LDV Pilot Hippy/Retro Travel Van
My ticket to complete freedom, low cost European travel and total off-grid independence. Averaging 46MPG, this really is living the dream. She’s designed with a “retro hippy look” but is in fact a 2004 (54 reg) campervan with only 50K on the clock – and is matt Nato Green in colour.
This awesome travel van has everything needed for comfortable, low cost travel for any climate. Complete with wood burning stove, rear Fiamma cycle carrier for 2 bicycles, Fiamma awning and a whole lot more. It even has a hot shower.
Cheap insurance (£199/yr for me) as the V5 has been updated to “motor caravan”.
First things first – rust. There is none. If you visit my videos section, you can see the full conversion video blogs from when I bought this immaculate white panel van, completely stripped it down to find any signs of rust – before a full re-spray in Nato Green.
I bought her with only 52,000 genuine miles on the clock. When purchased in April 2017, she had a full MOT. Two advisories which I have had put right (king pins needed grease and the brake servo needed replacing) – I also had the cam belt done at this time too as well as a full service.
So, here’s why this is the ticket to living the dream:
- Drives like a car, very light weight
- Ultra comfortable motorhome front seats with arm rests
- Very sound proofed using Dynamat equivalent – very smooth and quiet to drive
- Cab floor fully carpeted (really nicely)
- Van fully insulated using Kingspan
- Fully off grid – Ample power from the 150 Watt solar panel on the roof
- Brand new under-slung LPG tank with external fill point for AutoGas (cheap)
- Shower: The water is heated using the instant water heater (LPG) and the showerhead can be used anywhere outside as it has a 3 metre shower hose.
- Dometic sink with hot and cold water tap.
- 2 burner camping stove with grill. Powered by the Autogas. The cooker is removable and there is an external LPG point so you can cook outside, under the canopy, with a beer in the sun.
- Wall mounted bar optic. 50ml. Well you know…
- Toilet to the rear under the worktop. Worktop folds back to reveal the toilet
- Sofa comprises of luxury caravan cushions which when used as a bed open out to just over six feet long and the width pulls out to small double size.
- Loads of storage. Overhead locker boxes, under the sofa, under the kitchen.
- Cool box powered all day long from the solar panel.
- 115Ah leisure battery – 12V points, USB points, voltage gauge, etc.
- 20 Litre fresh water tank (removable)
- Wood burning stove with hotplate.
- Front swivel seats – incredibly comfy!!!
- Kenwood stereo with 4 x uprated speakers
- 2 x opening sliding windows on the driver’s side. 1 x opening sliding window on side door.
- Wind deflectors fitted to front windows
- All interior lights are LED
- Full set of Nato Green blackout curtains, including around the windscreen and cab
- Large net fly/privacy curtain covering side door entrance
- Fiamma F35 side awning – Essential in the heat!!!
- External LED awning light
- Fiamma 200D Rear cycle carrier – back doors open with carrier fully loaded
- 20L additional fuel container on the back door
- 3 Person Inflatable Kayak on the back door!
- Compete roof rack to carry 2 x kayaks (or surf boards?) if needed!
3 Person kayak and 12V pump!
Kayak straps to the back of the van.
Can carry one or two bikes!
Rear doors open with cycle carrier fully loaded.
Fiamma canopy becomes the outdoor office, sun shade or even rain shelter!
- 1.9 Peugeot diesel engine. Non turbo, this engine will go on forever.
- Hydrogen fuel cell fitted (more info below) and powered from solar. Free fuel, literally
- EGR Blanked off (fuel economy increased)
- K&N Panel air filter fitted (fuel economy increased)
- HID Headlights & LED Side Lights – Amazing night vision!
Freedom to travel, go to festivals, weekend breaks all in something that’s totally suited to being a daily car too with super fuel economy… here it is! This campervan is hugely reliable, very low mileage and has been fully rebuilt in stunning Nato Green.
Ready to jump in and go. All that’s needed to add is clothes and toothbrush – literally.
The hydrogen fuel cell is maintenance free, I just keep it topped up with distilled water. It uses around one litre per 500 miles. There is a switch on the dash to turn it off if needs be. The unit increases performance and economy considerably and is essentially free fuel as it’s mostly powered by the solar panel.
Solar panel is 150 Watt and the controller is a split controller which splits the power from the panel between the leisure battery (80%) and the engine battery (20%) without actually linking the batteries. A split charge system to charge the leisure battery off the engine is not fitted as is not required and saps engine power (extra load on the alternator, hence many campervans screech on startup!)
Guess what… cheap ferry (or tunnel) because it’s low in height!!
The perfect, compact campervan for travel.
You van watch all the build videos here