Couple turn used work van into luxury mobile home and use it to travel the world11/19/2020
Courtney Stevens, 27, and her partner James Mechan, 32, weren’t keen to stick to the usual path of settling down and buying a house.
Instead, they decided to take the road less travelled by buying a van, giving it a DIY makeover, and living inside it.
They now live in their camper van full-time, travelling around the UK and Europe.
Courtney, a communications manager from Skipton in Yorkshire, said: ‘We decided we wanted to live in a camper van so that we could feel freer and less constrained by the typical life ladder.
‘It also gave us an excuse to ruthlessly purge our belongings and take stock of what possessions were important to us.
‘By living in a 5metre by 2metre space you only keep what you need and what brings you joy.’
The couple found the perfect van on eBay and bought it for £6,500 before getting to work on turning the vehicle into a mobile home.
The entire transformation cost £14,500 – and took a lot of time and hard work.
‘We knew that we did not want a plain white van, so when we saw this bright bold orange van we instantly loved it,’ said Courtney. ‘It had good mileage for its age and had the least bumps and scrapes compared to others that we saw.
‘It took us 18 months to complete the transformation of the van.
‘We were both working full time so we spent the weekends and evenings working on it.
‘We did everything ourselves, and we are complete DIY novices. We did not even know how to put a shelf up before the van project.
‘So I think this also why it took so long because we were learning how to do stuff on the job. Everything from the plumbing to the carpentry.
‘We used Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube to help us with our research for the project, to give us inspiration for the layout, seeing what worked best and decorating the interior.’
The end result is pretty impressive.
The van is now a stylish space kitted out with everything Courtney and James need for everyday life, including thermostat heating to see them through the cold weather.
Courtney said: ‘The van has a wet room with a hot water shower and a toilet.. There is over-head wardrobe space for all of our belongings and a sitting area that converts to an extremely comfy super king-size bed.
‘We have solar panels on the roof which powers all of our devices, we even have Wi-Fi which enables us to do our jobs remotely and work on the road.
‘There is also a kitchen area with a sink and running hot water, large fridge and a portable stove.’
The couple, who document their travels at @DrivingDeeDee, are so happy with their new camper van and love the freedom of home being wherever they decide to drive.
‘Moving into our van has been perfect for us,’ said Courtney. ‘We wanted to be able to travel more, so living in a van would give us the ability to explore more and also limited our impact on the environment.
‘We just were not ready for the whole settle down and buy a house thing. We wanted a better work-life balance, so this seemed like the perfect solution.
‘Once we had completed the transformation of the van, it was so rewarding to step back and see the end result.
‘We had a real sense of accomplishment, we had dedicated so much time and hard work, we were so proud of it.
‘We thought “wow, we have really built this”. We could not believe it was finally complete and we could move in.
‘We love living in the van and being able to travel to wherever we like while working on the go. We have no plans of not living in the van any time soon.’
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