If you’ve been following our insta feed then you may be wondering why we decided to strip out our camper ‘Pickles’ and start all over again?

There are days when we wonder the same thing!!

We LOVE our van! We rescued him from the scrap heap 7 years ago! He didn’t have an engine and he was slowly being devoured by rust and mould, he was all we could afford at £700 and we longed for VAN LIFE.

A lot has happened over the last 7 years. The space we created inside ‘Pickles’ when we had a seriously low budget and no van converting experience, stopped working for us!

Time to start again…

We have thought about re creating the space inside pickles for a few years now, we personally find the Medium wheel based sprinter the best for what we need as you can park in a bay as long as the car park has no height restrictions. we’ve looked at motorhomes, and starting again with a new van but the kids were absolutely adamant that pickles is part of our family and MUST stay!! So we did what most parents would have done 😉 and stripped out the van!

In pickles the original, we had bunk beds at the back of the van. The children slept in the bottom bunk across the width of the van whilst we slept on the top bunk that pulled out over the kitchen to create a super king width bed with us sleeping length ways to the van. This worked well for us to begin with but as the children got bigger they started to bang their heads each time they sat up in bed or tried to move, once our bed was pulled out to full size it was really awkward to attend to the children in the night, difficult to access the toilet and before you could make yourself a brew in the morning you’d have to pack the bed away…I don’t know about you but I need a cuppa to function in the morning!

I really love spaciousness and flow in my home and the original layout was clunky and crowded.

We’d often sit and draw layout ideas, and it took us a while to come up with the final design. We even contemplated fitting a pop top to our Mercedes Hightop MWB sprinter to gain the extra bed space! Once we got there it seemed so obvious!! We decided to have the kitchen opposite the sliding door, with an L-Shaped dining area at the back with 2 seat belted seats, that folded into our bed. The composting toilet would be in a box over lapping the sliding door. Then we were planning to create two bunks one over the cab and one at the back, the idea being that you could pull them down to sleep in and push them up to stow them away.

Now we just needed to crack on with it! We stripped out everything!! We chatted about all our adventures, and dismantled what we had created…it felt kind of sad ☹️

We’ve been rattling around in an empty van for a good few months waiting for a good time to start! I even bought a New tent as I couldn’t imagine staying still all summer and our camper was now an empty van.

Then our mate John said one day…’you’ll never guess what I found whilst doing a garden clearance’ He was right by the way, we would never have guessed! A REIMO high top for a medium wheel base van! Just like that, the final design idea changed and before we knew it we were chopping the top off our van and sticking in the extra high top. It took a bit of modification to make it fit, then of course we needed to spray it that beautiful sky blue colour to match the rest of Pickles. It’s now on and we are in the process of expanding foam insulating between the inner and outer skins.

The new final design is pretty much the same as before but instead of bunks at the front and rear of the van the kids have got a mezzanine double bed. We plan to add a porthole window on each side and we’ve been given an old boat hatch that we might stick in.

We are sound deadening and insulating the walls and the floor. Now we have much more experience on the matter we can make sure we get it right.

We picked up a reclaimed bamboo floor cheaply off good old Facebook market place, and we’ve been give some beautiful teak which we need to incorporate into our new interior decor.

We’ve added windows all round for panoramic views. When we travelled along the wild Atlantic way we only had one window on the left hand side of the van and we travelled from north to south meaning the poor kids missed out on all the spectacular scenery that the west coast of Ireland has to offer.

Last night we ordered a M1 pull tested rock and roll bed from FABWORXUK which will be part of our L-shaped dining space and the pull into our super king width bed once we’ve built the bench along the wall from the kitchen area. We are searching high and low for the upholstery fabric that sings to us! We found a beautiful one that we all loved but it’s discontinued so for now the search continues.

A while back I convinced Bruce to buy a vintage Calor gas cooker, it’s over 50 years old and completely beautiful😍 we had a 2 ring hob/sink arrangement before so I’m really excited to have an oven and grill!

We seem to work best under a certain amount of pressure so we decided to book tickets to our favourite festival Green Gathering!! After about 15 mins of adding and removing the add on camper van to the basket we finally took the plunge and bought the camper van ticket!! So this means we’ve got 6 weeks to go from empty van to a beautifully converted, fully functioning 4 berth Camper!! We might have to be a big flexible on the beautifully converted fully functioning bit, but Pickles is going to Green Gathering and 4 people will be sleeping in him.

Follow our journey on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest

Peace, Love and Adventures

Annie

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