Vans converted into bespoke homes: ‘Why pay rent when you can live in a van?’

Shane Richie reveals his 'essentials' for caravan holidays

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Van life is a way of life for Charlie Glover. After buying and converting his own Parcelforce truck, in which he lives full time, he set up his business, RanVanga to help others get a taste of vanlife.

Charlie doesn’t believe the van trend is going anywhere.

He said: “I think people will continue to live in vans for a long time. Especially just for the cost of property.

“Why pay all that money on rent when you can live in a van?”

Many Britons agree, with vans, trucks and motorhomes becoming must-haves all over the country.

READ MORE: One UK regions named in the top five by Lonely Planet – beats France

After his successful Parcelforce truck conversion, Charlie decided to start a business.

“The first one I was just testing the waters really, to see if there was a business, to see if I enjoyed doing it.

“So at the start of the year I bought the first van.

“It took me probably two to three months to build it, but I had it sold just within a month and a half.

“Just through Facebook. I sell everything on Facebook.”

Charlie built five vans this year, and his own truck helps bring in the customers.

“When people come to see my vans, they love seeing my truck of course. That brings it in because they think ‘oh you’re not a bloke just doing it to make some money, you do actually live the life as well’.”

His truck was the “craziest build”, but his first one also deserved a special mention.

“My first one I did in Australia, and it was crazy actually.

“I had no idea what I was doing, I had nowhere to live, I had no money, and for a few weeks I slept on an inflatable mattress on top of milk crates in the back of a pickup truck.

“And I loved it.

“When you start them with nothing, when you do get a battery you think it’s amazing. You get excited about the little things. When you finally get hot water on a tap…

“Every time I walk into a house and there’s hot water on tap it still amazes me.”

Charlie’s come a long way from his van and now buys, converts and sells vans for people wanting to experience life in a van.

He built five vans this year, but “I’ve sold 17 in total”.

With RanVanga, Charlie helps Britons with the harder bits of their builds, like the electrical install, as well as doing full builds.

“I bought a small fleet of patient transfer ambulances and I then put in a full electrical system. I put solar on the roof, I put the batteries in, but then the customer can come along and do the install, do the carpentry, do the interior or put a mattress on the floor and go on holiday.

“They can do whatever they want.

“And it’s a hell of a lot cheaper to build it and then I can sell it cheaper, which gives people the opportunity to have what they want. A full build costs a hell of a lot of money because I’m putting my name to it.”

 

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