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PLAN YOUR VAN BUILD WITH THESE TOP TIPS & SAVE £££££'S ON YOUR BUILD
If every millimeter of headroom counts on your van build then it might be a good idea to think about dropping the floor insulation. You are probably going to be fitting a plywood floor anyway and there is an insulation value to that alone as well as whatever floor covering you're going to be using.
Also bear in mind what you are going to be using the van for, if you're just a fair weather vanner then paying for expensive floor insulation is a waste of money and if it does get really cold you could always get yourself a cool rug like this
In my experience I have been plenty warm enough even on the coldest UK days.
If you decide that you do want to use floor insulation then I would recommend something like this as it doesn't steal too much headroom and it also acts a sound deadner too
Now this one can save you up to £500 especially if you are thinking about the Dometic CRX 50
When I build to sell I always use top quality products like the Dometic CRX 50 however the van that I use on a daily basis has one of these in it, its still the same Dometic quality but will save you nearly £500 and its portable.
Because if you're going to be using the van for mostly weekends and days out then the size won't matter and even for longer trips they still work, you just have to be a bit more organised.
3. 240v ELECTRICS
Most electrics in a campervan are exclusively 12v. The lights, fridge, pump and usb sockets are all run from your on board leisure battery.
Ah yes Karl but I need a 240v socket in my van for my laptop charger!
well thats easy, just fit an inverter like this which is wired in to your leisure battery and converts the 12v from the battery to a 240v socket on the unit at 1000w, every appliance has a wattage rating and to give you context a laptop charger is around 65w
But I want to be able to charge my leisure battery while I'm on site
As part of your vans electrics you will probably fitting a split charger and possibly a solar panel both of which will keep your leisure battery topped up and if you find you are parked up and getting low, you can always run the engine for 20mins to top it up
This one only applies to vans like the Transporter, Transit, Vivaro etc but it can save you thousands if you decide to go without one.
Driving all over the UK and France in a poptopless Transit custom I've found that the only time I miss a potop is when I'm cooking. My solution to this problem has been to build a small stool that fits between the two front seats when driving and when parked up I use the stool to sit at the stove and make my amazing culinary creations!.
Its great solution and it gives me an extra seat to sit outside the van with.
Also be mindful of the fact that a lot of carparks in city centers have a maximum height of 2m and sometimes a poptop can put you over that particularly on the Transits
You also lose a lot of heat through them on cold nights and they don't block any noise, after all they are only canvas
LIKE THAT YOU'LL LOVE THIS
PLUS AN EXCLUSIVE DISCOUNT & MORE!
I have teamed up with one of my suppliers to give you an exclusive discount worth £50 on your next van build. &...... there's an extra little something you might find really useful if you're embarking on your first van build
Another area I see people spending unnecessary amounts of money is heating. GAS CENTRAL HEATING IS EXPENSIVE AND PRODUCES MOISTURE! there I said it. Not only that but if you go down this route you will have to carry a large gas bottle for heating and cooking and in a small van every square cm of space is crucial.
In my opinion I think diesel heaters are the route to go, like this one, I know there are people out there who are fearful about emissions but believe me they are absolutely fine and you can always install a carbon monoxide detector for piece of mind. If you want more info about them I did a video about maintaining mine here.
The other advantage of going for a diesel heater is it now means you only need a small gas bottle for your hob. I use these with this regulator. And because its a small gas bottle you can install it right next to your hob, so no need for expensive gas piping, just a short bit of this hose and a couple of jubilee clips. Just make sure you thoroughly test for any leaks before you go on the road.
Oh and by the way, yes burning gas inside your van produces moisture, burning diesel outside your van doesn't!