This is the second part of the top 10 lessons learned on the way to converting my first van to a campervan, the ones I knew even before buying the van. See Part I here. Online articles were enormously motivating for me during this project, I hope you find something here for you as well. Let’s get right to it.
When converting a van to a campervan for the first time, a big question is where to start. Like many inexperienced van builders, in the early days I lost many hours into a wormhole of internet timespace in an effort to find a answer.
But, it’s not the most important question. Not at all.
What makes the difference between kicking back with a cuppa in your new cosy rolling home and hawking your 32% finished project on a Facebook group is not how you will get started, but how you will continue.
In late July 2015 I bought a secondhand panel van to convert to a campervan. I don't have any formal training in carpentry, plumbing, electrics or engineering (except that half a school year when I was 14, thanks Mr. Archer!).
On the journey to converting my van into a little castle on wheels there have been a lot of lessons. It’s not far wrong to say I’ve now built at least 3 vans: the two vans worth of practice, failures and re-dos and then the third one where everything works. My accuracy, speed and techniques improved massively as I went along - not only because of practical experience, but also because learning general ways of approaching design/build problems which could then apply to other challenges.
Over the next two blogs I’ll share the top 10 lessons learned over the course of building the campervan. These are the big themes uniting all the little moments of clarity earned on the way.
Who's writing this, anyway?
Me, Feta Brown, who dreamed of building a camper van retreat for an embarrassingly long time. In 2015 I plunged into doing just that. Now am enjoying my fully functioning camper van with solar powered array, woodburner, sofa bed, lovely kitchen and composting toilet. I want to empower you to build your own retreat on wheels by sharing my journey and top tips from experts in their fields.