My fairly basic conversion

Karl

Broken
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#4
Where did you get the bits from for this? Looks really good. Is everything removable?
 

alboy

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E51 Owner
#6
When considering my conversion I decided that it would be a shame to lose the capability of having 7 seats, I had previously converted a Toyota Granvia by removing the middle seats & really missed the extra seating. This way I still have 5 seats that I can use without removing the kitchen pod & by undoing 2 bolts from the pod can convert back to a full 7 seater. The other reason for a basic conversion was financial, I had spent more than I intended on the van in the first place, so funds were limited. The total cost has been about £600, this includes the kitchen pod at £380 which I purchased as a flat pack from Evodesigns, it is made from Vohringer ply, so quite light, he also sold me a full sheet of damaged Vohringer ply for £40 which was enough for the boxes & little cupboard, the top of which, is from the cutout for the hob which was purchased from Grassroutes leasure for £60, an absolute bargain if they have any left.

The bed measures about 5ft x 4ft which for me at 5ft8in is fine, this is with the seat in the upright position, facing backwards, but if needed by pushing the front seats forward, taking the headrests off the middle seats I can make a 4ft x 6ft6in bed

Sorry for rambling on a bit, I am not sugesting this is for everyone, but it suits me, if you want to ask any questions fire away. Alan
 

Madfish

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#7
When in bed mode what height person would they accommodate?

Could a 6ft3 fatty fit? :)

EDIT: you're too quick for me :) answered my question before I asked it lol
 

alboy

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E51 Owner
#8
It is surprising just how small a space 6ft3 fatty`s can fit in, but as I say it is posible, by moving the front seats right forward to make the bed 6ft6 long, the tape measure is from the front of the pod to the back of the front seat, trouble with that is you will spend the next six weeks trying to get the driving position "just right", thats one advantage, if you are, like me, a short fatty, I can get away without moving the front seats forward.

 

Madfish

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#9
Haha... thanks for that :)

I'm looking to do something similar to mine but it's interesting to know that there is enough room even with all the seats fitted (I was planning on binning the second row and maybe even the third)
 
S

Spannerdemon

Guest
#10
Looks good. Basic but functional. Well done.

Good point on the bed Alan. I'm a six footer too, and it's amazing how forgetting just to move the front seat forward at night can make the difference between a cramped sleep or a comfy one. :D
 

derek h

Well-Known Member
#12
Ignore the above post. Envious ? Moi ?
The Wife and I wanted one of those, and a narrow boat. Or maybe it was just me ? :sick:

But getting onto your bit.

You Sir are a Bl**dy genius. :mrgreen:
Apart from the rear kitchen, this is what I wanted when I was waffling on about bed boxes and the like.
Great to see it in the flesh, well photos. Perhaps I'm not the idiot I thought I was. Although it may be a bit early to confirm that.

If you've the time and/or the inclination, a "How to" would be a benefit to many. Well to me. :grin:

Well done, it's a credit to you. :clap: :clap:
 

MrRob_in

Part of the furniture (please de-cat your e51/2)
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#14
Oh no the camper isn't an Elgrand. Not sure you can fit all our 'essentials' into such a small van. ;)

We did contemplate one of the coach built e51 campervans but after a low speed accident (reversing into a lamp post) wrote off a hired coach built we wanted a big solid van conversion for safety.

Roadtrek In the morning (winter) sun ... by -BitchinRob ( <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://MrRob.in">http://MrRob.in</a><!-- m --> )-

The Roadtrek worked out cheaper than an e51 camper that couldn't get anywhere near the same specs. B)
 

alboy

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E51 Owner
#15
Thank you for all your kind comments.

I have been asked to do a "how to" My conversion took very little skill, good job really, as my skills are very limited. The boxes were just put together using corner connectors & the corners of the boxes were completed with corner profile, these cover up any errors in the cutting, which incidentally was all done with a handsaw. As an aside I use a Japanese pull saw, if you have never used one I would sugest you try, in my opinion they are so much better than a traditional saw. Routing the edges to fit the Vohringer trim was, for me, the hardest part. The size of my boxes were governed by the usable bits from the damaged sheet of ply, if you look closely you can see joins & cutouts, if I had a full sheet of ply I would have made the box on the right slightly wider. The length was worked out by measuring the distance,( with the front seat fully forward & the middle seat flat), between the front of the seat & the front of the kitchen pod, in my case it was 86cm. The top of the boxes were made from a couple of large table tops, these came with the trim & the groove already cut.

