Updated: Sep 28, 2020
Building or converting your own camper is no easy task. It is made even harder when your base vehicle is in worse condition than you originally thought. Grant has faced some setbacks whilst building his dream camper but with hard work and perseverance, he has created the perfect van for his family to go camping and create everlasting memories, twice!.
We hand over to Grant to tell you his story.
'My conversion started in 2015 when the Mercedes Vito I was building developed a terminal issue with the chassis. So we bought an ex-council carpenters panel van from a dealer near Gatwick and started ripping it apart to allow us to see the scope of the canvas.
When we bought the van, it had no windows and was fitted out with all sorts of wooden shelving and spaces for carrying materials and tools. There was sawdust and old screws in every conceivable hidden space.
The first iteration included installing a 240V consumer unit, mains sockets, lighting, and an old ZIG unit from a Swift caravan. We purchased some kitchen cabinets from B&Q and tambour units from somewhere online and away we went.
I cut the holes and fitted the rear door windows and added a Seitz side window to the driver's side.
To provide some warmth for those chillier nights I fitted electric underfloor heating and for cooking a dual ring induction hob was installed into the previously mentioned B&Q units. A cheap pine futon bed, fixed to the floor through a bespoke homemade hinge sorted out our sleeping arrangements and I made a drop-down bed for our daughter. For the fixed table I modified an old clothes rail to hang the table off and this was enough to be sent to DVLA for Motorhome status. Those were the days, eh?
We sold our house and had to live on a campsite in this configuration for a month between house moves.
It worked perfectly, but is a van conversion ever complete? Well, no.
We had a new addition to the family, therefore had to rethink the design and rebuild the whole interior!