The winter break becomes the perfect opportunity to continue working on our campervan conversion.
Welcome to introducing Evie part 3. Here is the final instalment of our campervan conversion story. If you want to catch up on part 1 and part 2 follow the links below!
Next Stage Of The Design
So at the end of part 2, we (my boyfriend and I) finished making a new bed and fitting it into our van. After our trip to North Devon and to Cornwall. We discovered that some shuffling and storage was needed. Having everything under the bed meant that’s finding anything became hard. We also wanted some worktop space, for food prep and laptop work.
Having done much research and debating we settled on a side unit running along the side of the driver’s side. Made up of 2 sections. Towards the front of the campervan would be a lower section which will allow for a worktop space and 2 shelves for cooking equipment below. At the back of the van will be a full height (ceiling to floor) section that is split into 2 boxes. We will be able to store boots, wetsuits, clothes and other essentials in the 2 boxes.
The bed/seat has moved to the end of the van again too. With our first bed, we enjoyed being able to open the van doors and sit looking out at the view. The storage under the bed was more accessible, just open the doors and I could find what I needed. While the bed was towards the front of the van, only one side of the storage could be used. To get to the back items we would have to empty all the boxes/items in front then put them all back in.
With the Christmas break here, we gave ourselves 3 days to get this van conversion completed.
Building The Unit
A quick trip to B&Q to get our wood supplies, we got the MDF sheets cut to the sizes that we needed while at the store. A colourful plank wallpaper caught my eye as we walked around so that and some orange paint fed up added to the trolley.
Starting with a whole van clean, we set about building the frame for the smaller unit. Due to the vans shape and the sides not being very straight, we built the units straight into the van. While making the first unit, in order to have the single front piece we had to make the bottom of the larger unit too. The whole frame was screwed into the floor and wall of the van to keep it in one place. Next, the table top went in. The MDF sheet stretched from one end to the other. Forming a sturdy but light worktop.
The plan for the front of the unit was to have a shelf that was accessed by a hole in the MDF sheet. Out comes the jigsaw to carefully cut a hole out of the wood. This works really well as the box that is put on the shelf does not fall through the hole due to the frame around the hole.
The top part of the larger unit was built separately in the garage. As it is smaller and going in via the back of the van this could be done as a single piece. After completing the frame, adding the sides to it, and installed into the van. The basic unit is complete.
Next was some strengthening, due to the shape of the van some of the frame was not straight and needed extra support. The unit was built over the wheel arches so any part around the arches had extra blocks to bring it closer to the sides of the van. There was a support bar added to the back to make the worktop sturdier and not wobble when weight was put on it.
Adding That Splash Of Colour
Now the basics were in, the paint and accessories could come out.
Starting off by painting the bed a duck egg blue colour. The colour is light and makes the bed/seat look more inviting than before. However, we painted it with a chalk paint that I am not too keen on. It gives the bed/seat a funny texture to it. I think in the future I will repaint or lacquer it to give it a better finish. The next stage of painting was the unit.
Settling for a grey and orange colour scheme I set about painting the front of the unit grey. Matching the grey carpet and being dark enough to disguise marks the grey paint is ideal. It also makes the van not too dark which is key when a campervan is so small. The lighter the more spacious feel, I think.
During the building process, half of the worktop underwent a colourful transformation. Spotted on our outing to B&Q is a wallpaper that has a plank/wood pattern on it. Due to the high wind and plenty of rain, the papering took place in the living room. I also wanted to use the paper more in the van. One the front of the bed is a flap that extends the bed further or could act as a table. Easily removed and papered to match the worktop.
Finally, the new curtains were installed. Previously we were using a towel as a curtain, which is not the ideal situation! These are one of Joe’s Christmas presents and are designed to fit directly onto the sliding door of the van. We had a slight trouble getting the top metal bar as it was too long and wide to fit under the door’s sliding mechanism. A bit of chopping and rearranging and it fits brilliantly. Thin but completely blackout, the curtains are a great addition to Evie.
Evie is finished! After many hours of work and much trial and error, our campervan conversion is complete. Over the next few months, we will be going on adventures and trying out the new layout. New items and ideas will be added as we go along, but the main basic storage and bed for the van are complete and we could not be happier with the results.
Yes, its not the straightest, not the biggest and is rough around the edges but that’s what makes it our campervan ours. All these little quirks and imperfections add to the character. Cannot wait to spend most weekends this year out and about, exploring the UK in Evie, our camper.
Have any of you converted a campervan? Share your stories and design ideas! I’d love to hear all about your van life.
See you next time and happy adventuring!
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