Van conversions on the rise as DIY enthusiasts transform them into campervans for ‘staycations’

The coronavirus lockdown has seen a surge in van sales as DIY enthusiasts buy up the vehicles to convert into campervans. 

With ‘staycations’ set to become the new normal when lockdown concludes, people are transforming the vehicles into holiday homes on wheels. 

Keen adventurers have kitted out the vans with beds, kitchens, sofas and solar panels for them to take their motor domiciles on trips around the world. 

Emily Conroy, 27, from Newmarket, Suffolk, bought this Ford Transit van during lockdown to convert into a campervan. She has affectionately nicknamed it ‘Connie the campervan’

The amount of people applying for their vans to be redesignated as living spaces jumped by almost two-thirds in just 2 yrs, according to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency revealed. 

But sadly the recent rise popular for these vehicles has additionally sparked a spate of thefts as criminals capitalise on their rapid increase in popularity with thefts doubling all through lockdown. 

Many those who flip their humble white vans into ideal holiday homes share snaps of these transformations on social media. 

Take a glance at some of the vans set to be roaming the nation’s roads when lockdown is lifted. 

Rebecca Booth, 28 and her husband, Robert Booth, 42, were completely fed up of paying staggering prices for rooms in hotels while travelling with their young ones, Cody, four, and Phoebe, two.

The family-of-four decided to look at investing in a caravan to visit cheaply but found the prices out of their budget.

The pair then decided to obtain a regular van and build their camper from scratch, converting an additional hand Mercedes for only £11,000. 

The camper van pictured after its renovation. The family built fit in solar panels, windows, installed flooring, a kitchen area with a microwave and sink, alongside a portable toilet

The camper van pictured after its renovation. The family built easily fit into solar panels, windows, installed flooring, a cooking area with a microwave and sink, along side a portable toilet

Rebecca Booth, 28 and her husband, Robert Booth, 42, were fed up of paying staggering prices for hotel rooms while travelling with their children, Cody, four, and Phoebe, two

Rebecca Booth, 28 and her husband, Robert Booth, 42, were completely fed up of paying staggering prices for rooms in hotels while travelling with their young ones, Cody, four, and Phoebe, two

Rebecca and Robert easily fit into solar panels, batteries and inverters for electricity and heating.

They then fit windows on both sides of the van and installed flooring, beds and fitted the entire van with sheep’s wool to help keep the space warm.

The pair managed to put in a kitchen area with a sink, two gas hobs, a fridge, freezer, microwave and a portable toilet in the small space.

Rebecca said: ‘We started looking at inspiration from other family camper vans and took notes of different layouts and ideas we liked.

‘We purchased a van with only ideas inside our heads and couldn’t wait to get started and did so straight away. 

‘We spent most evenings and all weekends building the van for 2 months and had our first adventure!

One of the bedroom areas, after the renovation. The parents fitted the entire van with sheep's wool to keep the space warm and windows to allow light inside

One of the bedroom areas, after the renovation. The parents fitted the entire van with sheep’s wool to help keep the space warm and windows allowing light inside

Cody, four and Phoebe, two, enjoy the camper van, fitted with a television after its renovation. After two months, the family-of-four finished their entire project

Cody, four and Phoebe, two, enjoy the camper van, fitted with a television as a result of its renovation. After two months, the family-of-four finished their entire project

Robert takes his children out on their inflatable boat they are able to transport with their DIY camper van, which they built from scratch to travel across the UK

Robert takes his children out on their inflatable boat they are able to transport with their DIY camper van, which they built from scratch to travel across the UK

‘We loved the build and doing it all ourselves kept the cost low! We wired the solar power panels, fitted batteries and installed inverters for the electrics for all the power and lighting and heating.

‘We insulated the entire van with sheep’s wool and fitted the windows in both sides to allow light inside.

‘We place in flooring and tongue and groove for all the walls and ceiling.’

She added: ‘We measured up a full-size bed for us and smaller beds for the young ones, who needed their own private space too. We tried to find just of empty area for storage.

‘The cooking area has a sink with clean water and a wastewater tank, two gas hobs, an appliance and a microwave.

The camper van after its renovation, showing the kitchen area i the background, tables and bedroom area towards the back. The family now embark on trips across the UK

The camper van after its renovation, showing the kitchen area i the back ground, tables and bedroom area towards the back. The family now embark on trips across the UK

The two children's bedroom area, fitted with a door. The family love travelling to Wales, beaches and seaside coasts in the comfort of their self-contained vehicle

The two children’s bedroom area, fitted with a door. The family love travelling to Wales, beaches and seaside coasts in the comfort of these self-contained vehicle

‘A porta toilet was a necessity with small children.’

After two months, the family-of-four finished their entire project, setting them right back by £11,000, including the cost of the van purchase.

The family now embark on trips across the UK in their DIY camper van and love travelling to Wales, beaches and seaside coasts in the comfort of these self-contained vehicle.

Rebecca said: ‘We love Wales and all the sea coast. We love any beaches, the scenery and fishing with your inflatable boat.

‘The van has allowed us to have more holidays and adventures for the duration of the whole year.

