We sold our Jayco Dove and were prepared to spend up to $40k on a caravan, but I stumbled across our 2004 Coromal Excel in a used van lot, was impressed with it’s condition and fell in love with it. Only problem is that it had single beds and there’s 3 of us, so I took a chance and bought it with the hope that I would be able to build a bunk above one of the single beds. The van was advertised at $16k, we offered to buy it on the day and asked for the best price, we ended up paying $13k for it, so we were absolutely pleased with the price considering what we were prepared to spend.
Since purchasing we’ve put in the bunk which our 14yo loves, Country Comfort Hot water system which goes to a flick mixer in the kitchen so we have hot and cold water. On the back of the hot water unit I’ve fixed an EST filter which is a lifetime filter which not only contains charcoal but also silver. It can be turned around each time you use it so that any impurities that go in can get flushed out. It was pretty expensive but the water quality is fantastic. We’ve set this up so that we can connect from either mains water or from our tank or river via the 12v water pump under the van.
To build the bunk I had to remove the overhead shelf and an overhead cupboard which was pretty easy, and I had to put in a thin junction box to contain the electrical wires. In the top corner. I used pine to build the bunk and I took the legs all the way down to the floor so that it’s solid enough for an adult to sleep on it.
I’ve also put in a new vinyl floor, it’s just the Bunnings stick on vinyl planks which took me only 2 hours to lay.
We’re fully set up for free camping too, I’ve installed a 130ah battery, 200w solar panel, 15w Victron Blue Solar regulator, so we’ve been able to do 2 weeks off grid and not go below 80% battery capacity using TV, LED lights, Charging mobiles and iPads and running the 12v pump for washing up and showers.
I also added a trailer stand to the drawbar, it makes the van more stable using that and the stabiliser legs, as opposed to the jockey wheel.
The van also had a couple of stone dents in the front and the stone protector was pretty much falling apart, so I used rubber checker plate from Clarke Rubber to cover the entire front of the van.
All up we spent $16,500 but we’ve got a really solid, aluminium frame van with everything that we need, and it’s within weight limits for our Outlander V6