I had an idea of what sort of van I wanted to go for – Ford Transit Connect or Courier, Citroen Berlingo, Peugeot Partner or Bipper, Renault Kangoo, VW Caddy, and the like. I don’t need to be able to live in the van full-time, just for long weekends, eliminating the need for an integrated stove, sink, shower, toilet, etc. I also need to be able to park it on my street – not easy when I live in central Edinburgh! I just couldn’t justify getting anything much bigger that would use a ton of fuel just to go to the supermarket, and would cost loads in road tax and city parking permit.
I ended up getting a 2005 Vauxhall Combo for £600. What I like about it is that there isn’t a side door, which gives me more scope to use the back of it as essentially a box.
It has been sat on the previous owner’s drive for the past two years, so is in need of a bit of TLC! My colleague’s partner is pretty savvy with the underside of a vehicle, so in return for me and my boyfriend spending a Saturday weeding and mowing their lawn and painting the garden fence, he worked his magic on the leaky sump pan and the back brakes.
I then had the front two tyres replaced as they had completely had it, and then had the whole thing valeted as it was dusty, rusty, musty, fusty (and other words that rhyme…!) So… ta-da!
Plan A is to get a second-hand futon facing the back doors of the van, and some slim shelves/cupboards (like slimline bathroom cabinets or super-long spice racks) bolted in on top of the wheel arch box things for storage.
So I’m keeping my eyes peeled on Gumtree, Freecycle, and in charity shops for these things – I don’t want to buy them new as that’s not very zero-waste. I’ll use my sewing machine and stash of spare fabrics for curtains and other upholstery and it’ll be grand!
P.S. I found this soft toy (cow? pig? cowpig?) in a bag abandoned by the landfill dump, about to be thrown away! So I rescued her named her Daisy and she is now my mascot.