Motorhome self builder - how involved?
A self-builder’s personal involvement depends on his or her skills. For instance, some people do no more than ‘project manage’ the construction work without lifting a hammer themselves. Experts are brought in to complete all the jobs. At the other extreme, a few determined constructors try to do everything themselves – an approach that can lead to problems. Admittedly some people possess a wide range of skills but few are capable of achieving excellence in every single operation. What’s more, tasks like installing a gas supply system should never be tackled by inexperienced, unqualified amateur builders.
Given these extremes in ‘hands-on’ involvement, a DIY panel van converter must decide on their personal strategy. Once that point is clear, obtaining a base vehicle marks the start of the project.
If you’re worried about picking a good second-hand vehicle, specialists like Middlesex Motorcaravans and Young Conversions are often able to help. Small-scale manufacturers like these know what to look for and when they find a model for sale, prospective clients are then advised to get it checked by an independent auto engineer. In addition, the credentials of a vehicle can be verified by getting HPi to check its history. Yet another confirmation of its provenance is whether it’s being sold with a full service history – so ask for copies of invoices to prove what’s been done.
Most self builders start with a pre-owned van and few experience problems; others, however, buy a vehicle’s that new.
Prices of new vehicles are ever-more competitive, and a few self-builders order a brand new model. Then, if they’re worried by the prospect of undertaking radical modifications, there are small-scale specialists like Rainbow Conversions, Middlesex MC, and Young Conversions who can undertake part-build projects for clients – provided they’re booked in advance. For example, these specialists will undertake more exacting jobs like fitting windows or installing a high top roof.