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Thread: Stealth Campers: Van size trade offs

  1. #25
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    Being obvious didn't work for the lad in the LDV camper. His van's been towed off the car park, and he hasn't got it back yet.

  2. #26
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    That is really sad, but park legal and they can't tow you, stealth or not.

  3. #27
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    Fair point, but how come they left the seriously damaged car that was next to van? It looks like it hit a post head on. It's been there a year.
    Which would they rather see?

  4. #28
    Maybe they didn’t want people living on their property for free and without permission? It is sad, but most people would see what the lad was doing as basically on par with a homeless guy squatting in their front yard. You can’t push the person away physically, but you can kick down their cardboard tent when they are not there, or in this case, tow their van.

    My van is my home, it has pretty much all I own in it, I look after it, park it legally where it feels safe because I don’t want some shit towing it away or knocking It.
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  5. #29
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    If the lad has no registered address and not a UK citizen it wouldnt surprise me if it disappears and ends up.in someone elses ownership...garage maybe?
    Stealing off people who have no rights is fair game to some people.Hope he gets it back but i have my doubts he will.
    Hebridean at heart..everywhere else is just somewhere on the way back there...

  6. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by NomadicRT View Post
    If the lad has no registered address and not a UK citizen it wouldnt surprise me if it disappears and ends up.in someone elses ownership...garage maybe?
    Stealing off people who have no rights is fair game to some people.Hope he gets it back but i have my doubts he will.
    I have my doubts he will too, I never got shit back when an official storage yard stole my Chevy, he was fined 600 Euro for fraud. And that was with a signed contract with an official registered caravan and campervan storage yard. All he said to the Politie was “ I forgot who I sold it to” reason for sale? “tired of looking at it”

    No return of vehicle, no financial compensation. Lots of people seem to think stealing is everyday acceptable if they think you can get away with it.
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  7. #31
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    The van is registered to a UK address, it's SORN and there's been no attempt to contact the registered keeper via the DVLA. Yet the recovery company wouldn't let the LDV go until the company that had it taken would 'release' it.
    Excuse me? When did it become theirs to 'release'?
    It's also been damaged, see the Meet the Neighbours thread. It's the same recovery company that towed his RV in drive and trashed the gearbox. LANTERN. Don't touch em!

  8. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Languid Virago View Post
    I have my doubts he will too, I never got shit back when an official storage yard stole my Chevy, he was fined 600 Euro for fraud. And that was with a signed contract with an official registered caravan and campervan storage yard. All he said to the Politie was “ I forgot who I sold it to” reason for sale? “tired of looking at it”

    No return of vehicle, no financial compensation. Lots of people seem to think stealing is everyday acceptable if they think you can get away with it.
    Someone does that to my home i would get a new one from the queen, i hear the balmoral group hotels can be rather accomadating angry ppl who have had their home removed

  9. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by popuptoaster View Post
    They buy them because they are cheaper, economically it doesn't matter to them how long they last or how much they cost to fix as long as the van has earned back its purchase cost and bought them some profit
    Price is of course an important factor, but reliability is even more important. You have to remember, that if the wheels are not turning, then those vans don't make money - and you have still to pay all your costs. Sprinters are known for electronic issues for example and therefore are avoided by Eastern European companies. In Western Europe they are popular, as Mercedes gives unlimited warranty here.

    I don't think any vehicles are as bad as they used to be but you can't use fleets buyers or commercial buyers as a guide to what makes a good private vehicle they have way different priorities and often get discount for buying in bulk which can swing a sale.
    I don't agree. Of course it depend what you are looking for, if you look for the car to take you shopping then volvo 8 wheeler tipper might not be the best choice, even if the Malcom Construction considers it to be a great vehicle But if you want to know about reliability of a van, then it's very wise to look at what the serious users say about it, as you won't find anyone who has more experience in that field.

