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The following article describes the conversion of a 2004 Suzuki Carry van into a camper/day van. The base vehicle is a bog standard van with just 16000 miles on the clock.

 

carry1

 

Firstly to widen the track and give a bigger tyre contact area 15x6 alloy wheels are fitted which vastly improves handling and looks. Privacy film is then applied to the windows. The front doors have a light tint to allow better visibilty, on the tailgate dark tint is used as this window will be blocked and insulated from inside. To allow good rear vision a reversing camera is concealed in the tailgate and connected to a monitor mounted to the rear view mirror.

 

Suzuki Carry Camper

 

 

Suzuki Carry Mini Campervan

 

To make the most of the available space a section of the floor which would have housed a heater in the car version of the carry is removed. The remaining part of the rear floor has battens fitted to raise it to a comfortable seating height, 15mm light weight ply from Magnum Motorhomes is screwed on top. The gaps between the ply and the floor will be used for storage and insulation (accesible from the rear).  The lower floor is measured up and fitted with anti-mould treated 18mm hardwood ply, to keep it level pieces of 6mm ply were used to flatten out the bumps in the metal floor. Gel backed automotive carpet is glued on top and edges protected with some aluminium angle.

 

Suzuki Carry Camper

 

Once all the wiring is in place and the 14" flip down tv is securely mounted to the roof the sides can be ply lined. A ready cut ply lining kit from Plyline North East was used as a good starting point. Te get it to fit neatly requires some modification. After cutting speaker holes and making the rear sides fit flush the ply is screwed and glued to battens using sikaflex silicone adhesive to stop any creaks or rattles. Before hand the metal sides of the van were painted with sound deadening paint (surprisingly effective) then covered in a layer of self adhesive sound insulation followed by a layer of foam underlay and finally a layer of recycled plastic woolly insulation. This makes a vast difference to how the doors feel and sound when opened and closed, more of a thud than a clang which adds a feel of solidity, perhaps even quality. Noisy generators or heaters running late at night are of no issue and can barely be heard from inside the van. Keeping warm is also much easier and potential for condensation is massively reduced. Felt lining also bought from Magnum Motorhomes is stuck using spray adhesive. At first cheap £2.50 a can carpet adhesive was used which soon came un-stuck in places so more expensive £4.50 Trimfix was used more successfully.

 

Suzuki Carry Mini Camper

 

All the lights have led bulbs fitted which give a lot of light for not very much power consumption. The roof mounted spot lights are 3 watt and are much brighter than the 10 watt halogen bulbs they replaced. The two rear side mounted reading lamps have remote contolled colour changing bulbs in. These bulbs are dimmable so can be set to a low level and left on all night if required. The best way to use them is as up lights so the light and colour is better diffused. They also double up as retainers for the cusion when in seating position.

 

 

Ply Line Suzuki Carry Camper

 

More 15mm light weight ply is used to make storage boxes behind the front seats. The centre section is boxed in to make a hidden space to put wiring and electronic boxes. The front of the box is stepped to allow boards to be slotted in to bridge the gap and create a flat loading area/bed. The fake wood effect on the caravan grade ply wouldn't suit the rest of the decor so it's covered in carbon fibre effect vinyl.

 

Suzuki Carry Small Camper Conversion

 

 With boards placed in the stepped part of the boxes a flat loading area is created. The boards store under the rear box which can be accessed through the tailgate. 

 

Suzuki Carry Camper Bed Board

 

With the cushions in place the rear area is turned into a comfortable double size bed. The cusions are made of memory foam covered in matching material. 

 

Suzuki Carry Mini Camper Bed Cusions Made

 

With the boards removed the bed is transformed into seats. 12v power points are fitted on both sides next to the speakers for charging laptops and phones.

 Suzuki Carry Mini Campervan Rear Seats

 

Two more power points are fitted in the storage box. This centre section also hides the head unit control box and a Raspberry Pi media centre.

 

 

Suzuki Carry Mini Camper Power Outlets

 

Inside the storage box behind the drivers seat is the slightly messy fuse box and solar charge regulator. More info on the solar set up can be found in the magnetic solar panel article.

