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DeeTee
10-27-2008, 06:43 PM
Hi all,Just bought an Ex DHL Parcels 2005 311 CDI MWB/High Roof Panel Van,2148cc Engine. Bought it for hauling my Motorbikes (BMW Megamoto,KTM 950 SM and ZRX 1200) to weekend Gatherings.Once on site,it will become my accomodation as i don't/won't camp.I'll be getting a Generator to Power the Lights/Kettle/TV, a 2 Ring Gas Burner for Cooking and a fold out cot/bed for sleeping on. I want to be able to use the whole load area from time to time so won't be doing a full,or even part, Camper Conversion.

Aqua Puttana
10-27-2008, 11:20 PM
Welcome to Sprinters and to this forum. I have a 2004 2500 low roof that I also use for semi-camping and pulling my boat to regattas so I understand completely wanting to keep the utility aspects of your Sprinter.

I made a platform bed in the back because it gives me enough storage underneath for our needs. I used 2x4's mounted under the windows with cut outs for aluminum square sections for support across the back. We have a partially folding RV style mattress to sleep on.

I installed screw hooks into the lower portion of the 2x4's and spaced them to hang various canvas bags from Harbor Freight Supply for parts, tools, etc. I find the bags tuck in and don't stick out further than the wheel wells which leaves plenty of utility space. So far I find they're more efficient than tool boxes, but I do still have a few traditional plastic tool boxes.

As you mentioned a fold down bed I've always thought pipe berths would work for a "Spartan Camper" Sprinter. Full on racing sailboats use them. They're easy to build, swing up out of the way, and are very light. Depending upon the build style they can be pretty comfortable. I'm certain doing an Internet search will yield some designs.

After messing with extension cords I installed a 5' long plug strip (from a scrapped computer rack) in the back along the passenger side. It tucks in under the 2x4 bed support. When we're parked I power it with shore power. When on the road I can feed it with a 750 watt portable inverter from the battery for a iPod player or other small stuff. Not fancy, but it does what we need.

Thought I'd throw in my 2 cents (2p?). Hope it helps.

Hi all,Just bought an Ex DHL Parcels 2005 311 CDI MWB/High Roof Panel Van,2148cc Engine. Bought it for hauling my Motorbikes (BMW Megamoto,KTM 950 SM and ZRX 1200) to weekend Gatherings.Once on site,it will become my accomodation as i don't/won't camp.I'll be getting a Generator to Power the Lights/Kettle/TV, a 2 Ring Gas Burner for Cooking and a fold out cot/bed for sleeping on. I want to be able to use the whole load area from time to time so won't be doing a full,or even part, Camper Conversion.

sikwan
10-28-2008, 03:03 AM
Welcome DeeTee. :clapping:

I also did what Aqua did and that was to build a platform for sleeping above and storage below.

The metal frame that is in two pieces for easy installation and removal.
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It currently bolts to the existing bench bolts. Not the greatest, so I'll be changing it.

Center section raises and converts to a table.
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The cooler hatch rests on the cooler cover and is flush with the frame.

I'm currently on a trip working out the likes and dislikes. The platform above probably wouldn't work for you if you carry your bikes inside the van. I usually carry my dirt bike outside on the hitch.

DeeTee
10-28-2008, 05:46 PM
Thanks for the welcome and the ideas,Guys.However,as you guessed,i am looking to be able to carry 3 bikes in the back and sharing costs with 2 friends so the Spartan Accomodation will have to suffice.I'm thinking of a Fold-Up Bed,like you would keep at home for the occasional Guest ,for myself.Likewise,the Cooking Equipment needs to be easy to load/remove.My friends like Camping so they can load their Tents and gear and do the Boy Scout thing !! If i Rig Out the Van as a Semi Camper and tow the bikes on a Trailer then that would add to Ferry Costs for trips to the Isle Of Man or Ireland . The comfort would be nice,but it would cost.

sikwan
10-29-2008, 02:48 AM
I use a truck for my dirt biking and camping duties also.

