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This news has been so long in the making I can’t even remember how the idea first came about…

What I do recall is, around two years ago I began toying with the idea of buying a van for the purpose of converting into a road-trip campervan, and about two weeks ago, we officially became the proud owners of this Volkwagen Transporter!

It’s only been a couple of weeks since we brought it home, but the work is already well under way on converting this into our dream house on wheels. We’ve dubbed it the Wagenhaus because, well, you get it… 😉

We are both so excited about this project, and you can follow along with our progress on The Wagenhaus Instagram account, as well as on this blog where I’ll be keeping a diary of our self-build work.

A little about our van, and why we chose it

After a lot of searching, we’ve purchased a 2004 Volkswagen Transporter T5 LWB (long wheelbase). Despite its (or her?!) age, its got incredibly low miles (just under 70k), and three windows already fitted at the back which was one of the criteria we were hoping for when shopping around. There’s no denying that a VW Transporter has the reputation of being the ideal campervan, and for us, it was the dream vehicle. We had basically given up on the idea of owning one, but a week after we decided they were out of our budget, we end up viewing and buying ours! So long original budget, we knew you were probably not going to be enough…

We had actually always planned on getting a Ford Transit because of their size and affordability, but after looking at dozens online as well as a few in real life, we found they tended to have quite bad rust problems which unfortunately meant we had to rule them out. As they’re mostly used for trade businesses, we also found many Transit vans to be quite tatty and in poor condition.

We’d also considered Mercedes Vitos for quite a while because of their compact size – in fact, we actually lost out on buying one – but we struggled to find many on the market in our price range/requirements.

Our plans for the van

We’re not going to be moving into the van or living the van life permanently – the Wagenhaus will purely be a recreational vehicle we take on road trips around the UK and beyond. We’ll be exploring own doorstep first which we are both embarrassingly behind on seeing, before venturing out to Europe (I’ve already been thinking about a trip to Switzerland at some point), and maybe even further afield – did someone say Mongol Rally? No, not really.

We both have way too many ideas for the interior of the van, but we’re currently planning on fitting a seating area at the back and a small kitchen area with a cooker and sink behind the seats.

We have no idea how long it will take us to complete this (if indeed a project like this can ever be complete), but our insurance has stipulated 90 days to finish the conversion! We’ll see if that happens…

Stay tuned to see how we get on, and if you have any tips or questions about our conversion, please feel free to reach out!

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