I quit flat to live in a van, and now I've added £34k to its value with an easy revamp

QUITTING their jobs and living in a van, is not the way Liv and Lewis ever imagined their life to turn out like – but they have no regrets. 

Because they have managed to quadruple the value of their Mercedes Sprinter van from £11k to £45k by transforming it into a chic mobile home fit with a toilet, shower and projector. 

And now the couple, both 29, are sharing their savvy DIY hacks on their TikTok page @2bags1van, so you can do it too. 

Liv says: “We did the entire build, plumbing and electrics ourselves with the expertise and help from Lewis’s Grandad John who is a retired joiner. 

“As we worked on it full time for three months, we saved huge costs in comparison to getting someone else to do the work for us.”

In 2019, the couple made the decision to leave their home and quit their jobs in London to travel around Asia. 


However, the pandemic struck which brought their travel plans to a halt. 

February 2021 saw the couple spending £11K on a van and renovating the blank canvas into their very own mobile home. 

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Speaking to Tap Warehouse the couple said they spent a total of seven months on the project and £13K on the interiors of the van, which included all the furnishing, solar panels, electric and plumbing. 

They managed to save money throughout the project by teaching themselves DIY, for example when making the seats and cushions. 

They cut some wood to size, found some cheap foam and fabric, then used a staple gun to attach the cushions to the wood. 

Another example of how they saved money was with the headboard. Liv was inspired by a £250/metre fabric but made her own for just £8.

Everything in the van conversion felt like a learning curve and nothing ever went to plan the first time

Instead of getting a custom made mattress cut to the perfect size of the bed, they bought a bog standard size from Argos and cut with an electric carving knife to fit the bed perfectly.

The worktops were £50 from IKEA, the pull-out table was £9 from IKEA and they built their kitchen and hanging cabinets themselves so they saved on even more costs.

Lewis says: “Lots of campervan converters think that these things need to be bespoke made or cut from wood and really you can buy off the shelf and cut it to the size you need, it just takes a little thinking outside of the box.”

Liv added: “Everything in the van conversion felt like a learning curve and nothing ever went to plan the first time.

“The trickiest thing throughout the entire build was building in a van that's curved. 

“There are no straight lines, the walls are curved, and the ceiling and floor are different widths – it was a real mind boggler.” 

Once they got around the tricky shape of the van, it was time to freshen up the furnishings. 

The finished look is boho style with a contemporary edge, including sleek finishes and gold detailing. 

On how they decided the design direction, Lewis adds: “Liv loves gold so every detail down to sockets and visible screws have a gold finish.

“We wanted it to feel warm and cosy so our main pops of colour are pinks and oranges, however we kept in lots of white to make the small space feel larger. 

“We also added elements of exposed wood and rattan to add to the warmth of the space and create more character.”

As for the most expensive process Liv explains: “The item we spent the most money on was definitely our solar panels and electrical system, and we have the max amount of power for a van of our size so this cost us around £2.2K.”

For more stories similar to this, you might like to check out the woman who quit her van life, and managed to save £1.5k a month on rent and has no bills

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