About Dinkum

Having owned both motorcaravans and caravans, swapping between them as circumstances changed, the time felt right to put together an economical “day van plus” to enhance our retirement and leisure time. An engineer by qualification, my first thought was to do a self conversion but in moving home I gained a more (?) pleasant view but lost my garage workshop and a lot of parking space. We are keen walkers and cyclists whilst we are away camping.

Prior to giving up my proper job, I was a Fellow of the Institute of Mining Electrical and Mechanical Engineers and a member of the Institute of Road Transport Engineers.


We love to hear other’s comments. Please send in your thoughts, especially NV200 related material. We can show your pictures on this Blog. I have written several books which will be published shortly. I hope that you enjoy my ramblings and my Blog. Perhaps you will enjoy one of my books in 2017?

We currently also sometimes Tow an Elddis Explore 302 caravan.

Why not view our sister Blog . The diary of making a copy of a Bow Top Gypsy caravan.

http://www.bowtopblog.wordpress.com

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32 Responses to “About Dinkum”

  1. gc1000 September 17, 2013 at 1:45 am #

    Just read your blog and found it very interesting as I am also considering having an NV200 converted to a camper van. Very much looking forward to seeing some pics of your finished van and also interested in why you chose drivelodge to complete the conversion. I found their website to be very poor, and has not provided me with much inspiration.
    Looking forward to continuing to read your blog.
    Gary

    • Dinkum September 17, 2013 at 2:50 am #

      Hi Gary, best wishes for your conversion. I am sure that the NV200 is a good choice !
      We had test driven a fixed roof NV200 converted by Lightcliffe Group which was for sale at a local dealers. It was lovely to drive and had a side conversion. They were asking almost £19,000 for it but despite being a high class conversion inside, it had no air con, heating and badly needed a raising roof to enable proper “stand up” cooking and washing at the hob/basin. Very few converters could offer a raising roof to convert this Lightcliffe van. We investigated all that could and DRIVELODGE came out best, as they produced their own roof for the NV200 and quoted a competitive price for a full conversion . It was better for us to buy a brand new van with loads of extras, including airbags all round, aircon etc etc. Other converters were encouraging us to go for their lower spec base vans at a higher price. We did get a very sharp , discounted price when buying the SE euro 5 110ps version from Nissan , which helped. Although we have been troiubled by delays, I would still recommend Drivelodge, especially now that they have ironed out the obvious issues which occur with a fresh conversion on such a relatively small package. Speak to James at Drivelodge. I hope this helps you.

      • gc1000 September 17, 2013 at 4:48 pm #

        I live in Portugal and the cost of importing a UK purchased vehicle here, and re-registering it is astronomical.
        I am thinking next year of buying a new high spec 110bhp version of the NV200 here, and taking it to the UK to have it converted. I have contacted Sussex Campervans I really like the looks of their conversion but am awaiting a response.
        I will wait to see some pics of your conversion and then contact Drivelodge.
        Thanks for this blog site. Lots of interesting stuff on here 🙂
        Gary

  2. Lucy Brewer November 7, 2014 at 6:41 am #

    Hi Dinkum. I’m getting an NV200 conversion from Sussex Campervans and have read your post of Oct 11th 2013 about modifying the back seats to be able to accommodate the loo for nighttime use. I’d be very interested to find out if this was possible as I don’t like a night time wander to the loo or the idea of having to erect a loo tent either! I have a Romahome R10 at the moment which is a single berth camper and has the loo in its own cabinet which is great, and I love the van, but I have grown out of it as I now have two dogs and it is just too small for us all. Thanks, Lucy

    • Dinkum November 7, 2014 at 9:45 am #

      Welcome Lucy. I think that it is feasible to modify the bed seat to allow use of an under seat porta potti during the night when the bed is made up. What is needed is a bed base which can be flipped up and over at it’s front edge to give access to the porta potti and allow enough leg room between the cab seats and the folded up front edge of the bed. You would probably have to use a duvet or sleeping bag to help when folding up the bed but not a hardship.
      I suggest contacting Daniel at Sussex campervans at an early stage and requesting that he looks at the issue for you. Their designs are clever and innovative and I feel sure that they can come up with a solution for you. A night time access porta potti would greatly add to the already strong and varied appeal of using this versatile little NV200. It would be super to have feedback from you as to what you can come up with. Hope this helps.

  3. mikael February 3, 2015 at 8:47 am #

    Hi Dinkum, will send photos of NV200 conversion when complete (delayed by 2 months). You recall Nissan were going to retrofit the ordered rear glazed kit at the converters. They have woken up and realised the job is too big so they need to replace with a new van. They are throwing in a tow bar and Thatchem 1 alarm to soften the blow, but will not be delivered now til end March 2015 !!! Please advise how I send the photo’s . Maybe email address ?
    Ciao Mikael

    • Dinkum February 3, 2015 at 6:50 pm #

      Hi Mikael, I have replied privately to your email . We also had issues with Nissan with an incorrect delivery vs order,but it was sorted out. Delivery was also late. The base van is so good, I forgive them! Thanks for your contribution!

