Pre birth of a camper - No laughing!

Colonial Cousin

New member
Check the clutch

Having had a Mercedes 509 converted from a box goods vehicle, by removing the container, and then a purpose built horsebox, with living accommodation built onto the back, I would make sure that the complete clutch system was changed before venturing anywhere. That is speaking with the benefit of hindsight.

Best of liuck with the construction, and enjoy getting out an about.

Best wishes,



Hiya in the UK are a good source of a wide variety of plumbing and storage, and any marine chandlers will have loos. You could look at to get an idea of the proportion of campers in Europe using a cassette vs a black tank. You certainly can't use every facility with a black tank, as all are made for cassettes in the first place, some designs may allow for black tanks too perhaps by mistake rather than intention. A macerator is one way round that, as gravity, distance and maybe the recepticle being inside a building will be against your 3" pipe only.


Nigel Evans

Have you resolved conversion to single rear wheels?

I have a factory fit 4x4 814D panel van that I am in the process of converting. I’ve seen pictures on German sites and YouTube of vans fitted with 285/70R19.5 tyres all round. This seems an ideal setup but for the life of me I can’t find a supplier of 19.5 inch (presumably off-set) 6 stud rims.
Having chopped a few tops in my life (the last being a 35 ford 3 window coop) that would be super easy to shorten. It's all straight. Tack in two stabilizing frames, and cut. Then re-stitch. Cut behind the front b-pillar and in front of the back cab panel. Good prep, and it should be no problem. I'd leave a foot, and put a false panel in the old window frame. In cab storage is never enough.


Adventurer Wannabe
I have a factory fit 4x4 814D panel van that I am in the process of converting. I've seen pictures on German sites and YouTube of vans fitted with 285/70R19.5 tyres all round. This seems an ideal setup but for the life of me I can't find a supplier of 19.5 inch (presumably off-set) 6 stud rims.
Nigel - I have not bought the wheels yet but I have sourced them.
send an email to
Saying you want the MB 814 rims 19.5x8.25 /161/205/6holes/offset 118. €300 ex vat + some more to be powder coated.

See here for what the look like:

Nigel Evans

MB 814D 4x4 single wheel conversion - This is driving me absolutely nuts!
So now I’ve two quotes for the 19.5 wheels. The Dutch company are all up around £100 cheaper but they haven’t supplied any details on how they’ve overcome the track issue. Aspect Wheels have allowed for thickening and offsetting the wheel nave. I’d probably go with them if I could find the right tyre and decide on the off-set.
Tyres: As you’ve indicated this seems to come down to a choice between the Michelin XDE2+ which by all accounts is useless off-road or the Toyo M608Z which according to their data set is a highway tyre and presumably just as useless off-road. Also Toyo do not sell this tyre in the UK!
Both tyres have a diameter of 35.4” as compared to the OEM tyres at 31.4”.
Michelin XZY are available for the existing 17.5 rims and have a diameter of 33.75” unfortunately the load index of 129 when used as a single is not sufficient. However load index 127 as dual does work.
The next available XZY size is for 20” rims in size 9.00R20 they have a load index of 140 which works and a diameter of 40.86”. Is this much too big? If this would fit would the XZY2 12.00R20?
Sorry to go on but I’m not sure where to turn to for advice and I’m loath to spend several thousand and get it wrong.


Adventurer Wannabe
I know of at least 3 who have used the wheels I mentioned and at least 2 of the 3 have used the Toyota tyres.
1) the guys referenced in the link in my earlier post
2) the owner of twiga I emailed these guys but they were slow to respond. I suspect these guys may hev done the measurements
3) A guy I met at the Bad Kissingen expo a couple of months ago. I was able to inspect them on his van.

Let us know how you get on


I've been in contact with an Australian firm that organises guided bush visites and uses mitsubishi canters with a single wheel conversion. They prefer the Toyo Tyre M608 above the Michelin XZY, because off-road its capability is almost the same as de Michelin XZY, but they have much less punctured tyres with the M608. They have tested several brands and types on identical vehicels and now they only put the M608 on their canters (4x4). That was our main motivation to put those tyres on our vario.

Here you can see an other vario with those tyres off-road:


Adventurer Wannabe
Impressive. Although I think my overhang will preclude such antics.

I'm pretty sure that's the guy I met at th Bad Kissingen Expo. Well to be honest I flagged him down on the motorway leaving B K to speak to him. I think he thought I was a bit nuts!


Ok I know it's slightly more complicated than just bolting on an aftermarket wheel onto an axle that was never designed to be loaded that way, but I've always thought that the 814 van would sit so nicely on the axles from a MAN 8-136.
Same weight, engine power; bigger wheels and tyres more easily available with the ratios and components designed for them and single rear wheel from the start.
The main reason I shied away from the Vario 4x4 was the tyre and ground pressure, and the limited choice of tyres, most of which are road tyres.