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Thread: Optimising living space in a small campervan conversion

  1. #49
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    There are small 12v microwaves which might broaden the potential menu choice. I have one called a "Wavebox" (could also run a small 240v one from an inverter ) Would need a good 12v power source to run either, however....big batteries or engine running.

    AW, your Transit sounds almost identical to one that I had...awesome piece of kit...sold it to a guy in Broadstairs.

  2. #50
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    Ah I see, I can understand you wanting as normal a travelling life as possible, but if mostly what you want to do with a grill is cheese on toast, maybe learn to live without it? No offence meant.
    The only other alternative to a grill I can think of might not suit you. I am thinking a cooking blowtorch, but I don't know if you can hold one.

  3. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunshine85 View Post
    Cheers have you got a link to any please?
    First one that came up, dont take it as a recommendation. Gives you an idea what you are looking for though...

    http://m.ebay.co.uk/itm/IGNITER-IGNI...605?nav=SEARCH

  4. #52
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    Here is a a vito campervan that has some similarities in the set up I'm looking for{http://www.convertyourvan.co.uk/merc...onversion.html
    One of the differences I'll have compared to the conversion I've posted here is where the refrigerator is. I will have a porta potti cubicle there with a pull around curtain or frosted perspex screen. This toilet will slide out on a roller board with a cooler box above on a unit/shelf where the toilet's stored. I understand that I've picked a small van to get all these necessities in but I believe it'll be manageable for me I hope. I do wish I'd got a SWB sprinter but these were quite a bit more pricey & going over my funds where as this Vito was a stock van so there was 4K knocked off even though the vehicle hadn't been registered. There are many factors why I got this vehicle. The van has 30 years Mercedes breakdown recovery in UK & Europe, reliable, 12 years anti corrosion, reduced emissions with bluetec (Adblue) technology, excellent fuel efficiency (I had it driving at 57 MPG on the motorway so far) & it fits on my drive so stored off road. I hope I do manage with what is needed & I don't regret the size of the vehicle but these are my wheels for the next 30 years I hope
    The following users think this post is groovy: Chazz, NomadicRT, Rick69

  5. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by roddew View Post
    There are small 12v microwaves which might broaden the potential menu choice. I have one called a "Wavebox" (could also run a small 240v one from an inverter ) Would need a good 12v power source to run either, however....big batteries or engine running.
    What size size & type leisure battery would be needed to power one of the those please? Keeping the size down is important the more low profile the battery the better if it's powerful enough. Eventually I would like to be total off grid with my van in due time I want to a solar panel on my roof
    Quote Originally Posted by vanwoman84 View Post
    Ah I see, I can understand you wanting as normal a travelling life as possible, but if mostly what you want to do with a grill is cheese on toast, maybe learn to live without it? No offence meant.
    The only other alternative to a grill I can think of might not suit you. I am thinking a cooking blowtorch, but I don't know if you can hold one.
    It's hard for anyone on here to gauge my abilities & inabilities in my day to day living tasks without meeting me but what I can do is very limited having being fully able bodied into my early adult life before suffering my serious spinal injury. I've never tried cooking before with my disability because I know I'll struggle to get anything prepared. I have carers with me every day who assist me to live my life. I've had a carer with me pretty much every day for the past 12 years now which isn't ideal but hey ho that's the way it goes thankfully I'm still alive
    My van is my escape from the matrix, away from all the stresses of the world & that will sometimes mean driving solo with just my dog & some special pre-rolls

  6. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick69 View Post
    First one that came up, dont take it as a recommendation. Gives you an idea what you are looking for though...

    http://m.ebay.co.uk/itm/IGNITER-IGNITOR-IGNITION-SPARK-MODULE-GENERATOR-12V-DC-4-OUTLETS-/121787364605?nav=SEARCH
    Thank you so you put a HT lead out of this to a ceramic ignitor?

  7. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunshine85 View Post
    Thank you so you put a HT lead out of this to a ceramic ignitor?
    I think you can buy the leads etc as well but id be tempted to get a scrap gas hob and rob the bits off that. If i see one about ill grab it and take the bits off.

  8. #56
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    Cheers Rick I'm currently searching for streamline & compact a twin hob, grill with a piezo ignition for starters to optimise counter space for a van with such a small living space as mine

  9. #57
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    This twin hob stove length is slightly shorter length than most
    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Outwell-Go...3D112309804351

    The only thing is the height folded is 10.5cm where as there's ones more slender at 7cm but are wider than this one. All the suggestions have been greatly appreciated I am seeking to find out all the best possible solutions for my needs.
    Many thanks
    Iain

  10. #58
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    One important thing is the bed being big enough to sleep 2 comfortably but I can't get that built before the insulation. One thing I would love inside my vehicle is wood lined walls but I'm unsure how thin it can be done & how much space/width would be lost if done. Has any one got any advice on plying your camper walls with wood, whether it encourages damp, rotting the van inside out?
    Has anyone got any opinions on toaster type like these https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ridgemonkey...V0QRG1YGPAF4XS
    Are they any good? How hot do the handles get? I could ditch the grill requirement if these are any good
    Thanks in advance
    Last edited by sunshine85; 23-03--2017 at 02:07 AM.

