August 2013. We bought a Peugeot Partner 1.9 diesel non turbo vintage 2004 with 88000 miles under it’s belt. Trading in our old but reliable Citroen Picasso.
I suppose as corny as it sounds with the blog being titled Escape Route, the vehicle would naturally be named the “Escape Pod”
This was going to be our adventure transport for a while as well as doubling up as day to day travel.
I have considered myself as a fair judge of vehicles over the years, but I must admit I got caught with this one.
Having run a Citroen Berlingo 1.9 diesel for many years putting 160000 miles on the clock without any major work apart from it’s first clutch at 159000 miles I thought this model would be a reliable vehicle for our adventures.
I wanted a 1.9 diesel non turbo as they are reliable
However the addition of unreliable electronics fitted to the later models was my downfall.
Our criteria was that the vehicle should have air conditioning fitted, this narrowed down our choice of available cars as the option of aircon was rare on the 1.9. Two came up for sale, one in Clacton 173 miles away & one in Dudley 30 miles away. The one at Dudley ticked all the boxes & appeared to be a tidy car.
The Engine management light came on & off for no reason. The indicator stalk developed an intermittant fault whereby if you indicated right the headlights switched on. This meant the COM2000 switch unit needed replacement.
The EGR Valve was sort of bypassed in a fashion.
All these faults apparently are quite common on this vehicle, I wish I had done more research as it’s all well documented on the internet.
I really needed to get this car on a diagnostic tester to find out what was going on.
The Peugeot dealers wanted £650 to supply & fit the Com2000 switch, so I started looking around. I found a company near Manchester that would supply & fit a new unit for £225, cheaper, but would require a 230 mile round trip.
I eventually found a guy in Bradford who would remove & repair our unit for £30. It still required a 230 mile round trip, but even with the cost of fuel it worked out at £80 all in.
Arrh !! I hear you say, “Cheaper isn’t always best”. After much research I found that he had successfully repaired hundreds of Com units & had many satisfied customers including some dealerships.
A quick phone call and a visit was arranged. I cruised up the motorway averaging 48 mpg arriving about 10am. The airbag was removed followed by the steering wheel & the COM 2000.
Within 15 minutes the repaired unit was refitted and tested. Whilst chatting it turned out that he had Lexia diagnostic system on a laptop and he carried out a complete diagnostic check for £10, bearing in mind that the cheapest quote I had for a test was £95 I was pleased.
The test showed a fault code P1070
I’m not sure if the EGR valve is faulty or the air mass sensor, but for now it runs Ok.
With the Partner now hopefully getting sorted mechanically. I started to work on making the removable sleeping/living unit. I really wanted an Amdro Boot jump conversion. Their build quality is excellent and the price is reasonable, but I needed it to be modified to suit what we wanted accommodate. I contacted Amdro to see if they would make a bespoke unit, but they couldn’t, so I shall set about making my own.
The layout I wanted was the similar to the Amdro. We weren’t sure if this type of compact camping would suit us, so I decided to work to a small budget and if it didn’t work out we wouldn’t have lost much.
The Amdro uses the best plywood available, but it would be expensive. I’ve managed to beg, borrow & steal enough plywood off cuts of varying quality to make the bed boxes & boards. To cover up the differences and to make it all look tidy I will cover the ply with carpet
The bare metal rear wheel arches have been lined with some super stretch lining carpet that was purchased at the Adventure & Overland show. This was to cut down on condensation forming on the cold metal.
The backs of the rear seats are to be covered in a lining carpet as these were metal and needed to be insulated.
The cavities in the rear body panels were filled with foam insulation
We needed permanently live power supplies in the rear for the compressor fridge in two locations and some USB sockets for phones and kindles. The Partner had two lighter sockets in the front that only produced power with the ignition on. One other problem was that the interior lights and radio were in Eco mode, which meant they turned off after 30 minutes to stop the battery from going flat.
We needed to have lighting available at any time for as long as we wanted, so this required a permanent supply and LED lights to save the battery.
I’ve decided to run a power supply direct from the battery to a separate fuse box as the fuse boxes on the Partner are notoriously fragile and if damaged by a short circuit can be expensive and difficult to replace.
The Peugeot Partner proved to be such a pain in the arse we part exchanged it for a Citroen Picasso (back to where we started).
Now we had the campervan we didn’t need to try to adapt a car as a camper.