Mobile homes are great for those who do not wish to be tied to one place all the time, especially in this day and age when more and more people are choosing to go the digital nomad route when it comes to employment. But mobile homes require permits and can’t just be parked anywhere. This freelancer couple from Hungary found a solution to this by turning a white cargo van into a cozy tiny home on wheels. Norbert is a photographer and Dora is a writer, and they both love their new home.
Their journey began by purchasing a 16-year-old van, which they since named Debella. They chose it because it blends in and can easily be parked practically anywhere for the night. They began the conversion by first stripping the interior, and then using wood paneling to make the space warm and cozy. They also installed a multifunctional unit, which acts as a sitting space when folded up and a bed when unfolded. It also conceals a storage space and the entire electrical system.
They also installed a kitchen unit that features a gas cooktop, an 24 lbs (11 kg) gas cylinder, sink and a 18.5-gallon (70-liter) water tank that is fitted with a pressure-sensing pump. The tank also has an additional hook-up, which can be used to shower in the rear of the van. There is also space for a fridge inside an L-shaped cabinet, which provides even more storage, and also has a fold-down dining/working table and sitting space attached to it.
They used mostly inexpensive materials for the conversion, such as OSB (oriented strand board), MDF and reclaimed wood. For insulation they used spray foam. The van is also fitted with a 250-watt rooftop solar panel, which charges the vans 12-volt electrical system. The latter can also be charged via the engine’s generator, or through a regular 220-volt power source. There is also a bank of 200-Ah batteries, equipped with a 220-volt inverter, for storing power.
The total cost of the conversion came to $7,200. Norbert and Dora are already travelling through southern Europe in their van, with their ultimate destination being Morocco.