Hi everybody, we're back again after our summer break and we are back with some bigger and better content than ever before. We kicked off the season last week with our annual tried and tested diesel heater post and this week we have some huge news and something even better for you.
Our long awaited full van conversion is now underway and it's going to be epic, some people would say over the top. But we are just going to say epic.
So it brings us great pleasure to bring to you our brand new Fully Off Grid, Stealth, Adventure Ready, Four Birth, Bug Out Campervan (With 2 x Kitchens, 2 x Showers, 4 x Diesel heaters, 3 x Beds & Much Much More)... We told you it is going to be epic!!
We've been planning this build for a very long time now and we have so many fantastic plans for it. let's just say it isn't going to be your regular run of the mill camper conversion and you really don't want to miss this one.
Before we go into more details please check out the teaser video here...
So as we said we have been planning this build for a long time now, it has been nearly two whole years since we posted the teaser video and we have been planning it ever since. So you can imagine how much thought we have put into it.
For reasons we will go into further down in the post we want this conversion to be the best it can possibly be, with every upgrade you can think of, a clever space saving layout, and to be beautiful inside and out. So as you can imagine this has taken a lot of research and crazy amounts of screen time but now we are finally ready to get the build underway.
In true Van Life Survivors Guide style we are going to cover every step of the conversion for you so you can follow along with the build and copy some of our ideas or all of them if you want. We will try our best to do easy to follow along with, full step by step guides for every install and upgrade. So if you do want to follow along there should be no details missing that you have to google. We will also link to all of the products and tools we use so you can follow along exactly with no guess work there either. So with that being said there is already one video that we owe you and you should watch if you are thinking about buying a van to convert.
In this video we cover everything you should know when going to view/buy your perfect van to convert. It is a second hand van buyers guide specifically aimed at people buying vans to convert into campers...
The van we have chosen to convert is a part converted 2014 Vauxhall Movano with nearly 200,000 miles on the clock, actually the van chose us but it is the van we have to convert. So not only do we have the full conversion to do we also have loads of repairs, preemptive repairs, upgrades and tarting up of the van to do too. It will need a full new paint job, full service, new brakes, new tyres, full interior clean. The heater needs fixing, it has no speakers, broken reflectors, dents in the bodywork, leaky everything, poorly cut windows and vents, hairy walls, moss growing on the windows and loads of other general scruffy bits that all need sorting. The plan is to go over everything with a fine tooth comb and fix anything that needs it, replace anything that looks old and tired and to get the van looking and running as good as new as again. Maybe even better.
It will be a huge job but the build is always the best bit for us so we will have so much fun doing it.
You are probably asking why have we decided to convert such a beaten up van with so many miles on the clock, and we have been thinking the same thing too to be honest. But there is a very good reason for it and that is the van isn't ours, it belongs to our friend who is really struggling at the moment. She does so much to help us out and never asks for anything in return at all. She bought the van just before the whole covid debacle and to cut a long story short she had to rush the conversion with a very small budget so she could live in it. She spent the whole of her savings buying the van and converting it to the standard she did and it was a complete bodge job. She is now left with a van that is getting worse by the day and no money to convert it let alone fix it, MOT it, service it and insure it. Vehicles are not built to sit still and once they do for a long time even more problems will develop. Soon her life savings will have been wasted so we have decided to step in and do everything we can to help her out.
For the full story about why we have decided to do this build please check out Part 1 of our full van conversion series below before reading any further...
So now you know the full story you will understand why we want to make the build as awesome and epic (over the top) for her as we possibly can. Think DIY SOS but for Campervans!!!
As you can see from the thumbnail of the video above we have been busy buying all sorts of awesome stuff for the build and this is just a fraction of it. The hallways of our houses are blocked with boxes of all shapes and sizes ready for the build. There are items in the piles of boxes that even we have never heard of before but are essential for our build. Are you getting it yet or do I need to say the word EPIC for the fifth time in the post. If you watched part one of the conversion above you will know that we asked her what her ideal conversion would be. If you didn't watch it you won't know what her answer was, so here is a quick rundown.
She would like it to... be beautiful, be stealth, have full off grid capabilities, have a hook up point for campsites, sleep four plus a dog, have a shower, be safe and secure, be warm in winter, be cool in summer, have lots of windows, be private, be adventure and bug out ready (whatever that means), have lots of storage space, have a decent amount of space to move around, have lots of natural light and fresh air, have a decent internet set up, have a decent phone signal, have sat nav, have carpets as her dog hates wooden floors, have a special way to keep her dog cool when it is really hot out and finally a special place for her dog to chill and call her own. She also said she would be happy to not have a kitchen if it was necessary to fit the rest in as she would hardly use it anyway. She normally just gets a take away or cooks outside the van on here camping stove so she doesn't stink the van out. So naturally we are going to add two kitchens to the conversion, a small basic one inside the van and one pull out kitchen that will pull out through the back door so she can cook outside the van in style and not stink it out.
We also think we have somehow finally managed to come up with a good plan for everything else on her list too, and it only took us two years. Not only have we managed to cover all of her wants and needs we have added some of our own to take it to another level. But before we go any further with more details about the build please check out part two of the van conversion series as we already have that one live and ready to view too. It shows us taken it from a run down, filthy part conversion to an empty shell and a nice clean canvas to start from. If you are enjoying our content and would like to follow along with the rest of our build please consider subscribing to our youtube channel, liking the video and commenting below the vide whilst you are watching it as it really helps our channel. Please see video below...
