Amdro – turning an MPV into a campervan

by backpackingbongos

I have to admit that I started to miss the Bongo after we had it scrapped. Although it only got used a few times a year, I liked the idea of being able to jump in it at a whim and disappear into the hills. The thing that often stopped me doing so was the prohibitive cost, it was a gas guzzler getting only around 23mpg.

Looking round for a more economical replacement I was shocked at just how expensive campervans are these days. Even panel vans with less than 100k on the clock and in good nick cost enough to make your eyes water. I then discovered a company based in North Wales that makes removable campervan kits for van based MPV’s, I was sold on the idea.

There are loads of these types of vehicles knocking about which means that you can easily buy a decent one second hand. We opted for the rather utilitarian looking Fiat Doblo, finding one with low mileage and a reasonably powerful 1.9 litre diesel engine. It’s proved more than capable of getting up the steepest moorland roads and cruising comfortably on the motorways. A week after getting the car, the campervan kit arrived from Wales. Here are a few photos showing how it all works (mud and dog hair courtesy of Reuben).

1

Just another car parked at a muddy North York Moors car park.

 

2

When driving around it is a normal 5 seater car, the camper kit hidden in the boot.

 

3

The Amdro boot jump sits in the boot ready for use. It simply clamps into place and can be removed when not needed.

 

4

To make a bed you simply pull the front seats forward and flatten the back seats. The Amdro boot jump then folds outwards to provide a flat platform. The lighter curved section at the front can be removed to access storage boxes underneath and to make a table when in day mode.

 

8

The cushions then fit onto the platform to give a very comfortable bed. I’m 6ft and I can lay flat with no problems. There is room for a couple, or a man and his Staffy. Reuben will have to be relegated to one of the front seats when there is two of us though!

 

5

For day mode you remove the curved section and using the pole provided it becomes a handy table. Two people can sit and eat comfortably.

 

6

The kitchen unit slides out on rails from under one of the seats. Under the other seat there are two plastic crates for storage.

 

7

The stove is a high quality double alcohol burner, mainly designed for use on boats. It is simple and works well. A spill proof reservoir under each burner holds over a litre of fuel. There is then enough room to store your kitchen equipment, although you have to be fairly minimalist. It’s a handy thing to have even when not using the van as a camper. It is easy to just pull over and make a cuppa or cook a meal. If the weather is bad the stove unit can be lifted out and used inside (making sure there is adequate ventilation).

 

9

Over the past weekend it proved to be a comfy place to hang out whilst the wind blasted across the North York Moors. I’ll do a proper review at some point after using it over the next year. The main thing I will be looking at is how it copes with extended use and abuse.

Amdro can be found here.

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26 Responses to “Amdro – turning an MPV into a campervan”

  1. I really like this idea…

  2. And the wind did blast, as well! I think it’s just brilliant 🙂

  3. Looks pretty nifty, look forward to your full review.

  4. That looks great James.Seems a really flexible vehicle. Looking forward to future posts about this. I just looked on the Amdro link which of the 4 conversions did you go for?

  5. That is seriously well thought out. How much is the conversion kit if you don’t mind me asking. Do they also fit blinds for privacy

    • The one that we purchase came to just over 2k, although it did come with a boot awning as well. It comes with blackout blinds that sucker onto the windows and then roll up when not in use. I might get the rear windows tinted in future for more privacy during the day.

  6. This looks great! Fancy a camper but definetly. Can’t afford one. This might make it doable.

  7. I like to think of dog hair and mud as an anti-theft device. Nobody in their right mind would nick my car. Interesting post, though. I want one. And so does LTD

    • We have the same anti theft device on our car, used snotty tissues add to the general security. I bet lucky would like a mini camper………

  8. Very neat James and it looks like Reuben approves!

  9. The Amdro is quite possibly the best “travelling” buy I have ever made (besides my motorbike). Spent the New Year in the amdro on the north coast of Galiza, Spain parked on the edge of a protected dune system and fantastic bird reserve. Enjoy it, I know I do!

    • Good to hear that you have enjoyed using your Amdro 🙂 North coast of Spain is a good place to spend new year!

  10. Hello, i bought the boot jump fantastic !! my first road trip was around the north of scotland what a great trip i thought the boot jump was very expensive.As you say you pay for better quailty oh yes great idea. it fits perfictly in my 2012 berlingo multispace. get one you will not regret it

  11. I’ve been trying to sell my similar red fiat dublo (with solid, factory made hi-top) for the last 6 months, but with no takers| Cumbria based, no problems with it, 60,000 miles only. Already converted for one person sleeping. ?????

  12. I love the way every litre of space is used up – ingenious! 🙂

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