The Plan

The plan is to build a Self Build Motorhome for getting away as often as possible and that can also be used as a mobile office so I can work from the beach instead of the office.

We have had motorhomes for years ranging from a big A-Class Pilote, to an Adria Twin, to our first attempt as building one ourselves from an old works van.

The first build was very simple and cheap to convert and served us well for a few years but it is now old, costing more and more for each MOT and needs replacing. The other problem with it was, as I work long hours online, getting away often was a bit of a problem.

We wanted a vehicle that was fairly easy to park in normal car parks and it has to be able to get a reliable internet connection as often as possible. It would have enough electrical power on hand to run an on-board PC without being on electric hook up (we like to wild camp).

We started looking around dealers for a professional van conversion. The thing is, all of the ones we looked at seem to be based on out of date technology. To give an example, many years ago we had a mid 80’s Pilote A-Class motorhome. It had a basic split charge system with a 110ah battery which was fine in the 1980’s. Nowadays we all rely on mobile phones and most of us have a laptop. A lot of new vans are now supplied with a compressor fridge that also runs of electricity. The electrical system fitted to these new vans? The same as in my old Pilote .

It was getting obvious that the only realistic way we were going to get what we want was to build our own.

We decided a LWB high top van would be the best choice of vehicle, set up to carry just the two of us (and the dog) to save on seating space. But what about the electrical power?

My knowledge of 12v electrics was not great so I needed to get a lot of advice on the subject.

Searching the net I came across the SBMCC, a forum based website with a wealth of information and very helpful camper builders.


Without this site I simply could not have built the van. If I can give one piece of advice on this website it is “Join SBMCC”

The site is free to join as a guest and you can make a few posts to get a feel for it. Full membership is £15 a year (from memory) and it will be the best £15 you spend if building a motorhome. There are loads of posts on every subject you can imagine and its very friendly. Have a look

So we were going to build a motorhome. Time to choose a base vehicle.

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