Our van part 1: basics & exterior
Our van is a VW LT from 1999. It’s red and it has a 2.5 turbodiesel engine, which generates 109 horsepower. If you don’t know what LT is, it’s basically a Sprinter’s brother, sharing a lot of components with it, but not engines which are VW’s.
Our van is high, medium-length version, which in our opinion is the best compromise between interior space and external dimensions. It’s comfortable to live in and possible to park and maneuver in the city.
Why did we choose LT?
Sprinter/LT is a reliable platform, popular in Europe and entire world. This one was for sale in our home-town for not that much money. It also wasn’t hauling any heavy cargo in it’s previous life so it wasn’t much worn out. After some discussions we decided that this would be an optimal size of van for us, but we considered many, many other options.
Pros & cons
- Interior size (comfortable to live in)
- Exterior size (fits in a parking spaces)
- You seat higher than in a passenger car, so you can see above them
- Reasonable fuel consumption (about 9L/100km)
- You can buy parts almost everywhere
- Off-road abilities
- It’s red
- It’s RWD
- Rust (but less than in Sprinter)
- Exterior size (sometimes hard to maneuver and wind-dependend in higher speeds
- Weight (sometimes we can’t park or drive somewhere)
- It drives like a truck
- It’s not a classic, but it has no modern equipment too
- It’s slow
- It has been hauling some cargo for all of it’s life so some parts are just worn out, even if it was well maintained
We haven’t made many changes to the exterior of our van. We had some plans to add stickers, auxiliary led lights, awning etc. but on the other side we wanted to be full incognito when in ‘non-camper’ zones. That’s why we don’t even have windows on the sides.
But there are few things worth mention at the outside, which are not 100% stock.
Orginally LT’s in Europe drive on 225/70r15 tires. We fitted 235/75r15 Cooper Discoverer AT3 All-Terrain tyres instead. They work perfectly on a road as well as off-road. They allow us to drive off the beaten path just enough to sleep in remote and beautiful places. On the down side steering is less precise and fuel consumption is slightly bigger. But who cares.
There was a plan to make full Roadrakers branding on the exterior of the van, stickers on the every side etc. But finally we went far more incognito with only two small ones on the front fenders.
We didn’t made it. It was like that when we bought a car and it’s an excellent addition. It makes reaching inside much easier, especially when you need something which is located higher above ground. And you can also sit on it if you like to.
On the roof we have solar panels and some vents. It changes appearance of the exterior but we’ll cover it in some next parts of our van story.
If you have any questions please ask and we’ll be happy to answer them in one of the next parts.
Stay tuned 🙂