*My NEW Foton View Van - The Journey Continues!

Coming Soon! My new Foton View, 2.2 Petrol, 15 Passenger Van. Ready for pickup next week!

The old 85 Toyota has been great! All rebuilt and running well but it is still very old. Short trips are ok but I've decided to go for a new Van as I plan to do more long, round Malaysia trips very soon. Probably sell the Toyota, hard to drive 2 at the same time!
I Thought long and hard before purchasing this "China Made" Van. The "View" is new in the market of Malaysia. Here's what I understand:

1. Made in China by Foton, largest commercial vehicle manufacturer in China. Many assembly plants around the world making this van already.
2. Assembled in  Kulim Kedah by Inokom who also assembles BMW, Mini, Hyundai, Land Rover, Mazda and Jem Bie Vans. Some track record.
3. It's a Older Toyota Hiace Clone with a different nose. Say Parts are interchangeable
4. Brought in by Berjaya Group. Marketed and serviced by Mazda Dealerships around Malaysia.
24/7 break down service on call.
5. 3 year/100,00 KM warranty.
6. And of course......The Price was a big factor for me.

All I can do now is receive the Van and go from there, hope for the best I guess. I dont plan to do much modification to it right away, just remove the back 2 rows of seats for gear and do things like: 
1. CHANGE THE TIRES FIRST! Called "Good Ride" Made in China and some very bad reports on them.
2. Curtains & Tinting
3. Modest Stereo System with Speakers that can be brought outside.
4. Extra layer of Foam & Carpet throughout.

More to come after I receive the van.

My Foton View Van is now in Melaka!
After a nice drive from KL (There was Madness!) back to Melaka.
No issues other than very soft China made tires that will be changed shortly.
Aircon worked well but some Tinting and Curtains will help a lot for those very hot sunny days here. The Radio is a Joke. Tuner and MP3 USB input thru one Speaker though the set is stereo. Those old 2 channel Beatles songs are only half there! Change is soon!

First on the list! Baby gets new Shoes!
 Original China made "Good Ride" Tires (World wide lawsuits!) Changed to wider "Good Year" Fortera Tires. A sort of semi off road Tire as well. Tire-man didn't really want to take any trade in on them, but he did. 2 years old as well. Stereo/Alarm tomorrow

Chinese engineering? YIKES!

Might as well make it track straight as long as I'm here! Yes, I'm watchin you guys!

Stereo & Alarm is installed
Another nightmare! I was over them like a Hawk. In the end I think I got what I wanted.

Lord give me strength!

Simple Sony Media Player, no CD just AUX, USB & Radio.

Back 2 rows of Seats removed.
Rear Speakers & 200 Watt Sub Woofer are removable with extra long wires for Outdoor use. The Sub Woofer is sitting on top of 2 Banquet Tables I got at Tesco on sale for 36.00 RM each!

Found a tray that just fits for those "Go to the Market Trips".

Used existing in Dash speaker mount for a 4" Woofer the added the external tweeter on top of the Dash.

Almost 6' length of space in the back. Sleepable, may put a raised deck that converts to 2 Tables for outdoor use.

The Blessing - Stable & on the Road!

Trip Down To Minyak Beku, Johor State.
Had this Van a Couple weeks now and I have to say it's just fine. Aircon cools well with the big Sun load on the windows. Van rides much firmer now with the new quality Tires. The turning circle is fantastic. U - turns no problem, the power steering is very light also. I calculate the mileage is about 22 mpg. First 2 gears are quite low so you go through them very quickly. Almost can start in 2nd. 70 liter fuel tank. 2.2 Fuel Injected Engine. Took the back 2 rows of seats out and gives 6' space in the back. Sound proofing is good.

Rock & Roll Stickers & Tinting has been done
Much cooler now, I hope JPJ don't disturb me!

Trip to Pangkalan Balak Malacca
Up the Malacca Coast not far from Sungai Baru / Tanjong Bidara. There's a Turtle Sanctuary there and we normally setup just next to it. Nice beach, Clean good sandy drop off with lots of shade trees.
The van rides great! Quiet inside and very smooth on the back roads. Air-Con is much better now with the Tinting done. Even just ran the front A/C for a while as the rear made it too cold mid Morning.



  1. congratulation on your new purchase. hope one day i can drop by your campervan site for a night or two. still waiting for my jin bei caravan.


    1. I don't have any Campsite of my own I'm just tryin to find others around. I run a Restaurant in Melaka Raya called Rock & Roll Blues Cafe. Planning to move to Rawang by years end and set up there.

