So with my son being diagnosed with ALL (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia) back at the start if March, the cycling plans for this year have been shelved as I need to be able to take him to the hospital at the drop of a hat and being in the far flung corners of the UK on my bike is not conducive to that.
Because of this (and the fact both my son and I are big van fans) I decided to get myself a van and kit it out to be a stealth camper / day van.
Van wise I was looking at the Dispatch / Scudo / Experts as they all have 3 front seats and are only a little bigger than a car and as such will fit in most all parking spaces, are cheap in comparison to other vans and mechanically are spot on.
After a nation wide search a suitable van was sourced from Bletchley (a 2.0 HDi 56 plate Citroen Dispatch with 100k on the clock).
It was a old Carpenters van and was dusty and full of rear racking.
First job was to take out the racking to enable insulation and flash banding (vibration dampening) to go down.
Flooring was next. I decided that artificial grass was the way to go –
And I had some left over so replaced the front mats with something a little different!
I managed to pick up some Alfa Romeo 147 alloys for a bargain so swapped out the standard steel wheels with a bit of bling (rather than the Alfa centre cap I got some mod / raf stickers to cover them up)
For the interior bed / bench seat I managed to pick up some old Bedford Dormobile cushions for just £16! They were stained, smelly and dusty but have cleaned up a treat – lots of elbow grease needed here. I then had to decide how best for me to get these to work in the space I had.
I knocked up a quick frame to test and was happy enough with this. A little refinement to allow the bed to be pulled out and jobs was a good one!
From Ikea I picked up a wash basin cupboard reduced that forms the basic kitchen unit that hoses a sink (big metal dog bowl) a 20l water carrier with tap, single gas burner stove, pans, cups and cutlery etc. This was fixed in place behind the drivers seat after removing the steel bulkhead.
As the van is to be a stealth camper / day van there will be no windows in the back and will be a little dark. To add a little style, colour and uniqueness I clad all of the ply panels in ordnance survey maps! I’ve 2 of the Peak District, 2 small Dartmoore, Snowdon and North Wales, the Lake District, Ben Nevis and Lochinver.
Next tasks were boxing in and upholstering the frame to make it feel a little more comfy inside. Also after having a foil insulated roof for ages I managed to source (thanks Dad!) Some hollowboard to make a roof liner. This makes the back much brighter and better.
(Adding the hollow board in sections)
And below is the progress to date!
Plenty of room to transport my bikes and kip in the back. A blackout curtain between cab and rear means it’s nice and private too!