A COUPLE spent their lockdown converting a battered old van to travel across France, Italy and Greece.
Rachel, 30, and Euan Morris, 31, from Leicester, spent just a few thousand pounds to turn it into a dream holiday home with a fully working kitchen, laundry area and huge bed.
The couple, who worked as retail designers, decided to take the plunge when they were forced to postpone their wedding due to Covid, according to We Buy Broken Vans.
They spent £7,400 on a Vauxhall Vivaro and spent another £8,000 renovating it, doing most of the work themselves over five months, sharing their progress on their Instagram account.
Euan said: "We’ve always been keen on design and used to email each other ideas for the house.
"Eventually we created Pinterest boards so we could find inspiration for bathrooms and kitchens.
"Rachel started following van lifers on Instagram and YouTube, and steadily started feeding me the idea of building our own van. After that, we were hooked."
They named the van Gerty, and added: "We needed to do some bodywork which required a bit of savvy thinking to fix, but apart from some general wear she was in pretty good condition.
"Since it’s a pretty small van we were fairly restricted with what we could do with the layout.
"We knew we wanted a big bed and a lot of storage options [and] wanted it to look homely."
Inside the van is an L-shaped kitchen complete with fridge, sink, two-burner gas stove and a cosy area for their dog, as well as and storage space for spare bedding, electronics and laundry and individual cupboards.
The table unit is made from the same oak boards the couple used in their dining room while the bed is made from a ply panel that comes out to bridge the gap from the sofa to make a cosy double bed.
They added: "We did all of it ourselves except for the pop-top and window. I was pretty new to everything and didn't fancy cutting out the roof.
"As a designer, I am a perfectionist, and fitting out a van where nothing is square was quite a challenge."
They have since travelled around Europe with their dog Fynnley and plan to visit Turkey next.
They have also bought and converted another van which they sold, with plans to renovate others as a new business.
They added: "It has brought us closer together as a couple. You experience so much more of a place when driving around its windy roads when you see a valley from a little park up.
"Van life is great, but you need to have the right frame of mind to live in such a small space all the time with someone and be constantly on the move finding new park ups and exploring new places. But we love it and we’re really glad we took the plunge."
Another couple converted an old DHL van into mini home for just £2k using ping pong tables and climbing walls – and it’s now worth £15k.
And a man made the most of his lockdown last year by transforming an old builder's van into a high-end luxury campervan, with a tiled heated shower and smart kitchen inside.
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