Man spends £14,000 turning decade-old van into a cosy home on wheels

He’s pimped his ride! Man spends £14,000 turning a decade-old van into a cosy home on wheels – complete with a kitchen, dining area and enough room to sleep family of five

  • Daniel Stevens, 31, an aerospace engineer from Derbyshire, transformed his van 
  • Built and added in a kitchen, dining area and enough room to sleep five people
  • Created it after realising his family spent a fortune on camping accommodation

A keen traveller has turned a decade-old van into an incredible family-friendly home on wheels for £14,000.

Daniel Stevens, 31, an aerospace engineer from Derbyshire, completely transformed the vehicle in just eight months – building and adding a kitchen, dining area and enough room to sleep five people.

He started the project after realising his family – which includes wife Sally Anne, 30, and their three children; twins Isabella and Sophia, eight, and Lexi, 11 – were spending a fortune on accommodation when camping across Europe before lockdown.

Daniel soon began looking for alternative options and settled on converting a van, purchasing a 2010 Mercedes LWB Sprinter for £6,000 in September 2019, and giving it a complete makeover with help from his family and friends.  

A keen traveller has turned a decade-old van (pictured before the makeover) into an incredible family-friendly home on wheels for £14,000

Daniel Stevens, 31, an aerospace engineer from Derbyshire, completely transformed the vehicle (pictured recently) in just eight months


He built and added a kitchen (pictured right), dining area and enough room to sleep five people, as well as a TV room (pictured left)

Daniel said: ‘I have always wanted to do a campervan and as a family, we like to go camping. 

Over the past three years, we have been camping in Europe but we realised that one of our largest expenditures went on finding hotels for a family of five while travelling to and from campsites on our journeys.

‘This would sometimes cost more than the rest of our holiday due to peak summer rates,’ the father-of-three explained.

The van Daniel decided to purchase was in great condition, with only minor bodywork issues, which made the transformation that much easier. 

The project took just eight months to complete, which the father-of-three did in his spare time, with a little help from his father Charlie, 66, friend, Dale, 38, and father-in-law, Ash. 

Daniel started the van (pictured) makeover after realising his family were spending a fortune on accommodation when camping across Europe before lockdown

Dan (pictured with some of his children) lives with his wife Sally Anne, 30, and their three children; twins Isabella and Sophia, eight, and Lexi, 11


Daniel soon began looking for alternative options and settled on converting a van, purchasing a 2010 Mercedes LWB Sprinter for £6,000 in September 2019 (pictured)

The father-of-three gave the decade-old vehicle a complete makeover (pictured) with help from his family and friends

He said: ‘I started the transformation immediately on my driveway at home, this being where all the work was completed, bar the fitment of the windows. 

‘The most difficult part of the process was the logistics behind designing a sleeping area which would be space-efficient but also sleep five people.’

The easiest part was the insulation and flooring, with Daniel scouring the web for deals on wood, as well as upcycling various items to save on costs.

The rest of the components – such as the awning, fridge and plumbing – were sourced through speciality stores and local suppliers, as well as large chain DIY stores.

Daniel also made changes to the van’s windows, vents and seat installations, as well as installed fuse boxes, solar charge controllers and isolators.

The van was in great condition, with only minor bodywork issues when Daniel purchased it, which made the transformation (pictured) that much easier


The project took just eight months to complete, which the father-of-three did in his spare time, with a little help from his father Charlie, 66, friend, Dale, 38, and father-in-law, Ash. Pictured, work being undertaken on the van

Daniel said: ‘I have always wanted to do a campervan and as a family, we like to go camping.’ Pictured, Daniel’s children on top of the van

He said: ‘This [the windows and vents] was hugely important not only for the thermal benefits but also for damp protection between the van walls and the ply. Once this was completed we had a campervan shell whereby we could begin to design our layout.

‘We did this by marking areas with masking tape and building around that in order to keep our intended walkway and cupboard sizes so we had manoeuvrability. These were done especially being conscious regarding the weight of the materials used.

‘After all this was done it was down to the aesthetics and generally making the van look tidier.’

The makeover cost around £14,000 in total, with the most expensive parts being the fridge at £700 and the awning, which cost around £800.

He said: ‘Covid made the supply of materials a lot more difficult but also forced a more efficient method of build. My favourite part of the van is the rear seating area or the awning where we can relax as a family.

Daniel said: ‘I started the transformation (pictured) immediately on my driveway at home, this being where all the work was completed, bar the fitment of the windows’

Daniel’s wife Sally Anne (pictured top), 30, and their three children; twins Isabella and Sophia, eight, and Lexi, 11 (pictured together in the converted van, bottom)

Daniel said: ‘Over the past three years, we have been camping in Europe but we realised that one of our largest expenditures went on finding hotels for a family of five while travelling to and from campsites on our journeys.’ Pictured, his van

‘The downsides of the van are primarily the inability for day trips to certain places due to the size of the vehicle and the parking but we always choose to holiday where we can walk.’

On rainy days, the family can sit inside and enjoy entertainment on the TV –which is hooked up to a PlayStation 4 – and features both Sky and Netflix.

Daniel says family and friends have all been very impressed with the new look, with some of them asking if he can do similar projects for them in the future.

Before the third national lockdown, Daniel, Sally Anne and their children took a number of trips in their newly-renovated van in August.

The parent said: ‘When we finished the van and lockdown had eased we went to Norfolk in the van and spent a long weekend there in the sunshine, visiting the beach and enjoying the town.


‘This would sometimes cost more than the rest of our holiday due to peak summer rates,’ the father-of-three (pictured) explained

The van during its makeover, with Daniel and his family and friends installing the kitchen inside the vehicle, which was placed in the father-of-three’s drive


The kitchen area, pictured left, and the sleeping area, pictured right, in Daniel’s newly transformed campervan

‘Then a road trip to the Lake District, and from there we went from Whitby to Chapel St Leonards as part of a 10-day tour to really test the long journeys for the van and get to use all its features.’

The family also visited Bude, a seaside town in north east Cornwall, during the October half-term. As for 2021, the family has big plans.

Daniel added: ‘We plan on utilising the van most weekends for walks and short breaks as well as European trips in the summer. We enjoy exploring and travel, seeing as much as we can and stopping in places lesser-known.

‘The van gives us the freedom to explore Europe and stay in free, dedicated overnight spots without the expenditure of hotels which we had when camping.

‘In a post-pandemic world, this will be good as we won’t be mingling with as many people as if we flew or stayed in a hotel and we can also go to places with fewer people.’ 

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