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Volvo "Mini Camper" Conversion

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Whether at a crystal-clear mountain lake, at the edge of a forest or on a green meadow, camping holidays are becoming more and more popular and the equipment is also becoming more and more creative. Especially in recent years, there are more and more camping enthusiasts. When the Corona wave hit at the beginning of 2020 and caused flights to be cancelled and hotel doors to be closed all over the world, the demand for campers increased significantly. Caravans quickly became a true rarity and of course this was also reflected in the prices, which increased noticeably.

Sometimes, however, it doesn't have to be a motorhome or caravan at all, often the suitable vehicle is just a stone's throw away from your own front door! If you don't fancy the classic camper van or simply don't want to spend that much money on it, you can try one of the following DIY variants. Volvos stand for a lot of space and driving fun, so why not go on a trip in a self-built mini camper? Sweden, in particular, is a real paradise for people with an appetite for the outdoors, where the "allemansrätt" (everyman's right) applies, which allows wild camping and fishing in any place. In Sweden, you can experience pure nature in the midst of breathtaking natural landscapes. Those who make the journey there can look forward to relaxing days full of peace and quiet and cosy evenings around the campfire.

But before you can set off, you first have to find a campervan. Nothing is better suited for a trip to Scandinavia than the spacious station wagons made of Swedish steel, as they offer a flat sleeping surface once the back seat has been folded down. So all you have to do is throw the mattress in the car and off you go! But other station wagons can also be quickly converted into a micro camper with a little effort. To ensure that you can sleep comfortably on the mattresses and, above all, with a straight back, a substructure should be made to level out the lying surface. This construction can be screwed together from a few wooden boards and can at the same time serve as storage space for e.g. camping cooker, sleeping bags or provisions.

In this video, Philipp and Nikolai show how they converted a Volvo into a camper van for Philipp's musician travels in just one day.

To avoid waking up to the first rays of sunlight every morning, it is important to install a suitable sun and privacy screen on the windows. Whether you opt for a cosy curtain or dark adhesive film is purely a matter of taste. Depending on how much time and money you ultimately want to invest in your small camper van, the extension measures are almost unlimited. If you want extra luxury, you can also get a car roof tent to use the space inside for a small kitchenette, for example.

Here a proud dad shows us how he travels together with his little daughter in the adventure mobile, he even has a solar system that allows him to work from his laptop!

In this video, Nils shows how much space he still has in the interior to store other things thanks to his roof tent.

But if you like it easier and faster, you can easily do the conversion in just one weekend. For the dyslexic, there are also ready-made systems that can be bought ready-made and simply placed in the boot. One of the biggest advantages of a mini camper is that you are completely independent. You can leave whenever you want, stop wherever you like and even spontaneously stay an extra night without worrying about hotel reservations.

Here is a short insight into the 4-week journey of a young couple who drove a 1967 Volvo Amazon Kombi from Belgium to Trondheim (Norway) and back again.

This video shows how a cosy overnight accommodation can be created quickly and easily, even without any conversion.

Planning is good but don't overdo it. With the multitude of videos and reports on the internet, you can occupy yourself longer than with the actual journey itself. Camping also thrives on improvisation. By the time of your next trip at the latest, you will know what you can do even better. Enclosed are a few conversion inspirations and then just go for it!

Pictures of the Volvo 740 courtesy of Christoph Werner.