Click on the pictue to see the related post.

Mazda Bongo
My beautiful Bongo.

Stuff to know about Bongos!

Bongo Conversion Options

Buying a Bongo

Please feel free to ask any questions about Bongo’s.  I will do my best to answer!

19 thoughts on “Campervans

  1. Polly says:


    We love your site! We just got a bongo and want to put on a roof rack for surf boards and also a bike rack so we can do lots of fun activities on the weekends! Do you have any advice?

    Thanks, Polly

  2. Briarmeg says:

    Love the photos of your Bongo, what company did you use for conversion and reupholstering of the seats?

    We have had our bongo, Billy for 5 years now and are keen to update the interior and just love what you have done with yours!

    • Hazel says:

      So sorry it’s taken me ages to get back to you, missed your comment somehow. The company we used was Motortrim in Bristol. Search for vehicle upholsterers near you.

  3. Bongo A Go Go (@bongobusycamper) says:

    Hi Hazel, I already follow you on Twitter but have only just got round to checking out your website: I love the way you have written it; both informative and friendly! I too am a Bongo enthusiast and love them so much I gave up my job to hire them out. Is there any chance we could work together on something like a “try before you buy” feature?

    • Hazel says:

      Sure, sounds like a possibility to me! Away for a couple of days now but let me know any particular ideas you have – maybe a guest post about how you got into hiring Bongos plus info about your business. My e-mail address is on the ‘Work with me’ page. 🙂

  4. Louise Fields says:

    Hi I’ve just stumbled across your website after buying a bongo from ebay. I’ve had a bad experience as the spec was made out to be immaculate but there are many flaws, to the point I considered reselling it but advised by my brother that I would not get my money back! So it seems the bongo is here to stay. I bought it because i am expecting triplets in the summer, so great as an mpv. It had a pop top, it did have a rear kitchen but it was kaput so brother has removed it. The plan is to buy an awning, for space and to use our existing camping stove to cook in. I’m thinking of when babies come along and having an awning with a bedroom and a fitted groundsheet, and a carpet groundsheet for warmth. Which could you recommend as I’m new to all this.
    A major bongo clean up is required, some new trim bits, electric sockets to be put in (as these were on the kitchen unit before removal) fuel gauge repair, new stereo as existing one falling out and hardly any frequency, new dash board (falls out), mouldy pop top clean up and repair, new steering wheel etc etc. Just praying the engine is mechanically sound after 198km. I was told the timing belt was only done in Aug 2013 and receipts would be sent- guess receipts. Anyway it was a catalogue of errors but serves me right for being trusting and buying blind!! Think I need some persuading to keep this bongo..I’m trying to get the bug! Also its a diesel and hoping I can get 25 miles at least to the gallon. Thanks for taking the time to read my rant:) Louise

    • Hazel says:

      Hi Louise, so sorry to hear you have had a bad experience. But wow, so impressed that you aren’t put off the idea of camping despite the impending arrival of triplets. *takes off hat and bows, in awe’. To be honest I think that adding an awning and just taking your camping equipment is a very good solution, clearly not worth investing in a conversion and the van wouldn’t be as versatile for you anyway. I would say before you do anything get it to a specialist bongo garage if at all possible, if not, a good mechanic and get a really good assessment of rust and get the engine properly checked out. Unfortunately, it sounds like your bongo has not been well cared for and they do have a tendency to rust if not properly undersealed when imported from Japan. The pop top can be cleaned, we use a mould spray sometimes, although it’s a bit harsh you need it to get rid of spores and then keep on top of it using something a bit kinder like clove oil. You can get lots of Bongo spares on eBay but do make sure it is not a total rust bucket before investing anymore in it. Also if it hasn’t had a coolant alarm fitted make this a number one priority. Look it up on Bongofury, it really is essential. With regard to the radio we have put a new radio in but it still fails to pick up any signal, I’m not an expert but I think the arial just isn’t up to the job. We use it for CDs and playing music and audiobooks via Bluetooth through our phones. Good news that’s it a diesel, certainly much more fuel efficient than the gas guzzling v6 we have! With regard to awnings, it depends how much you want to spend but Kyham do a good range and are well regarded. Check out the Kyham driveway sleeper. Or if you want extra convenience look outwell range of inflatable pole tents, quite pricey though. We don’t actually have an awning because I don’t like the way it makes the van fell quite enclosed and takes a while to attach and detach from the van each time you want to to go somewhere. We use a separate pop up tent for extra living area, but it’s all a question of how you want to use it. You can of course sleep in the van, lie all those seats down and make one gigantic bed, you’d could probably been fit 3 babies! Really hope you do get to enjoy your Bongo and lots of luck with your beautiful babies when they arrive. Such an exciting time!

  5. phil says:

    Louise do not despair as hazel says the spares are easily available and thanks to the growing number of delaers suppliers the ford engine is well served and the parts are relatively cheap. I would tackle the mechanicals first and establish that you have a good starting point to build around.The 2.5 diesel engine is also used in the ford Ranger truck so although the Mazda Bongo and ford Freda are grey imports the parts are readily available .Check out the websites for more info ?I am waiting for the weather to improve a bit more and then I will be starting on our Freda. I bought an immaculate end kitchen on fleabay and will be fitting this to the old girl but I will be going through the engine box and electrics before I start on the rest of it !!

  6. Beth says:

    Hi Hazel
    Can you tell me where you had your roof hatch alteration done? We are in Bristol so are looking for somewhere not too far away if possible.

    • Hazel says:

      Our was done by Clearcut in Barnstaple. They did it at the same time as the main conversion. Not sure if they do it as a seperate job to be honest but worth asking. They are helpful and may be able to give you an alternative. Also suggest contacting Bell Hill Garage outside Bath, they do bongo conversions and bongo servicing etc. They may be able to help. If you do find somewhere do let me know as people often ask me.

      • Hazel says:

        Hi, I added memory foam separately. I happened to have a memory foam topper that I wasn’t using, so we cut it to size and covered it with a case made from an old duvet cover. It’s good because it squashes down so well when the roof closes (we keep it up there). However, do be sure you like sleeping on memory foam before buying some as some people really don’t like it!

  7. Caroline says:

    Hi I have bought a tin top bongo and would like a roof conversion put in was wondering on time scale and price please x

  8. Steve says:

    Hi Hazel
    I’m curious to know the approximate thickness of the memory topper?
    I had assumed that there wouldn’t be the space to keep one up there with the roof down.
    Our Bongo on still on the boat, but not far away now. And although we’ll probably have the Skylift fitted, I’m hoping it will work as well as it does with the AFT.

    • Hazel says:

      The topper is about 10cm but obviously squashes very well. There is a bit if space, we have the topper, a 5cm sim folded in half and a couple of fleece blankets up there. I don’t have any experience with the after market roofs though. It’s exciting waiting for it to arrive isn’t it! Good luck and have fun!

      • Steve says:

        This is great news that you can keep a topper this thick up there. I had though an inflatable mattress would be my best option, but this opens up options. I shall discover in due course whether this will be the case with the Skylift.
        I cannot wait for my Bongo to land, it’s so close. The ship is currently in the English Channel but it’s going to Antwerp first. Oh well 🙂
        Thank you for the info.

  9. Hazel says:

    I remember that wait well, and tracking the ship’s progress as it passes up and down the channel. Frustrating! But all worth it in the end. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s