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Economic Exile

Anyone Got A Campervan Or Motorhome?

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Just wondered if anyone had a campervan or motorhome and what your plans are.

I had hoped to go to the Western Isles in Scotland (Uist, Harris, Lewis) to explore the wonderful looking beaches there, but funds are low so that trip is postponed for now.

Instead, I live in Dumfries and Galloway, so plan to explore my local area more particularly the coastal areas of Galloway.

My van is a 1998 Toyota Hiace which was imported from Japan 5 years ago. I bought it 6 months ago. It's pretty basic but I love it.

Mainly used it for days out so far taking my two Border Terriers walking then returning to van to eat and chill for a while.

Also if things get really tough I can always live in the van :o

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Always thought the Toyota Hiace looked like a smart campervan. Seen lots of YouTube vids,

for their camping travels around Australia. I don't think I could comfortably drive anything larger than that. It's also not overbearing looking for the roads.

How is it equipped inside? Does it have all the power hookups if you stayed at a camp-site? What about heating on cold nights when offroad? Hope you have good times with it.

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I've known two people who lived in their vans. One was a biggie (blown heating amongst its many features) and he stayed on decent camp sites with a car for getting about so I can see how that works, though it's more of a mobile static caravan.

The other was a similar van size to the Hiace, he did live in it most of the time but I heard he had the option of mother's when the weather got really bad. That was also my question as my concern would be how hot a metal box got in the summer and how cold in the winter.

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Coincidentally, I spent several hours seriously looking at camper vans/motor homes last night and now all the adverts skirting the side of HPC are all for lovely looking vehicles.

My main concern as above is the size of some of the bigger ones for driving but I don't think something like the HIace although nice, would be big enough for a fortnight for me the mrs and the dog.

They seem to hold their value well so I reckon if you I wisely you should recoup most of your money in a few years.

Sorry, what was your question again? Apologies for the brain dump!

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Thanks for replies.

Venger the camper has electric hook up, a fridge, 2 burner cooker and a diesel heater. I have added a portaloo. I think I need to upgrade the leisure battery and also fit an additional leisure battery when funds allow. I favour more remote places where there is unlikely to be EHU so will get set up for that scenario.

I look at a blog, Hiace Hobo, he has been living in his Hiace since April 2012. The winter was spent in Portugal but I think he's back in Scotland now. He seems to be loving life roaming.

My camper sleeps 4 :o but in my opinion it's a one person camper. If it was rainy I think it would be very claustrophobic with more than one person. Seems warm enough with heater on but if it was -10C I think it might be a bit cold. If it's warm I'd be outside.

Being female the Hiace is a manageable size for me to drive and it's no wider than a car for negotiating narrow roads. It's not 4 wheel drive though some of them are which would be handy for going off the beaten track more.

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Got two one old VW T4 use it these days as everyday transport and a old tag axle talbot, ex local authority welfare unit converted to a camper

Used to use it a hell off a lot we my nipper was younger but it gets little exercise these days just a few trips in the summer and a few music festivals the latter is the main reason for keeping it ,the days of waking up with a hangover in a tent are over for me

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Got two one old VW T4 use it these days as everyday transport and a old tag axle talbot, ex local authority welfare unit converted to a camper

Used to use it a hell off a lot we my nipper was younger but it gets little exercise these days just a few trips in the summer and a few music festivals the latter is the main reason for keeping it ,the days of waking up with a hangover in a tent are over for me

It's much nicer to wake up with a hangover in a van?

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It's much nicer to wake up with a hangover in a van?

Yep ,tent when the weather is warm = sauna by 7 in the morning when the weather is shite its cold and damp a well insulated/ventilated van is a far better place to be, the after care is far easier to implement when you have cooking refrigeration and washing facilities at hand

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Thanks for replies.

Being female the Hiace is a manageable size for me to drive and it's no wider than a car for negotiating narrow roads. It's not 4 wheel drive though some of them are which would be handy for going off the beaten track more.

It depends how many shoes and handbags you find it necessary to carry! :huh:

BIgger vans get disproportianely expensive! Not everybody needs to carry a 15 foot long grand piano with them at all times. Sort of defeats the point of camping. You are better off buying a plain van, and having windows put in (if you like), rather than a fully tricked up one.