 

Suzuki Carry Mini Campervan Solar Setup

 

 Theres no engine under the bonnet of the Carry which leaves ample space for a leisure battery. The battery tray from another vehicle has been repurposed to securely hold the battery in place from the bottom.

 

Suzuki Carry Camper Under Bonnet Leisure Battery

 

A Nasa Marine battery monitor is fitted to the passenger side dash which enables monitoring of voltage and current both in and out.

 

 

To provide entertainment a Kenwood motorised DVD player head unit is installed. This unit will play many media formats including wmv and mp3. By burning mp3s onto a DVD many hours of music can be made available at the touch of a button. There are also auxiliary audio and video inputs for other devices.

 

 

The output of the DVD head unit is wired to the 15" roof mounted flip down LCD screen which allows comfortable viewing of DVDs from the rear of the van. This type of screen is fantastic when space is limited . Built into the monitor are two led lights which can be handy for some low intensity, low powered lighting.

 

 

Since the rear windscreen has been covered and insulated a means of rear vision is required so a 7" LCD monitor is mounted to the rear view mirror. Mounting the screen in this position allows for a neat install, also the habit of looking in that direction for rear view can continue. Whilst parked the input can be switched to the DVD player for entertainment.

 

 

 

Suzuki Carry Mini Campervan Solar Panels Mallory

 


 

A Haynes manual is not available for the Suzuki Carry but a digital version of the official Suzuki workshop manual is available on the downloads page.

 

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Comments  

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# John L 2016-06-30 21:19
Hi, I've just got a carry van, love the look of your Alloy wheels. What make and size are they, please, and are they load rated van wheels with van or car tyres please?
Thanks
John
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# keppoch 2016-03-20 23:25
Hello,
Great conversion. I have also seen your van elsewhere and that you have a towbar fitted. Please can you tell me which one it is and where you bought it from?
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# Celia 2015-06-18 09:02
Great! Can you carry passengers in the back now or is it just set up for sleeping in the back? I've been using it as a camper for a few years with tinted side and rear windows and with a permanent single bed in the back, but that means I can only carry one passenger. Was wondering about putting a rear seat or in my 2004 Carry and if so where I'd put the seat belts.
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# Liam 2015-06-01 10:29
This is the coolest little camper ever, thanks for uploading such a fantastic build. An inspiration.
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# David Mackay 2015-05-05 13:27
hi, I've got an 04 van similar to your beauty, if I source some MX5 alloys, what "special" wheel nuts do I need to get please? thankyou.
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# Gary P 2015-03-13 16:02
I went ahead and found a used set of MX5 wheels too and they fit great once you get the right wheel nuts. I do, however, have some tyre rub on the front drivers side on full lock but am told that a narrower profile tyre will solve the issue once the MOT pops round! It does really improve the handling and ride, even if it does look like I'm trying to 'pimp' a work van!
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# Mrstarkey 2015-01-11 21:25
I've a 2005 carry I fitted mazda mx5 wheels just had to get special order wheel nuts they really do improve the ride
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# Gary P 2015-01-09 10:59
Does anyone know if Corsa wheels would bolt straight on?
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# Andy 2014-12-25 21:38
Hi, love the van, I'm hoping to do something similar, I notice you left the rear window heater on, as you have tinted, did you not need to remove ?
Also any suggestions on replacing the front seats with something more comfy ?
Cheers
Andy
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# Gary 2014-06-21 15:50
Hi just bought 2000 carry very low mileage for year 28,000 handling is not the best so want to fit some new wheels but finding it difficult to source any got any suggestions? Ta gaz
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# Lee 2014-01-22 09:33
Hi Titimus
Awesome little van,
Am about to embark on similar project. You mentioned you fitted 15x6 Alloys, could you tell me size of Tyres you fitted to these wheels as they look a perfect fit on your Suzi
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# Leigh. 2014-01-10 18:56
Hello, your Carry looks great! It all looks very well finished too.
I have a Carry as well and wondered if you'd noticed any body flex when you removed the metal 'shelving/floor'.
I've gone to remove mine, but have always feared that it could have an impact on the integrity of the vehicle.
Thanks
Leigh
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# tom 2013-11-09 01:20
mate... thats awesome! i have just brought a '02 carry and have just got some 15 inch wheels and was planning some internal mods, hope you dont mind but im gonna poach some of your ideas.
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