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Choosing a Van for my Motorhome Conversion

While thinking about the conversion and what I wanted to put in the motorhome, one of the most important questions had to be answered first, and that was of course, which van should I choose? With so many different variations of vans, engine sizes, makes, models, age, the list goes on, so I tried to narrow it down by deciding what I wanted in the van, the kind of size, and I suppose an idea of the layout, as this would of course determine the size of the van I needed. I also wanted to keep the van light so it would not be over the 3.5t and I wanted single wheels all around, as this would also keep costs on certain motorway and toll roads around Europe.

1. Budget

I had my budget in mind so I could rule out new vans. I didn’t want anything too old either so i decided to try and keep the vehicle between three to five years old. These were roughly in my budget, top end but the van is the biggest overall cost so I think it is worth paying.

2. Size

The fact that i already knew the rough layout I wanted, really helped me here. My favourite looking van is the split screen VW, however it is no good for my needs. I need it big enough for a bathroom with full shower, kitchen area and dining table with couches, the VW is far too small. I looked at Ford Transits but I wasn’t too keen. Mercedes Sprinters were far too expensive and the VW Crafter seemed just a little too big. I started to research other campers and found that they were basically in three vehicles. The Fiat Ducato, Citroen Relay and Peugeot Boxer, in fact all three look the same. I visited some, found the different lengths, and decided the extra-long wheel base was too big. However the LWB seemed just fine, it ticked all my boxes and I knew once the van was complete, it would not look out of place in an airs with all the vehicles.

3. Mileage

This wasn’t too hard. As I planned on using the vehicle a lot once completed, I knew I wanted to try and keep the mileage down. The lower the mileage though meant the higher the price, so I decided that up to 65k was around right….or more to the point, still in my budget.

After choosing which style van I wanted and the budget, I started browsing the market for my perfect van. I decided that I wanted the new face lift model, which again narrowed the search. I found a number of vehicles around the country. I didn’t have time to drive the country checking every van, so again I limited the distance, and the results were a lot more manageable. I visited a few, however there were marks and scratches on the vans, and I didn’t want that. I decided I wouldn’t rush into buying one, and would take my time to choose the right one. Eventually, after a few months of browsing on line, I found a nice Peugeot that looked the part. I visited the dealer and took the van out for a drive. It was the common 2.2d model, and it drove superbly. There were no marks on it, so I decided it was the van for me. I haggled, well tried and the deal was struck. I now had my van and the conversion could begin.

I chose the Peugeot Boxer 2.2 Diesel with 60k miles