Couple transform an ordinary delivery van into a luxury home on wheels

·4-min read

Watch: Couple transform run down delivery van into luxe small home

A young couple have transformed a derelict delivery van into a luxury mobile home with all mod cons. 

When the pandemic hit, Olivia Dickens, 24, and Adam Healey, 25, were forced to cut short their round-the-world trip. 

Though obviously disappointed, the couple, both from Yorkshire, were determined to have more control over their future travel plans, so in January 2021, they bought a run-down delivery van for £5,000. 

Over the next nine months they worked hard on the project to transform the dilapidated van into their dream on-the-go living space.

A couple have transformed a derelict van into a moving home on wheels. (Caters)
A couple have transformed a derelict van into a moving home on wheels. (Caters)

The impressive van now has everything you'd require from a mobile home including a cooking space, bedroom and shower, but also has additional design features such as a huge side window. 

Dickens estimates they spent approximately £10,000 on the incredible transformation, including the purchase of the van, insulation, windows, electrical, plumbing, woodwork and appliances.

Watch: Mum ditches the daily grind to 'roadschool' her children in their very own classroom camper van

As that figure is split between two people, the total cost of the project hasn't made a huge dent in the couple's joint savings.

“Overall we spent £10,000 on everything - the van, insulation, windows, vents, electrics, solar panels, plumbing, woodwork, fridge, oven, furnishings and everything else," Dickens, a receptionist explains. 

"Which we think is extremely reasonable and worth every penny!"

Olivia Dickens working on the van. (Caters)
Olivia Dickens working on the van. (Caters)
Adam Healy laying the slats down for the bed. (Caters)
Adam Healy laying the slats down for the bed. (Caters)

After spending many months in lockdown dreaming of getting away from it all, the couple now hope their luxurious home on wheels will allow them to travel more freely, fulfilling their dreams of waking up in far flung destinations. 

“When we went to Australia a few years ago we rented a camper van to travel the east coast for two months and loved every minute of it," Dickens explains.

"We just really enjoy the experience of being on the road constantly with a home in the back."

Since that trip the couple have always hoped to be able to return to that way of life and lockdown provided the perfect opportunity. 

"Turning our dream into a reality came during lockdown when we finally had a reason to work on a project for when the world reopened," Dickens continues. 

“We wanted to be able to travel freely and cheaply.

"To wake up next to a beautiful beach or mountains, being the first ones to see the view that morning."

The couple after working on the van. (Caters)
The couple after working on the van. (Caters)
Adam Healy and Olivia Dickens together in their new moving home. (Caters)
Adam Healy and Olivia Dickens together in their new moving home. (Caters)

The couple say they managed to keep transformation costs down by learning from fellow ‘van life’ influencers on YouTube and Instagram, learning how to make shelves and cupboards from scratch. 

And though they consider themselves DIY novices, they are thrilled at how their home on wheels turned out, claiming it has exceeded their own expectations. 

The backdoors open with view of a beach. (Caters)
The back doors open with view of a beach. (Caters)

“We’ve had the van since January but the weather in Yorkshire was freezing and snowy until early March," Dickens explains. 

"So for the first few months the progress was slow.

“We are really happy with how it turned out and to say we’ve never done it before, I’m fairly impressed with our work.

“One lesson we did learn from the van is not to buy curved windows again. Building the wooden frames around them and fitting them precisely was quite a challenge, especially for two amateurs like us," Dickens adds. 

“Also, starting the build in winter was a challenge as this made the work seem ten times harder because of the cold weather and it dragged the project on."

The van even has a shower! (Caters)
The van even has a shower! (Caters)
The van has all the mod cons including an oven and sink. (Caters)
The van has all the mod cons including an oven and sink. (Caters)

Now the duo hope the incredible van will give them the freedom they have been craving to travel the world and because they don't plan on buying a property anytime soon are glad they've invested in a mobile home.  

“We’ve always been free-spirited, with no commitments," Dickens explains. "We’ve never been interested in getting a mortgage or buying expensive things on finance. We’d much rather wake up in a new location as and when we please."

Additional reporting Caters.

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