STAGE 1 - MEET NESSIE
Not much beats a spur of the moment trip away with the bikes. Campervans are becoming one of the most popular ways to do this with some great builds being spotted on the internet. We feel we can do better. So follow us on our journey to create the ultimate MTB campervan.
After many trips away in the van last year it soon became apparent that the VW T5 LWB campervan that we had, albeit a lovely thing to look at, was not the most practical. Taking more than two bikes on the bike rack was hard work and not the most secure. Lots of our equipment had to be shoehorned inside the living area which all needed to be moved into the front seats when we stopped and needed the living space. This was a total pain in the ass and made the whole experience of going away more stressful that it needed to be.
For long trips away we like to travel with at least two bikes each, preferably an enduro bike and a DH bike as you never know what riding would be on offer. We also need to test a large amount of bikes and equipment. Unfortunately we don’t have a magic money tree in the garden so every trip we go on needs to count and the more bikes we can take, the better.
This has now lead to the sale of the T5 for something a little larger and more practical. The replacement had to be large enough to stand up in, long enough to fit a workshop, bed and living area in without the need to move things around every time we stopped. The drivability was also a big detail that we wanted to nail. A lorry would create a huge amount of living space but it wouldn’t be too easy to navigate the tight hairpin bends in the Alps. All of this made the new LWB VW Crafter our van of choice. The same sexy grey as the T5 was a difficult colour to find especially with the mileage and spec we desired, which is why we went all the way to Scotland to get the one we wanted. It made perfect sense to name our big Scottish lass Nessie.
The vision is to keep this build high end and super clean with useful details and designs to make life easy. With plans of a possible shower, a cooking area, a proper bed and a garage, there’s plenty to do. For now take a peek at the van and we will make weekly updates about the progress of the build answering any questions that anyone has along the way.
WORDS - Ieuan Williams
PHOTOS - Ieuan Williams