Romahome Camper Bedford Bambi Van Devon Bambino Micro Mini Campervans

hijet interior camper plansThe micro camper is a great use for a Daihatsu Hijet, they make great day vans, a brilliant festival campervan, a weekend van, or even a great base for a travelling trip across the continent. Many people choose to DIY fit out their own camper van straight into the vans rear body as it’s easily done over a couple of weekends and summer nights, and as a standard body you’ll have better cruising speed and fuel economy and less trouble from side winds than using one of the after market body shells such as a Romahome or a Bambi. Many conversions I’ve seen utilise a series of wooden boxes, that double as storage, seating and when bridged a bed. With careful planning you could build yourself a light yet effective interior that is fully removable while being feature packed and comfortable. Make sure your design uses all the space you have to its full potential.

hijet awning pop up roofThe other benefit is vans and MPV’s are very common on the market, while the Hijet pickup’s are more rare and as such they tend to go for a higher price. Hijet pick up’s have other disadvantages too, they have far less leg room in the cab as the seat only slide back to the bulkhead which makes them unsuitable for long distance driving – in my own 1.7m tall opinion anyway. They also tend to have had a harder working life moving materials around, use every day in a commercial life tends to be harder than the life of an MPV or a rarely used van. Pickup’s also have restricted access to the engine components when doing work on them, due to the bulkhead is right in the middle of the engine bay. I much prefer working on my vans than my pickup.

If you are looking at converting a Van or MPV to a camper van then I have some factors you may wish to consider in your choice of starting point. Firstly MPV’s have windows in them already, although the sliding doors from an MPV are interchangeable with a Van so you could add a windowed door to a panel van with ease. The MPV’s sliding door windows wind down too which is very handy in a camper van. Next benifit for using a Daihatsu Hijet MPV as a camper van conversion is the MPV is classed by insurance companies as a car, so your insurance will cover your for 3rd party on other vehicles etc, and if you take an MPV hijet with windows to the tip they will not ask you for tip permits.

Road tax on Daihatsu Hijets and Piaggio Porters is an odd situation. Because of the way they are registered by the dealer when new, they arae considered to be a van, or for the MPV – a car derived van. Pre 2001 you will pay the £130 a year vehicles with engines capacity less that 1549cc. These are the classes they fall into:-

Private/light goods (TC11)
Cars registered before 1 March 2001 (based on engine size)
Engine size (cc) Not over 1549
12 months rate £130.00

Light goods vehicles (TC39)
Registered on or after 1 March 2001 (not over 3,500kg revenue weight).
12 months rate £210.00
6 months rate £115.50

Euro 4 light goods vehicles (TC36)
Registered between 1 March 2003 and 31 December 2006 only (not over 3,500kg revenue weight).
12 months rate £130.00
6 months rate £71.50

Euro 5 light goods vehicles (TC36)
Registered between 1 January 2009 and 31 December 2010 only (not over 3,500kg revenue weight).
12 months rate £130.00
6 months rate £71.50

There are some choices for pre made camper conversions and detachable bodyshells, many people take the Romahome and Bambi bodies off the old rotten, unrelible and slow Bedford Rascals and Suzuki Supercarries and fit them to the nippy economical and modern 1.3 Daihatsu Hijet or Piaggio Porter, people also use the Honda Acty pickups too. If you are looking for this sort of hardware then your options really are:-

  • Romahome Body from a Bedford Rascal, Suzuki Carry or Honda Acty
  • Bambi Body from a Bedford Rascal Bambi motorhome
  • Devon Bambino Daihatsu Hijet or Piaggio Porter with its popup roof
  • Daihatsu Hijetta by JC Leisure
  • Piaggio Porterhome by JC Leisure

If your interested in a new Hijet campervan, JC leisure offer brand new Piaggio Porters fully kitted out with camper interior, pop up roof, leisure battery, running water and toilet etc. Very nice vans! They also have a selection of second hand models in stock from about £5000.

These guys Paragon Trans4mers PTL Ltd offer a stunning VW camper lookalike camper van conversion.

 

Posted in Hijet Articles of Wisdom