I’m Annie, wife to Bruce and Mother of two wonderfully free spirited children and a dog! We are a family of dreamers, believers and adventurers.
I want to tell you all about how we dreamed of our very own camper and how we made that dream a reality.
When Bruce and I first met we were doing a winter season in the French alps, our very awesome friend Hicko lived in his camper and offered us a ride home at the end of the season! Yes!! We travelled in his self converted LDV complete with wood burner, through France, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands. Sea Sick Steve and Ricky Linch were the sound track to our adventure and it was brilliant, we stayed in some wildly beautiful spots, travelling each day and then finding a place to park up and sleep. That was where the dream began!! We wanted a bit of that freedom! We wanted our very own camper-van.
The camper dream got put on a shelf when we found out we were expecting our first baby. Now we needed somewhere to live, somewhere to work, and a house deposit. Lots of very serious adulting took place as we prepared to become parents.
The baby became a toddler and we became Mr&Mrs and all of our spare cash was going towards a house deposit. The camper-van dream seemed somewhat out of reach. Until the day that Bruce announced ‘I’ve found us a van!!’ WHAT? We can’t afford a van!! ‘But this van is only £700 it just needs me to rebuild the engine.’ ENGINE! That’s a pretty major requirement for a camper!! He convinced me, he promised that with the engine rebuilt it would be worth more and if we needed to sell it for the house deposit then we could.
So with a large £700 chunk out of our house deposit savings, we bought the van!!
Were we mad? Maybe! So work began! We didn’t have much money to rebuild the engine so Bruce used every 2nd hand part he could cheaply get his hands on…it started!! It just didn’t get him very far down the M4 and ended up having to be flat bedded back! Square one again!! This time success, we got our hands on a 2nd hand engine from a friend for a great price and we were off!
Striping out the van was the next job, scrubbing at the mould and removing the odd dead mouse here and there, it was hard to believe that this was our dream camper.
By now Baby number two was on the way and we managed to buy our very first house! The van project was a lengthy one. Windows were fitted, back passenger seats in…it was really starting to take shape now.
Next we insulated, ply lined and carpeted the walls of the van..we used to put the kids to bed and then shift everything from one side of the house to the other to do this! We Laid a rubber floor as we needed it to be cheap but hardwearing. Sadly Bruce lost his grandmother during this time and she left him a little bit of money which gave the project a boost, so we decided to use some of her beautiful fabrics to cover our storage cupboards as a tribute to her 🙂
We spent our evenings planning the layout of the van on scrap bits of paper and I think the design we went for was on the back of an old envelope. Kind of wish I’d kept it now. We wanted it to include enough room for four people to sleep comfortably, a kitchen and a shower. Bruce made the bed frame and kitchen so that our bed would pull out over the top of the kitchen,meaning we had a full king sized bed! Now that’s Glamping!! : )
We added a bottom bunk for the children!
The kitchen was pretty basic, we had a camping stove with a worktop that pulled down (donated to us by our much loved neighbours) , and a tap but no sink. We have since upgraded that to a smev hob and sink combi which is much better.
And finally the shower cubicle was a wooden box, fibreglassed internally with a plug in the bottom and that’s as close to a shower as it got…we modified it to fit our cassette toilet in, so now we’re never caught short, essential when travelling with children! If you have them I’m certain you’ll agree!
Now for the exterior! The body work needed much TLC and luckily we knew a guy!
Our beloved pickles has brought us many adventures…I’ll tell you about them one day!.
The latest dream of ours to come into fruition is our own camper hire and conversion company. Visit us at www.suffolkcampers.co.uk or call 01473 736393 if you need help building your dream camper! Dougal our first Hire van!! Ready for your adventure 2018…20% off when you book before 31/01/18
And one more thing…
Peace, love and a life full of adventures