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@ Mr Pin

Yes, less is definetly more in my opinion. The older I get the less stuff I want and what I do have I only want basic.

I gave up on girly handbags, clothes, shoes etc years ago. Travelling light with what I need for basic living is my aim. I do confess though to having an essential make up item which is relative to one of your threads.....eyebrow powder. Required to fill in my sparse eyebrows due to over plucking my eyebrows years ago when I was a fashion victim :lol:

I'd love to buy a basic van and fit it to my specification. It would definetly have a little woodburner! In hindsight I'd have done better in life if I'd been placed in what was referred to as the remedial class when I was at school many years ago. I woud have learnt what would be really useful stuff like woodworking, metal craft, engine maintenance etc.

Anyone kitted out their own camper van set up?

@ Silent Dancer

Inspiring, for a campervan trip?

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Whatever happened to "Right Fred's Dead" (think that was the name) - when last seen, he'd bought a camper van and was planning on touring Europe in it.

It sounds great, I did look at camping on Lewis recently wondering where we might go this summer. If funds will stretch to it I think we'll go for Lundy Island in a cottage and mad as it sounds, that can't parallel the sense of adventure and freedom I think you'd get from travelling around with your own home. Best of luck with it, keep us updated :)

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Thanks for replies.

Venger the camper has electric hook up, a fridge, 2 burner cooker and a diesel heater. I have added a portaloo. I think I need to upgrade the leisure battery and also fit an additional leisure battery when funds allow. I favour more remote places where there is unlikely to be EHU so will get set up for that scenario.

My camper sleeps 4 :o but in my opinion it's a one person camper. If it was rainy I think it would be very claustrophobic with more than one person. Seems warm enough with heater on but if it was -10C I think it might be a bit cold. If it's warm I'd be outside.

Thanks.

I'm not a science person but please be careful if ever going for a woodburner. CO risks, flue adequate/safe/working... you'd mostly have to store the wood-fuel in van too, wouldn't you and ~~~ Ventilation - woodburners need a good source of ventilation - if they were operating in a sealed box they would remove all the oxygen obviously! ~~~

HPC acidrob is/was/is (?) full time with his campervan. Worth a read. I originally looked up the vehicle, and recall it was far larger than anything I'd like to drive, but obviously something like this offering a lot of comforts when it's your full-time home. (I think I'd like to have a motorhome-travel holiday one day.)

http://www.housepricecrash.co.uk/forum/index.php?showtopic=94060

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A couple of friends have just bought a 1998 Toyota Liteace Noah camper van; looks very similar to the Hiace in the Youtube clip above. They were originally 8-seater MPVs for the Asian market,and theirs was converted by a firm in Huddersfield which specialises in various camper conversions. It's got permanent 4-wheel drive, runs on petrol and LPG, fridge,heater,a separate big battery so you can have plug sockets inside the van,etc. It's in nice condition,and makes more sense for non-mechanics/welders than an old VW does.(Though the bed is rather small..the only real drawback.)

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@ Venger

Thanks for the link to acidrob's thread it's very interesting. His campervan looks really comfy to live in. Wonder if he's still full timing in it?

I could be tempted, or even forced, to try full timing in the future but currently have a daughter with 2 years left at Edinburgh Uni and a son who'll be 21 soon on an apprentice scheme paying £75pw. Their future's look precarious to me and I worry about them in this f***ked up world.

Yes I think you have to be careful with heating in campers due to the risk of carbon monoxide poisening. I suppose ventilation and an alarm would be essential. A woodburner is just a dream really and there would be no room in a Hiace for one anyway.

It's the freedom of a campervan that appeals to me. Especially up here in Scotland where there are lots of remote places to venture.

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@ Mr Pin

Yes, less is definetly more in my opinion. The older I get the less stuff I want and what I do have I only want basic.

I gave up on girly handbags, clothes, shoes etc years ago. Travelling light with what I need for basic living is my aim. I do confess though to having an essential make up item which is relative to one of your threads.....eyebrow powder. Required to fill in my sparse eyebrows due to over plucking my eyebrows years ago when I was a fashion victim :lol:

I'd love to buy a basic van and fit it to my specification. It would definetly have a little woodburner! In hindsight I'd have done better in life if I'd been placed in what was referred to as the remedial class when I was at school many years ago. I woud have learnt what would be really useful stuff like woodworking, metal craft, engine maintenance etc.

