The story of our camper conversion of @Maxthemitsubishi who has been the feature of many of our recent adventures around QLD and Northern NSW.
It’s been my dream for a while to have a camper van, be able to leave the city, not have to worry about packing (& forgetting things) and just drive, park up next to the sea and wake up for morning swims. If you’re wondering should I buy one, can I renovate it, can I afford it? The answer is YES! Read below.
In February 2019 after much research I had found the van I knew we would probably buy on Facebook Marketplace, (Sean didn’t know yet, but he was about to find out!) We drove after work Friday down to Southport and met with the owner, he had retrieved Max the Mitsubishi from an auction after it had been owned for 12 years by electricians in Gympie, they’d sold the business and subsequently the vehicles. The current owner, a car dealer had spruced it up with some new tyres and with only 190km on the clock Max was looking in pretty good condition.
For the purposes of people reading this I will go into associated costs. We negotiated Max down to $6,000 which I believe was fair for his age and stage (2008 model) + he still had 6 months rego and the afore mentioned 190km on the clock!
And so began the renos:
1) Cleaning & removing the interior – cleaning actually took a while because there was so much dust, however it was relatively easy to rip out the existing shelves the tradeys had been using for storage.
2) Insulate – we filled any holes with expandable foam. We use fibre glass, the eco stuff along the floor and the walls and covered with foil board, it’s a polystyrene type material to keep insulated. We left the ceiling as the van is small and we wanted to also keep as much space as possible. Expandable Foam cost around $5, Glue $15, brushes $5, fibre glass $40, foil board $60 (all Bunnings!)
3) Wood Flooring – this took forever because Sean is a perfectionist and wanted a snug fit but it paid off because it looks amazing and covered the whole floor. Again we didn’t cover the walls or the ceiling because we wanted to keep space.
4) Bed frame- after much research into making beds and many complaints from our neighbour for making noise with power tools I found a ‘clic clac’ sofa bed on Facebook and had a lightbulb moment that this might work! We purchased the sofa for $70 which fit perfectly and created new wooden legs which cost around $50 for the wood and we paid $20 for nails and hammer It sat perfectly at the right height above the wheel base.
5) Back kitchen bench – we kept it simple and created two tables to cover the wheel base and one long bench at the back for making cups of coffee and sausage sizzles. We purchased storage to fit underneath to house our essential items.
6) Furnishings – Our new home on wheels was complete with photo board, fluffy pink rug & cosy duvet! Before we hit the road we took Max to garage and paid around $800 for random stuff that they charge you for but in general to renovate the van was A LOT cheaper than I had anticipated. Wood, materials etc are all very cheap from Bunnings and we are now the proud owners of not only a camper van but a $34.95 power tool jigsaw, winning!
Adventure here we go…