Saturday 20 October 2012

Don't come A Knockin'

I've been faced with a bit of a transport problem for some time now and might just have reached a solution. My Mk6 ford transit which I bought from new in 2005 although being the "exec" model with metallic paint is starting to look a bit down at heel and just too much like the work van which it is for general driving, camping, walking and fishing use so I've decided to do something about it. I've wanted a camper van for a good while but the cost is just too prohibitive while I've got a young family. I've thought of conversions but a van that's been turned into a camper always tends to look like that and while I've nothing against van conversions, they're not very good for street cred if you're using them every day. If I was to do a conversion, I'd probably have to buy a donor van which leads to the buying other folks problems situation and you never know whether it's really done the mileage that's shown on the clock. I've thought about converting my own transit before but it's not really that practical as it's a short wheel base version with a standard height roof. However, something came to me the other day where I thought to myself, what do I really need from a vehicle and I came up with this list in order of priority:- 1. Needs to be mechanically and bodily sound. 2. Needs to be able to provide heat and shelter when it's miserable. 3. Needs two seats up front for the driver and passenger. 4. Needs 2/3 seats in the back for the kids. 5. Needs to be comfortable for sleeping in with a bed that can function as a seat when not in use. So, bearing all this in mind I decided that I don't really need a full blown camper van with a fridge, sink, cupboards etc., and an idea started to form. A quick look round the Internet unearthed this photo of a " modded tranny " which doesn't look a bit like what it's supposed to. In fact it looks like a bit of a surf wagon and I could just see myself at a river bank, parked up at some crag or even in the Verdon gorge in France in something like this!
Turns out these semi conversions are called day vans, are fully carpeted and lined in the back, many have a convertible bed, fold down table and maybe a leisure powered tv and/or computer. So all things considered, my MK6 Ford Transit is in pretty good condition with only 60,000 miles on the clock and I reckon with a bit of work and some investment I could get my van to look something like this which is, in my opinion, just a bit more classy than your average street cruiser Transit. All I need now is a set of mag' wheels, a front spoiler, side skirts, a couple of side windows, ideally an up and over back door instead of the standard ones, a rock and roll bed and a few other bit's and pieces to get me on the road. Watch this space and " Don't come a knockin' " if you see me around your town.

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