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Project Carbon Race Van


Andy - a15cro
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I’m a creature of comfort, I bought my first tent only a few years ago, just to use at Stoneleigh. 
 

After experiencing a night of torture sleeping in the back of my condensation soaked, cold, uncomfortable truck, I started thinking about a day van/camper.

 

Fast forward to post Blyton where Anna and myself ended talking about how much better a van would be.

 

I’ve been looking at various options, ready done VW’s, Merc Veto’s, Vauxhall Traffic, and of course Ford Transits etc etc.- only downside, pop top required for an extra bunk, so I would end up, pulling it to bits to have one fitted if not already installed. 

 

However, I came across a Citroen Relay, 61 plate, 130k miles, clean, cheap, local and a blank canvas, so why not build my own camper! So I thought I would attempt a little build diary would try a little build diary.

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Viewed it on Monday, picked it up,Tuesday. It needed the tracking adjusting, NSF wheel balancing, and I decided to,replace the OSF tyre while getting the alignment done, seen as the dealer had to put one on for MOT.

Ive started ordering some materials, sound deadening pads, conduit, electrics, glass. I’ve also started keeping a spread sheet for budget analysis, as a mate of mine has recently done the same with a VW T5.

 

Tonight was prep and strip out, it turns out I’m not going to be doing this alone…..cue Anna on impact driver. She’s our new office apprentice, that’s why she’s not dressed for manual work, but give her her dues, she’s got stuck in tonight and worked like a demon.

 

This evenings tasks - Bulk head removed, followed by all of the ply lining and plastic panels, which the exposed 10 years of dust & debris. It’s been swept out and hovered out so far. Next is a wipe down and scrub the floor ready to accept the sound deadening pads.

 

 

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This will be great, what’s the plan for the layout? Keen to do something similar.

 

Interested in the final cost too!

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5 minutes ago, Rush Motorsport said:

This will be great, what’s the plan for the layout? Keen to do something similar.

 

Interested in the final cost too!


Because it seems I’m going to be having a co-driver I need to have enough space so the plan is -

 

Rear bunk for me running side to side, storage area below along with gas cabinet and consumer unit. 
 

Kitchen to the side door wall.

 

Bench seating that turns into Anna’s bunk to the drivers side wall, and I’m currently mulling over if I can squeeze a shower/toilet in along that run as well. 
 

Glass to the sliding door, opposite panel and rear doors, roof fan and sky light.

 

Two leisure battery’s with a split charge relay and 240v hook up. I started looking a solar as well, but after speaking to a supplier I’ve got the option to add that at a later date.

 

Under slung water tanks.

 

Swivel passenger seat (double unit)

 

Thats it for now.
 

 

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And it will be ready for Wednesday night.

 

Brilliant 👏

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The bug has bitten very deep, great project. Looks like your helper is doing all the work 🙂🙂🙂

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Been there, done that, battled through the stress, burnout and divorce threats, and have just enough stupidity to do it all again and much bigger.

Whatever you think it's going to cost (or had to furnish a proposal), double it. I added up the big bits and thought 'no sweat', but it's all the tiny things like screws and plumbing bits that really add up. Having a Screwfix and Toolstation only two blocks from the house means I'm on a daily first-name basis with them, and B&Q is two miles away - not to mention the almost daily Ebay (et al) deliveries to the house. And the time to build? - double that too. Have to involve other people/companies to custom build stuff for you (water tanks etc)? - expect to be ripped off, delayed, crappy work then ignored when you challenge. The days of craftmanship at a price you can afford no longer exists.

 

@Andy - a15cro  Here's my first build (and my new build on the same channel) - you can PM me if you have any questions. Alot of what I learned was garnered from youtube and build websites, though you have to watch alot of dross to gleen the sweet info.

 

 

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Is that the L3H2 Relay?  I'm about to buy one for the same purpose, so I'll watch your progress with interest.  Have you joined the Self Build Motor Caravaner's Club? (www.sbmcc.co.uk)  Very similar looking website to the WSCC, and lots of useful tips from an interesting variety of self-builders.  Only £15 per year, so quite a sound investment, I reckon!

