Introducing Willow the van

Perfect for wondering and wandering 🙂

The cash was handed over, the log book entry filed and the great big jangling keyring with 8 keys changed hands. I’d totally forgotten how old cars have keys for doors, ignition, petrol cap etc all seperate let alone all the additional ones that come with a campervan.

The drive home was nowehere near as scary as I’d feared. Once I had actually got her started and staying ticking over (manual choke, a blast from the past!) and wrestled with listening to revs and deciding which of the not gears but letters on the not-a-gear-stick made the most appropriate noise all was well. It felt good to be high up and I don’t think the length or breadth is much more than my people carrier actually.

I even got so confident at one point that I wound the window down and stuck my elbow out 🙂 It took some manourvering to get her onto the drive and we have actually rejiggled her again since but she fits just fine and looks great 🙂

So, some pictures to introduce her properly seem in order:

Sitting on our drive looking pretty 🙂 She just about fits.

Here’s D and S in their bunk. The seller had already put a sleeping bag each up there for them. They will have pillows and other bedding from home to keep them snug and warm. The bunk has a pair of curtains that slide across to keep it seperate, a light, tiny slit windows at each side and a wind up and down skylight (D tells me he intends opening it in warm weather so he can sleep gazing at stars) and a cubby hole each for keeping stuff in. The cubby hole has a light. They easily both fit there and have already decided who is sleeping which side. There is plenty of space for them to keep most of the few toys etc they will be taking with them for the year. During the day and when travelling our bedding will also live up there along with the ladder they use to clamber up.

This is the view from the bunk, on the left is the sofa / bed / table and on the right is worktop over storage, heater and fridge. There are storage cupboards along both sides. At the back of the van is the kitchen area, a bathroom and that all important rear windscreen.

 S moving in! She went straight into the house to gather pillows, precious things and other stuff to make the bunk her own 🙂

 The passenger seat, note the really good condition of the upholstery

 The view of the cab from inside the van.

 Here’s our wardobe complete with hanging space. The cable belongs to the aerial and the random tool is some sort of jack.

 The worktop along the right of the van – the sellers included a toaster, kettle and mini TV in the van. The van has a secondary battery which runs all the appliances when hook up is not available. You can also switch over to use the vehicle battery when the engine is running. The fire and hot water and oven are all gas fired with two bottles kept in a special exterior recess.

The fridge is super clever and can be run on gas, battery or mains hook up. We have ordered a hook up converter to fit to the end of the hook up lead so we can run everything off mains at home on the drive and at hosts with outside electric supply. I can’t get this picture to rotate but you get the idea. It has 2 shelves, a tiny ice box for frozen bits and plenty of storage in the door.

 Here’s the fire. It really chucks out the heat (and I suspect eats gas!) so should keep us toasty when it’s cold outside. It might also be handy for those ‘everything we own is wet’ moments.

 The ‘hub’ of the van. It’s a table and chairs, it can be a four legged table moved out to make room for all four of us to sit around, it will be a sofa for relaxing on, seats for the kids while we’re driving and also folds down to make the double bed where A and I will sleep. Truly multi-functional. I may have to change my mind about tables ;).

 The bathroom – as a friend pointed out this is not a complete room photo – this just shows a corner of the mirror (which has a light above) and the sink. Also there is a shower head on a hose and a portapotty chemical loo. The whole floor of the room is a shower tray and a shower curtain pulls around. The shower heater is the only non-functioning part of the van currently. We are planning on getting it fixed or replaced as whilst I don’t think we’ll use it often it will be useful to have when needed.

This is our very clever kitchen area. When all the  surfaces are down it is a worktop.

Fold that work top back and you expose the sink and hob

Fold back the cupboard which slots into a recess underneath and you expose the oven and grill too. Under the sink is a cupboard complete with cutlery tray and a double cupboard for more storage.

 Here’s me looking very pleased indeed to be in the driving seat 🙂

5 thoughts on “Introducing Willow the van”

  1. Hi
    Am really enjoying your blog, we thinking of doing something very similar in the next few years. But can I ask what your new Van is like for Seat Belts ? are the kids allowed in the back of the van without seatbelts or you having to have them fitted before you set of.
    Good luck
    Arlie 🙂

  2. Hi Arlie 🙂
    Legally if there are seatbelts they need to wear them, if there aren’t then they can’t. I think if our children were younger and less sensible we would have seriously considered installing them. As it goes it would have been a huge expense (although you can’t put a price on keeping your kids safe of course) and D & S are very aware of the need to sit still and be safe. Also given it is our home on wheels there will be a fair bit of loose stuff on surfaces etc so in the event of an accident I think even strapped in people will be at risk of being hit by a flying kettle!

    I hope that doesn’t sound too flippant, it is something we have discussed at some length and made a decision on.

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