Monday, June 8, 2015

The Start - Initial Thoughts and Decisions

It has been a while that I have been thinking of building my very own camper van. In a way, building camper vans is in my family. My late father did it, decades ago, from scratch. Every single cabinet he built himself.
Now that I am older than my father ever became, it is my turn to take the plunge.

My dad built the van for 3 people, my mother, himself and me. This was clearly reflected in the size of the vehicle he used as a basis ... sorry, I can't recall what the vehicle was precisely, it was big however.

The van I am planning is for one person only, me that is. Although, this is not entirely true; in order to be accepted as an RV in The Netherlands, the vehicle has to be built for 2 persons.

This first post of my newest blog will deal with the requirements for a van being accepted as  RV by the Dutch authorities.

Minimum requirements

Interior installations:
  • 2 fixedly installed seats
  • a table, which may be easily removable
  • sleeping place for 2 persons:
    • 1 double bed 180cm x 110cm
    • 2 individual beds 180cm x 60cm each
  • closable (lockable?) storage
  • a kitchen-block at least 60cm tall having
    • a prep area
    • a kitchen-sink
    • built-in water supply
    • a faucet
    • a drain
    • a built-in cooker
  • all of the above have to be reachable and usable in a "normal" manner (what ever that means!)

  • the above mentioned installation must in a vehicle of 170cm inter height or
  • if the vehicle make has got an internal height of 130cm (or more) only, a pop-up roof reaching 170cm height having a width of at least 90cm and a length of at least 100cm

Personal Preferences
This is about my very own personal choices.

The RV shall
  • look like a builder's van
  • have a good fuel economy
  • easy to manoever
  • allow for accessing the cabin from the living space
  • have minimum dimensions
  • have regular back doors.
Consequently I was looking for a 2-seater white van having no bulkhead and no windows in the back.
After searching for a while, I found the vehicle that ticked all boxes:
  • Merc Vito 109 CDI (639) compact with portal back doors
Pictures will follow!

Next Steps
  1. insulate the van (acoustically and thermally)
  2. insert the 2 required seats / bed
  3. build and install the required storage
  4. arrange some sort of table
  5. build and install the required kitchen block
  6. have the pop-up roof installed (by some experts)
  7. register as RV

The Plan
What my dad did was admirable. However, I think I am not given that patience and perseverance that my dad had. So, my decision was to look out for "work done", i.e. using modified readily available products.
So, what is better than using the "nearly completed" items provided by IKEA?

Welcome to my new blog "The IKEA Camper"!

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