THE ESSENTIAL CAMPERVAN BUYER'S GUIDE

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One of the most popular Frequently Asked Questions is, “Can you convert my own van, please?”

People often ask me if I can convert their existing used panel van into one of our Sussex Campervans. This is one of the most frequently asked questions.

Other people say that they’re just about to buy an old van for me to convert.

Still more people say that they’ve bought a van, fitted the interior – or at least some cupboards and a bench seat bed – and ‘just need a little help’ to finish it off, with a pop-top roof, solar panel, heating, lighting, gas hob, sink and pumped water…

If you are in this position, what we can offer you is a part-exchange deal – we’ll take almost anything with wheels in part-exchange for one of our complete turnkey campervans. This means that we can look after the entire project, from start to finish, give you a thorough handover so you know how everything works, then look after you and your Sussex Campervan for years to come. Whether you choose one of our stock vehicles or have a campervan built to order, once you’ve bought from us, you’re part of the Sussex Campervans family of owners.

Let me explain a little more about why we don’t work on people’s existing vans and half-built campers.

We offer a three-year warranty – plus the base vehicle warranty

At Sussex Campervans we have built up our excellent reputation for quality over many years, and to maintain that we need to buy the best van and the finest materials for your campervan build.

This enables us to stand by our product. We offer a three-year warranty on our conversion work, plus the remainder of the van manufacturer’s vehicle warranty – which in the case of Nissan is five years or 100,000 miles from new (whichever comes first).

We have courtesy cars available for you to use while we carry out any warranty work.

Can I buy your interior as a kit?

We don’t supply kits or parts, sorry. I have invested a lot of design time and engineering expertise into refining Sussex Campervans and everything within them in great detail. I designed and had tested my own Rock ‘n’ Roll double bed for the VW Caledonia, the Manhattan and the CamperCar, my own Paradise twin bed/ king size double bed system, my own swivel seats, my own pop-top roof for each conversion, my roof bed design, my easy-to use control panel, solar, gas and electrical SX system, with an under-body gas heater and LPG tank, and so on.

All the upholstery and furniture can be specified in an array of colours and finishes – then made right here on the premises. The furniture will be scribed to fit exactly when you have a campervan built to order at Sussex Campervans. No space is wasted!

When motorhome expert Andy Harris visited us I explained more. You may recognise Andy from his regular appearances on The Motorhome Channel and as a judge of The Caravanner of the Year Awards on TV. Take a look at our Sussex Campervans YouTube channel for more on Andy’s visit.

We don’t use off-the-peg parts or kits when we build Sussex Campervans – everything is bespoke – so this is why we cannot undertake work on other vans. In fact, if we did take on a self-built campervan, we’d need to strip the interior out and start again, to make sure the finished camper was as well insulated and fitted out as the rest of our campervans.

Quality starts with the base vehicle

It all starts with us buying a good quality base vehicle to convert for each customer. We specialise in converting the Volkswagen T6 panel vans, Nissan NV300 and its twin the Renault Trafic. We also convert the compact Nissan NV200, which we obtain in both diesel-manual and petrol-auto versions.

We have chosen these vehicles for their practicality, reliability and great value for money. We convert them into pop-top campervans that you can drive quite happily anywhere you’d take a car. With these campervans you can easily fit down narrow country lanes to reach the most picturesque places on the planet. They also offer great fuel economy, so you can afford to explore further.

We convert the Volkswagen T6 into our VW Caledonia pop-top campervans, and we convert the Trafic and NV300 into either the Manhattan or Paradise  or our Venturer. The more compact Nissan NV200 becomes our popular CamperCar.

We buy vans at the best prices

We always buy new or nearly new vans to convert, and we buy them from our network of trusted dealerships. As trade buyers and regular customers, we can achieve lower prices for the base vehicle than would be offered to individual customers.

So, what base vehicles can I have?

To make sure we get you the most reliable van to convert into a campervan, we buy on your behalf. You may choose one of the following:

  • A brand new van, or ‘factory order’. This is a good way to obtain a campervan in a less common colour, for instance, such as green, orange or red. It can take six weeks or more for the vehicle manufacturer to deliver the van to us, ready to start the conversion. If you’re in no hurry, it’s great to know you’ll be the first owner of the vehicle.
  • A pre-registered van: when dealers buy a batch of vans for sale they get discount from the manufacturer. They register these new vehicles, and when it’s time to buy the next batch they offer us these vans at a keen price. They may have been driven to the dealers and then on to us, so there may be a few hundred miles on the clock.
  • A nearly new van: we can look for panel vans up to three years old, to convert for those on a tighter budget. We would aim to buy you a well maintained used van with a proper service history and reasonable mileage.
  • Please see another frequently asked question – What’s the difference between models?

To help you buy your campervan sooner, we have finance options and can take your car or van in part-exchange.  Click here for more about finance.

Many people use one of our campervans as their only vehicle – that’s how versatile a campervan can be.

I hope we can build your dream camper for you – so if you’re researching your options, do email us – [email protected] – or  give us a ring on 01403 336 369 for a chat. Perhaps you’d like to book a visit? We’d love to show you around our woodland workshops just north of Horsham. Please click here for a handy map and the full address.

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