Van Build Guides

How it all began; buying our Mercedes Vario and Stripping it down

In September 2020 we made the decision to buy our 2003 Mercedes Vario minibus. This came about after a relatively short search and there are a few things we did that all the van buying guides in the world warn against.

What we should have done

Go and see lots and lots of vans. See what a good one looks like, try out a few different sizes, maybe check out some self converted minibuses in person. Then once we had made our final choice, shop around.

What did we actually do

With a pandemic on we mainly ‘shopped’ online. Scouring the internet for Various vans for sale. Our minds were set on the Mercedes Vario though because it had a a few things that ticked our boxes;

  • Large enough for a fixed bed, shower, kitchen and passenger seats
  • payload capacity to be off grid for a long period of time
  • look cool

With that in mind we made appointments to go and see a couple of minibuses. One was only 1.5 miles away and the other about 25 miles away in South Wales.

Basically we bought the one from Wales. It had a good service history, recent MOT and was in our budget. Our decision was probably expedited by the fact we’d not long been out of lockdown and we wanted to crack on with the conversion.

After a short negotiation it was ours and we brought it home to begin stripping it apart.

We’ve put a video together on our Wanderbus Adventures channel to show this. This shows a short walk around of our Vario 614D and the initial demolition before we started turning it into a camper van.

2 replies on “How it all began; buying our Mercedes Vario and Stripping it down”

Just found your blog. Will update on my Transit ‘baby’ via here. Loving your updates. Keep your enthusiasm it is encouraging and infectious. James

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