So as we said earlier in the post, the girl who we are converting the van for spent her whole savings on buying the van and doing the previous conversion so she has no money left at all. So when it comes down to the funding for equipment, materials and tools for the build we are going to need to get a little bit creative. The type of van we want to build for her is going to cost us a small fortune that we don't currently have. We do however have some tricks up our sleeves, some good ideas and some budget solutions that will bring the costs down a huge amount.
We have also been buying equipment and materials as we go, we have been using our amazon affiliate money to buy bits and pieces each month. We don't get much each month at all but over the two years of spending a little each month the boxes have stacked up.
We have also had quite a few different bits and pieces set out to us to make install videos and review videos on as we go (I told you we had to get creative, I wasn't lying) some of which have been waiting patiently for well over a year and we want to thank now whilst we have a got a chance.
So Vevor have sent us quite a few bits and pieces for this build, items that we can't do the build without but would cost us a fortune to buy. like some top quality, extra long, heavy duty, drawer slides that lock open and closed. We need these for her pull out kitchen and a pull out storage unit too. They sent us two pairs worth about £100 each and we would not be able to execute our plans without them. They also sent us a £100 Pizza oven that is awesome that we might use for the pull out kitchen and a heat exchanger worth about £50 that we need for our diesel coolant heater hot water set up.
Another company that has sent us something we need for our hot water set up as well as other set ups is Butler Technik. They have sent us a genuine Eberspacher expansion tank for the coolant heater that we couldn't finish our set out without but also two different turret plates, some exhaust clamps, exhaust pipe, fuel tap kit and top quality fuel line that we will be using for our multiple diesel heater installs and also a awesome magnetic wine glass set that will be perfect for her pull out kitchen.
We have also been sent all the diesel heaters and coolant heaters we could ever need over the years to try and test for our tried and tested diesel heaters posts and videos. So as we already mentioned we will be adding four diesel heaters. (How, where, WHY? subscribe to find out).
So we will be fitting the best diesel heaters possible...
1 x HLN Aerolyn (air heater) 4KW
1 x Lavaner Pro Max 2KW
1 x HLN Aquano (water heater) 10KW
1 x Maxpeedingrods 5kw
To see why we have chose these heaters to install please watch our tried and tested diesel heater video...
So a huge thank you to Lavaner, HLN, & Maxpeedingrods for the heaters that we will use in this build, even though you didn't know they would be used for this you still deserve the shout out anyway. If we would have put this many heaters in the build if we had to pay for it that would save us well over £1500 on heaters alone.
We have also been sent pretty much everything we need for a decent off grid internet set up too by an awesome company called Solwise. They sent us a Poynting Puck Antenna and a Teltonika router saving us roughly another £300. They have also been kind enough to build us a landing page on their website so if you want to follow along with the build you can find everything we mention from them in one place. You can check it out here... CLICK HERE TO VISIT SOLWISE
So with just the bits and pieces mentioned above that saves us well over £2500 already and more importantly helps us solve some of the items on her list.
A decent internet set up
A decent phone signal
Warm in the winter
Hot water for both showers and kitchens
Pull out sliders for outdoor kitchen
Thats not a bad start at all, some huge parts of the build sorted and with the bits and pieces we have been buying we have got quite a few of the main bits we will need already and waiting.
We still have a long way to go before we have enough for the whole build but we have some plans. We have a few bits and pieces to sell that we no loner need and the girl we are building the van for does too and she has said we can do what we like with them to raise some extra money. So we will be selling stuff on Ebay, facebook market place and doing a few car boot sales too.
We will then take the money we have earned from that and turn it into more money that we can spend on the conversion. We will be making a whole separate blog and youtube series on this as it is a whole project by itself but we have some awesome ideas. If you want to follow along and see how we raise the funds from nothing please be sure to subscribe to this blog and youtube channel. Please click below to subscribe to our Youtube channel.
There are a few other ways we plan to fund the build too. We are going to spend every penny we earn through affiliate links, Youtube ad revenue and from Patreon subscriptions.
So if you have been following along with the story and feel as sorry for Christine as we do and you would like to help at all there are a few ways you can help out.
On the most basic level you could help us massively without spending a single penny by watching our youtube videos all the way trough without skipping the adverts. The more views we get the more we earn from advert revenue. You could also like our videos and comment below our videos on youtube. The more comments and likes the videos get the more people youtube suggest the videos too and the more views we get.
Another way you could help us out is by using our affiliate links from other blog posts and youtube video descriptions. We earn a small percentage from each sale and it doesn't cost you any extra to use our links
We also have a Patreon account where you can subscribe for a small amount per month. There are different subscription levels you can choose from so you can pick one you can afford, if you can afford anything. We know how tight things are for everybody at the moment so if you can't afford anything please don't feel compelled to subscribe. We are trying to help a broke person not put more people in the same position... PLEASE CLICK HERE TO VISIT OUR PATREON
We have also set up an amazon wish list for her (it is still a work in process with new items added daily), with loads of bits and pieces she needs for the build that we don't have already. If anybody is feeling particularly kind and would like to buy her something for her build from the list you can find her list here... PLEASE CLICK HERE TO SEE CHRISTINES WISH LIST We will thank you publicly in one of our videos for anything bought from her list and you will get to see how we use it in the build.
If you are a company and have something that you think would come in useful for the build laying around that you would like to donate for the build or would like to sponsor a video please email us direct at email@example.com and we will get back to you A.S.A.P.
Ok so thats about it for this post, we hope you have all enjoyed it. We have loads of awesome content coming for you in blog and video form so please make sure to subscribe and follow to make sure you don't miss out on anything.
We hope to see you very soon when the next video in the series goes live on our Youtube channel.
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