Saturday, 5 March 2011


Once upon a time, Mr T and myself had a plan to get a camper van. This was a long term plan as my car was still going strong and was very adequate for the family’s needs, it was discussed that when that said car was no longer cost effective or gave up the ghost, we would ultimately look at getting either a Bongo or a VW.
The car decided to make it a short term plan of ours and the head gasket went in July 2010, the cost to repair was going to be almost what the car would have been worth. This in turn, thrust the prospect of getting our van into an urgent, top of priority list matter. After much trawling through autotrader ads, Ebay, and various other avenues we found a VW panel van in Plymouth with low mileage and a blank canvas to get the van we wanted. We ended up purchasing it and I became the very proud owner of a VW T28 panel van!!!! I have to say there is definitely something I love about driving vans or big vehicles, JT, TJ and I would all be in the front as we only had the 3 seats in the cab at that point. We spent the rest of that summer playing Paulo Nutini CD’s and singing our hearts out in the cab of the van, dreaming about what we planned to do with her.
Those plans got put into action after finding the man that can, Jack from Cool Conversions in Wadebridge.
I was in charge of sourcing quotes for the work we wanted doing and for finally deciding on who we would trust our new pride and joy with. I have to say, I took this job very seriously as this was a big investment for us and we had very specific requirements of the vehicle. Primarily it is my “car” for ferrying the children to and from after school activities and for being a family vehicle. It’s secondary role was to be a camper van which we could take for an impromptu weekend into Cornwall or that Mr T and I could take to bike festivals and use if a run took me further afield ( trail race in Forest of Dean booked!) Needless to say it took about a month for me to get around 5 quotes from various converters in the Devon and Cornwall region.
Jack was going to be our man for our van. We wanted a full width RIB bed put in the back in order to get 3 more seats for passengers and for Mr T and I to rest our weary heads in. A pop up REIMO roof bed for the children to sleep in, fully insulated and carpeted panels, vinyl flooring, a fold up table, a selection of lighting within the van and roof space, an electric hook up point and a ZIG unit for plugging a kettle, fan heater, etc into. Pretty much making this a van of our dreams. Jack set to work in late October 2010 and within 4 weeks we had a fully cosmetically improved VW van. The attention to detail Jack put into it matched all our expectations ( and they were high), we managed to get a van that we hope will give us years of pleasure with the boys.
We have a trip to France planned for the Summer and we aim to take any weekend that we can to get further down into Cornwall for some weekends of sun and fun. It is already becoming apparent that it is going to be a very much loved van and we have her stocked with sachets of hot chocolate, tea bags and the kettle at all times so that if the mood takes us we will stop and enjoy her. This has happened recently as we took a trip to Crediton via Torrington to pick up a trailer (to be used for our France trip). We stopped off at the Plough Arts Centre in Torrington for a look at their latest exhibition ( ) and found a car park with the most amazing views. We stopped off, opened the sliding door, got the hot chocolates and teas made and enjoyed half an hour of children colouring in and us admiring the view.

I think I am in love all over again! Happy Camper vanning!

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