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LM Lad

Time to Modify the Van😄

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Hi all,

 

I have recently brought back my caravan from my seasonal pitch for the winter and am about to start on a project (  this is where I need some help) to modify or introduce some new things to the van. The whole thing will cost me, if I have to buy the stuff ( not counting tablet or smartphone)  about £60-80. It could be cheaper for me as I do have some of this stuff already.

This is the "to do list".

 

1. Internal temperature

2. External temperature

3. Water temperature ( internal & external, the latter for winter touring)

4. Solar charging current

5. Battery charging current

6. Burgular alarm ( very crude, just senses movement and alerts me)

7. Auto light(s) on at a set level when going to loo at night in bathroom

8. Remote heating on/off Inc scheduling ( controlling alde 3010)

9. Water barrel level (H, M, L) with alarm  ( I have this already but just going to now do it a different way)

10 Humidity ( with alarm)

11. Battery voltage ( with low warning alarm)

12. Gas/fire/smoke detector with alarm

13. Various on/off reading lights, but automated

14. External, awning lights , etc auto controlled

15. For, security adding an internal or external camera 

16. Maybe gps so you can track where you have been in it and when, or if some nick's it

17. Toilet rinse fluid level ( I have this already, I just need to do it another way)

18. Total power usage, good for continental touring or CL's with lower power posts.

All this will be controlled on your smartphone, and/or a dedicated tablet fixed in one of the caravan cupboards..

One downside would be, I'll need internet access, but I am confident I will be able to get this where I go.

 

Cost, very little, there's a commercial "thing" that costs about £1000 and does not do anywhere close to what this will do, and this will cost a fraction of what's listed here. 

 

Anyhow, my question is, before I begin this project, taking onboard how cheap this will be, so the cost for me isn't a problem, will this go against me when I come to sell the van.

Does "personalising " vans and motorhomes effect the resale value up or down as I don't want to proceed if the feeling is, it does especially if it lowers it. Hence why I have only done two of the mods so far, and they are ones I can remove without leaving any sign they have been fitted.

 

Thing is, AS there is a kind of commercial equivalent, surely it should enhance the "vanning " experience...So that's where I'm coming from. But I'm still not sure....

 

If anyone wants more info as they feel they would like to try to build this, I'd be happy to pass on my limited experience.

But I honestly I really would like to know if I'm right or wrong in putting the effort into this as I don't want to do this only to hear the dealer say " you've lowered your van price by £1000 by doing that" 

😭😭😭😭😭

Thanks Alex 

 

Edited by Grandpa Steve
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IMO it will only be a very limited niche market that would pay anything extra for a van so modified.

 

I suspect the sales person will be more than concerned finding that market and as importantly, not finding the bulk of their clients are put off a van so medaled about. 

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Hi JTQ

 

Good point and TBH, that's my main concern, so I do very much agree with you.

 

I'm also not trying to increase the value of it, just making life a bit easier for my use of it, maybe I don't fit all the stuff.

 

But thanks for your quick response and opinion as it very valid and will definitely help my final decision ..

Appreciated.!👍

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These kinds of modifications will certainly put a great many buyers off, even if done well, and dealers will simply not want to take in a van with so many unproved additions (remember that they would have to give a warranty on it when they sell it!).

Gadgets are only welcome, other than by gadget fans such as yourself, if they are 100% intuitive, 100% reliable and simple to use.

There are people who hesitate buying new Swift caravans because of the Swift Command module!

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what do you hope to do with the outside temperature?

From ebay you can get things that via a text will turn hot water and heating on of you have a phone signal

 

If the things in your list are what you want, go for it it is your van. Personally I don't see the need for all on your list. 

 

 

macafee2

 

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14 minutes ago, macafee2 said:

 Personally I don't see the need for all on your list. 

 

If you look at it that way there is no "need" for caravans!

Caravanners like caravans, gadget fans like gadgets, people who like electronic projects like electronic projects. Caravanners who like gadgets and electronic projects like to fit gadgets in their caravans.

Each to their own!

Perhaps the OP should get a job working for Sargent!

Swift Command gets about half way there.

Edited by Stevan

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More to go wrong and worry about ? I always like to keep things simple and enjoy touring .

 

Out side temperature ? Just empty and waste water at night and put a jacket in the aquaroll .

 

Dave

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You could be devaluing for yourself.

 

Any modification is an improvement on existing equipment etc. and lets face it, buyers have different likes just as dealers. You might find one dealer that has their own personal likes for the work you have done and another that doesn't. The difficulty when selling is finding a dealer who likes and offers you a higher price than the dealer you saw the week before and does not like the work you have done. However, their purpose in life is to buy cheap and sell high and that's their job. Selling privately is a different case altogether and one to be considered

 

At the end of the day, the better equipped a van is the more value is added to it to the right buyer but those are rarely found - if ever.

