It all begins on a very dark and wet night last December.
The previous evening I had put down a deposit on a 22 year old VW transporter, with numerous minor faults on the engine and electrics. I wanted something with a bit of character, something I could work on myself, without all the modern luxuries like power steering and electric windows. What I now had to do was drive this unroadworthy beast 50 miles through the dark depths of the Peak District. To add insult to injury (or comedy?) it started raining heavily. The sky was pitch black with cloud cover, and so was the dashboard. The only sign of life was the engine ticking over, after it started on the 5th attempt. I drove it cautiously into the night, not daring to go above about 35mph.
About 5 miles into my journey, I stopped to tape a torch onto the dashboard so that I could see what my speed was. I also noticed that the fuel gauge was showing empty. Not sure whether or not to believe it, I continued only to then run out of fuel on a blind bend 30 miles later. Luckily I had a can of fuel in the back which got me home.
Anyway, to cut a fairly short story even shorter, I finally got it home and by some miracle managed to reverse park it into the driveway. Here's a picture. I was very tired, and went to bed - probably waking up the next morning thinking the whole thing had been a dream.
So... here are a couple of pics of the van, before I really did anything but give it a wash. It was running super rich, with a fuel economy of about 8mpg, and you couldn't drive it without choking on the fumes.
My rough plan was to build something that I could escape in for some random adventures around the UK, at the drop of a hat. I think this plan developed sometime late last year when I went away to the Lake District for 3 nights after work and stayed in a camping barn - it was cheap, very basic, had some great hillwalking right from the front door, and I had the whole place to myself:
Anyway that's the story so far. Back to the van. I suppose at this point it becomes more of a blog of progress... which so far has consisted of repairing the engine, sorting out the electrics, and doing numerous boring work to get it roadworthy. The fun stuff is yet to come, but I'll drop a few pics below...
Electrics... not so much fun, half of it has been repairing existing bodges, and the other half adding things like split charge system, reversing camera, and audio/video.
This has gone on late into the night on some occasions... basically I work on it at my parents house, then I have to drive it home at the end of each day. This means having it all back together in a drivable state, and that has meant working on it up until midnight sometimes
This is the cab yesterday... before I put the carpet back in. Much nicer to drive now
This was a couple of weekends ago - I had to remove the front cross-member and attack it with the welder, for MOT purposes. It was actually quite funny having the van looking in such a state on the road outside - people slowed down to have a look, and I got some funny looks. I guess from a distance it looked like a wreck.
Here's my plan... it's a very minimal setup as far as a camper goes. The bed will double up as a sofa, and I'll be able to watch films on the TV which will eventually be on the worktop. There will be room for lots of clutter and a bike in there without taking the bed out.
Well, more pics will appear as I progress Early days! Oh and she needs a name... any suggestions?!
Oh, and I have just booked the MOT. It's on April fools day which I'm not sure is a good or a bad thing...