Travel mad family convert ordinary van into stylish travelling home for next to nothing – and it should have cost £70k

A TRAVEL-mad family are ready for adventure after transforming a regular work van into a state-of-the-art camper.

Lisa Dolan and husband Oliver spent four months renovating ‘Ronnie’ – a Renault Master LWB van – into a cosy travel home for their young family.

The couple, from Co Offaly, Ireand, completed their incredible renovation in just four months and told how they’ve got their dream camper for a fraction of the cost of a ready built one.

Lisa said: “Both of us love to travel and take our children on adventures and holidays but when you have a big family you will find that holidays are expensive so we decided we wanted to build our own camper van to allow us to travel freely and spontaneously as a family.

“One of our main priorities for our children is that they have fun and make lasting memories and will look back as fondly on their childhood as we do on ours.”

Ronnie had previously been in use as a panel van and Oliver and Lisa had to use their free time to strip it down before converting it.

Having bought the van for €2200 (£1906), they spent the same figure again on kitting it out.

They also had additional registration costs and tax which brought the final tally to €5495 (£4903)- still far below the €15-80k (£13-71) of a state-of-the-art camper.

The couple said: “Our van is unusual in that it’s designed by us and 100 per cent built by us too. We designed it to suit our taste and our family needs.

"We did all the work ourselves – construction, insulation, wiring, painting, flooring, heating, plumbing- you name it we did it with no professional input or outsourcing the work.

“We are very proud of this and so much love has gone into our build along with a lot of blood, sweat and tears.”

The Dolans installed a trendy L-shaped kitchen complete with a gas hob, sink and extendable tap.

There is also a diesel heater that pumps heat throughout the van and onboard water tanks for fresh water and grey waste.

There is even a water heater for hot showers, along with a portable chemical toilet. 

Now the couple can’t wait to take to the road with Chloe, five, Charlotte, two, Frankie, one, and dog Indi.

Lisa said: “We will start initially with travel here in Ireland. Even though we live here there is so much we haven’t seen.

"After that, once the pandemic allows. we plan to travel around the UK. We have plans to complete the NC500 in Scotland and tour England and Wales."

She added: “In the future we have plans to take the van on the Euro tunnel to France and even onto Spain where we have family. Spain has special memories for us as before we had our children we travelled southern Spain and even got married in Gibraltar.

“We hope that we will be able to take Ronnie the van to lots of amazing places.”

For more on the family’s renovation, see instagram.com/ourvantasticfamily.

For more amazing home transformations, this savvy mum revamped rubbish-filled garden using Poundland & B&M bargains – and the transformation is amazing.

And this thrifty mum used bunk beds to split her daughters’ room in two so they can both have some space & it’s an instant hit.

Plus this woman transformed her boring fireplace in minutes using a stencil and the results are amazing.

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