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Thread: Optimising living space in a small campervan conversion

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    Optimising living space in a small campervan conversion

    Hi everyone I'm looking to have a van converted into a campervan. My Mercedes Vito is a small van I intend to turn it into 4 birth camper with a high top roof. Space is limited so everything has to be placed in a precision manor to optimise the small living space. I need to have enough gas supply to be on the road for a minimum 2 weeks for 3/4 people using (cooking) & for the bottle/canister be compact in size. What size gas bottle would people recommend ? I would be ever so grateful for any advice given. Thanks Iain


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    Heavenly Creature
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    Wow four people in a vito?? All adults? That's a squeeze!
    We (two adults) once live full time in a short wheelbase transit, with four dogs! It wasn't from choice, and it wasn't easy. The van was almost all bed, and cooking was out of the question. It was terrible, but was only for a month, though it seemed much longer. Then we got the convoy.
    Anyway, cooking. We have a two ring and grill cooker, using a 907 Campingaz 2.75kg bottle. It lasts us four to six weeks, depending on how much cooking and how many pizzas we have! The grill uses quite a bit of gas.
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    Heavenly Creature Shroom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vanwoman84 View Post
    Wow four people in a vito?? All adults? That's a squeeze!
    We (two adults) once live full time in a short wheelbase transit, with four dogs! It wasn't from choice, and it wasn't easy. The van was almost all bed, and cooking was out of the question. It was terrible, but was only for a month, though it seemed much longer. Then we got the convoy.
    Anyway, cooking. We have a two ring and grill cooker, using a 907 Campingaz 2.75kg bottle. It lasts us four to six weeks, depending on how much cooking and how many pizzas we have! The grill uses quite a bit of gas.
    I was not going to reply as i am sure that I've mentioned in other posts, a Vito is maybe big enough for one man and his dog to spend a long weekend in .
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  4. #4
    A Vito is quite big compared to say a Berlingo,i would say 2 adults and 2 kids could get away for a few weeks quite comfortably in a Mid sized van no problem.
    Have a read around ,it can be done.
    Oh and don`t give up

    There are a few builds here on UKH and/or have a peek here for a little inspiration

    http://www.beyondthevan.com/luton-va...o-micro-camper
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    exiled cornishman wandering gypsy's Avatar
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    just hope you all are good friends, defra would not allow 4 pigs in that space
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  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by nomis View Post
    A Vito is quite big compared to say a Berlingo,i would say 2 adults and 2 kids could get away for a few weeks quite comfortably in a Mid sized van no problem.
    Have a read around ,it can be done.
    Oh and don`t give up

    There are a few builds here on UKH and/or have a peek here for a little inspiration

    http://www.beyondthevan.com/luton-va...o-micro-camper
    You have to lay diagonally in a berlingo

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    Shed Junkie alices wonderland's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheWanderer2023 View Post
    You have to lay diagonally in a berlingo
    or star shaped. Paul manages fine in his Berlingo and he goes out with normal sized women.


    sunshine if you get the chance look up micro campers on Pinterest. There's lots of free standing kitchen/storage/seats/half beds that fit in the back of vehicles, opening out into the boot area when the back doors are open.
    even a gypsy caravan is too much settling down.

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    Comfortably Numb Rick69's Avatar
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    You can lay flat out in a combo van so i cant see why it wouldnt be achievable in a berlingo. Not sure id like 4 in a vito though..

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    Four adults could be a bit of a squeeze in low roof Vito but I am currently waiting for a high top roof for my LWB van to enable me, my son & friend to get away in. I don't intend my van to have 4 people living in it (although it could accommodate 4) but I would like to be able to have enough gas to feed 4+ people on a road trip to Scotland this summer with 2/3 in my van & a couple of friends in tents. Thanks for the advice that's a big help now I will get a 907 Campingaz 2.75kg bottle & cut my kitchen unit down to size to accommodate one. This will enable my living space to be as big as possible so I can have the biggest bed possible for the size of the van.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nomis View Post
    A Vito is quite big compared to say a Berlingo,i would say 2 adults and 2 kids could get away for a few weeks quite comfortably in a Mid sized van no problem.
    Have a read around ,it can be done.
    Oh and don`t give up

    There are a few builds here on UKH and/or have a peek here for a little inspiration

    http://www.beyondthevan.com/luton-va...o-micro-camper
    Thanks it is amazing what can be done in a small space just look at the Tardis for example lol I will have a bed in the high top for 2 persons & a rock N roll bed to accommodate 2 persons also if needed. A kitchen unit with sink will be in, twin hob & grill, toilet & a possible shower too. It can be done as everyone will see when done

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    Comfortably Numb Rick69's Avatar
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    I would be interested to see all that fitted in, make sure you post plenty of pics!

