DIY staycation! Family-of-four build camper van for £11,000 by converting a second-hand Mercedes


A family-of-four built their own camper van for £11,000 by converting a second-hand Mercedes so they can travel cheaply around the UK.

Rebecca Booth, 28 and her husband, Robert Booth, 42, were fed up of paying staggering prices for hotel rooms while travelling with their children, Cody, four, and Phoebe, two.

They decided to look at purchasing a caravan to travel cheaply but found the prices out of their budget.

The camper van pictured after its renovation. The family built fit in solar panels, windows, installed flooring, a kitchen area with a microwave and sink, alongside a portable toilet

Rebecca Booth, 28 and her husband, Robert Booth, 42, were fed up of paying staggering prices for hotel rooms while travelling with their children, Cody, four, and Phoebe, two

Rebecca Booth, 28 and her husband, Robert Booth, 42, were fed up of paying staggering prices for hotel rooms while travelling with their children, Cody, four, and Phoebe, two

The pair then decided to purchase a regular van and build their camper from scratch.

Rebecca and Robert fit in solar panels, batteries and inverters for electricity and heating.

They then fit windows on both sides of the van and installed flooring, beds and fitted the entire van with sheep’s wool to keep the space warm.

The pair managed to install a kitchen area with a sink, two gas hobs, a fridge, freezer, microwave and a portable toilet in the small space.

Rebecca said: ‘We started looking at inspiration from other family camper vans and took notes of different layouts and ideas we liked.

‘We purchased a van with only ideas in our heads and couldn’t wait to get started and did so straight away. 

‘We spent most evenings and all weekends building the van for 2 months and had our first adventure!

One of the bedroom areas, after the renovation. The parents fitted the entire van with sheep's wool to keep the space warm and windows to allow light inside

One of the bedroom areas, after the renovation. The parents fitted the entire van with sheep’s wool to keep the space warm and windows to allow light inside

Cody, four and Phoebe, two, enjoy the camper van, fitted with a television after its renovation. After two months, the family-of-four finished their entire project

Cody, four and Phoebe, two, enjoy the camper van, fitted with a television after its renovation. After two months, the family-of-four finished their entire project

Robert takes his children out on their inflatable boat they are able to transport with their DIY camper van, which they built from scratch to travel across the UK

Robert takes his children out on their inflatable boat they are able to transport with their DIY camper van, which they built from scratch to travel across the UK

‘We loved the build and doing it all ourselves kept the cost down! We wired the solar panels, fitted batteries and installed inverters for the electrics for all the power and lighting and heating.

‘We insulated the entire van with sheep’s wool and fitted the windows in both sides to allow light inside.

‘We put in flooring and tongue and groove for all the walls and ceiling.’

She added: ‘We measured up a full-size bed for us and smaller beds for the children, who needed their own private space too. We tried to find every bit of empty area for storage.

‘The kitchen area has a sink with clean water and a wastewater tank, two gas hobs, a fridge freezer and a microwave.

The camper van after its renovation, showing the kitchen area i the background, tables and bedroom area towards the back. The family now embark on trips across the UK

The camper van after its renovation, showing the kitchen area i the background, tables and bedroom area towards the back. The family now embark on trips across the UK

The two children's bedroom area, fitted with a door. The family love travelling to Wales, beaches and seaside coasts in the comfort of their self-contained vehicle

The two children’s bedroom area, fitted with a door. The family love travelling to Wales, beaches and seaside coasts in the comfort of their self-contained vehicle

‘A porta toilet was a must with young children.’

After two months, the family-of-four finished their entire project, setting them back by £11,000, including the cost of the van purchase.

The family now embark on trips across the UK in their DIY camper van and love travelling to Wales, beaches and seaside coasts in the comfort of their self-contained vehicle.

Rebecca said: ‘We love Wales and all the sea coast. We love any beaches, the scenery and fishing with our inflatable boat.

‘The van has now allowed us to have more holidays and adventures throughout the whole year.

‘With a cheaper option being fully self-contained, we can go anywhere we like and we can’t wait to enjoy our family time.’

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