2 Dutchies and a Campervan09:56 AM on Wed 10 Aug 2011

There is no better way to Experience Australia than in a Campervan, and nothing more rewarding than building it yourself.

Floris Jan Willem and Cas Klverland from Holland lost their $7000 campervan in Melbourne’s Flash flooding in February. The pair only had 3rd party insurance, so the boys have wiped their tears away and started a rebuild!!

Out of pity, Base Melbourne Stkilda Management offered the boys the basement car park as a work shop.  For the past 2 months, they have been transforming there 1991 Mitsubishi Express  wagon into the ultimate backpacker Campervan.

We asked the guys what they thought were the most important things in building your own Campervan:

“Building your own camper van can be a hugely rewarding project, and it can also be a lot cheaper than buying a campervan.  If you build your own campervan, you can have a vehicle that exactly meets your needs”

SMELL:  Make sure to check the oil. Pull out the dipstick and have a good smell.  If it smells burnt, then it could be that the engine is burning oil – NOT GOOD!

PUSH: Make sure to check the Shock Absorbers.  Get 2 hands and push down on one corner of the van.  The van should come back up without bouncing.  

TAP: Check for previous damage and rust.  Using your knuckles, go around to each panel and knock with the back of your knuckles.  It should be a Hollow tin sound, if not it could be a sign of previous damage or rust.

TYRES: You will be travelling thousands of miles, check that all tyres are the same, and are showing no signs of balding.

POWER: You will need to install a second battery into your campervan to run key electrical items; otherwise you will run the risk of having to push your van to the nearest garage.

FRIDGE: Very important - Don’t ever leave a major city without Beer…  Installing a fridge lets you travel while eating fresh food.

STORAGE: We have loads of stuff, so we think it’s important to use every little nook and cranny that’s available.  Creating storage boxes under your Bed is a great place.

INSULATION:  Make sure to insulate your van, it’s one of the most important steps to making it a comfortable place to sleep.  It makes an enormous difference not only to how warm the van stays, but also to how damp everything gets due to condensation.

EXTRA SEAT: Try and keep an extra Seat, you never know when you want to pick up a good looking hitch hiker ;)

They are both extremely excited to start on their journey, and show off their DIY Master Piece. Watch this space for an Update on the journey.

Matt Holman
Base Melbourne StKilda

Tags: Travel , Campervan , Backpacking


Mathew Holman: 04:17 PM, Wed 10 Aug 2011
Great work guys, you will have an awesome trip. hopefully no flat's ;)

Tom: 08:04 AM, Mon 15 Aug 2011
Most important point - fridge and beer! Great article base Melbourne, cheers

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