VAI-KØ Van Conversion: Interior Introduction

If simple living in a van facinates you after considering the pros and cons of the lifestyle, the next step is building a camper van. Many people live the vanlife during a certain season or on holidays, you won't have to fully move into it right away. In this article we'll share the inside of Urho the van and hope to give some inspiration on building and decorating a van to future and current vanlifers.

Living the vanlife offers freedom that most of us dream of. But the cost of not having a steady home and often a steady income is something to consider before jumping into full-time vanlife. if you haven't yet red our previous blog post about the Henri and Maria's vanlife journey, check it our HERE! 

Just like vanlife in general, building a camper van is all about prioritizing and figuring which things matter to you the most. Often only with try and error will you really know what stays and what goes. After their first long trip with Urho, Henri and Maria realized the original fridge was using a lot of power and was quite small. So this year they upgrated the fridge. But there was one but, it didn't fit in the custom kitchen cupboard, so the nice birch door had to go. A portable stove-top is also a new addition to the van, it replaces a camp cooker the couple cooked with on last year's trips.

Talking about compromises, in the original building process a decision had to be made between warmth and legspace. Let me elaborate: having a well insulated van that keeps heat in and moisture out requires a quite thick layer of wood and thermal insulator. That means less space inside, and in Henri and Maria's van it all came down to less legspace and smaller bed size. The clothing rack on the wall is a new and well-liked addition. The open shelves allow you to get a good idea of which clothes are clean and usable, this means pieces are used more evenly and you'll know when the laundry situation gets critical.

Henri & Maria's 4 tips on getting started with vanlife:

1

Figure out what freedom means to you in everyday life and what you are willing to compomise to achieve that.

2

First, try living in a station wagon during a weekend trip or rent a van or a mobile home for a longer road trip. You'll quickly find out your deal-breakers and must-haves for a van.

3

Ask for help.Building a camper van and moving in is a big project. Often help and know-how is closer than you think, if only you ask.

4

Search online. There's a lot of tips and tricks on converting a van into a camper and living the vanlife on social media.

How'bout you, what are your thoughts on living in a van? What do you think you'd enjoy the most & what would you miss while being on the road? 

  Writer

RIINA,
is the communications specialist at VAI-KØ, who is learning to include some of that Live Alternative -attitude in every area of her day-to-day life. Writer's weakness is watching too much YouTube.



3 comments


  • Tiina

    Funny you should ask… I subscribed to your newsletter because I liked your brand’s website and style of communication, and wanted to see what your newsletter was like. Then I received the introductory newsletters and found out that you guys have a van. The thing is, I plan to start my own online business to build a mobile income—in order to move into a camper van. Launching sometime this summer, yikes!

    What I’m most looking forward to is being able to focus on the things that I love the most. I have found that focus is just as much about choosing not to do things that are unimportant as it is about choosing to do things that are important. There are only a very small number of things I truly want to do in my life; the rest is just baggage weighing me down.

    What I like about the idea of vanlife is that it will make it easier to do the things I love and harder to do the things I don’t. If you have a tv at home and a trailhead several kilometres away, it will be easy to watch tv and hard to go for a run. If you have a trailhead next to your front door and no tv, it will be easy to go for a run and hard to watch tv. All choices we make will open up some possibilities and limit others.

    What I will miss the most, especially when travelling abroad, is spending time with my family members who are housebound. No great or small achievement is ever made alone; there is always a whole slew of people who made it possible for one person to reach the summit. My family’s are the shoulders I stand on. They have made and continue to make it possible for me to reach my goals.

    I hope that living in a van might afford me more freedom to spend time where and when I choose, so I can be there for my family when and where they need me most—not just here and there as my other obligations allow. I hate making the choice between working towards my own dream and helping a loved one towards theirs. There must be a way of living that allows both for personal growth and supporting the growth of loved ones. Because all of us stand on somebody else’s shoulders and none of us can climb very high on our own.


  • Mikael

    Vapaus – asia mitä me kaikki janotaan! Pakussa elämisen parhaimpia puolia ehdottomasti olisi elämän näennäinen yksinkertaistaminen. Mukaan mahtuu vain tietty määrä tavaraa fiksusti. Ihminen ehkä oppisi arvostamaan oikeita asioita ja olemaan hetkissä läsnä. Vapaus nähdä maailmaa ja upeata luontoa olisi unohtumaton kokemus. Jokainen päivä voisi olla seikkailu ja elämä olisi elämää isolla E:llä! 😊

    Reissulla kuitenkin kaipaisin luultavasti pysyvää kotia ja lähimmäisiä.


  • Tiia-Riitta

    Lapsuuteni kesiin kuului asuntoautolla reissaaminen ympäri Suomea. Myöhemmin vanhempani ostivat oman asuntoauton ja sen jälkeen reissuja onkin riittänyt. Asuntoautoilussa on monia sellaisia puolia, jotka saavat kaipaamaan tien päälle kesäisin. Minulle se on aina merkinnyt (fyysisestikin) tiivistä yhdessäolo perheen kanssa, spontaaneja päätöksiä ja vapautta. Parhaita ovat lämpimät kesäillat ja upeat auringonlaskut, joita voi parkkeerata katsomaan parhaalle paikalle järven rantaan ja pulahtaa sen jälkeen uimaan.


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