Chapter 1 – Choosing Van

Choosing right van for self-build conversion to Campervan

After having a break from organising any small or big adventure travel, we have decided to build our own campervan to be able to travel in different ways, not only on motorbikes. Don’t get us wrong, motorbikes are still part of our lives and we have already planned for another small bike trip. But this is not about motorbikes, this is about our self-build conversion to campervan named BeVan.

Let’s start from beginning.

As a first thing we had to decided which size of van we want. If you are assuming this was the easiest part, then you’re wrong!

This was the hardest part, as we realised later during building campervan, and we will tell you later why. 😊

  1. Size of the Van

We started to browse for information on different lengths and heights variations, brands and spent hours reading reviews about reliability, running costs and deciding how much we could spare for entire van, which will be right for self-build conversion to campervan.

We eventually decided for the longest version L3 and for mid height version H2, so our scope of searching was down to L3H2 vans. The reason for this was our desire of normal size of bed 140×200 cm, especially in length.

  1. Brand of the Van

Another challenge was to decided which Brand to go for. Firstly, we wanted German brand as VW Crafter or MB Sprinter, because of their reputation of unbreakable engines. Unfortunately, these were miles from our budget. When we found one within the budget, it was total wreck and imported from abroad.

We started looking for ‘’cheap’’ brands as Citroen Jumper, Fiat Ducato, Ford Transit, Peugeot Boxer and Renault Master. Our Must to have list included mainly: ABS, air condition, service history and 1st registration in Slovakia. It took us long time, before we found the ONE.

  1. Choosing our BeVan

One evening during the browsing for the right van, we had found one very clean Renault Master from very well-known company near Mark’s hometown. It was 2010, L3H2, with ABS, Air Condition, full-service history, registered in Slovakia and hardly used, as we saw on pictures. We immediately called them to arrange viewing and took it straight away! We had been so glad on one side, but also sad on other side. Our pockets were shorter of 5600 Euro.

We changed number plates and went to do full van check with changing oil, filters and hoping that’s it… Again, we were wrong!

When mechanic called Mark and explained that it needs whole new steering rack, genuine one costs around 1500 Euro, we had felt angry and helpless! We thought that seller knew it and didn’t tell us anything! We called them and explained situation, called mechanic and then we realized that it was one of those things which happen suddenly.

Luckily, we found aftermarket part which cost ‘’300 Euro + labour’’. So we ended up paying another 500 Euro in couple days after we bought the van.

But everything negative can be turned into positive. We have a new steering rack! Huray 😊

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