#VanLife | Blog 077 | VW-T4 Camper Conversion

December 15, 2020  •  Leave a Comment

Imagine, a few years ago I attempted (albeit poorly) to build out an Iveco Daily LWB camper into something more suitable to me. Needless to say, I failed, and I failed HARD! A few years on, older and less wiser some would say, I'm back at it again, only this time I'm actually much further on than I ever imagined.

The vehicle undergoing this camper transformation is a 1998 1.9d ABL VW-T4 Transporter and I've named him Rookie. Now, some people give their vans and vehicles a female gender, but I'm a getting a dude vibe of my van. He's been through the wars during his 22 years on the road, had dubious modifications made (such as an illegal fuel tank addition so that a previous owner could run it on red diesel without being caught), a bunch of weird wiring attachments made (which I've stripped out) and a bucket full of dust behind the dash from its time roaming building sites. Rookie and I are on a journey of discovery. I'm learning all about how to build a camper, and it's learning that it's got a new lease of life, and someone willing to spend a shit tonne of money him, which was a discovery to me too hahaha.

Where are we at right now?

Well, I have a joiner coming tomorrow to fit a countertop I purchased from a local kitchen supply company, also to build me a small cabinet at the rear to house the gas bottle (which I'll need to drill a hole out for) and to cut a shape out the top for the sinker/cooker unit I've already got. He's also going to be building me an 'under-bed slide-out drawer' to house my gear, what gear is as yet undecided. I was thinking of camera gear, but I'm swaying to more outdoor types of things, like a picnic table and chairs for those summer evenings at the beach with the wife. I think I'll just have to wait and see. 

We can but dream of summer can we not? Besides, with the way this COVID is going, I doubt many of us will be boarding any planes any time soon, so what better way to enjoy some free time than to travel in your own hotel around your own back yard?

A quick breakdown of what I've done so far:

  1. Total Insulation of the underfloor, walls and behind all the panels.
  2. Recarpeting of said panels and exposed wall areas, the front of the cab too.
  3. Repainting of some interior elements away from the light grey to black (I've still the door cards to do yet)
  4. Lighting fitted which also included a handy remote control.
  5. New over the cab storage space built by my neighbour.
  6. Chinese Diesel Heater installed under the driver seat. My only regret on this front is that I could have moved it back slightly more, but it's in now.
  7. IKEA kitchen units built and scribed into position. Just need to put the marine catches on the doors and drawers to stop them opening when going round corners.
  8. Flooring repaired and relayed.
  9. Rock & Roll bed built and installed.
  10. Rear reading light installed (the second one will be going in once the gas bottle cabinet is built)
  11. Passenger seat swivel base installed.
  12. Leisure battery installed and some of the electrics have been done.
  13. New fancy headlights installed to give it a more modern look.
  14. Brakes have been serviced, as they were as woolly as my wife's bobble hat.

There is still a whole pile of other items to be checked off the list that I never made, such as the gas piping to be done, an instrument panel to be wired up correctly (need new cabling for that though), a pull-out drawer to be made for a fridge I've yet to purchase (after Christmas probably) and curtains to be made, as well as a window frame for the side sliding door. All of which will be filmed as has been done on my YouTube channel specifically for this build.

Check it out, plenty of good stuff on there, and once it's all done, I'll be making more videos from the sights and sounds of Ireland and beyond.

 


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