, or the frame on which that frame will sit collapsible?

    There's one frame in my mind. Like any other bed frame.

    I don’t think I’d trust the former. Why not make it non-collapsible but install another set of mounting rails up by the roof so you can slide it away when not in use?

    You wouldn't trust the strength of the alu, you mean? Why? Seems to be used to build some pretty impressive stuff, and I've seen it used in other vans.

    I have no idea what you mean about mounting rails on the roof. But as I mentioned, I don't want to do anything complex. I want a basic bed to start.

  • Also IKEA bed slats are fine if you’re putting a sprung mattress on top to distribute the weight. Not so much if you’re just using a 1.5” memory foam mattress. How much do you weigh?

    The idea is a futon martress or the like, not a 1.5" memory foam mattress. It really depends, but this is by far the least problematic part of it. If it's uncomfortable we add more slats or replace them with planks.

  • Not on the roof, up by the roof. I don’t trust that repeatedly dismantling and assembling alu joins and IKEA slats won’t wear something out. Failure of an elevated bed whilst away from home (and presumably in it) is not going to be at all fun.

    A futon will be mad heavy. What’s your max GVW?

  • What id suggest is a fixed frame bed which sits on rails that are permanently mounted to the van sides. Then if you need to stow the bed move the top bunk higher up so that it’s storage rather than another bed


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  • Been doing loads. Weathers been a treat too, swapped the Thule for a Fiamma f45s and its worlds better

    Service in July, diesel heater to be fitted and its “done” really!

  • Got a California for 10 days in a couple of weeks. Any tips for a noob?

  • Yeah I have one and I’ve lent it to a few friends so...from painful experience:

    1. Open a down-wind window when lowering the roof or you’ll scissor a hole in the roof bellows
    2. Check the roof is down visually before you drive off
    3. Don’t put petrol in the tank rather than diesel and don’t then drive off or you’ll fuck the engine
    4. Don’t run the stereo when camping or you’ll flatten the engine battery
    5. Open windows when you cook, or better still, barbecue outside
    6. Wind the awning in unless you’re using it and esp in windy weather, or it’ll flip. Peg it down and have one leg taller than the other so any rain will run off
    7. Leave it in gear to turn the NS seat around as you’ll need to drop the handbrake and it’ll roll off. Even if it’s in gear make sure no-one is close to the van when you drop the brake as it’ll still move 5-10cm, particularly if on levelling chocks
    8. Don’t stand on the armrests when climbing up to the top bunk
    9. Have a boatload of fun!
  • Note to self - don’t lend campervan to anyone

  • blog on Instagram. Check it out here:

    https://www.instagram.com/sullythebigblu­evan/

    Link is now showing as broken. Is there a new one?

  • Yeah, things that are obvious once you’ve had a van for a while are surprisingly not obvious to most people it seems.

  • Good tips, ta

  • Can I add this to the list pls

    1. Don’t accidentally operate the windscreen wiper jets whilst the roof is up.

    The one about the handbrake and the seat is a classic, good memories of that.

    Yeah, things that are obvious once you’ve had a van for a while are surprisingly not obvious to most people it seems.

    Including how to fold back out / adjust the wing mirrors. Had to call the owner to get that one.

    They design the interior controls for people who have owned the same vehicle with the exact same control layout for like ten years or something.

  • Right so I have the opportunity to trade my 11 year old VW California in for a brand new LWB Crafter, which would be a base vehicle for conversion. Upsides: much more space, shower + toilet, newer vehicle. Downsides: obviously much bigger so would only get used for camping (though we have a mini-SUV for family use). After the conversion I’ll be about £10-15k out of pocket due to strong residuals on the Cali.

    Crafter owners, any advice for me?

  • Mind out for white vans - their wing mirrors are much stronger than yours.
    Don't leave anything on the top bed when you're putting the roof down.
    If you're using the inbuilt blinds, be careful with the rearview mirror when you're attaching them - the mirror comes off surprisingly easily.
    Careful with the armrests when spinning the seats, they can gouge chunks out of the door if you're not paying attention.

    Can't think of anything else I've broken.

    Also depending on your van vintage, I think the stereo can run off the leisure batteries so that might not be a problem any more.

  • EDIT: added to list above

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LFGSS Camper Van owners?

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