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Inferiority of conversions

P

PatD

Messages
2
Its a great question. I can compare my T5 Cali (owned for 7 years) with my T4 Bilbo Conversion (owned for 10 years before that). I looked at a really wide range of conversions before settling on the Bilbo. The quality of the Bilbo, matched or exceeded any of the others and the layout worked for us. I considered another Bilbo but found that the prices were not much less than the Cali. The Cali scored on spec and the brilliant integrated design, which no after-market conversion can match. After 7 years in the Cali, I can confidently say the quality of the build stands the test of time better than the Bilbo did.
 
Norfolk Jim

Norfolk Jim

Messages
40
Location
Norfolk
Vehicle
N/A
I have had a T5 conversion for the last 5 years. It is 2007 T5 T28 84hp (now 104) 5 speed original van converted by an established company called Leisuredrive in Bolton. I bought off the chap who had the conversion done - he was ex military logistics so van was spotless and set me back £20k. It is very well put together and I'd say still looks same as day it was converted with everything working as it should. It has manual side lifting roof which does give good height all along van and an upper bed for an adult or two children. We have twin SMEV gas hob and sink with pumped cold water, we have SMEV oven and grill which was rare hen looking but to be honest have hardly used. The fridge is dometic 3 way - 12V, 240v and gas so don't need hook up. It has electric heater under passenger seat obv only works on hook up but hardly ever used it apart from son camping in -5 deg last year. Very comfortable bed but bit of a pain to set-up involving 4 cushions but enough space in front for our labrador to sleep in. Lots of storage space including easy access for porta potti. No A/C, no electric windows or mirrors. I have fitted reversing sensors (essential), Westafalia towbar for our Atara Strada cycle carrier. I also changed very basic radio for an excellent android DAB radio/Sat Nav system. 64k miles and it's been right down to Naples but spends 2 weeks in May and 2 weeks in Sept in Scotland! It does drive very well and averages mid to high 30's mpg but..........as said on here there's carpet up the sides (yes well fitted), no double glazing and it only has one battery for everything (replaced last month £250) but that has never let us down when off the grid..... Yes we really like it but it drives and rides like a van and can be noisy at times (probably due to lack of sound deadening like combi's have). It has served us well but now getting towards retirement it would be nice to get more use which I think a Cali would give (less faffing around with bed and ability for both to sleep up top so dog has space downstairs. I would also enjoy the better drive and travel comfort of a Cali. Don't get me wrong this conversion is good compared to what I still have seen and Leisuredrive say it is still worth what I bought it for. When we are back from hols I will be carrying on my search for my ideal spec and colour Cali and some nice ones coming up in here at the moment - my twopence-worth - oh lastly a Cali is quite a lot cheaper to insure than our conversion and I can only assume it is because it is a known identity where as heaven forbid having accident in conversion how could they assess repairs to the habitation side??
 
Bellcrew

Bellcrew

VIP Member
Messages
840
Location
Lymington
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 150
Diesel hobs don't seem to be a problem for registration, despite that particular wording. I opted for a Wallas diesel hob/heater in my Jerba Sanna, which was registered from new in July 2018 with Body Type "Motor Caravan".

I suppose it's possible that there may be some difference in treatment between a campervan like the Jerba, manufactured new as a 2-stage build with Full Type Approval (my V5c has the Model as VW Jerba Sanna, no mention of anywhere of Transporter) vs a one-off after-market conversion, but I can't really see why. And of course with the current situation regarding vans being classed as MPVs or Van with Side Windows, the type of hob seems to be the least of folk's problems!
I presume your Sanna did not incur the extra taxes imposed for vehicles costing over £40000, an advantage to be lost on Sunday?
 
M

MattC

Messages
14
Location
N Wales
Vehicle
N/A
I presume your Sanna did not incur the extra taxes imposed for vehicles costing over £40000, an advantage to be lost on Sunday?
@Bellcrew, yes, that was the position last summer. I believe it's been a by-product of the 2-stage manufacturing process that for some reason only the cost of the underlying base vehicle is considered towards the £40k threshold. I can understand if that's being changed now - for me it was a fortunate bonus of our choice, but I think I'd still have made the same van choice even under the new regs.

The other aspect of the 2-stage build and VED is that as a Motor Caravan the vehicle would come under car VED rates, based on emissions bands. But for that to be the case the emissions have to be known. Obviously a major manufacturer like VW performs the tests to determine those figures for vehicles like the Cali or the other versions of T6. But then the second stage build with its change of roof, interior fittings etc. alters the emissions. Until now a converter like Jerba with Small Series Type Approval for their models hasn't had to undertake the emissions tests - I don't know if that's changing now (anybody?) - But the consequence of the unknown emissions value has been that the vehicle gets put in the Taxation Class of Private Light Goods with its flat rate of (this year) £265.
 

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