When the lockdown guidelines of the Covid pandemic started to ease, Pippa Nixon (@littlemcrhouse) and her boyfriend Benn dreamed of a giant vacation however did not need to go away their canine Mags behind. So, the couple determined to tackle a serious DIY problem and rework a campervan into their dream travelling vacation residence.
“Each me and my boyfriend Benn like to journey,” Pippa, who heads up Scoop PR, advised Specific.co.uk. “Throughout lockdown, we noticed a great deal of individuals changing vans into campervans and we chatted about how cool it will be to do it ourselves.
“After not travelling as a lot through the pandemic, we determined we needed to take a giant vacation in 2022, however we have now a canine and we felt it was a giant ask to go away her with somebody for over three weeks. We realised if we transformed a van we may simply take her with us and that what we spent on the van we’d save on lodging prices.”
It was an opportunity sighting, whereas out for a run, that Benn stumbled upon the perfect campervan for the job. “The van was in a state of disrepair, so he left a word for the proprietor asking if he may purchase it,” Pippa defined.
“It turned out the van was as a result of go to scrap quickly so he mentioned sure, it solely price us £400 – but it surely wanted numerous work on it.”
Earlier than the couple may get to work with the aesthetic particulars, there have been some massive challenges hidden beneath the bonnet – together with protecting the price of a brand new engine.
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It is because of this that Pippa says it is vital you discover the proper van to start with.
“It’s going to take numerous money and time to transform it, so this bit is essential.
“Search for a clear and tidy van that’s been taken care of should you’re going second hand. Should you’re not a mechanic then attempt to get some recommendation from one, as it may be a minefield.
“Fortunately Benn was a mechanic so he handled that, and the copious quantities of rust on the physique of the van,” Pippa mentioned.
Whereas Benn labored on the technical aspect of the van, Pippa started researching and planning with the assistance of Youtube, the place different ‘vanlife’ creators had documented their journeys on-line.
“The toughest half was in all probability making the selections on the place the whole lot ought to be,” Pippa defined.
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“The van must be completely deliberate out in order that you realize the place to run wires, any plumbing, the place it’s good to drill into etcetera – it’s really actually robust realizing all that earlier than you begin.
“You’re successfully constructing a tiny little home in a extremely small house so the extra successfully you intend it, analysis supplies and actually use different individuals’s experiences, the extra probability you will have of getting it proper the primary time.”
As a part of their plans, the DIY duo factored in a fuel heater, scorching water system and even photo voltaic panels so the van has electrical energy regardless of the place they pitch up.
Alongside the best way, they stumbled into a number of small electrical issues which they’d to determine. However in addition to a few challenges, there have been some components of the renovation that have been a breeze.
Pippa mentioned: “The simplest half was in all probability laying the ground, it’s LVT and it has a click-lock system so it went down tremendous shortly and reworked the look of the van.”
It is particulars like this that create a “homey” really feel whereas on the street. “A snug mattress was an absolute should for us, we even have a greater mattress within the van than we do at residence, I don’t suppose we have now ever slept so nicely,” Pippa mentioned.
“Having the canine with us additionally made the van really feel like residence. We’ve a few bench seats with cushions so within the evenings if it was cool exterior we’d curl up on these and both learn a e-book or watch Netflix, with a candle lit and Mags snoozing away.”
Though the couple admits there are nonetheless some extra jobs to be carried out, they accomplished the overwhelming majority of their transformation in simply 5 months.
“It’s bought all of the necessities in there now, but it surely’s not completed but, so we’ll be again at it early subsequent 12 months,” Pippa added.