This is were my Jewish ancestry comes in, about 5 years ago I was out walking the dog when I noticed some cushions from a caravan, put out for the dustman & thought , these will come in handy one day & then about 3 years ago, same dog, same dustbin, there were some cushions from a speedboat, so now I have the option, which is only available in the most expensive beds, one side soft & squishy, the other side firm.

As mentioned earlier the kitchen pod was made by Evodesigns near Wareham, I was lucky because as it was the first one he had made, he had already constructed it. Having done lots of research, I found this one to be of very good value & would thoroughly recommend him even though his speciality is VW`s, My reason for choosing this design with the curved tambour doors was twofold, so I could get in the cupboad with the bed down & also so I could put the rear seat up & down without removing the pod.

This is probably of no interest, as I doubt any of you have the same taste as me, the material was from Fabric warehouse & took about 5 meters at £10 a meter.

The cost were as follows £

Kitchen pod 380
Damaged sheet of Vohringer ply 40
Vohringer trim 11
Corner profile 18
Corner connectors 6
Vohringer table tops x 2 72
Material x 5 meters 50
Cushion inners x 2 8
Box of screws 3
Foam cushions Free :D
Total 588

I hope this all makes sense & is of use to you, it is always difficult, for me, to explain myself, I know what I am talking about, :confused: but it can be hard to put things accross.
 

bwms

Active Member
#16
Alan, many thanks indeed for taking the trouble to post this and your photos. You've certainly got all of us (me included) thinking. Nice work sir :)
 

Tarkers

Well-Known Member
E51 Owner
#17
Nice one! My awareness of the existence of the Nissan Elgrand (apart from one or two seen on my travels) and its capabilities is approximately a week old. In the past we've had a VW bay window and Autohomes coachbuilt motor caravan, but we've been mulling over day vans for quite a while. We're probably going to go down the 'surf van' route (i.e. tin top with no elevating roof). I measured the garage this morning: sufficient width, 3cm to spare on the length but 1.97cm door height: OK for standard van, but an elevating roof makes it impossibly tight. Transporting dogs with safety harnesses attached to three point seat belts is a priority. The biggest design issue is fitting in both a porta-potti cupboard and a fridge, as well as a sufficiently wide bed (120cm being the minimum we'd want, and 130cm being desirable).

The remarkable thing is that the footprint of, say, the E51 is marginally less than a Mondeo estate, yet the Elgrand is so much more versatile.

Our current thinking is to go for an E51 3.5, de-core the secondary cats, add an LPG (with flash lube) conversion and run it otherwise unmodified before working out what we actually need. The rear kitchen pod thingy and a portable cooler box may in fact prove to be sufficient. Meanwhile, we'll await Jon's conversion from JAL with interest!
 

derek h

Well-Known Member
#18
If imitation is the highest form of flattery, consider yourself in line to be flattered. :D
All I need now is my van. Early April ish.

Seriously thinking of LPG when it gets here. Will ask for views on a separate post. If I go that route, perhaps I could use the LPG tank to run the cooker, heater and possibly the fridge. Not sure I'd want to cut vent holes in the van though. Still they are problems for another day

But I say again, well done. Such a simple example of what has been a complex problem for me. I honestly thought I'd need to take out the O/S seats. Your way, is neater and so much easier. My woodworking skills are pretty basic as well. Not always pretty, but I seem to get there in the end. Plastic corner trim can hide a lot of enthusiastic sawing.
I know I'll be putting a lot of time and expense into my van when it comes. But it will be my final fling. Adventure before dementia ?
Thanks again.

Ps. I love this site, don't you. Don't worry, Karl won't read this rubbish. :rofl:
 

MrRob_in

Part of the furniture (please de-cat your e51/2)
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#19
derek h said:
Seriously thinking of LPG when it gets here. Will ask for views on a separate post. If I go that route, perhaps I could use the LPG tank to run the cooker, heater and possibly the fridge. Not sure I'd want to cut vent holes in the van though. Still they are problems for another day
With LPG Motive power is liquid take off, heat is vapour so you'll need 2 separate tanks B(
 

MrRob_in

Part of the furniture (please de-cat your e51/2)
Premium Member
E51 Expert
E51 Owner
#20
derek h said:
Seriously thinking of LPG when it gets here. Will ask for views on a separate post. If I go that route, perhaps I could use the LPG tank to run the cooker, heater and possibly the fridge. Not sure I'd want to cut vent holes in the van though. Still they are problems for another day
With LPG Motive power is liquid take off, heat is vapour so you'll need 2 separate tanks B(