Meet My New Van; A Nissan NV200

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Yep, that’s right, I have a new van!

Meet the Nissan NV200, a 1.5 turbo diesel van. So, I’m sure you’re wondering why this van and not the Combo/Doblo that I was looking at? Well, I had to pay a bit extra but that’s given a much, much better van and the perfect size with over 6ft loading space and being that it’s about the same width as a car, it feels no different to drive other than the jacked up suspension. It also has features such as a modern dashboard system, Bluetooth, reversing camera (this is brilliant), great MPGs and a sweet engine that I actually enjoy driving. There are also a large collection of conversion guides, forum posts and videos which, as this is my first proper DIY project, will make the build much easier on my brain.

I’ve slept in the back a few times now but, before I did that, I had to make it feel a bit more like home with some leftover carpet 🙂

So, What’s The Plan?

I want to keep the build relatively simple without any fancy electrics or carpentry as I’ll be doing most of it myself. This is my thoughts so far with estimated costs:

  • Fit sliding door windows with privacy glass – £370 + VAT
  • Sound deadening
  • Insulated cavities, flooring and roof
  • Ply lined, I do already have panels but I may look at redoing them all, especially the flooring
  • Carpeted
  • Vinyl Flooring
    • Not decided yet, but I guess no more than £100
  • 12v Leisure Battery Electrics
    • I’ll be buying a pre-made 12v & 240v electrical kit that’s already had the technical bits figured out with split charger, inlet socket, control panel and LED downlights.
    • Rayne Automotive Electric Kit – £372 (Reduced cost without 240v is £290)
  • Build a fixed bed that can be pulled out to make a small double (max 1m width) and ability to lift up for storage and/or doors to access underneath
    • Not sure on the cost of this yet, I would hope no more than £50
  • Build a small kitchen unit with a sink and single hob. Maybe a pull out drawer then space for the fresh/waste water containers and a small gas canister below.

Once all this is done, the base of the van is completed. I want to add a passenger swivel seat in the future and a heater (probably diesel-based) would be ideal but I want to get the essentials done first and then add the rest later. Who knows that might change!

What Are My Next Steps?

Well, the very first step is already completed and that was to fit some windows (thanks to Express Window Screens in Bristol). I’ve opted for only two privacy glass sliding door windows with one that opens for Kesha. I did debate fitting windows elsewhere such as the rear barn doors but that will get expensive and I don’t really need them as I have the reversing camera which works a treat.

Here’s what I’m working on now:

  • Since removing the ply panels, the wheel arch boxes had a single screw directly into the metal and now shows a hole. I’ve done some research and have decided to use David Isopon’s P40 fibreglass solution to repair it. I’ll then touch up the outside paintwork with some black Hammerite
  • There’s two circular rust rings on the outside of the roof, not sure how they got there but I will be rubbing down with emery cloth to remove the rust, apply some Kurust or primer and paint over with white Hammerite
  • Insulate the van
  • Stick the sound deadening material
  • Fit a new floor using 12mm ply and battens in between the furrows of the van

I’ve already started most of this and it’s been a great learning curve so far. Now you’d have thought removing trim clips would’ve been easy right? Well, I had to get myself a special tool for the job and even then, one little bugger of a trim clip decided to snap on me and find it’s way deep in the cavity of a sliding door. That now leaves a lovely little ring as it’s slammed shut! Here’s a picture of me trying to remove said broken trim clip.

I’ll make sure to post another update in a few weeks 🙂

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Wai Tsang
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Wai Tsang

Looks great Peter, should be a nice camper once you’re done. Here are a couple of ideas that may help. Fit the stoves cooker to back door. This serves a few purposes. If you need the extra space you can open the doors and said stoves will be out of the way. Also if the cooking goes wrong and it catches fire you can imediately open the doors and the fire should be out of the van itself. If you buy the right kind of stoves you can probably make them fold up when not in use. Fit a metal… Read more »

Marie
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Marie

Looking good. I’m in the middle of converting the electric version. Amazing little vans. Make sure you don’t fill the sliding door cavities with the fibre insulation – they are designed to let water through from the lock and there are drainage holes at the bottom.