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Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Tillie gets a makeover

I have had Tillie for four years now, and have put off changing the interior, as it was all very nice and desirable being the original specification.

After my last trip out, when the fridge door fell off, and Tarq fell through the middle of the bed into a heap on the floor, I decided to bite the bullet and change her.

The original cooker barely worked, the fridge was a plastic shelf only, I never used the sink (I do wash tho, honest) and the bed being three quarter size, accommodated the fat labrador fine, but left me no room whatsoever.

The buddy seat was always empty (I have no buddies)

And so with gritted teeth, I dived in and started to remove the entire inside.  After 3 minutes 20 seconds I hit a problem.  The second bolt wouldn't come out.  Wanting to go female and turn into howling foetal position, and squealing 'why are my blokes all shit at man stuff'.  I put my testicles back on, and drilled the bloody thing out

Eventually Tillie was bare and exposed.  Everything appeared to be fairly solid under her clothing.  Apart from 2 rather large holes where the seat belts were fixed. Or not fixed as was the case.

Ventilation wasn't an issue

A trip to the welder and a request to fix the two holes and a small check of the front bumper (as advised by Mr MOT).
It was quite amusing to see the comments on facebook the next day, from the welder.

Oblivious to the fact I may actually read his facebook page, it appears perhaps the small hole in the bumper wasnt so small....

And so I had my blank canvas....and no idea what next.

Having never had a working fridge, and not really keen on sticking portaloos in it to make it a portable toilet, I went with my basic requirements:

I needed a full width bed, a decent kitchen, and that was about it.  Sleep and food, and I'm happy.

And so the planning began...bits of paper thrown everywhere, scribbles, doodles, my own brand of shorthand, that is so quick and efficient, but even I cant understand it.  Google was my friend, along with facebook groups 'camper conversion', ' self build vans' , 'I'm not right in the head, taking this on', and 'how the fk do i mend my bodge job', I also got round to creating my own pinterest board, Tillies conversion.

Luxurious covers off
I started with the first power tool I know how to handle...the sewing machine...

So the old green covers came off (I was a bit heart broken about this, and still had regrets about what I was doing, until i looked at them, battered and sun bleached, and realised they weren't actually made from fabric that was hand dyed, stamped and woven from a gossomer flies testicles)

New covers finished
And so after a bit of a tussle the newly made chenille patchwork covers and curtains were in pride of place.  Feeling rather proud, I stuck them on facebook.

Not so proud when some Aussie commented 'It looks like a clown has exploded' :(

If ever you are short of a trestle, get a labrador
So flying along, using my usual method of measurements, I started on fitting the shelves along the sides and making the slat bed...

....'so that's 30cm, by 2ft, by 1m, by 18 inch, plus just over the length of my hand, then'...

Before...Help me, Teddy

And the bed frame is made!
Next job was repair the panels, and re-carpet everywhere, lay the vinyl flooring

Girly stuff, added

Onto the cupboard that I actually ordered after careful measuring, ended up 2cm too long, and I couldn't get to the rear door handle.  Resulting in me cutting the whole thing down and screwing it back together again.  Using a few bodged carpentry skills, a ton of wax in varying
shades (from a vile yellow orange, to a more stripped back basic finish), my pallet cupboard was taking shape

Perfect, apart from the extra 2cm

Marking it down for sawing 

Arghhhh, its orange now

From the basic core.....

Starting to take shape finally! Trimmed, waxed, cooker inserted, and random tiles added

Electrics were next.  Not having a whole shed load of confidence, and not wanting to get fried, I took a whole album of gorgeous pre-wired rcd unit pictures.  When dementia kicks in, I will look at these wistfully, and think 'what the hell are these for?'

Sockets & Lights fitted

Testing, testing

12v was the next task, after 3 years I finally have a radio, usb ports, all mod cons (apart from power steering and brakes)

A bit more carpentry (a circular saw is very similar to a sewing machine, after a few weeks) and the top quality wood (offcuts of shite pallet) were transformed into a bed end

A few removable hinges, and it was finished

On the home run now, so finally time to do the girly stuff, adding curtains & cushions

Home sweet home
Finally, a full size bed.
Adding a map for the travels...and to replace the peeling vinyl

Where to, next?

A few last additions - Making an extension for the table

And an awning

.......Don't Forget meeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!




A couple of last minute additions of wire cages for the lamps (bumpy roads were knocking the bulbs about a bit)

And a last minute storage holder, so I don't sleep on top of my phone...

And still not think there's nothing else and then...ooh perhaps a cover for the cooker, to protect it

That must be it...definitely finished...nothing else...oooooh, how about a fly screen curtain...

So some coffee sacks, random picture cut out of fabric, and a few hours applique!

Don't look too closely at the owl....

From the interior, looking out

Mum, this is so boring....

Summer 2017

Still adding bits as usual, and decided the roof looked a bit grim.. So using the leftover spray adhesive from the carpet liner, I cut and glued some fabric.  Bit more insulation for her

And it never ends....obsessed with making random rubbish, i am now putting stuff up, then changing it 5 minutes later....I think I need another project..

We started with crochet bunting...

Then moved onto polar bears.....

And now are currently rocking an elephants head...

What can I do next....?


  1. Loved reading this. Made me smile & chuckle. You are one courageous chick to take this on but what a fantastic result.

  2. Love your Graffatent. I see you have a carpet under your rugs, I'm trying to find a tent carpet to fit a Touareg, which I'd you get?Many thanks

    1. Hi - I use an outwell Bear Lake 6 tent carpet - it fits perfectly :)

  3. Loved reading this. Made me smile & chuckle. You are one courageous chick to take this on but what a fantastic result.

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  4. Only just caught up with this. What a fantastic job you've done, the inside looks gorgeous now - well done! :)


CRAFTY POST - My revolting conservatory-camping-store-room, really needed a makeover....

Finished!  So I get asked, where do I store all my camping kit? The answer is