Older or newer base vehicle

I have a dilemma…do I look at converting a 10ish year old minibus, maybe a transit/iveco with modest miles, or a 1980/90s Mercedes 508/609 etc. It’s my first conversion, I’m happy with the fitting out and would farm out any engine work. I appreciate they’re very different and personal preference comes into play, but any experienced opinions would be very welcome.

I’ve put thousands of miles on the older Mercedes vans from the 80s and 90s. The ones I drove never gave me any trouble, probably because they’re simple designs - I would not hesitate building one into a nice camper van as long as it’s in good condition.

That said, I would not even consider building one from a later Mercedes - they’ve become far more complex and tend to break down A LOT. I wouldn’t touch the newer ones with a 10 ft pole! I have friends that have them, and they’ve been nothing but trouble.

I don’t have any experience with the Ford Transit or Iveco, but have had good luck with other Ford vehicles.


I’d go for the mini bus for all the opening windows.


"Always avoid expensive solutions to cheap problems." ~ OffGrid