A couple who transformed a delivery truck van into a home on wheels have given up the daily grind to travel the globe.
Mariepier Bastien, 31, and Dominic Faucher, 33, from Quebec, Canada, have always lived something of a nomadic lifestyle, spending at least two months abroad each year in Airbnb’s, campervans or hostels.
But the holidays weren’t enough and the couple soon craved a more permanent escape from their nine to five lives.
In June they bought a van for $23,500 (around £17,000) and got to work transforming the 2014 Ram Promaster 136″ Highroof into their perfect pad on wheels.
The idea for the project – which cost Mariepier and Dominic $45,000 (£25,000) in total – first came about after the couple travelled around Iceland in a campervan.
“In 2016, we travelled to Iceland and we had rented a campervan for two weeks to tour around the island,” Mariepier, a part-time teacher at University of Ottawa, said.
“We fell in love with the lifestyle and the idea of carrying our belongings with us, stopping whenever and being able to discover new lands.”
After buying the former delivery truck from a local dealership, the couple set about renovating their new home, which took them over 300 hours.
Mariepier said: “We completed the conversion with the tremendous help of both our dads, who, despite being very handy, actually had no experience in van conversions but somehow nailed it.
“The difference between building a van and a house is that every square foot matters in such a tiny space.
“Therefore, we needed to plan multiple functions for every cabinet and it requires a bit more thinking.
“We also needed to make everything resistant to temperature variations, which required even more thinking.
“Once we were set on the layout and on the components, it was go time: lots of trial and error, building and rebuilding.
“We used to compare it to making a 5,000-piece puzzle.”
However, the transformation wasn’t without some difficulties and the couple admit they had “no idea” where to start when it came to fitting electricity, insulation and flooring, among other things.
And so they got some help from their respective parents.
They said: “We spent a lot of time reading blogs and watching videos of people converting their vans.
“Building the van with our dads was such a nice experience.
“We would wake up, eat breakfast together and head to the garage to work on the van.
“At lunch, the mums would make dinner and we’d all stop to enjoy this time together.
“They were (and still are) extremely happy and proud to have taken part in this journey with us.”
Mariepier and Dominic’s favourite thing about their new home is the colour scheme, which makes it feel very cosy and creates a lot of light.
For anyone else thinking of converting their own van into a home, the couple advise trying out “van life” first.
They said: “It is the only way to figure out what you truly need.
“There are hundreds of layouts, which are all very different and so experiencing van life in various models is the only way to determine what you’ll truly need.
“Also, don’t compare your build or yourself to others.
“Again, there are many ways to convert a van and be honest to yourself and what you want to live and experience.”
-- to www.mirror.co.uk