For us, the build process was not entirely what we expected. We built our van in Frankfurt, Germany and we are from Australia, which meant we were in a new non-English speaking country so this did bring with it more struggles than we (or definitely I) had planned for!
By the end of our conversion, we could not wait to finish and get on the road. We definitely had days where we struggled and things didn’t seem to go our way. We would start the day with a long list of things to get done and some days only finish a task or two. That is never a good feeling, but we managed to remind ourselves that we were closer to the finish line than we were the day before. Other days, we would get through our daily list with ease and leave for the day feeling accomplished. Every day is different and so are the emotions that will go with it.
You will also more than likely have days where things go wrong and things don’t work out the way you had hoped. Some days we honestly felt broken and defeated, we felt like giving up and packing it all in, but thankfully we never did! When your doing all works yourself and it is your first build, there is so much to know and learn. Try not to let your frustrations get the better of you, try and think rationally and come up with other options and alternatives to overcome any issues. We were constantly changing our plans so don’t let this get you down.
Another good thing to remember is, a van isn’t a straight surface, so unless you frame it out to be this way and are happy to lose some space, this is probably the biggest pain in the butt you will come across! You build your cupboards perfectly, then go to install and realise you now need to hide the gaps and edge everything off neatly. It makes for a very fiddly and time consuming job! We definitely had some low points here.
The biggest high we had was when we had finally finished the walls, roof, installed our overhead cupboards and the bed frame was in. We stood there and could finally see it all starting to come together like we had imagined. The hours of hard work had paid off and our dream seemed to be in reach now.
It really is a rollercoaster of emotions when you complete your first build, so strap yourself in and try and enjoy the ride! It is all worth it in the end, trust us!