  10. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by orys View Post


    I don't agree. Of course it depend what you are looking for, if you look for the car to take you shopping then volvo 8 wheeler tipper might not be the best choice, even if the Malcom Construction considers it to be a great vehicle But if you want to know about reliability of a van, then it's very wise to look at what the serious users say about it, as you won't find anyone who has more experience in that field.
    Two things,
    1, have yu ever driven a capri in the wet? Or an british leyland mini? You cant dive them in the rain as the distributer fills with water n shorts out, you end upp stuck at the side f the road. New motors run in the rain. Thats what he means by mdern are more reliable

    2, whats a volvo 8 wheel tipper going to the shops got to d with reliability? Anyway everyone knows get a scania, easier o park in spars carpark

  11. #35
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    I never said that I don't agree with the statement, that modern vehicles are usually better than the old ones (although I know that on that forum it migt be an unpopular opinion, seems that we are both on the same page on that).

    As per your second point, it was a tounge in cheek way to point out, that while commercial users needs might differ from private users needs in many ways, I don't think that they are happy with unreliable vehicle as he seems to be suggesting.

    And you know, my frist car was this: http://car--reviews.com/single/fiat-...at-125p-4.html Driving Ford Capri was a dream compared to this

  12. #36
    A nice peaceful park up is the key to this me thinks

  13. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by orys View Post
    I never said that I don't agree with the statement, that modern vehicles are usually better than the old ones (although I know that on that forum it migt be an unpopular opinion, seems that we are both on the same page on that).

    As per your second point, it was a tounge in cheek way to point out, that while commercial users needs might differ from private users needs in many ways, I don't think that they are happy with unreliable vehicle as he seems to be suggesting.

    And you know, my frist car was this: http://car--reviews.com/single/fiat-...at-125p-4.html Driving Ford Capri was a dream compared to this
    I didn't say they would be happy with an unreliable vehicle, my point, (as partly illustrated by the mini cabs story) was that a company almost never buys vehicles with long term durability in mind. They have costings based on owning the vehicle for a set amount of time then getting rid and replacing it before it starts to exceed a predicted cost per mile, as far as most fleet owners go the van can explode in a ball of flames after four years for all they care as long as it has earned it's money for them.

    Very few medium to large fleet companies keep vehicles longer than 4 years, long term durability is secondary to purchase cost and whatever maintenance and warranty deal they can get from the manufacturer, don't base your own purchases on what they buy unless you have the same needs which almost no private buyers do.

    It has little to do with outright reliability and more to do with how much money can the company get out of the vehicle before any problems start to cause issues.

    If a company can get a good price on a particular model and a servicing plan and it has a decent warranty they wont care to spend more on something that is ultimately a better motor.

    The company I work for has Daf trucks we would have loved Scanias but the simple fact is they got six Dafs for the price of five similarly specced Scanias, with five drivers we have a spare truck in the yard all the time so when one of ours is on its inspection or has any issues we just jump in the spare truck and that is worth more to the company than having a truck that breaks down less but will still break down at some point.

    Looking at my company and thinking the Dafs are better trucks than the Scanias because that's what we bought would not get you the better truck as a private buyer.

    The spare Daf, I was out in it today, mine wont stay in gear....again.....


    Oh, and before you point out its age, I'd just say we mostly do local multidrop and this one is the spare so this has only just ticked over the 300,000k whicxh is why they still have it.

    Last edited by popuptoaster; 11-10--2017 at 09:23 PM.

  14. #38
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    This might be right in Britain (that's why all second hand vans looks like they have just came back from Syria and require a lot of TLC here), but even here it is not universal rule. My company for example used to use Volvo, now uses DAFs because, despite Volvo offering better servicing, DAF proved to be more reliable, and thus spend less time in servicing (and also, because my boss seems to be a big fan of DAF, he loves them ;-) ). I guess here also the market we operate is a significant factor, because the best service would be useless, if the wagon would keep breaking down when over the water, as the price of recovery from Hebridean Islands to the nearest authorised service would be horrendous (not to mention the time that would be lost). Reliability is crucial, and while the ones that stay on the mainland might have their best times behind them, the ones that go over the water are always trustworthy - the one that we got rid of most recently was 57 plate, had 720 000 km on the clock and it was still sound mechanically, it was just developing some electronic problems due to salt water and corrosion, and it was not worth the hassle to try to fix it.



