Home News Woman quits Bristol to become traveller in renovated van

Woman quits Bristol to become traveller in renovated van

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An Instagram blogger has created major holiday envy after completely refitting an old van into a permanent motorhome.

Hatti Webster, 27, renovated her old van into a stunning motorhome and has been living in it since April, reports Birmingham Live.

The former Bristol-based marketer, and now ‘Digital Marketing Nomad’ has become a “full-time traveller”, saying that she’s committed to life on the road in her newly transformed transport.

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Originally Hatti (@thecampercreative), lived in Bristol for five years before moving out in April to travel around France.

Instagram seems to have some big fans for her adventures too as she has amassed more than 55.6k followers on the social media platform.

Car experts, Vehicle Contracts, spoke with Hatti on her project to uncover how she was able to do it.

She said: “After university, I bought my first van, renovated it and travelled Europe for a summer back in 2016.

“That was when I got the bug! I knew after that, that one day I would convert another van and continue the adventures, however at the time I was broke and had no idea what job I wanted to do!”

She continued: “I began working in marketing in Bristol and absolutely fell in love with the career, so after a few years of working, I began saving again.

“I had actually originally planned to move to Canada and buy a van over there, but when Covid hit, that plan soon evaporated.

“So, I decided to buy a van in the UK, renovate it (at my parent’s house!) and begin exploring Europe.”

The blogger bought her current van back in September 2020 and began renovating it right away.



Hattie used lightweight materials to build the van - so the majority of the units are built from plywood, the walls from pine cladding and the ceiling are made from red cedar
Hattie used lightweight materials to build the van – so the majority of the units are built from plywood, the walls from pine cladding and the ceiling are made from red cedar

Hatti said: “I didn’t have the biggest budget for the conversion, so I had to settle for a van that was slightly older and had higher mileage.

“Travelling in my previous van helped hugely when it came to designing this one, I knew there were certain elements that I absolutely couldn’t live without and so, created the layout based on those features.

“The main features of the van include a width-ways double bed, a permanent seating area with slide out table, sink and kitchen unit with a fridge and three ring hob. I also built a composting loo that slides underneath the bed.

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“I tried to use lightweight materials when building the van in order to minimise weight, so the majority of the units are built from plywood, the walls from pine cladding and the ceiling (my favourite part) are made from red cedar.

“I opted for a mixture of recycled bottle wool and Celotex insulation, which was then covered by a layer of bubble foil to act as a vapour barrier.”



Hattie spent £5,000 on the van and another £5,000 renovating it
Hattie spent £5,000 on the van and another £5,000 renovating it

The van itself cost £5,000 and she then spent another £5,000 on the build. Hatti claims she has actually made a profit by renovating her motor: “Vans of a similar age and build go for approximately £14,000 – £18,000 in the UK at the moment.”

This price change is considered a rarity as cars are known to depreciate in value.

She continued: “I am currently in France and have spent a lot of time exploring the French Alps (I am a keen skier, snowboarder and hiker) but am planning on heading south to Spain and Portugal over the summer.

“There is so much to explore in Europe and I am in no rush, so I plan to travel slowly and spend my winters in the mountains and my summers catching waves on the beaches.”



The marketer is currently in France but plans to head south to Spain and Portugal over the summer.
The marketer is currently in France but plans to head south to Spain and Portugal over the summer.

Robert Harris, sales director at Vehicle Contracts, said: “Being able to transform what was seen as an old van into something extraordinary is truly remarkable and very inspiring.

“In the current travel climate, we will see many UK motorists taking to road trips for their staycations this year. What better way to tour the beautiful sights we have here in Britain than in your own styled campervan?

“It also means not having to succumb to the inflated hotel prices.”

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