Camper Van Renovation & #Vanlife Begins Again!

March 08, 2022

Camper Van Renovation & #Vanlife Begins Again! soultravelers3

The huge transition begins as we prepare to travel to Europe for an extended van life journey as digital nomads, getting our van out of storage & revamping it so we can begin extensive, long term post pandemic travel. Thanks to help from our dear friends in Spain, as we pack up in California, we can see & share the big process of moving & renovating our stored van with  Cactus Garage!

We know the secrets to motorhome in Europe because we did it for many years, but then we based in Asia for Mandarin fluency & then road tripping across USA, etc, so our camper was in storage for a decade! We are pioneers at van lifestyle , having done extensive travel in USA, Mexico & Europe, so preparing for a new decade of travel freedom is exciting & there is much to learn & relearn.   

Camper Van Renovation & #Vanlife Begins Again! soultravelers3  cactus garage
We didn't really plan to have our camper van in storage for a decade, life just happens & raising a trilingual kid around the world took us on adventures, we didn't always expect as we mostly followed her lead. When we were last in Europe for Heavenly's 10 city solo tour, she was amazed to visit this camper that she had spent so much of her childhood in.

Things that seemed so big at 5 and 10, seemed so much smaller at 16! We all have so many happy memories of our road trips around Europe, so we are very fond of our camper. We also miss and are very fond of our amazing friends and heroes in Europe

Camper Van Renovation & #Vanlife Begins soultravelers3 moving van
"If there is a will, there is a way", has always been my motto, but honestly, we've had to figure out a lot with this challenging plan and as usual, we have been very blessed to find amazing people to help us. Jose at Cactus Garage is an extensive vintage van traveler, family man, as well as a brilliant, vintage camper van mechanic who is also fluent in English, German and Spanish, so he has given us great advise & help on moving it out of storage and correctly making it road worthy again. 

Camper Van Renovation & #Vanlife Begins soultravelers3 cactus garage fix

There are lots of steps even before you start it ( after sitting so long), and you do not really know how things are going until then, so I can not tell you how exciting it was to hear the engine running good and Jose saying it sounds really great, there are much less problems than expected & everything is going faster than expected. After some more work & many replacements, he will soon take it out for a drive and know more. We are excited to share this whole process with you, step by step! 

Our camper van is a 1998 Ford Rimor that we bought in Europe ( from USA online)  in 2005/6  and it is an 18footer, so our beloved, movable tiny home ( although we plan to do more sitting at a resort base than moving as we prefer eco-friendly  slow travel, using our bikes, walking and mass transit).  It has a double bed over the cab and two twin beds in back.  In the middle there is a table with two couches on one side. The table folds to a bed too ( although we only used that when I broke my arm). Here is a photo of it parked on the street where we kept in when we wintered in Spain in a furnished apartment as we could walk to  most things including the school that Heavenly went to and her flamenco lessons. 

Camper Van Renovation & #Vanlife spain soultravelers3 horse

There is a "kitchen" on the other side of the table & couches with two large windows on either side. The kitchen consists of a 2 burner gas stove, normal size sink, small counter, refrigerator and lots of cabinets above and below. Behind that area is a bathroom with a sink and shower. Across from the bathroom is a door and steps that lead to the outside world ( where we spend most of our time with table, chairs, hammock etc under the  trees & awning).  Behind that door,  lies the two bunk beds with two windows. There is also a window by the double bed and curtains that close off the double bed and driving area for privacy. There is a "large" closet for clothes.We have a solar panel on top, so are self sufficient and don't really need to stay in campgrounds or pay for electricity when we do.

Much to do yet with this renovation and revamping our vintage camper & we are excited to share the process with you! Let me know if you have any questions! 

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No questions yet because I believe you will answer all worth answering, in due season. It's exciting and a privilege to be along for the ride via social media, once again. Thank you for keeping us in the loop!


Aw, thanks Margaret! As always, you are too kind! It is a big transition, so overwhelming at times, especially in our fast changing world, but it is also exciting to soon be back on the road and seeing old friends and learning so many new things. We will eventually redo the blog too, but we have a whole load of new things and new tech to learn. It all seems familiar but also so brand new, so we are excited to share the adventure and what we learn along the way!

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