    But putting my workplace asidde for now: there is one factor you keep missing here: if the van is serviced, even for free thanks to the best warranty deal ever, it is not making any miles. So if you intend to keep your van for 4 years, and of those 4 years it will spend some time in the garage being fixed, and therefore it will make less miles. So if the purchase price was the same, and your van has broken down a few times, it made less miles, and therefore, cost PER MILE is higher.

    The other factor you ignore is that I am talking about Eastern European long distance courier vans, for which reliability is crucial. This is not your local multidrop company where if you have some technical issues you would limp back to the yard, or in wortst case have your van towed back and then just shift your cargo to the other one and go out again. If you are located in Rzeszów, Poznań, and your van happens to break down in Aberdeen or Lisbon or Athenes, the fact that you have a spare one lying around 3000 km across Europe won't do you many good. Also this is not the case of international trucks, which are ususally just simple tractor units with trailers, where if you break down, you will just get assistance to give you replacement vehicle, driver would shift his crap across and continue driving. No, those vans I am talking about are specialist built vehicles, and you can't really hope to get a hired van with sleeper cab, tail lift and tilt bodies anywhere in Europe.

    And you have to remember, that for them it is not only the matter of that if the van is in the garage, it does not makes any money. For them it is a very significant financial loss, as the driver has still to be paid, all other costs have still to be paid, and in the time critical deliveries industry penalties for being late can be really high.

    So when those companies operating on this particular markets buy their vehicles, reliability is one of the most important factors, if not the most important one.

    So yeah, you are right. If I was about to buy a reliable van, I would not look at your standard British transport company that aims to buy the van cheap (by running cost), then run it down to the ground in a few years and then replace it with the new one, because that would not be any indication - pretty much any modern vehicle would be fairly reilable for the first few years.

    But If I want a reliable van, then looking at the choices of the industry for which the reliability of the van is crucial, then looking at what long distance eastern european couriers are using can be a good thing.

    And this is why I never said "look at what ANY TRANSPORT COMPANY buys". I gave this specific indication: "Look what EASTERN EUROPEAN LONG DISTANCE COURIER COMPANIES buy". Because, as you proved ANY TRANSPORT COMPANY will not be the indication. But those particular companies will.

  15. #39
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    So what vans do long distance eastern european courier companys use?

  16. #40
    Those curtain side single rear wheel 3.5 tonne sleeper cab Eastern European courier vans that are like a plague across Europe must clock up lunatic amounts of motorway miles, the drivers seen to drive for 120 hours a week on average.

    I am not sure what they do is indicative of the usefulness to your average van dweller, sell them after 3 years and 500,000 miles of non stop in the slow lane motorway running and buy another. Opels and Peugeot/Citroen/fiats seem the most common. I cannot remember seeing many fords, vws, nissans, Mercs, Renaults or ivecos.

  17. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Languid Virago View Post
    Those curtain side single rear wheel 3.5 tonne sleeper cab Eastern European courier vans that are like a plague across Europe must clock up lunatic amounts of motorway miles, the drivers seen to drive for 120 hours a week on average.

    I am not sure what they do is indicative of the usefulness to your average van dweller, sell them after 3 years and 500,000 miles of non stop in the slow lane motorway running and buy another. Opels and Peugeot/Citroen/fiats seem the most common. I cannot remember seeing many fords, vws, nissans, Mercs, Renaults or ivecos.
    What's in a name? Merc/VW are the same thing under the badge. I am constantly calling my yard neighbour's VW a sprinter.
    What you have to remember is the new vans are designed for three to four years, in Western Europe that's the maximum length of a lease. After that, the leaser gets a new one.
    That's not relevant to van dwellers. The vans need to repairable, not disposable.

