BY: SAMANTHA TAPP
Out with the old and in with the new. Instead of buying a rundown house, tearing out the entire interior and making it your dream home, people these days are choosing to do their renovations on their car instead. More specifically, people are buying VW campers and transforming them into their homes on wheels.
Adding beds, tiny kitchen features and even electric showers, these homes are improved drastically from the old VW vans that you saw growing up. Instead of just being a car, these vans are turned into the ultimate travelling vans. Cheaper than a mortgage, with the ability to be parked on a beach or under the stars and cozier than an apartment, these vans can be renovated into anything you want and the results are awesome.
These are the 5 most epic VW camper renovations:
1. 1996 VW T4 van
This 1996 VW T4 van was bought by Lauren Smith and Calum Creasey in 2010. Over the next few years the couple travelled over 80,000 miles in their van looking for places to surf, hike and camp. Originally the couple would alternate months living in the van and working to afford the travel, but now they live in their van full time. To be prepared for their new life on the road, they needed to do some renovations.
The couple completely renovated the van to make it their own. This included adding benches with cushions and insulation, building in storage so their mini kitchen table can be held on the wall while driving, wooden shelving for utensils and plates, storage for clothes, blankets and pillows, new windows for more natural lighting and storage on the back of the van for bikes. The end result looks cozier than any condo I’ve ever seen.
2. 1989 VW T3 van
“Supertramp” otherwise known as Karol and Aleksandra Lewandowski’s VW van has taken them through 50 countries and five continents. Throughout their travels the couple has limited their spending to just $8 a day through budgeting and with the help of special renovations done to their van like the kitchen features and an electric device on the top of the roof of the van, which allows them to shower for free.
Other upgrades to their van include a better transmission, a second battery with LED-Ensure lighting inside and outside, a folding table on the wall, a folding roof above the side door, two boxes of luggage on the roof, five 20 litres of water tanks on the roof, there’s room for six in the back and they even installed new, comfy seats in the front.
3. 1978 VW Type 2
Artemis and Nao Russell’s VW van is a bit different than the rest of the vans, mostly because it isn’t used for living, but rather for travelling every now and then. When the couple bought their van it was still home to the original 70s Devon conversion interior, so it goes without saying that a major revamp was needed. After tearing the entire interior out and discovering that rust was a real problem, the renovations began.
Even though 90 per cent of the work they did on the van is hidden beneath the walls and carpet, there is still lots that can be seen. They added a new homemade pine table, added in cabinets, made vintage Japanese silk bunting, added a wool carpet, kitchen drawers, a tiny fridge and the foldout seats transform into a bedroom.
4. 1976 VW
Sunshine is Rachel and James’ VW bus that they bought in 2008 while they were still in college. After discovering the van in a Kmart parking lot, the couple fell in love and drove her home that day as their new home on wheels. Deciding that the VW life was the life for them after they discovered everything they needed would fit in a van, they began their renovations to make their new home exactly what they wanted.
They began by customizing the interior with drawers and a counter top for cooking. They added LED lights to run off of their battery at night, added a non-electric icebox to store food, they have an upstairs bed in a canvas pop-top and their backseat pulls out into a bed.
5. 2017 VW
This one isn’t a renovation done by a couple looking to upgrade an old model, but rather an entire upgrade of the VW van. Since this van is a cultural staple of both the past and present, it’s no surprise that the VW van is keeping up with the times. In this case the new and improved 2017 model is “the world’s first electric multi-purpose vehicle to be equipped with a fully autonomous driving mode.”
This means that the steering wheel can retract and merge into an instrument panel, switching the vehicle from manual to fully autonomous, it has a 111- KW/H battery pack and rear electric motors, an even more roomy interior and other smart features that haven’t quite been set in stone. These renovations are sure to make travellers and eco-friendly consumers stoked about the future of the VW van.