The Van

We often get remarks and questions on our camper – in particular here in Denmark where old campervans are not too much around. Have a read about the van, why we chose it, advantages and disadvantages.

Being a first time camper, we wanted to try out the life style out without throwing in big money. Here in Denmark, with world record tax on cars, that meant that the options were rather limited. For around 8-10.000 euro we could have bought a +15 years old van to be converted as a bigger DIY project. Alternatively, we could have bought a VW transporter either as an old classic (low tax) or newer camper conversion type. Finally, there was the +20 years campervan option which we went for as it allready has all the equipment built-in but is still quite compact which was a preference as it would also be our primary car for occasional transportation. These campervan cars are quite rare here in Denmark but does come for sale once in a while.

Buying the campervan happened quite spontaneously returning from a work trip. I literally saw the sale add the day before, jump off the train, bought the car, got the paper work fixed and drove it 300 km back home! Yes, it was quite a surprise for my wife when I parked it add the street in central Copenhagen in front of our flat! And yes, buying it spontaniously after a quick test drive as well as inspecting it late the evening with a flashlight was probably not the wisest… However we never regretted the buy despite a few surprices along the way.

The car we bought is a Citroen C25 from 1994 (also goes under the name Talbot Express more commonly in UK). It can just fit in two people (and with some effort a baby as well), has full standing height, a functional kitchen, fridge, warm/ cold tab water, cabin gas heater and a toilet. The van came with all the original papers, DIY repair booklet, full documentation of historic repairs and had for most part been serviced quite well. It had had two owners previous to us and had only gone 100.000 km.

While the car was in decent shape then I’ve spent numerous hours fixing, improving and learning the van to know. A couple of problems has caused some frustrations but for the most part I have enjoyed the process of fixing and improving it. The campervan gear installed includes:

  • GPS tracker (while I don’t really expect anyone to steal this 25 years old car then in case it should happen, I would easily be able to find it again!)
  • 220v inverter
  • Parking sensor (probably one of the only 25 years old van with parking sensor around….)
  • Rear camera
  • Water tankel level indicator
  • Waste water tank top indicator
  • Various remote display thermometer for improved control of the gas-cooled fridge
  • Remote control of waste water tank valve
  • Gas-level meter
  • Flexible roof mouted solar panel

On the problems experienced along the way, we can mention:

  • Fridge not cooling sufficiently
  • Leak in exhaust manifold
  • Gas cabin heater (Truma E1800) not working on low heat
  • Change-out of top window
  • Rust around windscreen
  • Rusty side panels
  • Alternator not charging

Stay tuned, I’ll be writing up posts on why I choose to install certain camping gear as well as how I solved above problems.

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