A new vario project

While working in the cab area with the roof lining removed, I noticed a stress crack on each side of the cab, IO have now welded these up, but I was wondering if anyone else had come across anything simular. This was the near side after welding.

As mentioned previously I am using the ALDE wet heating system from Sweden,
The specifications are: output 1, 2, or 3 kw when plugged in to mains and 5.5 kw on gas, these can be used together to give a massive 8.5 kw if needed, I also plan to add a webasto diesel water heater in to the system later to give 3 different heat sources.

I have added to the standard spec of the system, by putting extra radiators in. and also fitting a heat exchanger so as to heat the living area a hot water while driving, it can also be used in reverse to preheat the engine.
I have also fitted an external temperature sensor.
A load monitor, to automatically reduce the electrical supply, if other items are turned on (to save blowing supply)
and an external control so it can all be controlled by a mobile phone.
I prefer to have 2 separate water tanks because you can empty one knowing that you still have another in reserve.
Total water capacity of 385 L + 18L in toilet tank.

I have constructed the system so I can use either onboard tank or an external aquaroll roll,
I can also fill either tank from an aquqroll or with a hose pipe through the individual fillers.
There are 2 separate pumps so if one fails it can be swapped the other until a replacement is found.
Also I have an attachment to connect the water system direct to a mains water tap, via a 100 foot long flat hose, complete with pressure reducer. With that connected you don`t even need a pump for onboard water.
IMG_1908[1].jpg IMG_1909[1].jpg
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This is my proposed layout!

After looking at so many, we feel that this will suit us best. I know that having the cab open to the living has its draw backs, (loss of security and heat) but feel that it is a worthwhile trade, because of the extra space and light.
As previously mentioned, I might devise a system of doors or shutter to block off the cab when needed.
Having looked at so many large overland campers, many of them are very tight for living space inside, fine in a hot climate, but I find it can get you down after a while.

The fixed bed idea is great, but I dont want the extra height of above cab style, or having to use a ladder to get in. although the idea of a large rear garage appeals to me, I know I will fill it up with crap I don`t really need.

Not wanting to have to shove a load of cushions about every night to make the bed is equally un apeeling IMG_1910[1].jpg IMG_1919[1].jpg
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The last photo, shows my answer to the bed problem!

Its a drop down bed!

In the day time it will be lifted by an electric motor up to roof height, high enough to walk under, and then in the evening lowered to a top of mattress height of 750 mm and will have a standard domestic mattress, so nice and comfortable, and you can leave the bed made up.

It lowers onto the area where the sofa`s are, so you have the benefit of a fixed double bed, without using up all the space or having a larger vehicle.

You can also stop the bed at half height if you want, that way it makes it 4 berth, with the sofa`s made up to a bed underneath.
There is a clever built in micro switch that you can set so that on pressing and holding the raise or lower button it will automatically stop at you preset positions.

It was a nightmare trying to obtain the bed, as it came from Italy and had to be made to my specification, (I don`t speak Italian!!)
It took six months before I received it. But it was well worth it.
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I have just taken the vehicle to check the weight! as I needed to know before continuing with the build.

The front axle is 2240 KGS rear axle 2860KGS giving a total of 5160 KGS

This is with me in it! the heating system fitted and full of coolant, half a tank of fuel, The bed, water tanks, cooker, fridge, microwave and one house battery, plus various other bits.

So I guess I am on target for a finished (target) weight of 6500 KGS leaving a margin of 1000 KGS

The material for the furniture is a light weight 15mm ply, it only weighs 23 kgs for a sheet 2400mm x 1200mm (8` x 4`)
and the doors are a light weight honeycomb structure, where the sizes are available.

The worktop surfaces are to be the same material, but with a Formica laminate, the main reason for this is because I want the sink to be inset below the top of the work surface, and also make a lift out sink cover giving a nice smooth appearance.

The fridge is a Webasto 12 - 24 volt compressor, with separate freezer compartment,

Cooker is standard gas motorhome style with a fan assisted oven, I would have liked one with the option of one electric hob ring, but could not find one we liked (or at a price we like)

The Microwave (may be a mistake!) it is a 240volt inverter style, complete with grill and a fan oven! seemed like a good idea at the time but it is big and power hungry, although 13 amps but 2500W so will require a large inverter.

When stopping on a commercial site with electric hook up at least I will get my money`s worth!!!

That`s the plan but we shall have to see how things transpire!!!
Vehicle import

As Nomad says, importing a vehicle is possible, but it's tricky as most of the government information is hopeless!

Having just got a number plate for my van, after 6 months of farting about I will add a bit of information which may help.
The form you need from customs and excise is 384 (not 109 as it says on the web site)
Call DVLA for an import pack, they will give you a Z number so you can apply for the IVA inspection, and you will need conformity statement from manufacturer.

HMRC are hopeless, so do it on line if you can. Mine was from outside EU, so they told me I could not do it online, but as I have an account I could have done, but found out too late.

The most important thing they told me (a day after I had sent all the forms) was that if I didn't have a receipt I could get a valuation from a local van dealer, that would have saved me lots of money!

Good luck!

My Van

Hi Nomad

What I have is an interesting question, on the side is a 614 sign, on the registration it says 814, but these are both vario which didn't come out until 1994, and mine was built in '92 and therefore a T2!


Bruce, The 6 part of the 614 relates to the gvw, so 6 tonne, as does the 8, the 14 part relates to the horse power with an 0 added so 140 bhp,
On the plating certificate it will have the maximum axle weights and the maximum gross vehicle weight, for UK use.
on the chassis/manufacturers plate it will have the maximum design weight,

That information will tell you what the van is! it may have been down plated so it can be driven on a different licence.

The other possibility relating to its age, is that it may be a private import! an easy way to find an approx build date, not registration date! is to have a look on the inside of various bits of trim (most are dated) with the manufacture date.

Nice looking van by the way.