Life on the road
With the dark days and the never-ending nights it’s easy to forget about the long-gone days of summer, so this week’s Blog is in tribute to summer… a potential project you get you in the mood and mindset for sunshine…
If space saving living is your thing and you get a kick out of transforming small spaces into fully-functioning-living-havens, we have a top tip for you! Shift gears and get in the fast lane – homes on wheels are a big deal right now!
According to The Sunday Times Home (October 27) #vanlife is a thing and more than 20,000 people applied to have their vans reclassified as living spaces last year, allowing them to travel where they want, when they want. Tempted to transform your van into a living space? Here’s what you need to know, according to journalist Tim Palmer:
- According to campervanlife.com, £2,100 is the amount you need to transform a basic van into one suitable for weekend jaunts, assuming you do the work yourself. Transforming a large, top-of-the-range long-haul vehicle could set you back £15,000! Thought: will you be a weekend warrior, taking short, regular breaks around the UK, or plan longer trips living on the road for weeks or months at a time? Weekenders may be able to manage without a loo or a shower, so costs will be less.
- A van with a plan. Look for ideas and inspiration on Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube before you start the work, and be sure to establish clear design objectives. Says Vansformation host Feta Brown, with a van, every millimetre is precious, so there will be compromises… If there’s not a clear path, the chances of getting lost (and busting your budget) become very high… Make a plan before you start. She suggests making three lists: The first is for absolute must-haves such as comfy beds, storage space and ways to keep warm. The second is for things you’d like – a flip-up table, USB points or a shower, and the third is for things you’d love to have but probably won’t fit in.
- Be realistic. This isn’t a quick job.
- Keep it legal. Remember to build in the boring stuff to your budget. For example you’ll need specialist insurance. And if you re-register your converted van with the DVLA, there might be advantages, for example qualifying for cheaper vehicle and contents insurance and cheaper MOT tests.
Futon Company says: The idea of packing up and driving into the sunset for a summer on-the-road adventure sounds very appealing right now (we can dream!), but if a 3-month camper van trip isn’t on the cards there’s always a weekend of camping or a sleepover at a friend’s house (yes, even in winter!). Whatever your budget (or time available) there are always ways to plan an escape and make the most of small space living. Check out our on-the-road goodies (that work equally well if you just want a change and plan to sleep in your living room for the evening!)…