From Transit van to caravan: Couple spend £6,000 converting old Ford into a mobile home to travel across Europe in…although there’s no bathroom
- Stuart Humphreys, 24, and Claire Bragg, 25, spent two years transforming the van from a second-hand window glazing Transit to a caravan
- The tiny 1.7 by 1.8 metre interior contains a bed, wood burner and kitchen
- They plan to travel around Europe in their new home
The only clue that this ordinary-looking van gives to show it’s not just your average Transit is the chimney protruding from the roof.
This leads down to a wood burner and into the interior of the former window-glazing van, which a pair of university graduates have converted into a caravan.
Former Leeds Metropolitan University students Stuart Humphreys, 24, and Claire Bragg, 25, spent just over £6,000 and two years transforming their second-hand van into what will be their home while they travel around Europe.
Hidden world: Claire Bragg, 25, and Stuart Humphreys, 24, spent £6,000 converting this second-hand van into a mobile home
Innocuous: From the outside, the Ford Transit looks like any other van, save for the chimney which leads to a wood burner on the inside
Postal worker Ms Bragg has been granted a sabbatical from her job, while chef Mr Humphreys is taking a break from the kitchens.
Ms Bragg said: ‘We really like the freedom of it, we can go wherever we like, do whatever we like, whenever we like.’
There are however some drawbacks to their new life.
No toilet means the nearest bush will have to suffice and a bath will depend on local rivers and streams.
Dreadlocked Mr Humphreys wasn’t fazed though. He said: ‘I’m a stinky hippy, I barely shower anyway!’
Mr Humphreys, who is 6ft 2ins, will also have to contend with the compact space.
Room for three: Mr Humphreys, who is 6ft tall, plans to sleep in the foetal position in the tiny bed
Compact: The inside of the van, which is 1.7 metres by 1.8 metres, contains a bed, kitchen and wood burner
While the van seems to contain all the mod cons, it does not however contain a toilet
Mr Humphreys, 24, and and Ms Bragg, 25, from Leeds, plan to travel in the van around Europe
The living area measures 1.7 metres wide by 1.8 metres.
He said: ‘I have to sleep diagonally in the foetal position.’
Starting from scratch with a Ford Transit T300 that belonged to a window-glazing company, the couple spent two years transforming the 2007 van into their dream home.
Mr Humphries said: ‘The hardest part was adding the insulation to the van – that took three months alone.’
Mr Humphreys and Ms Bragg insulated their van before installing the rest of the fittings
Stuart Humphreys, 25, pictured inside the van, bought the Ford Transit for £3,500. Two years and £6,020 later he converted it into a dream caravan
Next they installed a bed, an oven, and pine cupboards.
A wood burner provides heating on cold nights, while a solar panel on the roof powers electronic devices.
The van was fitted out with pine before the fittings like the wood burner (right) were installed
FROM TRANSIT TO CARAVAN – COST
Van – £3,500
Battery – £100
Solar Panel – £350
Battery charger – £100
Power inverter – £100
Garage consumer unit – £30
12v switches – £20
12 LED 50/50 warm white light strips – £50
Thetford Duplex gas oven/grill – £250
Smev hob and sink combo – £300
Water pump – £20
Insulation – £200
Wood – £350
Screws and miscellaneous – £100
Windows – £300
Wood burner – £250
Total – £6,020
Mr Humphries said: ‘We could plug in a 300 watt amp if we wanted and hold our own mini-festival out of the van.’
But the trip will be far from a holiday, as the couple plan to work on local farms and even forage food to save money.
Mr Humphries said: ‘We hope to eat as much food as we can catch and do fruit-picking, or any sort of farm work to supplement our adventure.’
The couple, who have been together for three years, will travel by ferry to Holland, continue on to Germany and Scandinavia, then return through Eastern Europe.
Ms Bragg said: ‘We’re planning to follow the sun, spending winter in the warm countries and summer in the cooler countries.’
They have registered their vehicle as a camper van to avoid being charged higher costs on ferries and insurance.
Mr Humphries said: ‘We were worried the DVLA would not accept the vehicle as a camper van but they were satisfied with the pictures and changed the log book for us.’
You can follow their adventure on their blog – website