For my cooking needs, this is the best...

http://www.coleman.com/coleman/colemancom/detail.asp?product_id=9949-750&categoryid=27203

A collapsible 4 legged cot rather than a 6 legged cot worked best at placing the cot over the wheel well hump. A mummy bag is a must. Not as roomie as a rectangular one, but much warmer.

For interior heating needs, I have something similar to this...

http://www.coleman.com/coleman/colemancom/detail.asp?product_id=5038A800&categoryid=3000

...it works awesome.

Last thing is maybe a thin mattress pad of some sort that you can place over the cot. The cot is comfortable as is, but you lose a lot of heat sleeping on it.

Don't know if you can find these across the pond, but I'm sure you can find something similar. :thumbup:

Aqua Puttana
10-29-2008, 12:32 PM
Coleman does have some good stuff. That little heater looks nice.

I have a mummy bag for expected cold outings, but as you've said they are not very roomy. What I've learned to do is carry a light fleece sleeping bag and a regular flannel lined 40 degree bag. If it's warm I use just the fleece. A bit colder I use the 40 degree. Colder still I use the fleece bag inside the 40 degree. My ultimate backups are my moving blankets as upper and lower "comforter", but that's rarely required using the two bag system.

Even not tricked out with fancy stuff I find my low roof Sprinter very comfortable.
I use a truck for my dirt biking and camping duties also.
//snip//

A collapsible 4 legged cot rather than a 6 legged cot worked best at placing the cot over the wheel well hump. A mummy bag is a must. Not as roomie as a rectangular one, but much warmer.

//snip//
Don't know if you can find these across the pond, but I'm sure you can find something similar. :thumbup:

cedarsanctum
10-29-2008, 04:09 PM
For interior heating needs, I have something similar to this...

http://www.coleman.com/coleman/colemancom/detail.asp?product_id=5038A800&categoryid=3000

...it works awesome.


Seek,

Do you have any trouble with water vapor building up inside the van with that catalytic heater? The only time i tried one was in a tent trailer, and after an hour it was raining inside from the moisture put out by the heater.
Just curious.

Jef

sikwan
10-30-2008, 03:39 AM
Do you have any trouble with water vapor building up inside the van with that catalytic heater? The only time i tried one was in a tent trailer, and after an hour it was raining inside from the moisture put out by the heater.
Just curious.

Jef...I didn't use it in the van yet, so I have no report on it. I also didn't use it when sleeping. I think it's safe, but I could never verify if it would affect me when sleeping (like I'm not going to wake up :smirk:).

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I only used it to warm up the interior before sleeping.

10229
My sleeping arrangement. Much better than the ground, but not as good as the van. :smirk:

You know it could be a natural occurence, like a cup of iced water. Condensation builds up on the side that is warmer. :idunno:

sikwan
10-30-2008, 03:44 AM
I have a mummy bag for expected cold outings, but as you've said they are not very roomy. What I've learned to do is carry a light fleece sleeping bag and a regular flannel lined 40 degree bag. If it's warm I use just the fleece. A bit colder I use the 40 degree. Colder still I use the fleece bag inside the 40 degree. My ultimate backups are my moving blankets as upper and lower "comforter", but that's rarely required using the two bag system.

What do you do to insulate your shoulders?

I find that I have to wear a sweatshirt, but that's not as comfortable as wearing t-shirt and shorts to sleep. Even with the sweatshirt, I get cold shoulders. Maybe I should get a hybrid of some sort.

Aqua Puttana
10-30-2008, 12:04 PM
I just use a tee shirt and kinda snuggle in. My shoulders have never been a problem. The tip of my nose gets cold sometimes though. I figure that's a sign I'm healthy like a dog.
What do you do to insulate your shoulders?

I find that I have to wear a sweatshirt, but that's not as comfortable as wearing t-shirt and shorts to sleep. Even with the sweatshirt, I get cold shoulders. Maybe I should get a hybrid of some sort.