If you are a VW Transporter fan, you will probably have heard of Exploria. They are one of the UK’s largest and most established conversion houses. Based in West Yorkshire and established 14 years ago, they have a reputation for innovation and quality that is second to none.
With the weather warming up and urges for adventure starting to stir, we asked Exploria to run us through a selection of their neatest VW upgrades for this summer…
There is a real trend at the moment for practical vans that can be turned into campervans at the weekend, adding such things as seats, a bed and kitchen pods.
Kombi beds are designed to fit this remit, being easy to remove and able to store flat in a garage with ease. They don’t interfere with the existing rear seats (ie you can leave the rear seats in place), have massive storage underneath them for boards, bikes and other toys and can be upholstered in a variety of trims to either match your seat cloth or your personal tastes. They are super easy to fit, bolting directly onto the rear load points and our new design allows the ‘mattress’ to be removed separately, so the bed can be used also as a stowage shelf. Price – £725+VAT
If you want your van to be more ‘car like’ then a full rear line-out provides a big step in this direction. The whole rear of the vehicle gets insulated, sound proofed, ply lined and then carpet lined giving a much quieter and more pleasant environment. If you plan sleeping in the van, the line-out will eliminate condensation issues and keep the van warm in the winter and cooler in the summer. The line out also serves to protect the metal work and we offer a whole range of colour options. Price from £980 +VAT
Front swivel seats
Front swivel seats are a great addition that helps make your van bigger inside when you are parked up. If you have seats in the rear, the front two seats can swivel to face them with a removable table that can be placed between. Great for those days when the family are stuck in the van watching you windsurf! If you don’t have seats in the rear, the swivel front seats still make a much nicer area for changing and relaxing in. Price fitted – £175 + VAT passenger, £195 + VAT driver or supplied only at £139 + VAT each.
Generally the factory supplied head units are not that great and the integrated sat nav options are very expensive. We supply all types of in car entertainment, but a popular option at the moment is the new Alpine X801DU. This is a head unit that we have worked directly with Alpine on to get a screen angle that eliminates glare thanks to a specific T5/T6 fitting kit. The unit has an 8” screen with sat nav and is probably the most future proof as it is the only model on the market at the moment with both HDMI in and out allowing you to feed input into the head unit directly from your phone and back out to a larger screen (in the rear). Price – Alpine X801DU £1140+ VAT (fitted) and rear screens from £260 + VAT (fitted)
Legally you can’t tint the front side windows, but tinting the rear has a few key advantages; It makes the vehicle look better, keeps the vehicle cooler inside, offers UV protection to rear passenger and improves security. Not only does it stop prying eyes seeing all your gear in the back, but trying to break a window the tinting film on the inside is very difficult indeed. Price from £45+ VAT per window
Re-trimming the seats in leather certainly gives the interior a much more plush appearance, but there are also a couple of functional advantages as well. If you are prone to dropping your lunch on your lap or have kids, then the leather wipes clean much easier than the regular velour. And if you like to sit on the seats in your wetsuit or wet clothes, then the leather is much less likely to soak water through. We can re-trim seats in a whole range of colours and styles. Price from £745 +VAT per row fully fitted
Suspension lowering is a really nice styling option, but also improves the handling and ride substantially. We aren’t talking about dragging the belly of your van on the floor, just a subtle 30-40mm does the job nicely. Sportlines and Caravelles come from the factory with this kind of ride height as standard, but because the vans are designed to carry a lot of weight, then they are set higher, which compromises the handling for the kind of use most windsurfers will be putting them through. Price £290+ VAT fitted
A decent set of wheels makes a huge difference to the look of the vehicle and can give it a very individual appearance. However, it’s really important that alloy wheels are specified to the correct weight rating. There are a number of outlets that sell wheels for these vans that are not up to the load rating. Be careful here. Not only could it cause a serious accident, if for instance you hit a pot hole and the wheel fails, but it also allows your insurance company to wash their hands of you in the event of an accident. We go to a fair bit of effort to make sure that all our wheels are not only suitably load rated, but also engineered to high standards so that they stand the test of time on these relatively heavy vehicles. 20” wheels seem to be the most popular choice at the moment and we have lots of different options depending upon your taste. We also carry full stock of everything, so we should be able to supply without delay. Price from £600 for a set of 4 and £150 extra for tyres.
External styling kits are another great way of improving the appearance of your van and giving it that individual look. The most popular item we sell are the boot spoilers and front valances. Also popular are replacement grilles and side styling such as bars and skirts. We do a whole range of items from VW, ABT and our own designs. Boot spoilers are priced at £275 + VAT including paint and fitting and front valance’s £390 + VAT
Awnings have come a long way over the past couple of years with new inflatable technology. Gone are the days of metal spars and braces. Now they are more like kites with inflatable spars. This carries several advantages, such as a much more discreet mounting on the side of the vehicle (just a small rubber gutter), less likelihood of something metallic damaging the side of the van if a windy night went badly wrong and smaller, lighter stowage. They now pack down into a bag similar in size and weight to an inflatable SUP.
These awnings create a really nice living area and can be driven away from, if for instance you have a pitch at a campsite and want to head to the beach for the day. We supply a variety of models but our most popular at the moment are the Vango Kela 3 (£416 + VAT) and the Vango Gali (£666 + VAT)
Elevated roof (pop top)
Pop tops allow a section of the roof to be lifted up when parked to increase head room within the vehicle (allow full standing in the transporter) and provide an extra sleeping area. These are popular with families who need more sleeping space and also those who have a more substantial camper van conversion within the vehicle ie fridge, cooker, cupboards, table etc so welcome the extra space. Price from £3,400 + VAT painted & fitted.
Exploria do a whole range of conversions, custom and otherwise, ranging from simple fittings of swivel seats and windows etc right up to examples such as their Bar Bus. The Bar Bus can carry 2300 cans of beer served at the correct temperature to any location! It houses a top of the range alpine audio media system, with a 55” screen custom molded into the back door aperture and is guaranteed to draw crowds…the mind boggles!
TEL: 01484 767179