  4. Russ April 25, 2015 at 2:30 pm #

    Thanks Dinkum, your blog helped me decide on an NV200. Picked up a 2013 van with 12,000 miles on it 2 weeks ago. Love it! So easy to drive. Done 800 miles so far and the trip computer is averaging 50mpg! Already had 2 rear privacy windows fitted (I like a rear view mirror!) and am looking into getting it insulated and a floor put in. Unfortunately not found anyone in South Yorkshire that can do it yet. There are a few but if it isn’t a VW they aren’t interested. Have decided not to do a full camper conversion.

    Got a Daiwa Mission Bedchair from a friend for £30 (£90 new) that fits perfectly in the back (very comfy) and a great Kampa Travel Pod awning that takes 2 minutes to put up and it fits great! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qfx-PuKe2Yc

    Looking forward to testing it out next month for 3 days at World Superbikes at Donington.

    Thanks again for your blog, it’s been most useful!

    Cheers… Russ x

    • Dinkum April 25, 2015 at 6:19 pm #

      Thanks for your comments Russ ! I don’t think that you will be disappointed with your choice! The Kampa Travel Pod looks great. Let us all know what you think after Donnington (another passion of mine too: Motorbikes!). Best wishes and enjoy your purchases!

      • Russ May 24, 2015 at 6:55 pm #

        Just had my first weekend away in my NV200… If I had to write about it, id say it’s “How to spend a few nights in an NV200 without spending much money!”. Took some pics if anyone’s interested! Loving this van mate. Cheers!

  5. Dinkum May 25, 2015 at 8:19 am #

    Hi Russ, was that at Donington World Superbikes mate? Usually a great event!

    • Russ May 25, 2015 at 10:46 am #

      Indeed it was. Van was very cosy and racing was superb!

      • Edd June 21, 2015 at 7:29 am #

        Hi Dinkum. Just found your blog website and found it very intresting.
        I have been considering a NV200 purchase for about 2yrs but undecided between the van or combi. Keep up the intresting blog.
        Thanks

  6. Dinkum June 21, 2015 at 11:34 am #

    If you buy a combi, you may have to sell some of the seats but you will get all glass factory fitted. I think that you may also save on road fund licence with a combi. You should be able to pick up an NV200 van heavily discounted. I would have a word with a Nissan dealer to see what you can pick up new. Pre-used vans can be found at bargain prices now and some have only carried Flowers and light, non-damaging cargo. Good hunting and keep in touch !

  7. nsandersen November 20, 2015 at 2:13 pm #

    Would you mind if I asked you about some details of this van? Really like it.

    • Dinkum November 20, 2015 at 5:43 pm #

      Please. go ahead and ask.

  8. nsandersen November 23, 2015 at 5:28 pm #

    I was just curious about the water tank size. I was going to ask about waste, but just spotted a post about DIYing an underslung tank.

    Also curious about the LPG, heating and fridge (this ended up being an 30L fridge.. looks bigger?).

    Do you know how long it can run the fridge on the battery?

    And also how long it can run the heater on the battery if the LPG tank is not the limiting factor?

    Thank you – everytime I think about something like this, it ends up with “it is too big to work as even an occasional car”, but seeing these compact little vans around, it could perhaps work.

    • Dinkum November 24, 2015 at 7:19 pm #

      In no particular order.

      The Nissan NV200 in any form, definately can be used as your only vehicle. Ours certainly is. Parking is no problem whatsoever and the rear view camera is a huge plus in that respect.
      You can travel at illegal speeds easily on the motorway with the 110ps 6 sp version and the 85ps models are not far behind at all.

      Our water “tank” is a plastic bottle holding around 13 litres. I still have not fitted a waste water tank as we have not needed one. Usually in our case it is only a little fresh water which goes down the sink drain anyway. For more serious use, a CAK tank can be fitted in a void under the offside floor of the van.

      The fridge is a Vitrifrigo C39 taking 33W, 1.42 to 2.83A. With a 110Ah battery you should get over 30 hours continuos running? I have not tried to do this.

      The Propex HS2000 blown air heater consumes a further 1.2A running.
      Gas consumption is 13kg over 101 hours with propane. 15kg of butane lasts 117 hours. Theoretically approaching 100 hours running but the voltage would drop below that required before then, no doubt. Also depends on age of battery , ambient temperature etc. Again, we have no pushed things that far. I have not even found the need to couple up our solar panel for top up.Hope this helps.

  9. Roger Mills March 8, 2016 at 8:50 pm #

    On one of your pages you mention and show some nice-looking fifteen-inch 5-spoke wheels. Could you please tell me what the rim size and the tyre size is please, as I plan to get some. Thanks, Roger

    • Dinkum March 9, 2016 at 1:54 pm #

      Hi Roger, I have emailed details privately to you, Dinkum

  10. Ryan March 11, 2016 at 8:25 pm #

    Hi
    FYI – van arrived and collected, and work starting slowly. ETA for windows to be fitted 20-22 March, and then measurement for bed etc, but can’t do much till bed arrives
    Feel free to steal posts or laugh lol.
    Swivel seat plate in living room wondering how on earth to fit it to the seat – and hw to fix rails to seat! Will be a challenge I think.
    But, how hard can it be?!

