If you have already decided on buying a new or used Ford Transit Custom Campervan the follow up decision is sometimes even more difficult. Do you attempt the conversion yourself (see Take the Quiz – 15 Questions to Answer Before Deciding to Convert a Van) or pay a converter? If the answer is the latter, who do you choose?
There are accredited converters converting ten or more vans per month. Or there are unaccredited single man converters building to custom specifications. This article will summarise who the main players are. First, however, we will look at what advantages and disadvantages you can expect by choosing one of them to convert your van.
- You should always be able to find someone to deal with warranty issues.
- The standard of conversion should be higher.
- Resale values will be better for a respected brand of converter.
- Depending on the converter you may have to join a long waiting list.
- The cost of conversion will always be higher.
- They may be more reluctant to build to a custom specification.
Ford QVM (Qualified Vehicle Modifiers)
- See the list on the Official Ford Website.
Westalia are probably the most well-known of all campervan conversion companies. They are German and supply Ford with the showroom quality Ford Transit Custom Nugget. You can buy them from UK Ford dealers with a high top or pop top. The Nugget comes in both short and long wheel base versions.
The quality of a Westfalia conversion should be unquestioned. In addition, if you buy directly from a Ford Dealer you should have full reassurance. The design of the Nugget is unique and is well worth considering if you are looking at the premium end of the market.
Based in Barnsley UK, Wellhouse Leisure have Ford QVM (Qualified Vehicle Modifier) Accreditation. They produce a number of models of FTCCVs including the Misano, Trail, Active and Lux-XL. The company started in 2002 and have been converting the Ford Transit Custom since 2013.
Wellhouse convert new and used vehicles which they source directly from Ford. However they will also do their own conversions on customer supplied vans. Expect a six month wait for conversions as they become more popular every year. Wellhouse Leisure use the Drivelodge high top and pop top roofs on their conversions.
Autohaus are another well-established name within the campervan community. They produce the GT Spartan conversion based on a high specification van. They will also build their conversion on a customer provided vehicle.
Based in Minehead in Somerset they are also an NCC (National Caravan Council) Approved Contractor. This means you can be sure of their workmanship. They only convert short wheelbase models with pop top roofs.
There are many FTCCV converters who do not have Ford QVM accreditation but may be NCC Approved. Additionally there are even more who do not have any formal certification to back them up. This does not mean that the standard will be poor. On the contrary it could be as good, if not better. The secret to choosing a non-accredited converter is trusted referrals from people that you know. The comments on Facebook posts and forums are not a great method of proving the standard of workmanship of a converter.
Here is a list of non-QVM converters that are worth exploring (in reverse alphabetical order):
- West Country Conversions in Devon offer a RIB bed conversion with Reimo elevating roof for £15,495 +VAT (price correct as of March 2021).
- Wildax Motorhomes produce the Wildax Triton based on a LWB van. See our forum post Is this the only FTCCV with a shower? for more information.
- Thistle Rose Leisure are based in Yorkshire and seem to offer a wide range of layouts for the full range of van sizes available.
- Custom Camper Solutions are an NCC approved converter based in Leicestershire. They offer a SWB conversion for £12,995 and a LWB for £13,495 (prices correct as of March 2021).
- Camper Kong are based in Northwest England and convert a wide range of vans including the Ford Transit Custom.
- Auto Campers are based in three locations – Berkshire, Sheffield and Inverness. They have some very different layouts and innovative ideas when it comes to campervans. You can also hire a van from their Scottish base which is a great way to help you decide whether to buy or not.
A Final Word of Advice
There are more and more companies offering van conversion services appearing everyday who are not accredited converters. This Facebook review is an example of how things can go wrong. Fortunately events like this seem to be rare although the number of unreported issues remains unknown.
Unfortunately many positive reviews that are submitted on platforms such as Facebook and Google are of limited use. This is because they are often written a week or two after receiving delivery of the campervan. It is a well known fact that conversion problems only start to become apparent after continued use of the vehicle. A single honest review written after one or two years of ownership would be worth much more than several reviews stating how beautiful the conversion is on the first day.
In all cases, it is vitally important to visit the place of work and see an example of a conversion before agreeing to anything.
Are you currently deciding who to use? Who did you use? Was it the right choice? Let us know by leaving a comment below.