April 11, 2022

The new van

Here it is, a Mercedes-Benz Vito SWB W638 first generation panel van. My first personal van and it’s a beauty if I do say so myself. Always loved the styling of the Vito compared to the VW’s and my dad used to have one. Many memories of me out in it with him on our way to his work. It’s an older van so has it quirks but who wants a clean non-squeaky van? It has character. Bought this from a friend after he had spent a some time restoring parts/paint/trim etc. A van of this age is expected to have rust and unfortunately does have a wee bit at the backdoors. Nothing major and thankfully not structural either. Couple of interior lights are not working either but they are getting stripped out for new recessed LED’s when it comes to that stage of the build.

I have a few idea’s for the van camper build but there are some items that need to be completed first before I start building a bed. I’ve made a start on this by removing the wheel arch covers and last remaining ply lined sections.

Next up was the floor. The van came with a solid wood floor that was glued to the floor which was sturdy to keep however I wanted to remove so I can sound deaden and insulate. This is where I was able to have a clearer view of the areas of rust to treat. The floor came up pretty easy however I’m going to spend a good amount of time tomorrow removing the adhesive from the van floor. You can see the areas of rust in the below images.

That’s my van build so far. I aim to keep this website updated on the different stages of the build. My current plan is do complete the work at the weekend’s and aim to go on my first trip around mid-June. If I can manage a impromptu trip to test the van out before then, that would be great. Below are the photos from the sales ad I found online.

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