• Zoe

The Van Plan 2- Sleeping

Updated: Nov 7, 2020

Finally my Berlingo mini-campervan conversion is taking shape! But I decided to change my mind about the bed situation.

I had a set up with the bed folding to a chair which was right on the floor. I decided to opt for something a bit bigger and more luxurious considering I want to go away in my Berlingo camper and tour Europe for 6 months or so.

My original set up in my Berlingo mini-campervan conversion with futon bed/chair directly on the floor.

I bought a second-hand sofa bed from Facebook Marketplace for £25 (honestly best second hand site out there, I've got so much great stuff on there including my bike!). It's pretty small in order to fit into the back, but it fits perfectly with the front seats still in position to sit comfortably in!

The sofa bed in sofa position next to my cook box.

It folds out into a small double/large single and is perfect for 2 people- we just added a mattress topper and some bedding! For sleeping, we add a curtain that is held up with bulldog clips, insulating blinds (I'll talk about these later) and moved the cook box onto the passenger seat.

Our cosy bed, with curtain and fairy lights.

In the morning we just need to move the cook box back from the passenger seat, fold the bed back into sofa position and there's enough room to cook.

The Berlingo camper kitchen set up, with the cook box flap open, bin and water storage with tap.

I designed the kitchen box so when open, the lid can be used as a surface, and the heat-resistant tile stickers mean you can put hot things on there too. The lid rests perfectly on the sofa, meaning you don't need a table for smaller meals. You have the option to cook sitting on the sofa with the sliding door ajar, or to stand outside next to the sliding door and cook from there with the stove sheltered in the mini-campervan.

Making breakfast stood outside by the sliding door. Mmm eggs.

The box will fit a double stove with a grill underneath on the top shelf, which is the plan for my 6 month travels, but I haven't got around to buying it yet.

There's even enough space to fit a small table inside next to the sofa- this one is the mini one from Argos that I found in the attic.

Morning coffee on the mini table in the van (yes my eyes are closed, it's early ok!).

Before we headed off for our first trip in my Berlingo campervan conversion, I added a few more extras.

First, I attached the cross bars to the roof rails, I opted for £30 ones that are Berlingo-specific from Ebay (Streetwize 135cm Aluminium Roof Rack Rails Cross Bars for Citroen Berlingo 96-10). Then I was finally able to add my roofbox!!

The roofbox has helped so much, as space is very tight inside, so putting things up top and out of the way is great, especially when there's two of us in the van.

All the hard work with the roof rails was worth it to get the roof box on!

The only downside is that some ferries/toll roads will charge more for having a roof box on top, but I think it's worth it for the extra space, plus as I'm going to also put my bike up there it doesn't matter too much.

Next, I made some DIY insulating blinds out of insulating roll that I bought from tool station for £14.

I considered making trial ones out of cardboard first, but once I'd measured the windows, despite them being weird shaped, it was quite easy to make them.

Most of them stay put themselves, by tucking them under the casing around the window.

The back blind tucks very well under the casing and stays put.

The sliding door windows were a bit trickier as they're weird shaped, but I eventually made them able to stay in place using the casing and the hinge to open the window so they can fit on with the window open and closed.

The side blinds in place.

The front blind was the hardest of all because the windscreen is so big, and it refused to stay put! Finally I bought 10 20mm plastic suction cups from amazon and they seemed to do the trick!

Finally the blind stayed put!!

The last addition is my shower. The shower itself I found in the attic, its a 7L portashower which you fill with water, pump the top part to pressurise it then you are good to go! It has decent pressure, lasted the whole of my shower when I tried it out, and you can always add a bit of boiled water into the cold if the weather is a bit cooler.

I bought a mould-resistant shower curtain and cable tied it around a hula hoop I found in the attic. The hula hoop is then hung on the back door of the Berlingo, the shower is hooked through the loop on the door, and I showered with the curtain inside a bucket! It worked pretty well, I just needed a few pegs to keep the curtain closed all the way down.

Part of my "en-suite".

I added a carbon monoxide alarm (safety first if you're cooking indoors at all), and an awesome device that allows you to lock the boot whilst keeping it ajar to allow air to circulate.

Overall, after trying the mini-campervan out on our first trip (to Three Shires Head in the Peak District, which is a beautiful spot by the way), I'm super happy with how it's worked out.

I still need to think about the Toilet Situation (have been reading a lot about DIY composting toilets so watch this space), add a mini sink that I'm going to make using a foot pump, add a bit more storage, buy a few bits, and add some lino/laminate flooring to make it easier to keep clean.

Total spend so far- £148.65 (£8.99 for tile stickers, £22 for roof rail postage, 16.28 for 3 cargo nets, 29.95 for roof bars, £25 for sofa bed, £14 for thermawrap, 3.99 for shower curtain, 2.49 for rubber suckers, 11.99 for Carbon Monoxide alarm, 13.99 for boot air circulator)

For more info on the van, have a look at Van Plan 1.

Note: I'll receive a small amount of commission from the links above.


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