Friday, January 1, 2010

The dream began

I have been fascinated by caravan, campervan or motorhome. I love the freedom of stopping and staying anywhere I fancy without having to worry about room booking, check-in and check-out time. Unfortunately such things are rather hard to find in Malaysia, a quick search on the net shows that there are a galaxy of information on this subject in countries like UK, US, Australia and New Zealand but practically nothing in Malaysia. Curiously, the road transport authority (JPJ) and vehicle inspection centers (Puspakom) has category for caravan.

There were a company called Malaysian Motorhome in the 90's that provided rental units, but the company has since became defunct. There are some privately imported units , usually at high cost by well heeled individuals. My budget simply do not allow me to take such route, so I have to look for cheaper alternative.

I started to look at DIY conversion using vans. At around that same time, the local classified website mudah.my started to gain popularity. To me this is truly a treasure trove for my purpose. I started to look for suitable high roofed vans for conversion. The only models that met my requirements are the Renault Traffic (known as Inokom Permas locally), Ford Transit, Toyota High Ace.

Here are some of units I found on sale.



Among the locally available make and models, the Renault Traffic van mostly closely fit into my criteria for DIY campervan conversion. It has sufficient head room for adults of average heights to stand up and the low flat floor provide walk through access between the front seats and the back. The split tail gate makes great rear access. What stops me from getting it? Being an european design, its FWD mechanical layout in a van is foreign to most mechanics who are mostly familiar with Japanese mid engined vans. The availability of parts is another concern.



Then I found this gem advertised for sale. It was a decommissioned ambulance based on a high roof Ford Transit. Most of the interior fitting are intact. It has rear air suspension and a 2 litre DOHC petrol engine (local spec Ford Transit are all diesel engined and with medium or low roof only). The ambulance spec made an ideal vehicle for conversion to campervan, I was very excited at the potential. Unfortunately,there's a legal complication of converting it from commercial use to private ownership. Sadly I have to let this one pass as well.

13 comments:

Hairul Nizam said...

Hi TJ..

This ambulance boleh beli ka?

TJ Chang said...

Boleh, tapi mesti tukar dari pemilik persatuan ke pemilik persendirian, cukai juga mesti di bayar keranan ia di tukar dari kereta perdagangan ke persendirian. Memang leceh...

Hairul Nizam said...

aisey tu la pasal.. I ada call org nak jual ambulan IVECO. Harga dalam RM 40K..tapi tukar nama kena buat sendiri..

Hairul Nizam said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
TJ Chang said...

Oops removed comment by accident....anyway i think iveco is the biggest, but spare parts susah lor. Inokom permas has high roof but most of it have gear box problem, the engine fuel injection unit is hard to fix if it has problem. If you can find one without these problems then it is good for conversion. Ford transit does not have high roof here as standard, but it is ok otherwise

TJ Chang said...

Iveco tak ada di jual di malaysia kepada pemilik awam, mesti cari bengkel yang boleh buat maintenance.

TJ Chang said...

Iveco tak ada di jual di malaysia kepada pemilik awam, mesti cari bengkel yang boleh buat maintenance.

Hairul Nizam said...

hehehe..thanks for info...harap satu hari I dapat miliki satu campervan..kalau susah sangat modified lori mcm earth cruiser lah..

Anonymous said...

Hai TJ, saya minat nak miliki caravan motorhome macam u punya tapi mau tanya dekat malaysia ni boleh pakai ke kenderaan macam ni secara legal punya? kalau boleh apa syarat yang mesti kita patuhi ikut JPJ?

-HAFIZ-

Anonymous said...

hi..i juz bought an inokom permas, wit an intention to convert it to a campervan..cn u pls recommend a workshop to customise the interior into one..n 1 more..cn the engine be converted to a turbo FWD, say SR20 fr Nissan Pulsar?

TJ Chang said...

Wing Motorhome +60102266456 used to do interior customization, but I think he has stopped doing that already, but you can call to enquire. Permas engine is Renault so getting a Japanese engine may require mounting mods and custom adaptor plates for the gearbox.

shukor said...

Hye tj
I just bought inokom permas ambulance
Already pay the cukai n convert to persendirian
I want to sell it's cheapx2
Anyone interested just give a response

Anonymous said...

I'm interested 0123325200