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  • Writer's pictureColwills Garage

Campervan Conversions at Colwills

Many van enthusiasts will know that once you get a taste of the van-life, there’s no going back! Here at Colwills, we’re no different.

At our Bude garage, we offer a range of services and repairs to ensure that your vehicle is performing at its best. One of the services we offer, which we are always excited to talk about is our campervan conversion and modification service!

After we opened Colwills Garage, we quickly realised that VW camper vans were becoming among our most popular vehicles. Never ones to shy away from a new adventure, and always keen to learn as much about the vehicles that cross our path as possible, we began on our own campervan conversion journey.

Our Campervan Journey

Here at Colwills, there is nothing we love more than getting to know a vehicle inside and out! We began our campervan journey when we purchased our own VW T5 conversion and were excited to really get to know every inch of it!

And that was it – we were hooked! After spending every spare moment working on the outside and inside of our first van, we knew the next step would be to move onto another van to convert it from scratch!

Enter the LWB Renault Master – beginning its life as a panel van that we stripped back bare. With a growing family, we knew we’d benefit from the additional space that the Renault could provide and couldn’t wait to get stuck in.

Converting an LWB Renault Master

So where did we begin with this conversion?

First, we elicited the help of Western Windscreens, who came out to our garage to cut some windows. Like many campervan windows, these windows were tinted one way, meaning that you can see out through the window from the inside of the campervan, but anyone from the outside cannot see in, offering those inside more privacy.

After this first step, holes were cut into the roof to allow for the fitting of Dometic air conditioning, the heating unit, and roof lighting. The inside of the van was then insulated, followed by ply lining the insulation, and chasing in the wiring to keep to it concealed. At this stage, we also carpeted over the ply to create a softer, more luxe feel.

After the basics were done, we moved onto the kitchen. During the design stage, we came across the perfect kitchen unit from Clear Cut Conversions, who had developed a unit for a similar-sized van that aligned with just what we were looking for. Rather than developing a new kitchen unit from scratch, we bought the carcass and appliances from them and built matching interior shelving.

After the kitchen was fitted, we installed the bed. Now having a baby, storage was a major consideration – with a fixed bed rather than rock and roll bed, we could have access to more under-bed storage. We built this storage specifically to accommodate Alice’s pushchair and travel cot.

Along with storage, comfort was also at the top of our list of priorities. The bed was fitted with a modified Simba mattress to help us achieve this.

After the bed was in, the toilet was fitted – a process that involved cutting in cassette access from outside. When this was done, we fitted the electrical hook up and wired in all the appliances and lighting.

We were in the home stretch now. All that was left to do was fit the floor, made from the oak left from our kitchen floor. We could now add the final touches including ISOFIX in the front middle seat, making it safer for Alice when she was travelling with us, a large leisure battery, shade awning, inverter, and diesel heater.

With everything fitted, our conversion journey with the Renault was complete!

Getting Started with Campervan Conversions

Bespoke van conversions are a great way to customise your van experience and make the specifications fit your needs.

There are lots of things to think about when it comes to campervan conversions – what do you want from your van? With conversion, you must think about factors such as layout, storage options as well as in-built accessories.

When planning a campervan conversion, you will also need to think about how often you will be using it. Is it becoming a more permanent home as you travel for months at a time or will you only be going out on shorter trips? The answer to this question will affect the design and construction of your van.

With the explosion of #vanlife on social media, there is plenty of inspiration to draw from when it comes to adapting a campervan you want to encompass everything you need, while also allowing you to add personal quirks and character.

Conversions will include many steps that may require the expertise of a professional. Although the DIY conversion journey can be a rewarding one, it is often best left to those that know what they are doing. Our campervan conversion and modification services will help you achieve just what you are looking for!

With our expertise and know-how, Colwills can support you on your very own campervan conversion journey. Give us a call to find out how we could help make your campervan dreams into a reality!

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