This is a very well overdue post (oopsie! Sorry!), especially if you’ve been following our travels on Instagram! But here it is, the story of Mo! And her mighty make-over!!
It’s been a well-known dream of ours to have a Campervan that we can use for full-time travel. In the UK that seemed near impossible, a decent one was well out of our budget, and in all honesty; who want’s to live in a van during an English winter? It’s a bit (very) cliché but Australia seemed the perfect place to start. It wasn’t a plan set in stone, but if we saw one we liked we would look more serious into it… And we’d like to introduce you to ‘Van Morrison’, or ‘Mighty Mo’.
Mighty Mo came into our lives via gumtree but was originally a little too pricey for us. We viewed a couple of others, got to know her owners and in the end decided that actually, she was a bit of a bargain (with a fair bit of haggling involved too). Not many vans that come from backpackers have been well looked after; they often get ragged around the outback and driven to almost the brink of ending up in a scrap yard, but Mo’s previous resident was a backpacking mechanic. This meant that although she’s old and been about a bit, all her insides have been well maintained and a lot has been replaced!
She might not be the prettiest to most people, but her character is what made us fall for her. Her roof has the doodles of times gone by and places she’s visited, she’s definitely been about. From the outside she doesn’t scream ‘there’s people sleeping in me’ like a lot do either, and that was important to us. We love the popular VW campervan, but when you see them in a car park at night you know it’s likely to be housing a couple of travellers hoping to not get moved on. Mo is a bit more conspicuous; she doesn’t look out-of-place parked on the side of the road but on the inside, she’s comfy and welcoming.
When we picked her up she was technically ready to go, the seat to bed conversion was an easy setup and there was plenty of storage. We could have set off on a road trip and been comfortable enough, but we wanted to make her more than just a bed on wheels; she needed to be home. So our first stop, naturally, was Ikea and Kmart. Armed with a ton of fabric, new bedding, blankets and cushions we spent 3 days turning our Mighty Mo from budget comfort into budget luxury.
Might Mo’s Mighty campervan make-over.
Mo’s previous owners (and who knows how many before them) were smokers, so the first thing on our list was to air her out, get rid of any rubbish left behind and give her a good clean. I only wish I’d taken more photos of before and after. We cleared out anything that we wouldn’t be needing and made way for this campers fresh start.
We swapped out makeshift curtains made from old blankets for blackout fabric, attached one to the wire over the sliding door, using velcro to keep it back whilst driving and attached velcro to the other to cover the back windows at night. A third Piece is attached to a cable by the front seats to make the back compartment completely hidden away.
We completely upcycled the shelving unit to make space for our new fridge; it made the back of Mo feel a little bigger by moving the fridge out-of-the-way. It may seem like we’ve lost storage, but everything we took out, fit back, with a little space for extras! New baskets make it a little more organized and keep everything in its place. We chose to cover it in a carpet to make it blend in better, and just look prettier than burnt, dirty wood.
The legs under the benches were originally in the middle; we altered this and moved them to sit nearer the wheel arch. This opens up space under here and allows more room for storage boxes; Kmart had these small storage boxes with front facing lids that slide up/in, so to access our clothes we don’t need to lift an entire box out to get in from the top.
Our bedding acts as bench cushions during the daytime, but we also attached blankets to the benches. These protect the bedding from getting caught but also hang down to hide away all our storage underneath.
Add a few additional lights to the roof. A storage pocket on the back of the passenger seat. Some scatter cushions and Mighty Mo is ready for her first Officer Adventure. Watch this space!! Until then: read about our first month in Melbourne here!
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