What is the best van to start with?
We are frequently asked what is the best van to start with when it comes to a conversion. In truth, it depends on where you want to be with the finished vehicle, when all is said and done and you have your lovely converted Transporter out on the open road.
If you are looking at a high end camper, for example a new or very low mileage van in almost new, a conversion is the best place to start. If, however you are wanting more of a work horse for moving around your equipment, tools and family or friends then something older might fit the bill nicely.
Exploria can perform most types of conversion to either VW Transporter panel vans or Kombi vans.
In Exploria’s experience we find a VW Transporter Kombi Van to be the best starting point for 90% of all conversions. Compared with a factory panel van it is more cost effective and gives a better vehicle to start with. A Kombi comes with rear windows, single front seating and the door configuration most desirable. Rear seating can also be sold or part exchanged to make extra savings.
A panel van, on the other hand, comes with twin rear doors, double cab passengers seating and rear windows need adding which all adds costs.
For business use, payload is important to ensure you have a 1 tonne payload for VAT purposes. Some accountants also advise towards a panel van rather than a Kombi for benefit in kind reasons.
This is a decision for yourself to make on which is best and works for your needs. The government website is a very good source of information for guidance on this front.
Exploria are happy to work on either Kombis or Panel Vans, but would suggest a Kombi if possible. Below is a list of things we would look for in a base vehicle
- Kombi Van
- One of the larger two engines
- Manual or Auto – DSG (Automatic) more desirable
- Standard factory items on Kombi
- 2 single front seats with rise and fall and armrest
- T30 or T32 – larger payloads – better when adding weight for conversion
- Tailgate rear door
- Side windows in the second row
- Window in the tailgate
- Rubber floor mat in the rear
- Rear triple bench seat
- Highline Spec
- Air conditioning
- Body coloured bumpers
- Heated windscreen
- Front and rear parking sensors
- Adaptive cruise control
- Electric folding mirrors
- Factory extras- recommend
- LED headlights and taillight – much improved over standard lights
- Cab carpet for floor covering in the cab area is more car like.
- Heated front seats
- Removable tow bar
- Power latching tailgate
- Electric tailgate – alternative to above.
- Power latching side loading door
- Other option
- Other options can be worth having for specific types of conversion. It is well worth talking to us about these.
- Other options, such as factory leisure batteries, rear heating and swivel bases, can be better left out of the factory build. Again, have a chat with us and we can best advise you.