Finding a good base vehicle

My recommendation for anyone looking for a good base vehicle is take your time. Don't buy the first one you see. Test drive a few to get a feel for how they are supposed to drive.

Jenni and I looked at loads of them spending a couple of months looking. We test drove a couple, but we found them to expensive or where concerned by the amount of beeping and flashing warning lights from the dash in the end. Neither of us are mechanical experts so we made sure to test drive any van before buying it.

We tried buying a VW van at auction, but in the end we bought (we think) a very nice VW Transporter from S. H. Autos in Ratcliffe on the Wreake - if you go there say hi from Ralph the refrigerated van.

Oh and the most important thing: be lucky :)


Specifications on purchase

Name Ralph
Make Volkswagen
Model Transporter T30 130 TDI
Former occupation Refrigeration van
Engine size 2460 CC
Fuel Heavy oil
(aka Diesel for normal people)
Body type Panel van
Taxation class Light goods vehicle
# seats 3
Colour White
Revenue weight 1887 Kg unladen
Luxuries Cruise control, aircon, electric windows
Bulkhead Grey

What I would do differently:

  • I would double check all little things that may be broken.
    Most of them where cheap to fix (sun visor clip and plastic bit for dash where both around a pound), however, some tiny plastic bits broken off the cupholder / ash tray means the whole thing needs replacing which would cost around £75. We are still driving around without cup holders.


First job: removing VW T5 bulkhead