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My LWB Crafter Campervan

My LWB Crafter Campervan

This is basically the a bit shorter version of "Heikos maxilanger Crafter" - BUT IN ENGLISH. Having lost our 1999 2.8 uncharged Ducato, we , at the end of compromising, decided for a 2.5litre 5 cyl TDI Crafter. We are more than satisfied with this choice, especially the engine, which meant we could get up hills without shifting down to 2nd gear, as the machine pulls the 3.8 metric tons of the final construction without hesitation. The torque is, as compared to the Ducato, more that of a rocket. We decided for the 5 mton version as our experiences with gross weight were critical with the 3.5 mton Ducato - and we were proven right: Having completed the construction, the empty vehicle's weight was at 3.8 mtons (with a 3/4 fill of Diesel and that was all that was in it, no water, no camping Equipment, no passengers). We do not miss all the fancy electronic devices in more modern vehicles, but what we think to be must haves are the automatic outside rear views and a good camera for ranking without rampaging. Rust is an issue to all doors (which we aren't used to from our T4 which is four years older), but the walls are rustless. However, we have renewed the body cavity protection (if there had ever been any in it before) and replaced the rusty backdoors by new ones. Great are the two seating sections of the final version, leaving space for one or two of the crew to sleep and the others still have a place to sit and talk without causing trouble. The Crafter is perfect for two, fine for three. If you wanted to have a comfortable construction for four or five take the L4, H3 (ours is H2 - maybe not a nice experience for those, sleeping in the top bunk beds). Just for your convenience I have added some photos that show the sizes of our different vehicles - Crafter LWBplus, T4 SWB and Caddy SWB. Depending on what your aims are, they offer different possibilities as bases for campers as to flexibility on the road as well as in what you can put into it.

General Information

Manufacturer and model Volkswagen AG Crafter mk I
Name myself
Country Germany
Year of manufacture 2007
For sale? no

Engine

Engine type BJM
Cubic capacity 2,461cm³
Number of cylinders 5
Horsepower 163
Torque 350Nm
Other
speed is limited for legal reasons to 100kms/h

Chassis

4x2, 4x4, 6x6, 8x8 4x2
Wheel base 4325
Number of seats 5
Tyre size 205/75R15C (6 of them)
Rim size steel 5.5Jx16H2
Type of tyre road
Tank capacity 8
Diesel filter no
Other
left VW as a delivery van for France; fitted as a 23 seater minibus there; brought home and refitted to campervan in 2017.
Especially getting a registration in Germany was quite complicated as everything was double-checked thrice.
Permanent or manually selectable 4-wheel drive not at all

Cabin

Manufacturer of the cabin VW (formally - as we all know it's Mercedes tra...)
Inner dimensions (LxWxH) 1.78m x 5.80m
Outer dimensions (LxWxH) 2.00m x 6.00 (total length is 7.5m)
Cabin material steel
Kind and thickness of insulation general: 19mm Armaflex self-adhesive, floor: 38mm Armaflex self-adhesive
Number of beds perfect: 2, good: 3, in emergencies: 4
Windows 10, all can be opened
Subframe none
Other
There is nothing straight in that vehicle, so all boards had to be cut individually.
The bus door in the back is nice but complicated in everyday use.
All of the windows had to be replaced by ones that can be opened in order to get enough fresh and cool air into the vehicle.

Floor plan

Explanation of floor plan
right front to back:
bus door; cupboard with cooling box (can be replaced by 5th seat)and cuboard overhead; kitchen with IKEA sliding drawers (includes space for water cannisters) and shelves for kitchen stuff overhead; bed box with two levels (1st level every day stuff, 2nd equipment (heating; boiler)

left from front to back:
table with 2 seats in second row; cupboard with open shelf and 12V/230V fridge; bathroom with toilet, sink and cupboard; bed boxes with two levels (1st everyday stuff, 2nd storage for spare parts) and bed 1

back storage: heavy duty boxes with BBQ-grill, games, tent; chairs; gas bottles; tables for outside

Furniture

Material of furniture 15 mm laminated CLV board
Other
Don't save in the wrong place. It doesn't weigh much and is really robust. We have recycled the CLV board from our 1999 Ducato (which we had fitted to our designs, too, including the material as well) - still in perfect condition after 18 years of use!

Cooking stove

Cooking stove CAN 3 flames (inside); Enders camping cooker (outside)

Refrigerator; cool box

Manufacturer and type of fridge / cooler Kissmann TB2044EN; Westfalia (Dometic)
Other
We still have got our old gas fridge, but being reduced to electric 12V and 230V, respectively, it does not work efficiently at high temperatures above 30 degress centigrade.
Our Kissmann "cooling box", however, was fully efffective down to below 0 degrees even at outside temperatures such as 40 degress. Not cheap - but do it. Advantage: You do have full circle service and there are spareparts available.

Power supply

Voltage in the chassis 12V
Voltage in the cabin 12V/230V
Charging converter 24V-12V no
110V / 230V in the cabin? yes
Inverter no
Other
We did not save money on sockets and light, which was something we had done in the last campervan. As always you pay the bill later and we were really annoyed by the fact that we always had to unplug things to plug in other devices. Now there is enough of everything in her. Do not ask me about the kilos of wire we used or for the length of it but this is the first campervan of which I do have the feeling that everything is alright.

Capacity of batteries in the cabin

Capacity of batteries in the cabin 140Ah
Battery type AGMs
Battery charger for cabin batteries Yes
Battery management No

Power generation

Solar capacity None
Solar controller None
Fuel cell no
Power generator Only the engine generator

Heating system

Manufacturer and type of heating system Truma E2400 (if you can get one, get it - ours has been burning for almost 20 years now and is still going really strong
Warm water processing Elgena TB 3 Combi (12V and 230V)
Cab heating standard

Gas system

Explanation of gas system
30mbar, steel pipe; 2 x 8kgs bottled gas
distributor is under kitchen workboard
Only in her because we wanted to be able to heat and cook whenever and wherever we want to

Water system

water flow flexible pipe
Water filtration system none
Capacity of fresh water tank(s) 40l
Capacity of waste water tank(s) 2 x 8l buckets one under the left side, the other under the right side of he vehicle
Other
Bad mistake: I forgot about adding a drainage line. No really good idea as the water would be fouling. No real bad problem, though, as I will use the water line that ends in the rear of the vehicle for this.
What turned out to be an aggravating problem is the draining of the Elgena boiler in its position deep down in the rear boxes. I have decided to add flexible pipe and a stopcock to handle the problem to the boiler.
Moreover I have added a shut off witch to the electric hook inside the cupboard to turn the power off without problems. But there is still the fear that there might be no water in the boiler, killing it. I do not see why Elgena does not give this boiler an automatic shut off in case of missing water.

Toilet

Manufacturer and type of toilet Berger porta
Capacity of black water tank maybe 20l

Vehicle accessories

Rear carrier Maybe some day. So far we believe in scooters instead of bikes - you will always find space for them in the vehicle and that is just fine.
Roof rack maybe later
Storage boxes standard heavy duty boxes from a diy
Outside cooking facilities Enders 2 flame cooker - 25 years old but still working fine
Awning yes, Berger plus Reimo magnet weather strip
Other
We were a bit reluctant about the Reimo weather strip first, but in use it proved to be tough enough and it is really fast set up - 5mins is fully OK
released 14.03.18 
owner Heiko Landmann 
views 5966 
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