Anyone kitted out their own camper van set up?

@ Silent Dancer

Inspiring, for a campervan trip?

Now I've mentioned that "less isn't more" at all. When you see salaries avertised as "up to", I can assure you that is mathematically the same as "less than".

A friend of mine bought a plain Volkswagen van, and had windows and carpet fitted. Throw in a futon, and your bags, and you are going somewhere! A fully fitted "motor home" would have cost much much more!

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A couple of friends have just bought a 1998 Toyota Liteace Noah camper van; looks very similar to the Hiace in the Youtube clip above. They were originally 8-seater MPVs for the Asian market,and theirs was converted by a firm in Huddersfield which specialises in various camper conversions. It's got permanent 4-wheel drive, runs on petrol and LPG, fridge,heater,a separate big battery so you can have plug sockets inside the van,etc. It's in nice condition,and makes more sense for non-mechanics/welders than an old VW does.(Though the bed is rather small..the only real drawback.)

Sounds a good move Mr 67. You don't need a whole fitted kitchen and a jacuzzi!

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@ jay67

Your friend's campervan sounds great. I've seen pictures of conversions done by Wellhouse Leisure of Huddersfield which look really good. Not cheap though.

The Hiace's seem fairly reliable, if well maintained, and I think they'll be cheaper to keep on the road than an old VW.

Hope your friends have some good times in their van.

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It's the freedom of a campervan that appeals to me. Especially up here in Scotland where there are lots of remote places to venture.

I liked living North of the Wall, apart from the weather, and you could always visit Mr "ccc" and be a "mental burd"! :o

Good luck with the van dream! :rolleyes:

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I liked living North of the Wall, apart from the weather, and you could always visit Mr "ccc" and be a "mental burd"! :o

Good luck with the van dream! :rolleyes:

My Uncle had a 'shortbus' converted into a mobile home, complete with wine cellar!

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Thank you for your good wishes Mr Pin.

I could take some inspiration from the film Sightseers, suggested by Silent Dancer, and become a real mental burd and vist mr ccc in my campervan :o

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My Uncle had a 'shortbus' converted into a mobile home, complete with wine cellar!

Home many miles to the glass did he get out of it? :blink:

If he had bought a bigger bus he could have taken the horse with him too!

My uncle went to the moon in 1954, in a device of his own making, to meet the Martian ambassador, and give a harmonium recital, before Americans discovered there was anything beyond Canada!

Does anyone else have any amusing "inaginary uncle" stories? :blink:

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Looking for a bit of feedback here....

I've always bellieved, perhaps wrongly, that campervans were pointless away from more remote areas where you may be allowed to just park up.

I can see how one would be very useful to Economic Exile, but not to me(Geneva).

If you have to pay for the thing to drink fuel at a tremendous rate, then you have to pay for a place on a campsite with a hook up, it seems to me you'd be better off in normal accommodation with more comfort and space for a similar overall price and the perceived freedom isn't real.

Have I got this wrong? Can you save money on weekend trips with them?

Also I would have thought they might attract wandering predators of the human kind when parked up on their own - is this an issue?

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Thank you for your good wishes Mr Pin.

I could take some inspiration from the film Sightseers, suggested by Silent Dancer, and become a real mental burd and vist mr ccc in my campervan :o

I'm sure Mr ccc is no more mental than the burds he imagines! :blink:

Now my good friend "Tony the Bubble", who is coincidentally Greek, had a Volkswagen van, which he had windows put in! And carpets, but not much else! That will suffice! He went back to Greece to see his village several times! :huh:

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Well., I`ve got a van (Nissan serina with side windows, as all vans imported from Japan), imported it 2 years after we arrived, so it stood around at father in laws place, Bought new in japan, very low mileage, just used for getting to work.

Slept in it overnight only 2 or 3 times. Hellish in Japanese summer.

No extras, just aircon.

Swissy fit...

In answer to your question, the old serina is small compared to a Haice, the advantage is that you can see out, higher than your average box.

The engine is based on an ancient Perkins design (supposedly)

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