This is the story of how we went about revamping our motorhome and transforming our coach built Fiat Ducato motorhome into a fulltime living motorhome.
He has changed so much since we bought him – because we wanted him to be our home, not a part time holiday motorhome, so wanted to ‘decorate’ just like you do when you buy a new house.
How did we choose our motorhome.
I had started my initial search looking for a Sprinter conversion or a ‘Stealth’ van. After much research, the decision was to look for a ‘coachbuilt’ van. It would be the easiest and safest solution for someone that has no experience of vanlife and no skills to transform the van from a Sprinter carrying workloads to an ‘Instagram’ worthy van. Check out the important things to be thinking about buying a motorhome It covers off the main questions that we asked ourselves when we bought Freddy.
Freddy the motorhome when we bought him . . .
So Freddy when we bought him was absolutely immaculate. We bought him as a private sale from a lovely couple that lived near Ipswich. They must have been the perfect sellers as we are still in touch today – and Dom still advises us on things even today – plus we always have the MOT done back with him.
We had already decided what our ‘must haves’ were and Freddy had them all. You might want to look at key questions to ask when choosing and buying your motorhome and what kind of motorhome layout should I choose to help you with your own choices.
For us it was:
- Transverse permanent bed.
- A toilet and shower
- Lots of storage for fulltime vanlife
That is a really key point for when you are buying your first motorhome. Understand exactly what you absolutely ‘must have’ and why. And then understanding again whether those ‘must have’ items are really ‘must have’ items or whether they are ‘nice to have’ items.
The big thing for me – as important as the ‘must have’ items – are the ‘must not have’ things. And for me – that was beige formica. I guess I am just not a ‘beige’ kind of person! However, as I had looked at lots of tranformations of ‘sprinter’ type vans – I knew that this was just a blank canvas for me to change to fit my ‘dream image’ which had formed in my head.
Freddy as we start to transform him . . .
The photos above kind of tell the story of how we did the revamping of our motorhome.
After we first bought Freddy – it took a bit of time for Damo to understand what I wanted as my vision. He was in the mindset of ‘beige coach built motorhome’ is what we have bought – I was in the mindset of ‘we bought the beige – now lets pimp my ride’.
We took a trip round IKEA. That was the turning point. As we looked at storage racks, work surfaces, sinks, tiles, plants and cushions – Damo totally ‘got it’ and we were now into the pimping the moho – maybe quicker than he suspected – but I have never been one to hang around when a decision has been made.
What did we do first?
The easiest thing was to paint. As always that makes the biggest impact on first view. Oh how we loved our weekly trips to B&Q or to Homebase.
We researched the different specialist paints and did colour swatches and got tester pots for colours until we decided on that. To apply the paints we used soft foam rollers, paint brushes and very fine artist brushes to go round the little push buttons on the cupboard doors.
Many a battle was had over the floor! I wanted the ‘laminate’ and Damo liked the existing one. As you can see from the pictures – that battle was won by me. We sat in the car park of B&Q and found a label maker that would we could design new ‘push’ labels to stick on the lower storage cupboards for £50 – using some design app on the mobile phone.
You would think that choosing a sink for revamping a motorhome would be straight forward. Not quite. We bought 4 sinks and sent 3 back. It was the same for tiles. We purchased 3 lots of tiles before settling on the ones that we have now. So much trial and error.
But now – we have the finished motorhome – which is our Home on Wheels. We don’t have a house now – this is it. I keep wondering whether we should change the colour scheme – it would take 1 day to do – and I could buy new cushions too . . . revamping
Freddy as he is now . . .
And this is Freddy as he has ended up. But he changes all the time really. In the same way you do a house.
The fairy lights get more – because they are a great way to not use up electric when you are off grid.
We have curtains in the bedroom to match the cushions from Orla Kiely.
But there is only so much you can change now. The beige has gone and the grey, white and orange has replaced it. Maybe come spring time it will be time to revamp the motorhome again. I think I would like a kind of ochre yellow this time instead of orange. Watch this space. . .
And we absolutely love the motorhome now. It really is a homely place to be.