Micro camping

With an increase in people taking “staycations” there has been added interest in all things camping.

Volkswagen transporter vans have skyrocket in price and social media platforms are bustling with accounts documenting campervan conversion adventures. A good quality conversion will set you back anything up to £50,000 and older vans to convert, are snapped up quickly.

We have spent much of lockdown debating swapping my work vehicle for a VW Transporter, that would double as a daily workhorse and a weekend escape. But to spend a substantial amount would mean feeling obliged to “get away” frequently. Then we stumbled upon the concept of micro camping as promoted by nimble camper It seems the perfect solution, not least because we have a large MPV. Pictured above is our third VW Touran, this one replaced the previous, that had completed 180,000 miles.

The concept is to make enough room to sleep comfortably, use a roof box for luggage storage and potentially add a rear awning to create some living space. Our plan is to tour round the top of Scotland stopping no more than one or two night in anyone place so sleep and go is ideal.

Touran’s have 3 rows of seat, the centre row can be removed completely and the rear row are concealed under the boot space.

With the central seats removed there is plenty of space but the floor is very uneven. Compared to a transporter van we have approximately 30cm (12″) less length and 10cm (4″) less width. The biggest difference is much less headroom, but enough to sit up in bed.

The most challenging part was profiling 4 supports to lock into the seat latch slots, this was done by getting one right and then tracing around it tot duplicate. These 4 are glued and screwed onto a 12mm (1/2″) hardwood ply sheet. This simply slots into the car front end first. The supports are shaped to allow maximum room to store items under the bed in the rear footwells.

Two further 12mm plyboards were then cut to fit over the folded 3rd row of seats and the rear boot storage space and all three boards have been carpeted with domestic carpet tiles.

Total available level space is now 1.8m (71″) length, more if we slide the front seats further forward from their driving positions. And 130cm (51″) at the wider front section. Or in other words enough space fro 2 people to sleep snuggly. The plan is the dogs will sleep on the front seat, but we will see how that works !

The next step is to purchase 2 slabs of memory foam to create a mattress on the new carpeted base.

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2 comments

  1. Hello. I’m back from campervaning NZ 3 Islands, in an old Elgrande Nissan. Thinking of getting a car big enough and minimally equipped to get round UK, but small enough to use as an everyday car. So any ideas would be super. Have a great time. You two. Ps. Ask me if you wish to know an out NZ.

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