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Re-registering a Campervan Conversion

Postby alanbirt » Fri Feb 19, 2010 4:38 pm

Yes, I know all about "Bonzo's" problems with DVLA. I pursued that particular matter for over a year but made little progress.

DVLA issues a detailed set of rules which cover an A4 sheet and relate to what is and what is not considered to be a motorhome. There are numerous requirements and conditions, some of which are:

1 The cooker must have two or more cooking rings [mine has only one, so my vehicle is not eligible on that basis alone]

2 There must be a firmly-fixed table for eating, although this can be foldable or detachable when not in use.

3 There must be fixed seating for use at the table

4 The fitments for the conversion - cupboards, sink, cooker and storage units, etc - must be firmly fixed and not be easily removable (in other words, you must not be able to re-convert it speedily and easily back to a load-carrying vehicle by just unclipping the fitments)

5 The sleeping facility, whilst this may be used as bench-seating during the day, must be firmly fixed to the floor or side of the vehicle (so you cannot use the ordinary passenger-seats folded down flat with extra cushions)

6 etc, etc, etc.

Eventually I realised that there are advantages in NOT having it re-registered as a motorhome. For example, I would have to pay more for my annual road-tax and there would be other legal restrictions. My vehicle is now registered as having one seat only (the driver), and remains as a 'light goods vehicle' but with the endorsement of "specially-fitted van" [DVLA vehicle-body code: 48]. This gives me several benefits, for example:

a. In towns that have them, I can use the 'goods vehicles only' lanes.

b. On the Lincolnshire coast, and probably elsewhere, there are roads which lead to the beach but have a "No Motorhomes" ban - so that does not apply to me !

c. Some seaside towns have a "No Motorhomes" parking ban on the promenade - so that does not apply to me either !

d. On cross-channel ferries, both to Ireland and to the Continent, I pay the lowest rate: motorhomes are charged a premium, which sometimes doubles the cost.

e. There are various other advantages, too.

Occasionally there have been quibbles over my claiming of these benefits. However, production of my V5 document, which I keep securely in the vehicle, soon settles the dispute: my vehicle is not officially or legally regarded as a motorhome (even though it may look like a small version of one).

So, I suggest to 'Bonzo' that he doesn't bother to re-register his Carry. There are so many advantages in not doing so. But, in any case, the small size of the Carry is such that I cannot see how one could possibly incorporate all the requirements to satisfy the DVLA Motorhome regulations anyway. Nonetheless, my single-berth campervan is more than adequate for my needs although having the Carry as a two-berth, which some campervan-converters did offer, must be very cramped indeed.
Sqn Ldr Alan Birt [War-Disabled ex-Serviceman]
Owner of two Suzukis: a Celerio [16 reg]
and a Carry campervan [55 reg]; formerly
the owner of a Wagon R+ [52 reg]
alanbirt
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My thanks for help

Postby bonzo » Fri Aug 27, 2010 9:24 am

I want to say how useful I have found the notes on this forum about converting my Carry into a campervan. The information given by alanbirt has been of immense help. His patient replies to my many personal messages with queries have been of great assistance to me. The information posted by steamerdave and others has also been so useful. I am sure many other forum members will support this vote of thanks.

This is what the forum should be all about and not silly comments or a quiz about what somebody does for his job.

My grateful thanks to you all for being so helpful. The very high score of 39969 hits shows how useful others have found this information to be.

Bonzo
A happy Carry campervan owner
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Re: My thanks for help

Postby brunel » Sat Sep 04, 2010 12:48 am

[quote="bonzo"]
This is what the forum should be all about and not silly comments or a quiz about what somebody does for his job.
[/quote]

Just now and again we need to step back and look at the bright side of life.
A little light relief like a quiz or a poll does no harm,unless people want to make an issue out of it.{Let he who is amongst you without sin cast the first stone}
We must as I do value all contributions to this forum.
Best wishes to all.
Owner of {my present fleet of vehicles}.
Wagon R.2007,{from new}
Sc 100{whizz kid].1979.
Carry van.2001.
Grand Vitara X-EC
Jaguar xj6.1975,{which does not belong on this forum}
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Interesting Carry living van conversion

Postby bonzo » Mon Sep 13, 2010 7:53 am

In order to bring this back on the clearly stated title of Suzuki Carry Conversions and not frivolous comments, I am wondering if anyone else has seen, or knows anything about, the Carry living van which I saw recently. Unfortunately it was going on the other side of a dual carriageway and by the time I had turned to follow, it had reached a five-way roundabout and I could not see which road it had taken.

