This week’s blog post is centred around a project that I undertook over the last couple of weeks. This particular project I am calling the Corsa Camper Conversion.
Confused already? Let me explain.
I have always toyed with the idea of wanting to live out of a campervan and travel with this. These dreams mainly stem from listening to stories of my Dad doing this in Australia when he was younger. I actually have the number plate from that very campervan up in my room. When I first looked at buying my first car I did look briefly at vans for a possible conversion or campervans and realised very quickly that this route was very much out of my budget at 17 years old.
Also, Instagram feeds like these only fuels the fire even more!
This then saw that dream put to rest for a while, until a couple of weeks ago. It came to me almost out of nowhere. I think the genesis of this project is partly down to the COVID pandemic and the cancellation of several holiday plans this year. I was troubleshooting how I can get to travelling as soon as possible.
That is how I concluded that I would convert my 2010 Vauxhall Corsa into something that I could live out of for some time. In my mind, these periods may consist of two different circumstances.
When I move to Nottingham to study architecture I am situated near the Peak District. This project would allow me to drive out there, park up at a campsite and disconnect from normality, even if it’s just for one night. I see this as a way of dealing with the stress I may experience at university but who knows.
I am also aware that France and Spain openly welcome ‘wild camping’ and I feel that a road trip through these countries would be very high up on my To-Do List when restrictions are relaxed. I would also be much more comfortable driving than having to make my way through an airport and boarding planes.
Before I set out on these adventures I am going to need to put my ideas in practice and carry out my very own van conversion but on a Corsa, hence the name ‘Corsa Camper Conversion’.
I enjoyed the process and I do feel that I surpassed my expectations with my level of woodworking ability. I have my Grandpa to thank for these skills that have been taught to me from a very young age. I tried to keep this project on a budget and within the images and descriptions below you will see just how I managed this. I was also conscious of the limited size of the car in question so storage played heavily on my mind and I feel that I have been able to achieve a substantial amount of storage.
Without further ado, let’s get into the process of this project.
To achieve enough space for this conversion, I removed the back seats which was easy enough but I have ensured that I can remove all modifications with ease and return the car to its original state if I require space for more people in the car.
With that completed, I started to construct the bed frame. This was built using wood purchased at my local B&Q for around £50, this ultimately became the only large purchase I have made so far on this project. This frame sits in the boot space and is elevated off the floor of the car to allow for additional storage.
To create the length required for a mattress I extended the structure as shown and added horizontal slats for added strength. The white board is removable and is only screwed down when the front two seats are fully pushed forward which increases the length of the sleeping space which I very comfortably fit in.
I was kindly gifted a mattress that was to be thrown out by a friend so at no additional cost I now had a mattress which snugly fits atop this wooden structure and is remarkably comfortable considering it is in the back of a car.
Now fitted with a duvet, pillows and cushions I am now looking forward to additions that will make the experience more enjoyable. I am looking at purchasing material to tint the back windows, a solar shower and potentially a fridge of some kind. However, these all cost additional money but I am happy where I am at the moment and I’m looking forward to spending my first night in my new ‘humble abode’.
Throughout this process, I practiced both my creative and practical skills which always need to be exercised to improve. It also makes you realise that small spaces designed well can be extremely comfortable. This experience has opened my eyes to the world of micro-living and minimalism which is something that I wish to explore further.
So there we have it, another one of my ‘Lockdown Projects’, not sure what’s next but whatever it is I am looking forward to it.
Till next week, have a good one.