A new home on wheels – now that’s van-tastic
I knew that young Ant Tony was a fan of building stuff, especially when it comes to four (or maybe more) wheels. He’s always glued to that show on MTV (I remember when they just played music) that takes old battered cars, gives them a paint job, usually involving a flame or two down the side, and sticks a few plasma screens inside.
So when I published an online guide to converting a van into campervan, I thought it would be right up his street. Okay, so he’s not the sort of guy who’s going to be going for a weekend’s camping in the Lake District, but I thought the ingenuity would appeal to him.
“It looks like a cross between Pimp My Ride and the Antiques Roadshow,” he scoffed.
Fair enough, each to their own….
Give an old van a new lease of life
I found it pretty fascinating, not least because buying a van isn’t something you do unless you know exactly what you want to use it for.
However, it does provide a bit of inspiration to anyone who has a spare commercial vehicle in danger of gathering a bit of rust and in need of a new lease of life.
The first thing do, as any DIY expert (no, not you GrAnt) will tell you is to get you planning right. In fact, when it comes to converting your van into a campervan, planning is probably the biggest part of it.
For a start, you can have a peep online at other successful (because you know yours will be too) conversions. This will also give you a good idea of what you need to put into your campervan and sort of space you have to work with.
Plan, plan and plan again!
When you’re ready to get to get the old pencil and paper out, there’s loads to keep in mind.
You’ll need to plan out the seating (which will probably double up as beds), work tops and where your appliances are going to go.
Will there be enough leg room? Remember, this is a vehicle you’re going to be using for your holidays, so you’ll need to be able to relax in relative comfort.
Of course, you’ll need it to be well equipped if you’re going to be spending a few nights in it, so make sure you’ve got all your electric and gas fittings. If you’re a bit wary about getting involved in all of that, then get a registered expert to help you.
All your fixtures and fittings will need to be in the right place for water, electricity and gas, not to mention be in position well in relation where you are going to put the windows.
Bear in mind, that just regular kitchen cupboards won’t do the trick as your stuff is likely to rattle unbearably and that’s on way to begin your holiday.
And, of course, what sort of insurance expert would I be if I did tell you to make sure you check out with your insurance company who a campervan conversion will affect your van insurance policy.
So if you fancy ‘pimping’ out your van, get online and get inspired. Ant Tony, he’ll just stick to his toy robots – sorry, ‘ultimate fighting machines‘ as he likes to call them!