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    Heavenly Creature
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    I have just thought, you would be amazed at what you can do with one ring. You can get tiny, portable single ring gas cookers with aerosol type gas canisters. Gas can be bought in packs of four, and again depending on how much you cook four would last us two a month. The cooker in its case is about the size of a power drill in a case.

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    Comfortably Numb Rick69's Avatar
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    You can also get single ring cookers that screw into the top of a 907 bottle.

    These bottles can easily be refilled at home from a 15kg butane calor gas bottle bringing the cost per kilo right down.

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    Heavenly Creature
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    It's cheaper still to fill up at the pumps if you can get away with it. not tried it myself, but I know somebody who does.

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    Comfortably Numb Rick69's Avatar
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    I thought car lpg had propane in it? The higher vapour pressure means that butane bottles would be unsuitable for refilling.

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    Heavenly Creature dieseldog's Avatar
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    Lpg used to power a vehicle is liquid, therefore the take up is from the bottom of the tank. Habitation powered lpg, heating n cooking, is gas, with the take up thus from the top of the tank. When we were sold our Starship by a main dealer she was fitted with the wrong tank. We are lucky to be alive.... Keep on truckin with Toby n Suzy Trux.

  17. #17
    Comfortably Numb Rick69's Avatar
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    This will make no difference to the pressure in the tank. Butane has a lower vapour pressure than propane, hence the reason propane bottles are tested to a higher pressure.

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    Shed Junkie alices wonderland's Avatar
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    You can fill a refillable LPG bottle up at the service station. They have a special valve fitted to the bottle. You get a filling attachment for your bottle or have a kit fitted to the exterior of the vehicle. Pump gas is fine for cooking then. If your vehicle LPG tank doesn't have a tapped supplyline off of it specifically for the heating/cooking appliance get one fitted.
    even a gypsy caravan is too much settling down.

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    Comfortably Numb Rick69's Avatar
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    The valve you mention cuts off when the fill level reaches 80%. This is to leave room for expansion of the liquid in the bottle, and also somewhere for it to gas off. This is the problem with filling non refillable bottles. Its quite safe to do but you need a pair of scales.

    You can also buy vaporisers for bottom take off (or dip tube top take off) tanks so you can use cooking appliances etc.

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    .....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick69 View Post
    I would be interested to see all that fitted in, make sure you post plenty of pics!
    I will do of course where possible. It'll take a bit of time this project as I'm unable to do any of the work myself due to paralysis both of my arms & hands on a bike accident back in '05. I've dreamed of having a little get away vehicle to escape from the matrix & be in the middle of no where just me, my dog, nature & Mary Jane lol
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    Heavenly Creature dieseldog's Avatar
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    Well good for you, I hope your dream comes true! Toby.
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    Quote Originally Posted by alices wonderland View Post
    You can fill a refillable LPG bottle up at the service station. They have a special valve fitted to the bottle. You get a filling attachment for your bottle or have a kit fitted to the exterior of the vehicle. Pump gas is fine for cooking then. If your vehicle LPG tank doesn't have a tapped supplyline off of it specifically for the heating/cooking appliance get one fitted.
    That sounds great although I'm on a budget so that type of conversion isn't my priority right now but certainly one in the future could be a lot more hassle free. Has anyone found a camping stove with the grill that has apiezo igniter? I can't use a lighter to light grills as I've paralysed both of my arms & hands in a bike accident (typing with my feet & I drive with a specially adapted foot steer). My aim is to make things as usable for me when I do go out on my own. I'll get there slowly but surely

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    Comfortably Numb Rick69's Avatar
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    Ive converted one using one robbed out of one of those portable heaters that people buy for the house, came with a free gas bottle!

    There are the ignitors available on ebay if you wanted to get someone to fit to an existing stove, or you can buy them already built in like this one

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Camping-Do...YAAOSwCU1Yqs59

    Beware though, some of the ones with ignition have the piezo built into the knob, ie you twist it like this

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Firefriend...QAAOSwLpdW8oxs

    If thats not going to be practical then make sure it has a seperate button!

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