 

Generally, buyers will want a bog standard van that is not modified and is to manufacturers specification and that's all they will be prepared to pay. My view is that if you sell your van expect only a price as similar models  are being sold for. You will not receive any higher price even if its got a gold plated loo seat.

 

In the past I have done what you are doing and I found that mainly, I do it for my own pleasure. Very rewarding and enjoyable work for me but when selling I have not recouped the cost of my modifications and although buyers might appreciate your work they are not going to offer you more because of it.

 

You have to ask yourself an important question.

 

'How long am I going to keep the van. I like it and its comfortable so why consider selling it?' There is nothing like having your own nice home on wheels in which you enjoy so why change for the sake of entering a phase of spending yet more money and hassle?, unless you want to change for a van that has more up to date layout / equipment.

 

So, yes, you will lose out in the long run no matter what you do if you sell.

 

I modify my vans to suit us and the only reason I have changed is because of downsizing. I had my last van for eleven years but it was becoming too much of a hassle because of its size. I am becoming and old git now and things are easier now that I have a 6 x 8 shed on wheels.

 

What ever you decide, have fun - that's what caravanning is all about. ;)

 

 

 

 

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I do love gadgets and would be very interesting in how you do your modifications, the real details - full techy mode :-)

That said, if I were looking for a van and found one with all he mods you are suggesting, even though I was trained as electronics engineer, I would worry about the quality of the instal. I would also worry about fault finding, especially on site when I just want to relax and enjoy my time away.

May be think about doing the mods in a way they can be easily removed without leaving lots of holes etc?

Then you have best of both plus I would love to see how you do the mods :-)

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Cars and caravans are very similar - few, if any, extras increase the value when it comes to selling and some will decrease the value.

 

Modify to suit your own needs/wants but be under no illusion that visible mods will devalue it when you come to sell.

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I have carried out mods to all my vans, many by just adding extra sockets 12v & 240v for my benefit and when sold did not reduce or increase price when PX, the other mods I carried out were easy to remove and re-instate the van back to standard, so if you choose to carry out any mods, look at being able to either hide them or fit them so you can return the van to as original as possible without causing too much damage to the facias.

 

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1 hour ago, LM Lad said:

1. Internal temperature

you probably have this already

2. External temperature

see the weather forecast for the area

3. Water temperature ( internal & external, the latter for winter touring)

see number 1 & 2 

4. Solar charging current

I'm not up with electronics but would a  multi meter do the job?

5. Battery charging current

see number 4

6. Burgular alarm ( very crude, just senses movement and alerts me)

get a sargent alarm with the movement and  tilt sensor also with the  fob to switch the awning light on 

7. Auto light(s) on at a set level when going to loo at night in bathroom

get the battery operated sensor lights, no wiring

8. Remote heating on/off Inc scheduling ( controlling alde 3010)

 the new 'vans have this so I would think that it would be easy to do

9. Water barrel level (H, M, L) with alarm  ( I have this already but just going to now do it a different way)

ok

10 Humidity ( with alarm)

why, what would it achieve?

11. Battery voltage ( with low warning alarm)

see number 4

12. Gas/fire/smoke detector with alarm

oh dear, every caravan should have one (& home )

13. Various on/off reading lights, but automated

it's only a little switch above you, not worth the hassle

14. External, awning lights , etc auto controlled

see number 6

15. For, security adding an internal or external camera 

 yeah maybe it would help

16. Maybe gps so you can track where you have been in it and when, or if some nick's it

you can pay for a tracker, though the proper ones are expensive

17. Toilet rinse fluid level ( I have this already, I just need to do it another way)

you should know how much you use on average, 

18. Total power usage, good for continental touring or CL's with lower power posts.

maybe, but being a caravanner you should know what's what

All this will be controlled on your smartphone, and/or a dedicated tablet fixed in one of the caravan cupboards..

One downside would be, I'll need internet access, but I am confident I will be able to get this where I go.

 

 

I  take it that you have an older 'van and want to modernise it  as  some things you mention are on the newer 'vans. 

 

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2 hours ago, LM Lad said:

 

I'm with Joanie on this one!

  • Thanks 1

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I did Nos 2 and 18 at a cost of about £13.

 

load-meter-2.jpg.4b7d234159d489860314e2d1d09c2f77.jpg

  • Like 1

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Doesn't a smoke alarm sort of work on the humidity level in a confined space?

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Your need a Mifi system fitted for pushing security notifications from pir sensors  and cameras connected to security systems and to control heating remotely to phone .

 

 

Dave

Edited by CommanderDave

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