  2. hi mark,
    can you let me know where did you change those tires? thanks.

  3. Did here in Melaka, Good Year Shop on old Tengkara Road down from old Sampan Beer Garden. Used them for 20+ years fair and smart!

  4. maybe one fine day we could all meet up together and have the first caravan gathering. there are a few seasoned caranner out there who mostly travel alone: TJ, kamsol (orang malaya), s. amar, wing, capt wong, and many more who appeared as anynomous in their posting. melaka would be a good place to start as seafarer has a proper and well equipped caravan site.

  5. Not exactly proper but most needed facilities are there. Toilets, Showers, Electric, Security and a nice Restaurant/Bar right on the water. Also water sports.

  6. Thank you for your blog. I was searching the net for reviews on this van before i buy it for my company for the purpose of transporting my patients to the clinic and back home. The only other real option for me is the Toyota Hiace which also costs rm30k more.
    How is the ride in a city cycle ?
    Hope its a good choice

    1. I've had this van now about 3 weeks now, about 1500 kms on it.Rides nice, air con seems to cover the whole van. You might consider long term the Toyota. Service, resale value. proven reliability We dont know how this will be even in a couple of years. I've bought it as a camper/picnic van to be used maybe once a week.My 1985 toyota Hiace lasted me 28 years and is still on the road and still has some value. I dont have high expectations of this china van but the price was very good and serviced by Mazda made me choose the Foton View. You get what you pay for.

  7. hi. Mark...wow good for you. As long it can offer what you need for a campervan malaysian sytle yep go for it.

    Me..i am in the process of getting approval for my Isuzu FTS33 8tonne RV
    hope we can met soon

    1. Hi wish to know how do you maintain the air circulation in the van when you off your engine? Do you use any generator/batteries for fan/aircond when you off your engine?

    2. Air circulation, Windows open with screens (velcro attached). fan if power available. Would like to get a small generator for laptop and Fans/lights. Have also been looking at portable aircon units to use when local power hookup is available but would need a big generator to run it so might not be suitable other than a power outlet available..

  8. Hello Mark. How's your Foton Van so far?
    When are you moving up to Rawag

    1. Had the van 6 months now. Driving and general performance is ok. Only problem is Mazda dont carry parts in Melaka so have to wait sometimes 3 weeks for part. They say toyota parts are interchangeable but that would void the warranty. If I had the money I would have gone for the Hiace. This foton so far has been ok. Not alot of power with a full load of people, no way to carry a large group up to Genting or anything like that. I mostly run with 3-4 people so ok. nice on the highway at 110-120 kph. Uses alot of petrol but i dont like diesel smell or lack of power.

    2. Thanks for your reply! Appreciate it.
      So it is reliable? I am thinking of getting it for my small business.
      It will be mainly light uses. Thanks for sharing your experience with the car.

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  11. Hi Mark,
    Congratulations on your new campervan. I was looking at the Jin Bei but wanted something small so I am still stuck with my Rusa camper!
    Hope to see you van being modified to a camper.

    There are quite a lot of camping sites by the beach in the East Coast complete with toilet facilities so do come over one of these days.

    Capt Wong

  12. Hi Mark, nice to read about your campervan adventures. I'm a Brit, been living next door in Indonesia for 17 years and of late have become obsessive about getting myself a campervan.
    Initially I wanted to build a teardrop caravan but the law here says that you cannot build it yourself and instead must have it built by an authorised bodyworks (expensive). Next I thought about importing a cheap used caravan from the UK but customs here would have hit me with a luxury tax of 125% of the purchase price and shipping costs and then I would have had to go through a sort of type approval.
    Next I thought about using a VW Combi T2 but didn't fancy it because there's no engine at the front for protection in an accident.
    The Toyota Hiaces here are either too old (pre-1990 or so) or very new and very expensive. There's nothing in between. Used Fotons sell at low prices here but that's because there is a serious problem with parts availability in Indonesia.
    My remaining options are to convert an old VW Caravelle (T4) or Nissan Evalia, illegally modify a pickup like the Ford Ranger into a camper by building a box on it or convert an old Land Rover. I thought about buying a roof tent but so many people told me that it would be unsafe (especially outside Java) that I changed my mind. So for now I continue dreaming and can only read your blog with some jealousy. I'll get there eventually.
    Happy camping.

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  14. Hi Mark have you moved to Rawang? How are your campervan trips?