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I’ll take a look @BigSkyBrad thanks. Edit - now watched. I like what you did with the shower, I’ve. It started thinking about how to produce hot water yet. 

 

Im in a fortunate position that this can fit in with my business, property maintenance, so I’ve got a good selection of fixings and equipment on tap. I was planning on buying some furniture, but after some thought I might get my joiner to break out the router. One of our neighbours at work has also done a day van and given me some tips as well. One thing I’ve learnt over the years is to listen to others instead of crashing in head first, so will definitely be considering any pointers given.

 

The Amazon driver has been a regular at work for a while now to the point I’m considering giving him his own parking space 😂

 

My specialist suppliers to date are:-

 

VanPimps - Glass

 

Van Mats - Deadening pads and spray adhesive 

 

Wired Campers - Electrics 

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2 hours ago, Nick Algar said:

The bug has bitten very deep, great project. Looks like your helper is doing all the work 🙂🙂🙂


It has Nick, makes sense to pull up at the track the night before, sleep well and refreshed before the next days fun, but also will give me the opportunity for more sprinting without lugging the tent about.

 

As for Anna, she officially starts in the office in September, however she has been in for the last two weeks and it’s great to see her confidence build so quickly. Normally come 4:30 when everyone leaves, which is then my play time in the workshop, I’m usually badgered to take her home first, so I was quite surprised when she got stuck in and said she wants to be involved with this project. My son would have preferred shooting zombies on his Xbox 😁

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On 23/07/2021 at 22:03, Rush Motorsport said:

This will be great, what’s the plan for the layout? Keen to do something similar.

 

Interested in the final cost too!

Me too!

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I built my one 14 years ago and by shopping wisely I got the cost of all the bits down to £2k, probably double that now would be a reasonable budget.

 

A great source of parts is Magnum Motorhomes in Grimsby. Best thing is too make a list and drive up there whilst you have the van and fill up with wall boards doors etc and bring them home.

 

Make sure you fully rust proof any voids and look at how the exterior bits are fixed. My Iveco has every external black plastic bit bolted through to the inside so in the event of an accident you have to take a lot of stuff out to fix.

 

Insulation, fill all voids with expanding foam and in truth I would probably look at having it sprayed by a company that does boats. Condensation in vans is a problem otherwise but many do not do that and suffer there after.

 

Try to avoid using second hand caravan doors and furnishing as other wise you tend to make the design fit the parts you have not the other way around.

I do not have onboard grey water storage, just use a exterior can.

 

Swivel seats are a great addition.

 

If you are fitting a wind out awning, do put fixing inside now to spread the weight as many try to fit after and they easily pull fixings out in the wind.

 

Work out all your electrical runs before doing any furniture building. we never fitted interior heating, instead we just use a small electrical heater which is light and low wattage.

 

Watch the weight! again if you use proper wall boards etc they weigh next to noting, a sheet of quarter ply weighs a lot and often many use normal timber which is too big. If you are not careful you can end up not leaving enough weight for towing.

 

Finally, when you have done it, take photographs and send to DVLA and they will alter the vehicle from a van to a Motorhome, this will up your speed class up to normal car, so 60 in NSL instead of 50 and 70 on dual carriageways as other wise it is 60.

 

There is a web site called Self Build Motorhome club which is a great source of help and advice

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Just now, Dommo said:

I'm mostly here for the old english sheepdog content :popcorn:


Here’s a small selection to keep you going until the next episode! 😁

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Just a few pictures of mine. the unit slides out to make a double bed and the shower and toilet are through the door at the end of the van.

 

I made it so it will carry two pushbikes in the rear or my tool box when on track days. it has a wardrobe on the left and fridge in front of that by the door. 

 

I used an absorption fridge, that works on battery or electric so there was no need to cut holes in the side, less holes less chance of leaks.

 

Other things that are musts, drop out hole where gas bottles is so any leak is able to escape through the floor. Fit fire and CO2 alarms.

 

As I said built it 14 years ago still got it and apart from external paint, it is an Italian built vehicle after all, it still works well for us.

 

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  • Andy - a15cro changed the title to Project Carbon Race Van

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