  11. #59
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    Hi Iain, I think the "Ridgemonkey" would be a great thing for you providing you could master the closure thingy and keep your toes away from the exposed metal...ouch!!! Could try sleeving the handles with silicon tube. I have a similar item called a "Diablo" which I find excellent for cheese (maybe with ham) toasties, although that one would be awkward for you as it requires trimming the bread round the edges.....the Ridgemonkey just takes regular slices...I think there's a lot of info about them online from the US. How about trying one at home?
    Regarding hobs....small can be beautiful to my mind....a small thought, whatever you end up with..in many cases a plain knob could be changed for something easier for you to grip, they are usually mounted on a semi-circular shaft and just pull off...easy to swap. Do you actually need a 2 burner hob....this is what I have to fit my space restricted build.
    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/CAMPERVAN-...-/271885513606 Not the cheapest but better quality than Smev in my opinion and a good deal from... These folk...Clearcut Conversions....were extremely helpful and do loads of space saving stuff including furniture. https://clearcutconversions.co.uk/
    My small microwave would ideally need the engine running in order to not cane the batteries...it's rated at a minimum of 20 amps but to get full power you're looking at about 50 amps.

    Hope some of this is useful..

    Good work with your research so far...keep the ball rolling......Rodders.

  12. #60
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    Cheers Rodders I'm hopeful I can use a hob toasty type like the Ridgemonkey's & Diablo's out there. Do you reckon Blackpool milk roll bread would fit in the Diablo without anything hanging out or needed to trim? The Diablo's are certainly space saving which is always Ideal in a shoe box van. What Van do you have mate? The single hob & sink is a nice nifty bit of kit you've put a a link to cheers. I am swaying towards a double hob to cook a few things at once as I intend doing a few weeks in Europe in this van with someone accompanied me one day.

  13. #61
    if you cut all the external walls out from the side of the waggn
    Then you can really maximise on space. Even attach a tent to the outside of said vehicle and BINGO
    you have more space
    I do most of my own stunts because the stunt guys show me how.

  14. #62
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    http://m.ebay.co.uk/itm/Smev-8821-Si....c100408.m2460

    This Smev hob and sink is cheap! As for actual toast, you can make it in a dry frying pan, so you don't need a grill. The toasters that fit over the hob use a lot of gas, I find.

  15. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunshine85 View Post
    One important thing is the bed being big enough to sleep 2 comfortably but I can't get that built before the insulation. One thing I would love inside my vehicle is wood lined walls but I'm unsure how thin it can be done & how much space/width would be lost if done. Has any one got any advice on plying your camper walls with wood, whether it encourages damp, rotting the van inside out?
    I put insulation between the ribs and then clad it in 7mm wickes tongue and groove cladding so hardly any space lost.

    http://www.ukhippy.com/stuff/showthr...Sprinter-Build

  16. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by treestump View Post
    if you cut all the external walls out from the side of the waggn
    Then you can really maximise on space. Even attach a tent to the outside of said vehicle and BINGO
    you have more space
    I could open both sliding doors & back doors to expand my living space but I like the way you're thinking
    Quote Originally Posted by vanwoman84 View Post
    That's a really compact hob & sink & quite cheap for Smev it's certainly one to consider although I am hoping to get my van classified as a motor home eventually so I would need 2 hobs something else other. I hadn't thought about toasting bread in a dry pan before that's like a excellent idea thank you very much

  17. #65
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    It takes up a little room, but if you like toasting things, invest in a crepe plate. It's a heavy flat plate with a slight lip. I actually wombled ours from the recycling! You can also get a chipati pan from many shops, even some supermarkets. For occasional use a non stick frying pan is fine.
    Does the DVLA desperately need two rings? You can get classification with a microwave. For photographic purposes you could have a single ring and borrow a little microwave. Once the classification is done it doesn't matter if you don't have the microwave in the van, just the ring and sink (and bed) will keep the class 4 MOT entitlement.

  18. #66
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    You could also have one gas ring and an electric hotplate, or one of those mini ovens. Tell them its permanently installed and send a nice picture, then when you get your log book back remove it.

  19. #67
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    Here's some definitions

    “Motor caravan” means a special purposes passenger car constructed to include living accommodation which contains at least the following equipment:
    seats and table,
    sleeping accommodation which may be converted from the seats,
    cooking facilities, and
    storage facilities.

    Cooking Facilities

    That are an integral part of the vehicle living accommodation and is mounted independently of other items.
    That are secured to the vehicle floor and / or side wall.
    Secured as a permanent feature, (bolted, riveted, screwed, or welded.
    The cooking facility must consist of a minimum of a two ring cooking facility or a microwave in either case having a fuel/power source.
    If the cooking facility is fuelled by gas having a remote fuel supply, the fuel supply pipe must be permanently secured to the vehicle structure.
    If the cooking facility is fuelled by gas having a remote fuel supply, the fuel reservoir must be secured in a storage cupboard or the reservoir secured to the vehicle structure.
    From here

    https://www.basecampers.com/how-to-r...with-the-dvla/

    Bare in mind you can power a microwave from an inverter.

  20. #68
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    Also a hook up lead would qualify as a power source!

  21. #69
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    Thanks they sound like some great advice as regards to crepe plates, hot plates what are you using to power yours hook up vanwoman84? solar panel? multiple leisure batteries? Thanks for heads up about the power leads Rick69 I don't think I will use them other than reclassification purposes but there a necessity none the less I do plan on escaping far away from civilization in my van

  22. #70
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    I just put the crepe plate on the gas ring. It's about 1cm thick, so doesn't burn to easily, but you can just as well use a frying pan.
    I get what Rick69 means with the hook up. Just place a microwave (make sure you can't see the unused plug) in the van and take pictures for the benefit of the DVLA classification. That's all. The list I posted states you can have a microwave for cooking. With a microwave pictured, you don't even need a single ring to be fitted at that stage.

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