My Citroen C 15 "Nano-Camper" Conversion Progress WITH PICTURES!

Welcome to UKHIppy2764@2x.png

UKHippy is a long running online community and of likeminded people exploring all interpretations on what it means to be living an alternative lifestyle -- we welcome discussions on everything related to sustainability, the environment, alternative spirituality, music, festivals, politics and more -- membership of this website is free but supported by the community.

  • It's not too bad at all, actually. Two nights ago it was pretty cold and was raining loads but I had no real problems with a basic sleeping bag and a fleece blanket. Last night I got too hot and it was about 12 degrees outside. The night before it was 8 degrees, so a bit cooler there. Waking up in the morning isn't too bad though -- not noticing any real difference between how cold it usually was in my mum's old cottage when I lived there!

  • Hi all! Another quick (funny) update...

    So, the other night I had just got myself parked up stealth-style on the side of the road on a residential street (wide roads, wide pavements, houses set back a decent distance) and I nodded off within a few minutes. Then sometime later I got woken up by the sounds of something touching/knocking on the metal of the van outside. I was alert immediately, listened, no noise... then it happened again.. sounded like someone knocking gently on the sides (like people do when they are trying to 'hear' if a van has contents in before breaking in)... so, I slowly sat myself up in bed, got out of my sleeping bag, and sat still and listened. Heard the noise again further down the back of the van, sounded like someone was at the back doors. Couldn't see through my blackout rear curtains, so I spied out of the front windows to look at the mirrors down the side of the van. Couldn't see anyone. So I sat and listened some more... a few minutes later I heard a metallic 'clinking' at the back doors, so CONVINCED that someone was trying to pick the lock, I grabbed my pocket knife and prepared to confront them.... then I heard the metal knocking/thumping noise again... this time on the roof...

    And then it dawned on me. No-one was knocking on the side of the van... something was walking across my roof... something with four legs... so I smiled, opened the front curtains, and just as I did so a huge black and grey furry cat minced down my windscreen and sat on the vents on the bonnet (must have been warm)....... *sigh* Van life, eh??

    PS: my theory about the metal clinking noise was that the cat was playing with the thin chain that dangles off the back towbar!

  • Just an idea but have you thought about recording the noise of a (big) dog barking? You could have it on a small stereo of some description with the on button at the ready. I would imagine any would be intruders would think thrice if they thought there was an Alsatian in the van (you'd have to move about to replicate the dog though.

    Yesterdays gone, tomorrows a mystery, today's a gift, that's why its called the present.

  • Another update:

    I tinted the back windows this weekend! My brother helped me. These are the dark smoke tints from Halfords (…-dark-smoke-film-51x221cm ). Not a bad product if you only have a relatively small space to do, but I would recommend having it done professionally if you are really picky or want a pristine job!

    It's very difficult to see through the back windows from the outside now. This combined with my black curtains gives me a near total black out at the back, which is great! Can still see through the back though, so I'm really pleased all around :)

    Took about an hour to do both sides but it's a relatively simple job once you've fathomed the instructions...


  • I'd be worried someone would report me for holding an animal in there, though!

    You could get one of those cheap car alarms with the panic button fobs for use if anyone comes lurking. I know no one really takes notice but it may provide you with some reassurance.

    Yesterdays gone, tomorrows a mystery, today's a gift, that's why its called the present.

  • Two updates:

    1. Had to do my first repair yesterday! Got back to the van and the fabric on the roof had come off and was danging down into the van. I actually suspected this would happen at some point as when I got help putting it on, the person who helped was rushing and it got a big air bubble in the fabric where it stretched over a corner. That air bubble must have grown and grown with varying temperatures/condensation etc (by the way... not really having any condensation problems at the proper ventilation - only fresh air vents in the front and a gap where the door has rusted and doesn't close neatly!) So, I got out my trusty carpet adhesive and whacked that back up again in less than a minute. Job's a good'n!

    2. I was feeling really rough the other day (bad headache) and had an urge just to drive home. As soon as I had that urge, it was followed by 'oh I can't..all my stuff is here..' THEN I REALISED... all my stuff was a few feet behind me in my van! I could go anywhere I wanted and not leave a thing behind. What an amazing feeling!!

    Hope you are all getting on well! :) :)


  • Glad you are enjoying it Raffi, I love sleeping and living in my van. Dont try and sleep in a Mcdonalds car park though. waking up at 2am with revving engines and sirens isnt fun haha.
    BTW love the posts you do. Always fun and full of enthusiasm even when things go wrong.