    • Dinkum March 12, 2016 at 8:52 am #

      Great news Ryan. take your time, move one step at a time and you will get it done. Focus on that first BBQ in the sun, out in the fresh air! You can always test us out with questions. We will help if we can

  11. Davide De Pieri September 16, 2016 at 7:39 am #

    Dear Gary,

    I have a nissan Evalia nv200 Acenta and I am struggling finding someone that can fit a pop top roof on my car.
    Here in Italy I have found companies that would work on it, but they need someone that produces the pop top roof.

    I won’t afford a full conversion and in order to get eaily in the top I would prefer a pop top with the higher short side in the front of the vehicle.

    Could you please give to me some hints?

    Thank you in advance and compliment for all the works published in this forum!

    Davide

    • Dinkum September 16, 2016 at 9:29 am #

      Hi Davide,
      Sussex Campervans may be able to help with supply of a pop top (raising) roof. Their pop top hinges at the high with the high side to the front of the vehicle. find them here http://sussexcampervans.com/our-work/nv-200-camper-car/ ask for Daniel and tell him that I recommended Sussex Campervans.
      The roof on our NV200 is high at the rear and hinges at the front. It is definitely high enough , even with the sink and gas hob just behind the cab seats. This type of roof is made by and definitely available from Drivelodge, based in Cross Hills, near Keighley in Yorkshire.
      see http://drivelodge.co.uk/portfolio-item/nissan-nv200-rear-elevating Ask for James, David or Joanne and tell them I recommended them.They converted our NV200 about 3 years ago. It is superb!
      Good Luck! Please keep in touch.

  12. Gillian Vook March 11, 2017 at 7:10 pm #

    Hi Dinkum

    Just wondering if Lucy Brewer ever got back to you about Sussex Campervans finding a way to use porta potti at night in Nissan NV 200. Very keen on this van except for that one little issue. Any thoughts.
    Thanks

    • Dinkum March 12, 2017 at 9:54 am #

      Hi Gillian,
      Welcome to the Blog ! Lucy did indeed buy an NV200 from Sussex Campervans and she replied as below just prior to taking delivery. I am trying to get an update and some photos for you. Lucy said :

      “Daniel was around when I arrived and explained that there was no problem as the base of the bed could be lifted up allowing access to the loo at night (having moved it out of the locker before going to bed). So problem has apparently been solved!

      And also I realise this will give access to the fridge for my morning cuppa!”

  13. Gillian Vook March 12, 2017 at 1:01 pm #

    Thank you for your prompt response, it’s great news. Will look forward to next instalment.
    Gillian Cook

  14. Chris Betts May 11, 2017 at 1:47 pm #

    Hi. I’m seriously thinking about buying an NV200 for our campervan project and wondered if you knew of anyone who used it as a 4 birth ( 2 small adults and 2 kids under 3 )? is the pop top big enough for 1a1c or has anyone attached a tent in anyway? Has was if for storage/weight etc? lots of questions but just wondered if anyone else with an NV200 has a family of 4?

    • Dinkum May 11, 2017 at 6:37 pm #

      Hi Chris, welcome to my Blog. Yes, the NV200 can sleep 2 + 2 children. Many converters have roof beds in the pop top which usually has a 100kg limit but you would need to check this. If you scroll down through the Archives you will find lots of photos and info on UK and EU converters. Storage areas are under the rear bed seat and in the side cupboards. When the pop top is up, the cab roof doubles as a storage level too. Both cab seats can be made to swivel. There is a previous posting on DIY swivel on the Blog.With the seats swivelled, this also gives some “bedside table” type storage when in sleeping mode.

      • Dinkum May 12, 2017 at 12:45 am #

        You can use the search facility on the home page to search for anything mentioned in the Blog. For example “swivel seats” will take you to postings concerning just that.

  15. L May 12, 2017 at 7:55 pm #

    Thank you for your blog. I have the same van and intend to fit a rock n roll bed.

    What is the brand and model of the bed pictured on https://dvickers1955.wordpress.com/2013/02/ ? Is this the model you actually have in your van? How much height do you have between the floor and the bottom of the bed?

    I have not understood where you are storing your porta potti even though I did read https://dvickers1955.wordpress.com/2013/10/page/2/

    Could you please tell me where it is? Do you know if it is possible to store the porta potti with the top and bottom disassembled and placed side by side under the bed? Or would this lead to some unwanted leak of gas or worse?

    • Dinkum May 13, 2017 at 2:28 am #

      I think that the seat bed could be from zooom in Germany.see http://www.zooom.biz/index.php?id=12&L=1 Our bed frame was made from scratch to fit by Drivelodge, Cross Hills, Yorkshire. Our porta potti is the smallest one available but works just fine. It sits behind a hinged door within the seat bed. It just pulls forward into the open space, in front of the rear seat for use and does not require assembly of any sort. I am currently unable to measure the bed dimensions for you but will do so shortly. 3/4 width beds are widely available for VW variants and my first place to search for one would be to look at what is available on line for VWs.These should fit the NV200 Please ask again and I will help if I can

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