Two Meath pals follow their dreams by converting an average van into a luxurious camper to travel the world Leave a comment


Two Meath pals are following their dreams by converting a van into a camper as a way to travel the world once the pandemic eases.

Jamie Duff and Martha Constantine from Ashbourne have been busy converting an average van into a luxurious camper since mid-May.

Their bright green van, nicknamed Kermit the Van is a 2015 Renault Master but with a lot of work, they are looking to travel Europe in it.

Jamie told Dublin Live: “Covid did inspire us, we’re not really doing anything at the moment and we had the time to do it. The staycation thing inspired us too. It’s becoming a trend in Ireland to buy a van and convert it.

“The main reason we decided to convert the van was for travel. We started building it during Covid but we can’t wait to travel the world with it. We saw lots of people converting vans on TikTok and Instagram, and this whole van life movement.

“We really loved the idea of it. At the beginning we started looking at camper vans but they were way too expensive, from 25 grand upwards.

“We went with the cheaper alternative to buy our own van and try to convert it ourselves. We’re doing it on a budget and it’s great fun.”

They have the structure of the van built. The walls, ceiling and the roof are insulated, and all the wires are run through.

Now it’s just making cabinets, the kitchen area, seats and tables. So they’re hoping it’ll only take another few weeks so they can set off in mid August.

Jamie continued: “We installed a bed frame yesterday, we have a garage area underneath it to store outdoor equipment, camping gear, bikes.



Jamie and Martha

“A lot of vans, to save space, use a convertible bed that turns into a couch but you’re losing the space underneath if you do that. So we decided to have the extra storage and just have the bed.

“We’re going to put two seats and a table inside too. We’re also going to have an L-shaped kitchen and plenty of storage. IKEA has been our best friend over the past few weeks, very cheap.”

Mr Duff explained that the electricity was one of the toughest jobs to do. Everything is powered by the car battery including plugs, lights, USB chargers, the fridge and the water pump.

He said: “The electrics were a bit of work but you can find anything out on Google and YouTube. I feel like a professional carpenter and electrician after watching those videos and doing some research. It’s all about looking online these days.”

Jamie and Martha intend on going on a practice trip at the end of this month to Lahinch in County Clare.

Jamie said: “We’ll probably find a lot of problems on this trip but that’ll mean we can fix them before we go on the big adventure.

“The big adventure is going to Europe so once we’re completely finished in mid-August we’re hoping to get the ferry to France and work our way around.

“We don’t have any routes planned but we’ll make one closer to the time. We’ve family and friends in places like mid-Germany and other places, so we’ll definitely visit them.”

And speaking about the excitement they have about their journey ahead, Jamie said it’ll also work out a lot cheaper than flying and booking hotels.

He said: “The van life experience will be so much cheaper than going around and booking hotels, they’d cost a bomb.

“Our way is probably more fun as well and you’ll meet people doing the exact same thing. There’s a massive van life community on social media.

“They gather at camp sites and talk to each other, it’s an opportunity to meet new people. You can’t do that in a hotel.

“The campsites are going to bring us closer to people more like us which is really cool.”

You can keep up to date with the progress of the camper van and follow @kermit.thevan on Instagram.





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