Van conversion: Lifestyle boom – ‘someone flew from Canada to Portugal to pick up a sink’ | Travel News | Travel

Van conversions have become incredibly popular, and Britons up and down the country are joining van life, either for the holidays or as a full-time lifestyle. Vicki, Stu and Ella the dog have a self-built campervan, Fleur, a 2010 Citroen Relay they bought in 2014 as a bare panel van.

Van life has never been more popular, with a 200 percent increase in searches for vanlife in the past three years.

“It’s exploded.

“A big part of it at the moment is the Covid pandemic, making people re-evaluate their lives and their priorities.

“And because it may have impacted people economically, they’re also looking at ways to have more while spending less.

“A van is a different way to save money, especially for people who aren’t able to buy houses, because they can’t afford it.

“Vans are a way to own your home for a bit less money and making it your own.”


Vicki and Stu may not use their vans as an alternative home, but their conversion was still budget-conscious.

They bought Fleur for £6,500 “when she was a four-year-old panel van with 95,000 miles on the clock”.

So far, they estimate having spent £4,000 on the conversion, with their biggest expense the LPG heating system.

With some DIY, they managed to keep the costs down.

“Obviously there are ways to get stuff for a bit cheaper.

“I know people who look for second hand stoves and sinks, and people find a lot of things on freecycle and gumtree.

“Finding something for a bargain is always fun.

“But I also know someone who flew from Canada to Portugal to pick up a sink.”

Vanlifers: Beautiful conversions for life on the road by The History Press is out now.

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