The campervan is more or less complete now and I’m heading out tomorrow morning on the first proper trip (wheeee!) But before I do, here’s a last post on the conversion itself. Or, at least, one last post BEFORE I realize ALL THE OTHER THINGS that still need doing. Because, for sure, there will be stuff…
In the meantime, here is how I have decorated and made the campervan look beautiful (if I do say so myself…)
The Quilt This first thing to mention is that I made a quilt that serves as the divider between the driver’s cab and the main cabin of the van. My thinking here is that 1. when I’m in the cab and running aircon, I don’t want it to be struggling to cool the whole van (I won’t be running aircon in the van itself) and 2. when I’m in the living part of the van I want to be able to forget (a bit) that I’m in a vehicle. In addition, 3. it means that people looking in the front cannot see anything much of what’s inside; the side and back windows are already tinted, and the front of the quilt is plain dark blue. This, I think, adds to the sense that, when parked in a city street, the van is just any old van and not a camper. Because: stealth.
Other decorative bits and pieces While it would be perfectly possible to have an entirely plain, spartan van, I wanted some little touches of homeliness. This meant choosing a subtle colour scheme –and green is objectively the best colour that exists– and then selecting a few items that broadly toned in. So I found a tiny all-wool rug for $29, green cupboard doors, for $55 (40x80cm and 60x80cm), and a subtly green-on-white duvet cover (which I can’t now find online, but I think it was about $60). Together, these created little pops of colour for not much $$. Oh, and I also made a little pocket for my headtorch and keys and phone, to go next to my bed. It’s not green, but it’s practical.
The bug net OK, so this isn’t strictly a decorative item, but I made it on my sewing machine so in my head I kind of have it in the same category as the quilt and the little phone-charging pocket, as I made them all over a wet weekend when it was too grey and rainy and yucky to want to go out. The bug net uses two heavy-duty zippers, heavy (315gsm) cotton fabric, polyethylene netting, and brass eyelets (which were THE WORLD’S FIDDLIEST THING to attach). I took my time with it, doubling up on the fabric as much as possible (e.g. enclosing the zippers in a kind of linear bay of fabric rather than just attaching the zips onto layer) so it feels very strong and substantial. A few of the guys at the workshop asked me where I got it and were a little wowed when I said I’d made it myself, so I guess it looks fairly professional. Indeed, Dave (who helped me a ton along the way) has already commissioned one for his own campervan (commissioned at no cost, of course; he’ll get the stuff to make it and I’ll sew it together. After all the help he’s given me, it’s the least I can do).
And what else? Not much. I have a couple of items sitting on my desk at home still to do: a varnished divider and some USB fairy lights that I’ll install along the way, and the fabric for a cushion cover that I’m still to make, and some ideas for other, crafty-fabricky van things. But I’m out of time. I leave tomorrow morning, it’s almost midnight now, and it’s been a MASSIVE work week in which I’ve been in the office from the early mornings thru to late nights, finishing things off before the holidays.
And so those things will simply have to wait. The only restriction, time-wise, that I have tomorrow is that my cats have to be at the cattery by 11am, and it’s about an hour away. That means I get to sleep in until 8ish, 9ish, then pack up the last few things, and then hit the road for the first time properly. I feel a bit nervous: big trip, new van, lots of effort to get to this point, still wary of fucking things up. But I’m also feeling quietly proud of myself. Seems this sedentary, office-working, non-technically skilled woman nevertheless can make shit happen. (It’s still less than 8 weeks since I bought the van.) All of this, here, now, is a good feeling. I’m exhausted, and very aware of wanting to take it pretty easy on the road, but also, I’m excited.