Can I turn a fridge lorry into a camper?

Can I turn a fridge lorry into a camper?

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Desiderata

Original Poster:

675 posts

21 months

Tuesday 18th May
quotequote all
I've been looking at self build campers made from panel vans and so have a lot of other people too if the price of a knackered old sprinter or transit is anything to go by, so I spread my horizons a bit. I've found this locally for £2000. I think it would make a great camper, already insulated solid, loads of power and a nice simple construction and shape to hack about into a comfortable camper.
Anyone done anything like this before and what problems might I come across?

Collectingbrass

1,462 posts

162 months

Tuesday 18th May
quotequote all
My main worry would be ventilation & fresh air, especially when cooking on gas

carreauchompeur

16,746 posts

171 months

Tuesday 18th May
quotequote all
There seem to be quite a few on the self build pages.

Desiderata

Original Poster:

675 posts

21 months

Tuesday 18th May
quotequote all
Collectingbrass said:
My main worry would be ventilation & fresh air, especially when cooking on gas
Thanks, I'd be putting in Windows and ventilation. Might even remove the refrigeration unit wink

Desiderata

Original Poster:

675 posts

21 months

Tuesday 18th May
quotequote all
carreauchompeur said:
There seem to be quite a few on the self build pages.
Is there a self build forum you'd recommend? I looked for one on here but didn't find one.

biggiles

1,013 posts

192 months

Tuesday 18th May
quotequote all
£2000 seems very cheap - has it done a lot of miles?

It probably also needs a pre-1997 driving licence, or the appropriate (expensive) tests.

But it could be a great project.

Desiderata

Original Poster:

675 posts

21 months

Tuesday 18th May
quotequote all
biggiles said:
£2000 seems very cheap - has it done a lot of miles?

It probably also needs a pre-1997 driving licence, or the appropriate (expensive) tests.

But it could be a great project.
It's fairly cheap, but not ridiculously so for an old lorry. They seem to be a lot more reasonably priced than old vans.
It would need a pre 97 licence (which I've got by a good few years) in it's current form, but I'd be looking to re-register it as a camper anyway when it was complete, do away with the need for tacho, operators licence, monthly checks etc.

Gary29

3,389 posts

66 months

Tuesday 18th May
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No idea regarding the camping aspect, but as above, £2K does sound VERY cheap.

Desiderata

Original Poster:

675 posts

21 months

Tuesday 18th May
quotequote all
Gary29 said:
No idea regarding the camping aspect, but as above, £2K does sound VERY cheap.
Quick search on eBay for trucks under£3000:-



You really get a lot for your money.

citizensm1th

8,371 posts

104 months

Tuesday 18th May
quotequote all
Desiderata said:
It's fairly cheap, but not ridiculously so for an old lorry. They seem to be a lot more reasonably priced than old vans.
It would need a pre 97 licence (which I've got by a good few years) in it's current form, but I'd be looking to re-register it as a camper anyway when it was complete, do away with the need for tacho, operators licence, monthly checks etc.
For private use you do not need an o license or tacho,s.

Same as a 7.5 tonne soon to be uhu transport.

paralla

2,364 posts

102 months

Tuesday 18th May
quotequote all
They look like great value as a starting point for a camper. Couple of thoughts:-

No direct access from the cab to the accommodation
The raised floor height of the insulated box means it's a bit of a climb up into it from outside
Loads of space underneath the insulated box for batteries/tanks/outdoor furniture storage
Check what sort of fees would apply at caravan parks/camp grounds, they might charge you over the odds
Removing the vehicle powered compressor and evaporator would save you a little weight and a lot of space

carreauchompeur

16,746 posts

171 months

Tuesday 18th May
quotequote all
Only observations I’d have about this one, being a campervanner myself...

-insulation is great, but it’ll severely reduce inside space and you’ll need pretty thick windows/doors etc to fit properly.
-there’s very little scope to fit stuff ‘outside’ on it, meaning you’ll have to fit a lot of ancillary stuff within the main space.
-having the cab separate is fine, but you lose a lot of potential space/light and also if you’re wild camping and want to leave in a hurry you can’t.
-Campsites are likely to be a bit sniffy about this type of conversion. Personally, this doesn’t bother me as it isn’t the kind of places I would go to anyway.

Other than that, it’ll make a cool ‘overlander’ type conversion.

Escort3500

8,267 posts

112 months

Tuesday 18th May
quotequote all
Desiderata said:
carreauchompeur said:
There seem to be quite a few on the self build pages.
Is there a self build forum you'd recommend? I looked for one on here but didn't find one.
This one’s quite good - https://sbmcc.co.uk


dtz

263 posts

243 months

Tuesday 18th May
quotequote all
Whilst not as extreme as some others it would make a great "overland" style truck. It might not become a complete go-anywhere vehicle, but it could look the part

I'm not sure how much space is taken by the cooler unit, but I'd also consider leaving it as aircon (if it can be controlled to not be quite as cold) - I've priced up aircon for my motorhome and its about the same price as buying that compete truck!

Smoggy XJR

379 posts

37 months

Tuesday 18th May
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If nothing else, it'll have bloody good air con!

Smoggy XJR

379 posts

37 months

Tuesday 18th May
quotequote all
Damn, missed the post above.

carreauchompeur

16,746 posts

171 months

Friday 21st May
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OP, have a look at “7.5 ton & over vehicles” on Facebook. Really good inspiration, and a guy named Simon Eley has just posted a load of photos of his fridge Scania on tour, looks ace!

Desiderata

Original Poster:

675 posts

21 months

Saturday 22nd May
quotequote all
carreauchompeur said:
OP, have a look at “7.5 ton & over vehicles” on Facebook. Really good inspiration, and a guy named Simon Eley has just posted a load of photos of his fridge Scania on tour, looks ace!
Thanks, I've joined that forum and a couple of other similar ones. Now I can't log in to Facebook without loads of brilliant looking projects and builds popping up. My wife is going to kill me!

Scrump

14,688 posts

125 months

Saturday 22nd May
quotequote all
Not a fridge lorry, but if you are interested in overlanders then there is a great build thread with YouTube videos here:
https://www.pistonheads.com/gassing/topic.asp?h=0&...

MKnight702

2,553 posts

181 months

Saturday 22nd May
quotequote all
Blimey, that's cheap. My daughter has just purchased a 3.5t horsebox for conversion an it cost a shedload more than that for an old A reg. Her problem is she didn't pass her test until 3 years ago so she can't drive a 7.5t unless she takes another test that cost a huge amount.

An insulated truck is also going to save you time and money converting, since the insulation is already done and is pretty effective.