  • Reading about your 'Climbing over the front seats' problem, I wondered if you could find an old-fashioned fold-down van seat, like we had on the Morris vans years ago. If kipping in the back, and wanting to get into the front in a hurry, you could just push down the back of the passenger seat and clamber into the driving seat in no time.
    The seat mountings might have to be altered, but this is not a difficult job if you know anyone with mechanical knowledge.

  • Raffi, I came across a few links when going to do my van same as your one, the bed had been put on the other side and hinged against the side and a seat that folded flat was used so that the bed could have a flap that folded out as they needed a longer bed. I then got a peugeot partner van and know the citroen berlingo fold down seat from 2008 maybe earlier fits. This is the van I am now going to convert given time.

  • Hi guys! So, a couple of little updates...

    1. I have my mattress! It's a single piece of upholsterer's foam cut to size and it's 10cm thick. So much comfier than my floorboard + camping mat + sleeping bag...

    2. I built these side units over the past couple of days. All reclaimed wood from my mum's garden/garage, all reclaimed screws etc as well! There's a cupboard at the back (near the cab) and a removable 'off-rectangle' box (it follows the van contours) - which I also made - that sits in the top over the wheel arch. The table, which has been there since October, folds down over the top storage box when I need to, otherwise it's just easy access storage.

    First task was to split this long piece of wood. It was about 6ft x 4 inches and I wanted it in two pieces... so I sawed it straight down the middle to make two thinner bits (less weight!)


    Like I said, all reclaimed wood from old pallets and plasterers' planks and scaffolding... frame for the outer section of the units starting to take shape..


    Here I added sides (two reasons for the gap in the middle. 1. Air flow 2. didn't have correct size wood! ;) ), a cupboard door for access to the back storage space (near the cab) and painted it. This is actually just undercoat/primer... decided it looked quite nice not being clinical white, bits of wood showing through, etc. so left it in primer!


    Here it is assembled. The top I made fit the curved van corners and odd protruding metal shapes etc by taking a jigsaw to it..


    As you can see in the above picture, the wheel arch and diesel tank casing takes up some room. Still enough space for a shallow storage box, though!


    In goes the storage box... made from some boarding and two old fence panels


    And finally, here it is all together when I've taken a few steps back. Table folds down covering the remainder. Lovely. Thinking about sticking some non-slip mat to the exposed wood. That's tomorrow's job! :)

    The post was edited 2 times, last by Raffi: Had a few celebratory beers.. spelling and extra words! ().

  • Nice one Raffi!Did you hand saw that length? My arm is hurting just thinking about it!

    I did indeed! This girl works outtttt ;) haha

    Edit: ... with a nearly blunt saw, I might add! Turns out there was a brand new one in my brother's work van. Damn.

  • Thanks, wurzel! I'm pretty pleased with it. The storage underneath/inside is secure and stable and now I've got loads more surface space to put my non-belongings on ;)

  • Got any other plans for the van?

    A few, yes! I bought solar powered fairy lights today so they're out on the dash charging right now (well... no light as its night time but tomorrow they'll charge hopefully!) so I'm going to be getting those in place. Got some little tidying up jobs to do.. sorting out the trim etc. In October when I started my vanlife adventure I wasn't too bothered about getting it perfect ; just wanted somewhere to live. Now I've figured out my daily habits etc and identified my needs (very few!) I'm able to put in some 'luxuries' (haha.. funny how a storage cabinet is luxury for me!)

    So, tidying up, fixing the lighting, making some little storage nets for books and whatnot on the walls is what I'm up to tomorrow :) Will take pictures and update this thread.

    Hope you're getting on OK with yours! :)

  • Sounds good, looking forward to seeing the fairy lights. I'll be sorting out my belongings tomorrow to see what I can get rid of [again]. I've read in a few places those nets are good.

    In front of the cabinet you built, perhaps you could build bookshelves on the side, like they have for children. Or some other thin storage area. Maybe you could use screwed on decorated tin cans to store bits and bobs?

    Tis coming along nicely thanks. I'll write something about mine tomorrow for you, but best to keep this as your thread!

  • In front of the cabinet you built, perhaps you could build bookshelves on the side, like they have for children. Or some other thin storage area. Maybe you could use screwed on decorated tin cans to store bits and bobs?

    I did think about bookshelves but I couldn't quite figure out the best place for it. In the end I've decided that I'm not going to cart too many about with me and instead just choose a couple to have in the 'book nets'.

    The tin can suggestion is such a lovely idea!!! :) Thank you! Can't wait for your updates!