  18. #42
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    Thinking stealth, I was wondering this morning if you could rig up a false curtain side on a box...

  19. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alf M View Post
    Thinking stealth, I was wondering this morning if you could rig up a false curtain side on a box...
    Genius! Just pop rivet or bolt the curtain side track to the outside of the van/truck and fit the curtains.
    Forget having windows though! You would have to work out how to keep a daylight roof when insulating.

  20. #44
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    Or just build your house behind the curtian sides, theres pics online of someone who did just that
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  21. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by Alf M View Post
    Thinking stealth, I was wondering this morning if you could rig up a false curtain side on a box...
    Since a curtain side is cheaper than a box on the used market, just buy a curtain side and panel it in, rather than the other way round.

    My big concern with curtain sides urban parked is people cutting a hole in the side to see if there was anything work nicking.

  22. #46
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    LV's good a good point. It happens a lot. Try some signs that say 'waste paper' or some similar low value goods.

  23. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by pyke13 View Post
    So what vans do long distance eastern european courier companys use?
    Judging from the opinions on the industry forum I am admin of, the most valued are triplets Fiat Ducato and it's french equivalents, where Ducato is most praised for it's reliable engine (I don't remember which one, but the one it shares with Iveco Daily).

    A close second is Renault Master, praised for that unlike many other vans, Renault services them in truck service networks.

    Saying that, as pointed out before by many others, some factors are not relevant for private user, and I agree with it. So I think a potential van dweller might ignore the fact, that Renault Masters have access to wide network of truck services open 24/7 across the whole of Europe

    So that would give us Ducato as the most reliable van, and then if we remember, that it has the best ratio of internal space to outside dimensions, it is another argument for choosing this van (have you noticed, how many professional camper conversion companies use those as a base?).

    (unfortunately due to my heithg I had to give a miss to a nice Ducato some time ago as I am tall guy and 190cm bed is not good enough for me, so I need to place bed along the van, and due to my concept of a conversion thereofre I need the van of at least 4.3 m long, preferably more, and the longest Ducato is 4.17 m long or something, so that leaves me with the choice of Iveco Daily, Sprinter/Crafter and the longest Vauxhall Movano and it's twins). But if not for that, I would go for Ducato or, if lower budget, for previous generation of Renault Master which were also considered virtually indestructable if serviced properly).

    I am not saying to buy a curtainsider (or a tilt, as this kind of body is most popular due to it's weight) but we talk reliability here, and mechanics stay the same no matter what body the van have
    Last edited by orys; 12-10--2017 at 10:51 PM.

  24. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Languid Virago View Post
    Those curtain side single rear wheel 3.5 tonne sleeper cab Eastern European courier vans that are like a plague across Europe must clock up lunatic amounts of motorway miles, the drivers seen to drive for 120 hours a week on average.
    Actually I happen to be an ex-employee of a British time critical delivery company. I left it due to conditions of work, they were trying to force me to drive non-stop for 30 hours (they were setting me a route of overnight Glasgow to London, then multidrop around London, and then up to Glasgow on the next night). I am still in touch with some people who still work for them, and I am scared to see what miles they do.

    (When I worked there, I was doing Europe on certain contract, where runs were scheduled in such a way, that I had time to rest properly, but I was even able to stay at my friend's places in Holland and Czech Republic on regular basis. When that died out and I was thrown into "regular work" I had to quit as I was not ready to do what they expect their drivers to do).

    So I know, that there is a prejudice against all things Eastern European, but I can assure you, that British branch of the same industry is no different. You just don't see them, because while those Eastern European courier vans, that you consider to be a plague, at least offer their drivers a proper resting facilities, so they stick out on the road with their sleeping pods and bunks behind the cabs. Meanwhile most of UK courier drivers just drive plain white sprinters and sleep across the seats.

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