Making My Dream come to fruition in 2020 — well ‘My Dream’ has just become a reality! I bought a Mercedes Sprinter cargo van to convert into a tiny home on wheels.
Go back and read about the situation that was holding up my dream becoming a reality, but briefly, I have been a full-time carer for my dad who has dementia for the last 3 years.
The latest on that development, is that we got dad into residential respite aged care for the next 4 weeks, with the intention for it to become full-time residential care.
Now that frees up my time to start My Dream of converting a cargo van into a tiny home on wheels so I can live and work on the road while exploring Australia.
I’ve been receiving alerts from Carsales.com.au for the last 6 months to keep an eye out on vans for sale and just generally doing research on what kind of van I could get for my budget.
I knew I wanted a LWB (long wheel base) as I plan to live, work and travel in the van full time once it is converted into a tiny home, and knew I needed as much space as I could get as every centimetre counts.
The Mercedes Sprinter LWB is highly popular among van dwellers for its large size being the second largest cargo van available in Australia, with the cargo space 4.2 metres long and almost 1.8m wide.
But other options I considered were the Ford Transit LWB (about 0.7 metres shorter in cargo length than the LWB Sprinter), the Fiat Ducato (the widest van on the road), Renault Master and the VW Crafter. The only van larger than the Sprinter LWB is the Iveco Daily at 4.7m long — I was nervous about driving and parking the Sprinter LWB as its longer than the standard Australian car parking space, so the Iveco Daily was just too much van for me.
When you are shopping for used vans you are left with what is available at the time, unless you have time to be patient and wait for the ideal vehicle to become available. Thankfully I had the time to wait around.
To be honest I was nervous about buying a van to convert into my home, even after 2 years of solidly researching. I guess its because Ive never done this before — and what was I getting myself into buying a big arse van.
So I headed to the car yard after receiving a carsales.com.au alert just out of curiosity to look at the van. Take it for a test drive to just get a feel for how a LWB van drove. Well before I knew it I was test driving it, laying down a deposit to return the next day to pick the van up.
So, I bought a van! Im now the owner of a big beast of a Mercedes Sprinter LWB Van and about to convert it into a campervan.
Yeah! but naturally nervous about the big challenge ahead of me. I dont have and tradie or woodworking skills, but Youtube and Bunnings are going to be my best friends for the next few months.
She’s a 2006 Mercedes Sprinter LWB — here are some pictures of the van in the car yard …
If you are in the market for a van to convert into a campervan, one piece of advice — as soon as you find a van you like, jump on it! And if you can view the van before the weekend, even better chances as most people will be out looking on the weekend.
I went to look at the van on the Friday and the sales guy showed me in his appointment book he had 2 people down to look at the same van the next day (Saturday) plus also someone else rang up while I was there. Then when I went to pick up the van on the Saturday, a couple were there to look at the van.
I was truly lucky I went to look at the van when I did and now she is mine!! 🙂