Choosing the right van part 3 – Something in between

Having dismissed the larger RVs and smaller Mazda Bongos or VW campervans we set about finding a vehicle with a long wheel base and a high roof that would give us enough space to live and store our gear without making us look like an obvious campervan.

Stealth was the order of the day.

I should point out that the campervan we have now is not the first one we bought but that’s a cautionary tale I’ll cover in the next article. There were lessons learned in that episode which helped make a better choice the next time.

So then, our campervan. It’s a long wheel base Renault Master with a 2.5 litre diesel engine and a high roof. The length of the vehicle is still a point of discussion between us; Calypso wanting an extra two or three feet, me happy with the 18 feet I’ve got. Reminds me of something…

 

Denny is a good sized van for a camper conversion.

 

Aesthetics are another issue too, but that’s another story.

The van itself is a great base to work with and has ample room for storage, sitting, a kitchen area and a permanent bed. Those were things we knew we wanted. We do not have a toilet or shower inside the van but we have never needed them. We originally wanted a wood burning stove in case things got cold in the winter but the layout as it is doesn’t allow for one.

Driving the van is a doddle. The turning circle is a bit wide but then it’s an 18 foot vehicle so that’s to be expected but the engine is very responsive and the brakes are sharp. For a big van it corners well too without much body roll, something you need to consider when you’ve got ‘stuff’ wedged into drawers and shelves in the back of a moving vehicle.

Having only so much space means you have to plan your design very carefully and I tried several ideas until I found something I thought would serve all our needs. As t turns out I was mistaken and it was only through living in the van that I learned exactly how thing should be to maximise our space, convenience and comfort, things I will discuss in another post.

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