A woman has told how she transformed a van for just £5,000 after falling in love with life on the road.
Instagram blogger Hatti Webster quit her job and left her home in Bristol to travel around while working as a freelance marketer.
She chronicles her adventure @thecampercreative where she has racked up more than 50,000 followers.
Hatti bought her current van back in September 2020 for £5,000 and spent a further £5,000 renovating it.
She says the initial cost was worth it as vans of a similar age are selling between £14,000 and £18,000 in the UK at the moment.
“I didn’t have the biggest budget for the conversion, so I had to settle for a van that was slightly older and had higher mileage,” Hatti told car experts Vehicle Contracts.
“Travelling in my previous van helped hugely when it came to designing this one, I knew there were certain elements that I absolutely couldn’t live without and so, created the layout based on those features.
“The main features of the van include a width-ways double bed, a permanent seating area with slideout table, sink and kitchen unit with a fridge and 3 ring hob. I also built a composting loo that slides underneath the bed.
“I tried to use lightweight materials when building the van in order to minimise weight, so the majority of the units are built from plywood, the walls from pine cladding and the ceiling are made from red cedar.
“I opted for a mixture of recycled bottle wool and Celotex insulation, which was then covered by a layer of bubble foil to act as a vapour barrier.”
The marketing expert had previous experience – after previously getting the travel bug.
“After university, I bought my first van, renovated it and travelled Europe for a summer back in 2016.
“That was when I got the bug! I knew after that, that one day I would convert another van and continue the adventures, however, at the time I was broke and had no idea what job I wanted to do!” said Hatti.
“I began working in marketing in Bristol and absolutely fell in love with the career, so after a few years of working, I began saving again.
“I had actually originally planned to move to Canada and buy a van over there, but when Covid hit, that plan soon evaporated. So, I decided to buy a van in the UK, renovate it (at my parent’s house!) and begin exploring Europe.”
Since leaving the UK, Hatti has spent a lot of time in France and plans to travel further as coronavirus restrictions lift.
She said: “I am currently in France and have spent a lot of time exploring the French Alps (I am a keen skier, snowboarder and hiker) but am planning on heading south to Spain and Portugal over the summer.
“There is so much to explore in Europe and I am in no rush, so I plan to travel slowly and spend my winters in the mountains and my summers catching waves on the beaches.”
Robert Harris, sales director at Vehicle Contracts said “Being able to transform what was seen as an old van into something extraordinary is truly remarkable and very inspiring.”
“In the current travel climate, we will see many UK motorists taking to road trips for their staycations this year. What better way to tour the beautiful sights we have here in Britain than in your own styled campervan? It also means not having to succumb to the inflated hotel prices.” said Robert.