The Carry was of the pickup model but had been converted by putting a wooden shed on the back. I even noticed a stove chimney poking out of the roof. The shed had windows with curtains and the roof was covered with what seemed like plastic tiles of a terracotta colour; quite a good imitation of the real thing. It did look like a tiny cottage on wheels. Does anyone know anything about this?
Bonzo
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Converted Carry Pick-up

Postby alanbirt » Sun Apr 24, 2011 11:04 am

The living van seen by 'bonzo' and reported in the previous posting certainly sounds to be an interesting vehicle. I wonder in which category it is recorded on the DVLA V5C form. In view of the stringent conditions applied by DVLA to such conversions, it would be of interest to know more about this Carry and its approval by DVLA. But perhaps DVLA doesn't know about it - it may still be recorded officially as just a Carry pick-up.

I wonder if his insurance company is also aware of the conversion. This could cause problems later if the underwriters think they have insured only an ordinary pick-up vehicle and not one with a large load permanently attached to it.
Sqn Ldr Alan Birt [War-Disabled ex-Serviceman]
Owner of two Suzukis: a Celerio [16 reg]
and a Carry campervan [55 reg]; formerly
the owner of a Wagon R+ [52 reg]
alanbirt
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Posts: 1156
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Location: East Anglia

Postby Avalon » Sun May 29, 2011 10:32 am

right , here I am just setting off on a day of looking at Carry Van
for sale. The big question is how easy is it to find a windw fitter to install a couple of side windows and what type of money would I pay for something basic.
I'm trying to off set the cost of buying an expensive van with windows installed with a cheaper identical one in standard condition.
Warning ; Governments can seriously damage your health.
I love my country but loath my government
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Side Windows

Postby alanbirt » Sun May 29, 2011 12:04 pm

Most windscreen replacement firms will also fit other windows to vehicles. I've no idea of the price they charge but shop around. "steamydave" on this forum might be able to give you some idea of a price - I believe he found a local firm in Ipswich to fit windows to his Carry
Sqn Ldr Alan Birt [War-Disabled ex-Serviceman]
Owner of two Suzukis: a Celerio [16 reg]
and a Carry campervan [55 reg]; formerly
the owner of a Wagon R+ [52 reg]
alanbirt
Awesome
 
Posts: 1156
Joined: Thu Feb 15, 2007 5:47 pm
Location: East Anglia

Postby steamydave » Sun May 29, 2011 6:10 pm

Hi,

My windows were installed by "Car Glass & Trim", West End Road, Ipswich, Suffolk. IP1 2DZ
Telephone 01473 214611. They might be able to give you some idea of price. I would guess it came out to about £75 +VAT for the simplest fixed window. Opening ones were about £95+vat extra (as far as I can work out from the quote I had). I then had a sunroof installed as well - £180+vat inc labour. The whole lot for me (1 of each) came to over £450 - but at the time I had spare cash to burn!!!

Some people have installed the windows themselves. I Think you can get the glass cut to size and shape, buy the rubber - then hack the sides out of your van with a jigsaw!!! Good luck!!!

Dave
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Postby brunel » Sun May 29, 2011 6:19 pm

I would tend to steer clear of windscreen replacement firms!!{no names no pack drill}
"steamydave"seems to have got a bargain,and Ipswich is not that far away.

Regards.
Owner of {my present fleet of vehicles}.
Wagon R.2007,{from new}
Sc 100{whizz kid].1979.
Carry van.2001.
Grand Vitara X-EC
Jaguar xj6.1975,{which does not belong on this forum}
brunel
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Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2009 12:13 am
Location: Uxbridge,Middx.

Fitting windows to a Carry van

Postby alanbirt » Sun May 29, 2011 6:44 pm

[quote="steamydave"]Some people have installed the windows themselves. I think you can get the glass cut to size and shape, buy the rubber - then hack the sides out of your van with a jigsaw!!! Good luck!![/quote]

Windows for the Carry, with fitting-kit and full instructions, for self-fitting or by employing a local person, can be obtained from:-

http://www.leisurevehiclewindows.co.uk/

That firm supplied my side windows but they were fitted by 'Drivelodge' who converted my vehicle. At least two members of this forum have themselves fitted the windows from this firm . They are "Chills" and "keefe" and they have given full details of their experiences in doing this task elsewhere on this forum. IT IS NOT A JOB FOR THE FAINT-HEARTED. I certainly wouldn't tackle it. However, it may be useful information just to look at their website.
Sqn Ldr Alan Birt [War-Disabled ex-Serviceman]
Owner of two Suzukis: a Celerio [16 reg]
and a Carry campervan [55 reg]; formerly
the owner of a Wagon R+ [52 reg]
alanbirt
Awesome
 
Posts: 1156
Joined: Thu Feb 15, 2007 5:47 pm
Location: East Anglia

Postby brunel » Sun May 29, 2011 6:58 pm

Side windows,leave it to the experts simple as that.
Worth the extra you pay rather than end in tears.
Should you decide to go down the diy road use a plasma cutter rather than a jigsaw.
Owner of {my present fleet of vehicles}.
Wagon R.2007,{from new}
Sc 100{whizz kid].1979.
Carry van.2001.
Grand Vitara X-EC
Jaguar xj6.1975,{which does not belong on this forum}
brunel
Addicted
 
Posts: 307
Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2009 12:13 am
Location: Uxbridge,Middx.

