Wandering Wheels Campervans
With travel being domesticated, of late, my feed has been flooded with wonderful pictures of friends’ local escapes. An increasingly popular trend seems to be living the #vanlife. And why not? Campervans are portable, comfy and have everything you need – including the kitchen sink!
Meet Naomi and Matt, founders of Wandering Wheels Campervans. Based in Hampshire (UK) they have spent the past year converting vans into bespoke campers for a variety of clients. This is what they had to say about their experience in this fast-growing sector!
What drew you to start your own campervan conversion business?
A few years ago we rented a quirky, self-built campervan from Bristol and took it to the Lake District. We loved it so much that we decided to build our own quirky campervan. We were at a stage where we weren't fully enjoying our current teaching jobs and the process of building our campervan was so interesting, we thought we'd try taking commissions to convert vans for other people. Over the last couple of years, we have converted 12 vans and have more bookings in the pipeline!
What is the peak and the pit of van conversion?
Peak: Handing the finished vans back over to their owners is a definite highlight - the last couple cried with delight when they looked inside and it was a great feeling for us knowing we had fulfilled their brief and created something they were so happy with. Creating vans that people will spend future holidays in and take travelling around the country (and continent) is amazing.
Pit: Each van is different, and each client's design is different, so there are certainly moments when things don't go to plan! Over time we have built up a great rapport with carpenters, electricians, plumbers and accountants who can help us out in different areas and share their expertise.
Where do you get your inspiration for the interiors from?
For our own vans, we drew inspiration from our own home so we could use cushions, bed covers and decorations interchangeably! Pinterest and Instagram are great starting points for looking at beautiful van interiors. Lots of our clients already have a clear idea of what they would like their interiors to look like and others like to chat ideas through so we can work together to create something that suits them.
Where have your converted vans travelled to?
Well recently, probably not very far as restrictions have gotten in the way of lots of travel plans! We know previously that vans have travelled around Scotland and Europe and some families and couples have decided to move into their vans to live in full-time! We travelled around the Cornish coast in ours last year but we're hoping we might be able to travel a bit further afield soon, taking ours to Switzerland or Portugal would be amazing.
Have you seen an increase in conversion requests since the pandemic started?
We started our business only a few months before the pandemic really began. I think we have had a lot of enquires from people who would now like to stay local (in the UK) for the foreseeable future and who would like to have the flexibility of their own campervan where they feel more in control of the situation, rather than relying on planes/public transport/hotels.
What's it like travelling with your furry friend, Milo?
It's the best! Being able to take our dog away with us on holiday is lovely. He's part of the family so we don't enjoy holidays as much if he has to be left behind. He also gets us out and about even more and we see areas and places on our dog walks we might not have discovered otherwise. He's a great travel companion who likes exploring, but also likes bunkering down for a long nap in the van.