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Build Your Own Motorcaravan [Hardcover]

John Wickersham
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)

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Book Description

18 Feb 2006
One way to become the proud owner of a motorcaravan or camper van is to design and build it yourself. Not only can you create a distinctive holiday home, but you can also control the cost. Whether you want to fit out a van, renovate a camper, revive an old model or build one from scratch, this manual will show you how. It gives hands-on explanations about electrical systems, water supplies, storage ideas and saving weight when working with wood. All is revealed in this practical book.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: J H Haynes & Co Ltd (18 Feb 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844252213
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844252213
  • Product Dimensions: 21.5 x 27.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 184,606 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
58 of 60 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Waste of Money 4 Jun 2008
This only gets 1 star because there was no box for zero stars. I bought this with the intention of converting my van but it is a waste of space. The author tells you what you need to do but doesn't give step by step instructions on how to do it - what's the point in that??? It shows the authors conversions and spends a lot of time rambling on about it without giving any proper instruction on how to do your own. Things like "you need to fit windows" are pretty obvious but How?? I think the title is one of the most misleading titles I have ever come across and the author should pay everyone who has bought this book their money back!
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52 of 54 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Build your own Motorcaravan 22 Jun 2006
While covering all aspects of motorhome building it is a litle shallow and somewhat rambling with a lot of repetition. There is far too much about safety this and safety that when a short chapter on health and safety would be much better. The writing style is also a little flowery. It just needs a good editor. Having said all that there isn't anything better out there that I've found so far.
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52 of 55 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Hard Work 30 Jun 2007
Rubbish. Nothing is in a logical order. When designing a camper/motorhome the first thing that needs to be thought about is the wiring and plumbing etc but this isn't covered until the end of the book once he's already installed all the fixtures and fittings. Electrical systems are not covered properly. There's no information on how to wire a 12V and 240V system together - there is a note telling you to look at another manual. What little useful information there is is spread very thinly and padded out with a whole lot of rubbish about how great the Author is. For example I wanted to cut grooves in wood but the advice is simply what tool he uses then a photo of the finished product - no explanation of how to get a straight line or to get the right depth etc.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good buy. 31 May 2010
I find myself agreeing in some instances but disagreeing at other times with previous reviewers. Yes, the author does use a fair bit of personal anecdotal evidence in the manual, no it most certainly is not a waste of money buying this book.

It would be nigh on impossible for anybody to cover every single conversion that could be dreamed of. With this in mind why is that other reviewers then 'knock' the author for being general when describing conversions? I think this generalisation works well in the manual. If you are seriously thinking of converting a vehicle into a motorhome you should have some wide ranging skills to start with both in motor mechanics and in general metalwork and woodwork. The author shows that you don't need to be a craftsman to get very pleasing and sometimes better than professional results. Plenty of examples are given throughout the book of various conversions and it is from these that the purchaser should be then adapting to suit his or her own needs. The author actually makes this very easy to do.

If I do have any condemnations of the book it is that there are few too many references to other manuals from the Haynes stable also written by the same author. These references, I feel, could probably have been included in this one manual; that's really a minor point though.

Ultimately would I buy this manual again if I lost it or otherwise? Absolutely. I wholeheartedly recommend this to anybody thinking of embarking on a motorhome/campervan conversion.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not that much help 8 Sep 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I found this to be very out dated and of not a lot of use I thought it would talk you through a van conversion not a motor home rebuild. I would only rate it a 3 out of 10 as a conversion build as some items may be of use to a complete novice......
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars build your own motorcaravan 12 April 2011
By twigs
The book is full of good ideas and things to consider but it is a little dated.It is a good basic guide to building your own motorhome.It doesnt have a order of work or detailed schematic's for electric's etc.
We have found it good reading and helped us with the basic knowledge so that we could do further research on the internet.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Same 23 Aug 2010
Much of the content in this book is mentionned in the other books of same Author on the caravaning subjct
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Useful 27 Jun 2011
By stel
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I found this book very useful in lots of respects.

It's really good for finding out where to get stuff, which is not easy without those tips, even if you're an experienced Googler like me. Very helpful for getting the basics for electrical and plumbing, what's the difference between different kinds of fridge, etc. Tips like avoiding condensation under beds, etc.

Some bits are more 'his way of doing things' which isn't mine. That's fine, I wouldn't be doing the conversion myself if I didn't have some unorthodox ideas, so don't expect each one to be the same.

His emphasis on lightweight is critical and ignored by a lot of home converters (which leads to higher fuel bills and it's not hard to go over the payload limit with some people in there as well, which makes you illegal and you can be taken off the road, etc.)

Don't expect the answer to everything, but it's pretty comprehensive.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Not bad
This isn't what I would call modern but it does what it says on the proverbial tin... Nice large book & instructions mind!
Published 1 month ago by GunZenBomZ
3.0 out of 5 stars Some useful ideas
Great photography and some useful ideas but in some ares too focussed ona specific project. Not really for the first time builder.
Published 2 months ago by Paul Bedingfield
3.0 out of 5 stars OK ish
Its OK if you're a complete novice, but didn't give me any of the technical info I was hoping for. Better suited to someone who has bought a new motorcaravan than to a campervan... Read more
Published 8 months ago by bizzi
3.0 out of 5 stars book review
while the book had lots of info i found it a bit to vauge in a few areas and also didn,t seem to cater very well for people on a tight budget no alteratives to expensive materials. Read more
Published 8 months ago by KATIE
3.0 out of 5 stars It is really just ok
When it comes to Haynes I have come to expect a lot more than what this book presents. It is at very least a hotch potch of pieces of information. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Ms
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Saw the author at NEC Motorhome show last year in a panel of experts, changed my mind about power for camper. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Richard Grenfell
5.0 out of 5 stars build a capmper
Very good if you start from scratch,was going to build but decided to buy a coach built but good things in the book for future reference
Published 17 months ago by b r whomes
4.0 out of 5 stars Motorhome Build
A little dated since the original vehicle was built, but has many good references
that will help the budding self build mobilehome caravanner.
It's well worth the money.
Published 23 months ago by dardooronron
5.0 out of 5 stars Self build campervan
Great book for inspiration, the writer appears to have good facilites to hand and good DIY skills so having enjoyed the read I'm now confident to commit and have a go at a build or... Read more
Published on 22 May 2012 by Rufus GB
3.0 out of 5 stars Was Ok
Its a good book, but basic not technical enough for me. I wanted a book that gave recomendations etc on cable sizes to use for different things, split charge information, which... Read more
Published on 1 Mar 2012 by MR R L D TAMPIN
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