Fitting side windows to the Carry

Postby alanbirt » Mon May 30, 2011 6:16 am

I fully agree with "brunel's" observation. A slip when cutting the hole can ruin the whole job, or damage one's fingers. The task of installing the rubber seal surround, which seems a simple job, ain't as easy as it appears. Cut it too short and again the job is ruined; have it slightly too long and it just won't fit but getting it to exactly the correct length before starting is well-nigh impossible.

It's a horrendous task to take on as an amateur even though the supplied instructions make it seem to be a 'doddle'.
Sqn Ldr Alan Birt [War-Disabled ex-Serviceman]
Owner of two Suzukis: a Celerio [16 reg]
and a Carry campervan [55 reg]; formerly
the owner of a Wagon R+ [52 reg]
alanbirt
Awesome
 
Posts: 1156
Joined: Thu Feb 15, 2007 5:47 pm
Location: East Anglia

Tiny stove for a Suzuki Carry living-van

Postby alanbirt » Mon Oct 31, 2011 9:14 am

In a posting by 'bonzo', about the tenth above this one, mention is made of a wooden living-van built upon a Suzuki Carry truck.

He mentions that a stove-pipe chimney was seen poking out of the roof. For some time I have been puzzled by this. Even the smallest wood-burning stove normally available from stove suppliers would seem to be far too big for the purpose. The flue would be too large, also. However, I've discovered the maker of a tiny wood-burning stove which measures just 14 inches high and under 9 inches in width ! The flue-pipe is only 4 inches diameter. Besides heating a living-van, it is also possible to do simple cooking on it. I find it quite fascinating that such a tiny stove is available. This is probably what was fitted in the vehicle which 'bonzo' observed.

For further details, see the "Wendy" model on the page at this link:-

http://www.windysmithy.co.uk/html/woodburners.htm
Sqn Ldr Alan Birt [War-Disabled ex-Serviceman]
Owner of two Suzukis: a Celerio [16 reg]
and a Carry campervan [55 reg]; formerly
the owner of a Wagon R+ [52 reg]
alanbirt
Awesome
 
Posts: 1156
Joined: Thu Feb 15, 2007 5:47 pm
Location: East Anglia

Postby Avalon » Mon Oct 31, 2011 10:11 am

I've not replied fr several month sdue to the fact i think I would of disappointed al of you who have been so helpful.
I've b ought a Fiat Ulysse. THe seat are easy to take out making a good sleeping area that can be reversed to a people carrier at the end of Autumn. Ive also had the windows dark tinted so I only have to block out the light from the front windows. A bonus to me is that its diesel and big enough to take all the crap my mrs brings with us when we go away.
Warning ; Governments can seriously damage your health.
I love my country but loath my government
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Re: Suzuki Carry Conversions

Postby alanbirt » Tue Jan 10, 2012 11:22 am

[quote="Avalon"] I've bought a Fiat Ulysse. [/quote]

Oh Dear ! A FIAT !

The opinion of many people who have owned a Fiat vehicle in the UK is "Never Again". The rust problem manifests itself quite early. Certainly my late dearly-beloved wife's Fiat suffered this malady. There is a Fiat car in my local area with a large notice displayed in its back window commenting on this phenomenon and with the slogan "Never again will I buy a Fiat".

I think the problem is our salted roads in winter. I've just returned from two weeks holiday in Sicily and noticed some quite old Fiats but with no apparent rust problems. The weather there doesn't require the roads to be treated and so I suppose the Italian cars are not rust-proofed - there's no need to go to the extra expense if it is not necessary. And the production-line won't be set up to especially rust-proof those cars due to be exported to the UK.

Just remember the saga some twenty years ago about the immense rust problem with the 'Lancia Beta' car (another Italian production). This was especially so with the front brackets holding the engine in place: it was often reported the engine had 'fallen out' whilst driving along ! The result was that no one in this country would thereafter buy a Lancia car and so Lancia retired from the British market, beaten by the rust malady. (What a pity - the Lancia 'Lamda' was a very attractive vehicle.)

On the other hand, my Suzuki Carry - now in its seventh year - shows no evidence of rust whatsoever !
Sqn Ldr Alan Birt [War-Disabled ex-Serviceman]
Owner of two Suzukis: a Celerio [16 reg]
and a Carry campervan [55 reg]; formerly
the owner of a Wagon R+ [52 reg]
alanbirt
Awesome
 
Posts: 1156
Joined: Thu Feb 15, 2007 5:47 pm
Location: East Anglia

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