Our team at Union Wood Co don't limit themselves to only using their construction skills and creativity during shop hours. It's not uncommon for them to stop their work projects at 4:00 and start their personal projects at 4:01. We want to celebrate their hard work by highlighting each of them and sharing their habitual need to build and create.
Everyone, meet Alice and the used van she's remodelling into a fully equipped camper.
If you follow us on Instagram, you might recognize Alice, our 3rd-year apprentice woodworker. She pops up in our stories or other posts while working on projects or acting as a reluctant model demonstrating her woodworking skills. Her construction experience, personal drive to learn and all-around positive energy make her a staple around Union Wood Co.
Converting a Van into a Camper Van
This year she started a project we’re all jealous of. She purchased a 2006 Ford E250 van to modify into a camper. Her van probably looks familiar because it's a retired Shaw cable van. Alice scored one from a used car dealership for a reasonable chunk of cash. After some beers and a naming brainstorm, the van was dubbed Brandi Vanlile after Alice’s hero Brandi Carlile.
To get Brandi road trip ready and make its 50 square foot cabin habitable for camper life, Alice and her friends had to first strip the interior of it’s existing built-in configuration of shelves, metal boxes, and other parts of its cable provider past. There was also a moulded out and muddy floor that had to be ripped up.
Alice’s biggest learning curve came next. Her building experience is in joinery and woodworking, so figuring out how to properly insulate a van for year-round use and provide electricity for new gadgets like a backup cam is a little out of her comfort zone. But after a lot of camper van conversion research, help from her friends, and some trial and error, she got Brandi prepped and ready for the next stage of construction.
This is the stage she is at now with her camper van DIY. She’s ready to install the funky patterned vinyl flooring shown above and start building her whitewashed ash cabinets. When finished the van will be outfitted with a double-ish sized bed, electrical system for all the modern comforts, a full kitchen with sink, storage and fridge, and even a roof mounted rack that will serve as a deck for her to catch some sun on.
Alice’s ultimate goal is to have a fleet of camper vans for people to rent and explore the West Coast in. Pre-book yours for summer 2021 😉
You can follow @brandi_vanlile on Instagram to see more of Alice’s journey of renovating her camper van and exploring the North West coast.