I’m Thinking Of Converting A Crafter

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by Oldrat, 1 Oct 2018.

  1. Oldrat

    Oldrat Senior Member VIP Member T6 Guru

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    We have had our brilliant T6 camper for just over a year and we’ve proved to ourselves that it’s not just a passing fad, that we are really hooked.

    So our thoughts are turning to our next camper. We both want more headroom and more space would be great. A loo would be handy too! Being able to stop overnight incognito without a pop top up would be great.

    Having had a look around a bespoke Merc Sprinter conversion, we’be found our base vehicle...ish!

    I’m looking at buying a Sprinter or Crafter, and getting it converted.


    We love exploring the countryside often using narrow country lanes so we've already decided that the length isn’t an issue but width is- hence the choice of vehicle.

    So I’ll be looking for recommendations for builders - with Crafter/Sprinter experience

    I found these guys on the interweb but know nothing about them. Thoughts please??
    Rhales Conversions

    Anyone recommend anyone else.
    Anyone got one already.
     
  2. PipeMonkey

    PipeMonkey Member VIP Member T6 Pro

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    I’ve got a 2016 crafter for work. 2.0 140 lwb.
    It’s a cracking van on the open road, I’m always driving up to the midlands from Suffolk and it’s a lovely tool to travel in.
    It’s a bit ungainly on small country roads and a pain to park anywhere.
    There are no end of companies doing sports van conversions on the crafters and making a lovely job of them.
    I had an LT35 before and it was plagued by rust (absolutely loved the van though). The newer crafters (maybe 2013 onwards) have galvanised bodies.
     
    Oldrat likes this.
  3. Oldrat

    Oldrat Senior Member VIP Member T6 Guru

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    Thanks PM, useful info.
    Living in London I need to look at Euro 6 so up to a couple of years old.

    Besides the bu66ers are everywhere you look here, often a tradesman/ delivery van or Eastern European mobile shed.
    They seem to get around the smoke really easily!
     
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  4. PipeMonkey

    PipeMonkey Member VIP Member T6 Pro

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    My 16 plate is only euro 5.
    It’s actually quite sprightly for a big van an on a run I often see late 30’s mpg, admittedly only on the trip computer though.
    I’ve heard there are better deals to be had on the M.A.N branded vans if you would consider new/nearly new.
     
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  5. Oldrat

    Oldrat Senior Member VIP Member T6 Guru

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    Not thought of MAN. :thumbsup:
     
  6. Neil Nicholls

    Neil Nicholls Member T6 Pro

    I used to run an LT35. Bought it new and put about 140k on it. It only ever had one problem, and that was eating intercoolers. I think I had three, and a replacement turbo. It was the 153bhp, and really was a great van.
    I replaced it with an ex demo Crafter 14 plate, with just a couple of thousand miles. It's a 163 bhp.
    It's absolutely guttless, I actually hate driving it. It's had no issues as such, mostly because I tend to leave it at home, and take anything else, as its such rubbish.
    I had it remapped this year, but it's still slow, and horrendous on fuel. Low 20's at best, even with a light load.
    New ones might be better, hope so
     
    Oldrat likes this.
  7. DaveyB

    DaveyB Senior Member Moderator VIP Member T6 Legend

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    Iveco also do a similar sized van to the crafter/ sprinter.
     
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  8. PipeMonkey

    PipeMonkey Member VIP Member T6 Pro

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    Iveco daily.
    A lot of van for the money.
     
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  9. airhoguk

    airhoguk Member

    Rhales do very good conversions, look on youtube under Rhales conversions. Owner is an ex Fairline boats employee and quality is second to none, not cheap but compared to a lot of crafter conversions that are based on conversions for carrying motorbikes or karts they are pretty special
     
    Oldrat likes this.
  10. Bryn23

    Bryn23 Senior Member VIP Member T6 Guru

    Hey Oldrat,

    I've had a few looks at the new crafter, it does look good, i'm just waiting on the AWD MWB to be released here before i decide if i'm going to start over again.


    Overall, it looks like a huge improvement over the old joint made Sprinter/Crafter

    VanBlanc, who use to be on here when he built his T6, ordered a new crafter to build a new camper, so he may have some knowledge on converters

    Van Blanc
     
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  11. Oldrat

    Oldrat Senior Member VIP Member T6 Guru

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    Thanks guys. All good stuff, keep it coming.
    I’ll explore different base vehicles AirH, :thumbsup:
    and I’ll checkout that link Bryn :thumbsup:

    Found this lovely example of a Rhales conversion on Auto-trader. It seems a bit grand for me (Pun intended) but no doubt still much cheaper than the new VW Crafter grand caravelle.
    I don’t need so many bells n whistles.

     
  12. WolverineMac

    WolverineMac Member VIP Member T6 Pro

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    Saw one in the flesh converted by New Wave Customs, it look awesome. If we look to get anything bigger will be straight up to them for a conversion
     
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  13. Davenjo

    Davenjo Senior Member Moderator VIP Member T6 Legend

    We were up at Hillside Leisure last week and had a good look over their Crafter based conversions - the Hopton and Heatherton. They look really good and do feel quite spacious compared to our T6 based Birchover but I didn't like them anywhere as much as I expected to (seriously thought I would come away wanting to put a deposit on one!). Whilst they do include very nice looking bathrooms and decent kitchens they do not include the one thing that would tempt me to move away from the T6 to something bigger, i.e. the ability to leave the bed permanently made up whist maintaining a decent size lounge and access to the kitchen. This is not Hillside's fault - they have done a very good job with the available space but, for me, the size of the Crafter puts it in a bit of a no-mans land - too big for a camper van but not big enough to be called a motorhome. As a consequence, I can see us sticking with the T6 for a few years to come with our next leisure vehicle being either a direct replacement for the T6 or a full on motorhome, possibly to compliment rather than replace the T6.
     
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  14. Gavandi

    Gavandi Senior Member T6 Guru

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    Great comments @Davenjo
    It is a bit of a dilemma.
    We saw a great crafter conversion at the Harrogate C&C show this year.
    I believe they will be at the NEC this month.
    IH campers in Yorkshire..
    It is tempting
     
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  15. Gavandi

    Gavandi Senior Member T6 Guru

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    IH Motorhomes 680 RD is the crafter version
     
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  16. Jimmi

    Jimmi Member T6 Pro

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    I had nothing but trouble with my 2012 Crafter, could have just been a “Friday nighter” but it put me off them for good. I have a Sprinter at the moment and its been brilliant. Not sure if it’s still the case but old Crafters needed timing belts changed at 80,000 which if I recall was pretty expensive. The build on a Sprinter seems better, but they may just be because I have bad memories of the Crafter? On one occasion the sliding door handle fell off in my hand, by this point I’d become quite good mates with the manager at the VW Garage where I kept getting towed to by the AA. He told me that was it really common and it had even happened on a brand new demo van! He also told me that he’d rather have a Sprinter! The list of repairs was endless but the most trouble was DPF, dash cluster and CANBUS
     
  17. Dieseldonkey

    Dieseldonkey 150 DSG Shuttle Conversion VIP Member T6 Guru

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    Atleast it was only the handle that came off in your hand.

    Once saw the whole sliding door, on an LDV Convoy fall off in the hand of a Police Officer of substantial rank.

    Felt like I was crying with laughter for days after I saw that.:D:x3::cry::rofl::laugh:
     
    Last edited: 22 Oct 2018
    Ads_Essex likes this.
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