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Was just wondering how people decided on the age of the vehicle to base a camper conversion on. I see lots of 2003-2008 used but am wondering about paying £6000-£8000 for the car then adding £15000 worth of upgrade for conversion. Wouldn't it be better to pay a bit more for a newer base of say 2010-2011 which might cost as much as the conversion itself.

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2 hours ago, stuartmc said:

Was just wondering how people decided on the age of the vehicle to base a camper conversion on. I see lots of 2003-2008 used but am wondering about paying £6000-£8000 for the car then adding £15000 worth of upgrade for conversion. Wouldn't it be better to pay a bit more for a newer base of say 2010-2011 which might cost as much as the conversion itself.

Some of the newer bases have fixed pilot seats in the rear that are a pain to get out. The gen 1s are more common and easier to convert. you could always go for a later model gen 1. The 2s do have more features, but you could get a fully spec'd out 08 gen 1 for the same price as a base model 2010 gen 2

 

Hope this helps in some way

 

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Hi Stuart,

 

Like all things, It's a matter of risk versus pocket !

 

I have a converted late Gen 1, but I believe the cost of conversion is much the same independent of Gen; albeit not the cost of the base vehicle.

 

As Charlie, and others, say, some of the later models are not quite as simple to convert.

 

Depending on your conversion, rear or side, you do not have to pay £15k; especially if you forgo a pop top.

 

As ever, quality of conversion tends to significantly impact cost.

Convertors need to make a profit and, the dreaded, VAT has to be paid.

 

The 2008 and later models are becoming more common now.

They have more gears and I assume more efficient engines,  resulting in better fuel economy.

Some owners convert to supplementary LPG, but availability of gas (currently) can be an issue in some parts of the UK.

 

There are plenty of variables to consider as all current owners have done.

 

Shop around at the experienced dealers / importers.

Due to the increasing popularity of these vehicles there is, in my opinion, an increasing number of opportunist sellers who may not have a satisfactory track record with Alphies, especially the later models.

 

As you have already realised owning a converted Alphie is not cheap; but then nor is a VW California !

 

What we Alphie owners can assure you is you won't be disappointed.

There are not many MPV limousines available at affordable prices.

 

Good Luck, let us all know how you progress,

 

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I was asking myself similar question last year and decided that 20series for conversion is not a great deal anymore.

 

For the price of 20series + full conversion you can get converted T6. You will also pay a bit more for converting 20series than 10. 

 

Decided on getting high grade as a solid base 10 series after facelift 2005-2008.

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1 hour ago, nov said:

I was asking myself similar question last year and decided that 20series for conversion is not a great deal anymore.

 

For the price of 20series + full conversion you can get converted T6. You will also pay a bit more for converting 20series than 10. 

 

Decided on getting high grade as a solid base 10 series after facelift 2005-2008.

 

That's what I have, Nov, and, I believe the 5 speed makes a big difference to fuel consumption and comfort on motorways.

 

Good luck Stuart, there are plenty to choose from although the Gen 1 will start to become less available for import.

The 10 year rule puts the Gen 2 firmly in the lead now.

 

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We prefer the look of the Vellfire and looking for a 3.5 4wd so after 2008 anyway but definitely appreciate all the comments. It's a retirement present so going to have to last as long as we are able to use it, hence the thinking the later the better. Finding a rust free 3.5 4wd proving a challenge but not in a rush so can wait till the right one comes along. Need a 4WD for some of the places we visit in Spain, had to get a tractor to drag out the hire car before. 

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22 hours ago, stuartmc said:

We prefer the look of the Vellfire and looking for a 3.5 4wd so after 2008 anyway but definitely appreciate all the comments. It's a retirement present so going to have to last as long as we are able to use it, hence the thinking the later the better. Finding a rust free 3.5 4wd proving a challenge but not in a rush so can wait till the right one comes along. Need a 4WD for some of the places we visit in Spain, had to get a tractor to drag out the hire car before. 

 

Try https://www.ssautos.co.uk/

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23 hours ago, stuartmc said:

We prefer the look of the Vellfire and looking for a 3.5 4wd so after 2008 anyway but definitely appreciate all the comments. It's a retirement present so going to have to last as long as we are able to use it, hence the thinking the later the better. Finding a rust free 3.5 4wd proving a challenge but not in a rush so can wait till the right one comes along. Need a 4WD for some of the places we visit in Spain, had to get a tractor to drag out the hire car before. 

 

Don't forget your Vellfire will probably weigh twice what your hire car did !

I am aware of the company above, and , in my opinion, they offer good vehicles.

They have been quick and courteous in answering my enquiries, although I have not bought from them.

Just one last point, Alphies and Vellfires are limousines, not off roaders and the lowered ones don't have much ground clearance.

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Definitely not looking for an off-roader, the limo-like cruise down to Spain is the most important. Yes will need to be normal ground clearance not lowered. We have a made up track to negotiate. All it takes is a rainstorm and the top layer turns muddy so 4WD will pull through this no problem.

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I am in the process of having my 2007 Gen 1 converted. The converter I have chosen has undertaken numerous conversions of Alphards and at a recent visit to his workshop he told me that a Vellfire he is converting is a nightmare because of all the airbags. Don’t know enough personally to make any comment about what he has said but it might be something to think about?

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3 hours ago, stuartmc said:

Definitely not looking for an off-roader, the limo-like cruise down to Spain is the most important. Yes will need to be normal ground clearance not lowered. We have a made up track to negotiate. All it takes is a rainstorm and the top layer turns muddy so 4WD will pull through this no problem.

 

I had a villa en Espana (Murcia) for 15 years but nada mas, so I know what it's like when the Heavens open !

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5 hours ago, Phil59 said:

I am in the process of having my 2007 Gen 1 converted. The converter I have chosen has undertaken numerous conversions of Alphards and at a recent visit to his workshop he told me that a Vellfire he is converting is a nightmare because of all the airbags. Don’t know enough personally to make any comment about what he has said but it might be something to think about?

 

This doesn't surprise me, or some of our colleague members.

As vehicles become ever more safe, they become ever more complex.

 

Certainly, on my conversion, both the floor and the roof trim panel were removed.

There's lots of wiring.

 

I may remember incorrectly, I think it was Chris.as (forgive me if this is the incorrect credit), who highlighted the fact that the later models have side curtain airbags.

Anything that obstructs their operation could be dangerous, and if not that, possibly something the MOT Inspectors become increasingly interested in !

If this is the case, side conversions may be affected.

 

 

 

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Yep, side curtains running the length of both sides, also an additional 4 (i think) shock sensors mounted in centre and rear of car to assess impact velocity to trigger bags.

I imagine a smack hard enough to trigger the side bags would probably write off the vehicle anyway, but you will probably get shards of furniture flying about dependant on the quality of the install.

 

I imagine the conversion costs would have to take this in to account, to remove the bags and deactivate them from the system, probably would need to downgrade the SRS ECM to prevent it whining about the missing bags, and activating the warning indicator on dash.

 

I think you'd have to really love the facelift and some of the modern electronics to make the 20series worthwhile.

 

For me, the occasional rollmat if I need to catch some zzzz in the alphard is sufficient.

 

 

 

 

 

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