Camper vans: UK’s ‘Coolest Campers’ discuss van conversion
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Britons are increasingly looking to caravans and motorhomes as options for their holidays. And it’s not just for staying in the UK Britons are embracing the van life.
One couple converted an old DHL van into their dream camper and spent nine months travelling around Europe in it.
Tom Lake and Caitlin Green spent six months renovating the old delivery van outside Tom’s house in Manchester.
Doing all the conversion themselves, the couple did it on the cheap and managed to keep cost down with a little bit of creative thinking.
From an empty shell with holes in the walls and rust, the DHL van was turned into a home.
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It now has a living area, a double bed, a mini kitchen and a solar shower outside.
It also has a solar panel on the roof to make it eco-friendly.
Tom said they spent “a little over £2,100 inside”.
To keep cost down, they used old door frames for wood.
The bed was made out of an old ping pong table and a free mattress from Freecycle.
It took six months for the couple to turn the van into a home.
An amazing feat considering neither had much building experience.
Tom said he had some building skills but had never done any DIY, while Caitlin “knew nothing about building” besides “some woodworking, as well as sewing and crafts”.
The van was ready in six months and the couple quit their jobs to go on the road.
Unfortunately, the pandemic hit and it didn’t go exactly according to plan.
Leaving in January 2020, they spent a month in Croatia and went to Greece in March, just when the world started closing down.
They stayed in Greece for four months, before going to Italy and France.
With their van a mini home, they didn’t need to spend much money while travelling.
They did not stay at any campsites and spent just £3,000 for the whole nine months.
With the van now worth £15,000, the couple has launched their own van renovation company, Contour.
They are now “designers and makers of campervan furniture”.
They said they both liked working on the conversion so much they launched a business to help others turn their vehicles into living vans.
Their own van, meanwhile, is currently touring Switzerland with one of their friends.
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