DIY Campervan: Cheap and Easy

Yesterday me and Adam transformed our station wagon into a campervan style car and it was cheap and easy. Admittedly, it isn’t as great as a proper campervan however, it suits us amazingly.

Last week we moved out of our nightmare rental property into our car. We did this because our landlady was making our lives miserable but because of that it pushed us to begin our road trip to the East Coast which I am super excited for.

Back in England we had always dreamed of road tripping around Europe, or the USA and now it was actually possible in Australia. We bought a Holden station wagon before Christmas for $1,300 which was a big deal for us because it was a lot of money going out at once. But we took the plunge and bought Harry the Holden off a lovely local man who we felt like we could trust. We used Harry as a normal car and it wasn’t until recently that we decided to road trip to the East Coast in him.

To begin with we decided to buy things that we would need for the road such as cutlery and tea towels. After this small purchase stage we bought all the main components a day before we moved into our car.

The following items were all purchased from a charity shop:
2 spoons (60c)
2 forks (60c)
3 bowls ($2)
2 mugs ($2)
1 wooden spoon (30c)
tin opener (50c)
2 saucepans ($6)
1 sieve (50c)
2 tea towels ($2)
air pump ($3))
20 litre water jerry can ($8)
Cooler ($4)
2 pillows ($6)
3 blankets ($6)
bed sheet over ($1)

2 sleeping bags (began our travels with)
1 penknife (began our travels with)

We then bought an airbed for $20 at a Big W. We spent the first week pumping up the air bed every night and moving stuff from the back of the car to the front every night and putting it back every morning. After realising this was not really a long term plan we decided to build a bed frame. We went to our local Bnnnings, tape measure in hand ($1.95) and purchased 10 pieces of wood to build our frame.
We created this design as to what would be easiest an fit in our car, you may have to do something different for your car. But the basics are as follows:

2 x thick pieces of wood ($12) –> to make 3 legs each side and then 3 supporting legs down the middle
6 x thin pieces of wood ($13) –> for the rungs on the frame
2 x long pieces of wood ($15) –> for the two lengths of the frame
2 x screws 40mm and 30mm ($9)

Admittedly, Adam did most of this building as he was the one who wanted to/had the idea. But here is how we did it.

DIY Campervan: Cheap and Easy

The first step was cutting four legs. Two for the front and two for the middle. We did not cut the back two legs because this part of the car is where the seats are lowered so there is a height difference. We did the legs at 11″ but we soon realised this was too tall and they are now 8″, I will talk about this below. We then attached the two lengths to these legs.

DIY Campervan: Cheap and Easy

Then the front and back rungs were attached. Doing this meant that everything was held together so that we could then cut the back two legs to fit correctly.

DIY Campervan: Cheap and Easy

Then it was a matter of attaching the rest of the rungs. Once we had done this we realised that we may need support down the centre line. If we had more wood we probably would have done a crossbeam with one leg in the middle. However, making do with what wood we had we decided to just put in some extra legs to give that support.

As I said above, originally we made the frame quite high as we wanted to fit boxes underneath that we had bought previously, however, the bed was way to close to the roof and it would’ve been impossible to sleep so high, so we cut 3 inches off the legs. It is important to make sure you have enough room at the top because it can feel pretty claustrophobic otherwise!

I am really proud of what we did as we now we have a bed that is always ready to be used and we keep all our things underneath it.

DIY Campervan: Cheap and Easy

I hope you enjoyed this blog post and if you are interested in building your own ‘campervan’ I hope it helps! My previous blog post was Australia Diaries and was about a national park we visited whilst in Perth. Now that we are on the road I have so much more to write about and may even be publishing three posts a week as I am a little behind on a few locations I have visited!

Let’s connect, you can follow me on instagram or add my on snapchat at: grace_lloyd1

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