‘With a cheaper option being fully self-contained, we could go anywhere we like and we cannot wait to savor our family time.’

Travel blogger Mollie Bylett bought a VW van in December 2018 but only finished renovating it in November a year ago.

The 26-year-old transformed the T5 high top model that she bought for £12,000 into a stunning home, kitting out the inside with bespoke wooden cabinets, a bed and a kitchen.

She said: ‘It’s been my dream to have a van for 3 or 4 years.

Travel blogger Mollie Bylett, 26, bought a VW van in 2018 for £12,000 and spent over a year kitting it out with a kitchen, bedroom, solar panels and even an outdoor shower

Travel blogger Mollie Bylett, 26, bought a VW van in 2018 for £12,000 and spent over per year kitting it out with a kitchen, bedroom, solar power panels and even a backyard shower

‘I didnt do it on a budget because I desired to bring my dream your exactly as I imagined it.’

The conversion set Mollie back by around £10,000, but the van is fully kitted out with every thing she may need on the road.

‘We’ve got a full kitchen with a fridge-freezer, two hobs, a shower out the back again to rinse off boots or the dog, a cell, and a roof rack so you can climb up on top watching the sunset,’ she said.

Mollie decided to drive her van to the Swiss Alps when her conversion was complete, but the coronavirus lockdown meant she had to remain closer to her Berkshire home.

The travel blogger intended to drive the van to the Swiss alps but when lockdown hit she has driven around the UK visiting the beach at West Whittering and the Surrey hills

The travel blogger meant to drive the van to the Swiss alps however when lockdown hit she has driven around the UK visiting the beach at West Whittering and the Surrey hills

The van before Mollie kitted it out with bespoke wooden fittings, along with a bedroom and kitchen in the renovation that took more than a year

The van before Mollie kitted it out with bespoke wooden fittings, along with a bedroom and kitchen in the renovation that took greater than a year

Instead she’s driven the van to the Surrey hills to go hiking and visited the beach at West Wittering, West Sussex.

Mollie hopes the lockdown will encourage other people, including van owners, to explore their home turf rather than travelling abroad.

‘I think its nice people are looking a little closr to home for the adventure,’ she said.

‘It allows individuals to explore whats on their doorstep.

‘When you really start exploring the UK you will understand you don’t have to proceed so far (for adventure).

Mollie hopes the rise in van life culture means more people will explore the UK and look for adventure on their doorstep instead of feeling the need to go abroad

Mollie hopes the rise within van lifestyle culture implies more folks will discover the BRITISH and look for adventure on their front doorstep instead of experience the require abroad

‘I consider there’s will be a long term increase in local travel individuals will understand there’s a great deal here.

‘Van a lot more quite fashionable and very instagrammable hence exactly why its inflated so much. Especially with lockdown and local travel becoming encouraged We don’t think it will now quieten straight down any time soon.

‘We’re inside it for the long run.’

Sales supervisor Emily Conroy, 27, purchased a Ford Transit van in the course of lockdown for £3,750.

She desires to convert that into the campervan therefore she may travel close to the BRITISH and Europe.

It is a task she has already been considering for a while, nevertheless after attempting her palm at DIY during the lockdown the lady decided to get the dive.

‘I was carrying out DIY things at home with the housemate,’ she stated.

Emily Conroy, 27, had been thinking about converting a van for a while, but realised she would be able to do it on her own after trying her hand at DIY during lockdown to upgrade her flat

Emily Conroy, 27, have been thinking about switching a vehicle for quite some time, but noticed she would get it done on her very own after attempting her palm at DIY during lockdown to improve her flat

‘We renovated the kitchen in addition to living room within our flat, and i also realised I possibly could do the handy things by myself without needing to get aid.

‘It’s something I’ve always wanted to perform, plus I use more time together with coronavirus.

Inspired by simply video tutorials on YouTube, the lady plans to incorporate a mattress and a tiny kitchen to be able to the 15-year-old former National Rail vehicle, now passionately nicknamed ‘Connie the campervan’.

The 27-year-old has been watching YouTube videos to show her how to do most of the refit herself, but she will get help to do the electrics and cut windows into the van

The 27-year-old has been viewing YouTube video clips to show the girl how to perform most of the refit himself, but she could get assistance to do the electrics in addition to cut house windows into the van

Her programs also include including windows in addition to electrics to be able to the vehicle, which she could get aid installing through professional trades-people.

Emily, who hails from Newmarket, Suffolk, recently delivered to the UK following living in Australia.

She hopes to make use of the renewed van going a little closer to home as soon as the country opens up once again post-lockdown.

The sales manager used to live in Australia but now she is back in the UK, she wants to explore what is on her doorstep by travelling around the UK and Europe

The sales supervisor used to are now living in Australia great she is back the BRITISH, she desires to explore precisely what is on the girl doorstep by simply travelling close to the BRITISH and Europe

She is already organizing her very first road trip to be able to Cornwall.

‘Because journey is going to be therefore limited today, I wanted the opportunity to continue to travel with out the probability of flying or even going abroad.

‘And following Australia I desired to travel even more on the doorstep close to the BRITISH and Europe. And offer my family the chance to make use of the vehicle for journeys as properly.’

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