We all need projects, I think it is what keeps us sane and ambitious. And I think it is more important that the projects are not just achievable but something we can get excited about. Early this year I decided it had been long enough, I was getting a van. I have wanted a van for some time now, but keep putting it off. I trawled the internet, through eBay and other sites to find my potential love. I wanted something that needed some form of renovation with good miles on it. I found the good old Volkswagen an extremely popular choice, and I know getting parts for these isn’t hard. But every Tom, Dick and Harry has got one. I wanted to be a little different, so I was set on the Mercedes Vito.
Annoyingly I found an attractive vehicle up in Glasgow, it was a VW T4, it looked in good nick, but with potential to make it my own. I arranged to go see it, and was ready for my project to begin. But as luck would have it, a Mercedes Vito became available in Thirsk, only a stones throw away. 88,000 on the clock and various issues cosmetically, I could not only get a lot more miles out of it, but I could seriously make it my own. I headed up with my Step Father, to go check it out. I could see the rust, and I could see the issues, it is definitely a project. I could maybe learn a little about vehicle maintenance along the way. Sold, I was smitten, I headed back feeling like something wasn’t quite right, but I knew just the man to give it a check for me.
Mechanically I am inept
PR Autos in Crosshills is brilliant, Ian is guaranteed to be honest and fair with anything he finds, and I knew he would probably look at it and think, ‘why did you buy this?’. Since, I also want to get a bed settee in the back, I got this quoted alongside the pop top roof I want in the long term as well. This vehicle is going to do some mileage, and I need it to be comfortable. I would definitely like it to be a camper van that I can use throughout my children’s younger years’, so there is some significant mileage in that already.
Cosmetically and general fixing is my thing
I have started to buy everything I need to get the van looking a little less dishevelled. I have replaced a rear light case, replaced the two front lights which had some random damage on them, replaced the check strap on the drivers side door, fitted a new and more appropriate car stereo. I also replaced the drivers side mirror after I broke it reversing out of a garage. What a plank. Anyway, next I need to get in to the wiring, replacing the existing wiring. This includes, new lights in the back, USB sockets, housings for my speakers and an inverter with plug socket. I am not sure what else to wire in, but that should be enough for the moment.
Body work and colour
One of the previous owners did a lot of their own fixes I believe, and it definitely shows how naff they were. There is distinct inability to spray the body work only, but a bit of everything, including light cases and sliding mechanisms to name a few. I am going to clean these off and have the body work seen to properly as there are a few dents. I would love to have it body wrapped at one point, with my company details on, but as that is still in the pipeline, I have to hold off for now. Instead I will just have to get the vehicle touched up and the rust cleaned off. There is also some cracked plastic body work, which I would like to replace myself as it is fairly straight forward and relatively inexpensive thanks to the world of eBay and online shopping.
I will keep regular major updates on here as they happen, as I feel this could germinate in to quite a unique way of travel for me. Something I am not used to, but could easily get in to. I have already done a road trip over a weekend with my daughter. This included heading to Warwick Castle, Stone Henge and then Chester Zoo. Stayed one night in the camper and another in a B&B. It was great and we got loads out of it. Dora wanted to make the beds, have a hot chocolate, etc. I think she got in to it more than me. Awesome.