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13-07-2019, 18:56   #1
Amstel
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Wanabe Camper Owner

Hi I'm the wrong side of 50 with a 5 grand budget. I've never had a camper van before or even camped in one.
1. Am I too old to consider starting now.
2. With that budget will I only be buying a pile of trouble.
All responses welcome. Thanks in advance
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13-07-2019, 19:04   #2
jace_da_face
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1. Am I too old to consider starting now.
Absolutely not. If anything, you may even find yourself a little younger than the average motorhome/camper enthusiast. Seize the day!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amstel View Post
2. With that budget will I only be buying a pile of trouble.
That is always a possibility with any budget. With a bit of due diligence you can find the right van that delivers many years of satisfaction. Dampness, water ingress is the big thing to look out for on older coachbuilt motorhomes.
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14-07-2019, 01:04   #3
Camdec
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If I were you I would save some more! Honestly, not trying to put you off, you may be very lucky with your budget and get an ok vehicle but be wary!!
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01-08-2019, 12:27   #4
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Thanks for the replies. At this stage I'm planning to be on the road for next spring.
I have in mind a VW transporter van. Would that be suitable for two ?
Would I be better buying a van and getting it kitted out or buy one that's already a camper ?
Would anyone have a rough idea of what it would cost to get that sized van kitted out ?
Also is it difficult to get a van changed from commercial to camper on the log book ?
Sorry for all the questions, thanks advance.
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01-08-2019, 13:49   #5
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Do you know what you're hoping to do? Weeks away in a motorhome or weekends in a campervan?
VW Transporter sizes are fine for two people but most won't have showers or toilets so really are weekend vans unless you're planning on always staying on proper serviced campsites.
At €5 budget you'll be looking at older vehicles - are you mechanically minded?
I would look at a Mazda Bongo if I were you, I would think you will need to up your budget by at least the same again if you want to get a serviceable motorhome.
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01-08-2019, 14:19   #6
Amstel
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Would be weekends for the most part. Friday evening/Saturday morning till Sunday evening.
I want to get a small and tidy van as possible for when it's parked and not in use.
I'd be covered on the mechanical side of things but wouldn't have a clue about how its kitted out. That's why I wondered about buying a van and having it kitted out, or would that be very expensive to do.
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01-08-2019, 14:27   #7
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That's why I wondered about buying a van and having it kitted out, or would that be very expensive to do.
You can get the equivalent of flat-pack conversions online for a couple of hundred (close to 1k) and then on top of this you would need to buy electrics, plumbing, cooker, fridge etc but it is doable.

The massive issues (especially with smaller vans) are A getting the conversion formally classified as a campervan (at which point you will have to pay an unknown sum of VRT) and B getting the converted camper insured as a campervan. Even with A done, the insurance companies make-up their own rules about walkways between the cab and body or internal head room, which have no basis in law.

My advice would be to either get a van that is already registered as a camper or else buy a van and kit it out but don't bother getting it reclassified (you would need van insurance in this instance which may also involve complications).

Best of luck.
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01-08-2019, 14:33   #8
Amstel
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Thanks for the information. I can see already this is going to be a lot more fun than I anticipated.
If I buy one already registered as a camper how difficult is it to get insured. Are there many companies that do them.
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01-08-2019, 15:41   #9
Alkers
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Originally Posted by Amstel View Post
Thanks for the information. I can see already this is going to be a lot more fun than I anticipated.
If I buy one already registered as a camper how difficult is it to get insured. Are there many companies that do them.
It should be doable but nothing is gauranteed and you might have to go through the ombudsman.

As far as I'm aware the options are:
Dolmens,
Stuarts,
Richardsons (sometimes require you to be a MCC member),

If older than 20 years you can insure as a vintage:
https://www.iveta.ie/index.php/insurance
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01-08-2019, 16:00   #10
Day Lewin
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Originally Posted by Amstel View Post
Thanks for the replies. At this stage I'm planning to be on the road for next spring.
I have in mind a VW transporter van. Would that be suitable for two ?
Would I be better buying a van and getting it kitted out or buy one that's already a camper ?
Would anyone have a rough idea of what it would cost to get that sized van kitted out ?
Also is it difficult to get a van changed from commercial to camper on the log book ?
Sorry for all the questions, thanks advance.
I saw a nice little VW for sale for about 7 and a half thou only last week. Thirty years old but running well (they said)

pm if you want me to track down details
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01-08-2019, 16:24   #11
autumnalcore
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If you're looking for a tidy van that's reliable on your budget I would second the bongo suggestion. I love vws but couldn't say they are as reliable or rust resistant as the bongo unless you can get one that someone has babied, waxoyled etc. VW probably does have the advantage in terms of availability of parts if something does go wrong and service parts are available at all qualities and all budgets. You definitely want a pop top for Irish weather.A couple of rainy days unable to stand up in a tin top and you'll be needing a chiropractor 😜
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01-08-2019, 17:27   #12
Alkers
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If you're looking for a tidy van that's reliable on your budget I would second the bongo suggestion. I love vws but couldn't say they are as reliable or rust resistant as the bongo unless you can get one that someone has babied, waxoyled etc. VW probably does have the advantage in terms of availability of parts if something does go wrong and service parts are available at all qualities and all budgets. You definitely want a pop top for Irish weather.A couple of rainy days unable to stand up in a tin top and you'll be needing a chiropractor ��
Bongos are no stranger to rust either and the cooling system can cause problems if not minded but parts are readily available online through the likes of bongospares or mazdabongo.com
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01-08-2019, 17:31   #13
 
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One other comment on vw Vs bongo and getting parts. There's a very big vw supplier here in Ireland (eir cooled) while all the bongo suppliers are UK based. Getting parts may be less straight forward/cheap after Brexit.
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10-08-2019, 09:16   #14
 
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VW T4 and T5 parts can still be bought at a main dealer. The VW community is huge and the availability of aftermarket parts is huge.

@ Amstel: Are you too old for a camper ? Absolutely not ! They are a fantastic way to travel, be it around Ireland or abroad. Mazda Bongo and VW Transporter sized campervans have the added benefit of being able to book them on as a car on the ferry, therefore cheaper.
I would say, which ever make you go for, buy the best that you can afford.
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10-08-2019, 12:57   #15
Amstel
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Thanks for all the replies all input is welcome.
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