How it started

At one point we both had the idea to take a year of and travel. First thought was going to Canada for Work & Travel but „thanks“ to pandemic situations that didn’t work out.

Luckily, in February 2021 we found ourselves a „Plan B“.

Meet our „Bulli“ Volkswagen Transporter Mk 4

With this bus we are going to travel towards the Balkans and maybe even to Turkey or wherever the road takes us, for one whole year. By the way, the car has the Estonian national colors 😉

It already came with second battery, air heating, solar-panel, electric converter and lights on the sealing…

… and a table with benches quickly transformable into…

… a giant bed.

First things first…

We removed all the furniture in order to design and build everything according to our needs. If we would have had more time we would have changed the floor and the walls as well.

For the frame of couch/bed and our cupboard we used pine wood and covered it with several layers of boat paint to protect it.

We cut the separation between the front seats and load room. Furthermore, we discovered that the front carpet is soaked with water so we had to remove it and clean everything.

For the cover we used poplar wood (10mm for covering parts and 18mm for parts carrying weight). It is lightweight and strong. Let’s see how good it will perform over the years.

We both have no experience in constructing and building a furniture so the first mistake we made was using a spirit level in a car that wasn’t horizontal and wondering why everything looks crooked 😀 Eventually we managed to integrate the cupboard into the car and we are quite happy with the end result.

For our couch/bed combination we chose cold foam and ordered it online, already cut into the specific size we need. For the cover we went to a fabric store to buy a washable and durable material which also dries fast.

After sewing and adding a zipper it was time…

… for a little test nap 🙂

At the same time we started building our own road shower. Using wastewater pipes and appropriate glue we created our own sun heated outside shower.

Our good friend Tom is already enjoying 😀 Thanks again for supporting us and tinting our back door windows!

Even my grandad helped with the tedious gluing of every single fiber optic cable but let me tell you…

…it was absolutely worth it.

Next side-project: the kitchen!

I will be honest.. this one is not really self-made, more like customized to our needs. You can already see the sink, tap and two water tanks for fresh and waste water. How it looks after integrating it into the van you will see later.

At the end of July we changed our location. We said „Auf Wiedersehen“ to everyone in Germany and drove towards Haapsalu in Estonia to spend time with our family and friends in Estonia and to finish the bus. All that was left for me to do there was to finish the kitchen, integrate the fridge and work on the electricity (mostly integrating lights inside and outside the van). With the help of Ragles dad I also installed the side window to the bus.

A big thanks again for letting us to use your garage, tools and some of your time 🙂

And after a beautiful but rainy month in Estonia we finally finished the bus. In total it was a four months work, mostly weekends.

The final version of our Bulli

The photos were taken in Austria with the right background. Lets do a room tour together.

This picture shows our everyday morning procedure: coffee first, everything else second. At the same time the batteries are charging and the awning is drying from the last rain. Lets have a look inside.

Our kitchen from different angles. One with the fridge being pulled out, one with the fridge being fixed in the cupboard. You can see the electricity integrated in the cupboard and our sweet little tile row added behind the countertop. Outside there is a little foldable desk for cooking with good weather.

Turning left you see see our couch, desk and in the corner at the top middle of the picture our DIY ventilation.

The space underneath is for light but bigger things like our towels, sheets and blankets. Shoes and our backpacks fit under it as well.

If we lower the desk…

…and unfold a part of the cover from the couch…

…we assembled our little bedroom. One of the mattresses is designed to be folded just to have more space to stand in the bus while building up the bedroom.

Another perspective.

One way to enjoy a coffee 🙂

The finished cupboard got a railing as well. It fits six little boxes in place for little things we need on a daily base.

For a wrinkle free clothes we added a little rail in the left side of the cupboard. The top left corner is filled with purses and bags. We removed the desk simply for the better view but you can open the doors also when the table is fixed on place.

On the right side of the cupboard all our clothes have their place. I am happy to get a full compartment for myself. The open one on the top is for books, card games, pictures and other stuff.

And that’s it with our room tour for today. Surely our little home of eight square meters is not perfect, there is still space left we can use to max out the usable space in the van but at the moment it is enough for us. We feel like home in here. Actually it is our first home together 🙂

I am sure that some of you are left with questions about things I didn’t explain or even mention. Please leave a comment if there are questions and I will answer you.

1 Kommentar zu „How it started“

  1. Khausik Narasimhan

    Hallo Ragle and Paul,
    Wow! Absolutely wonderful!
    So much effort but totally worth it.
    I hope this trip will be a memorable one for you and probably the best way to see europe.
    Have fun!!
    Best Regards,
    Khausik and Teju

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