They’ve pimped this ride! Couple who didn’t want to settle down and buy a house spend £21,000 turning a van into a cosy home to tour the UK in – complete with a wet room, solar panels and kitchen

  • Couple, from Yorkshire, have spent £21,000 to turn a van into a luxury home
  • Courtney Stevens and James Mechan didn’t want to be stuck in one place
  • Van now includes thermostat heating, a wet room and a stylish sitting area

A couple have spent £21,000 transforming a work van into a luxury home after insisting they don’t feel ready to settle down and buy a house.

Courtney Stevens, 27, from Skipton in Yorkshire, and her partner, James Mechan, 32, explained that they didn’t want to be stuck in one place when purchasing a property.  

As such, the pair decided to buy a van for £6,500 instead, and give it a lavish £14,500 makeover – which included thermostat heating, a wet room, an over-head wardrobe, and a sitting area that converts into a king-size bed. 

The transformation took 18 months, and James, a senior SEO strategist, and Courtney, a communications manager, now live in the five metre by two metre vehicle full time, travelling around the UK and Europe while they work from home. 

James Mechan and Courtney Stevens (pictured) have spent £21,000 transforming a work van into a luxury home after insisting they don’t feel ready to settle down and buy a house


The couple explained that they didn’t want to be stuck in one place when purchasing a property. Pictured, the van after its makeover

As such, the pair decided to buy a van for £6,500 instead, and give it a lavish £14,500 makeover – which included thermostat heating, a wet room, an over-head wardrobe, and a sitting area that converts into a king-size bed (pictured)

‘We decided we wanted to live in a camper van so that we could feel freer and less constrained by the typical life ladder,’ said Courtney.

‘It also gave us an excuse to ruthlessly purge our belongings and take stock of what possessions were important to us. By living in a five metre by two metre space you only keep what you need and what brings you joy.’

The pair, who document their travels on Instagram at @DrivingDeeDee, found the van listed on eBay and it took 18 months for the duo to complete the transformation while working full time.


Courtney, a communications manager, and James (pictured right) now live in the five metre by two metre vehicle (pictured left) full time, travelling around the UK and Europe while they work from home

The pair document their travels on Instagram at @DrivingDeeDee. Pictured, Courtney working on the van’s new parts


The couple found the van (pictured before the £21,000 makeover) listed on eBay and it took 18 months for the duo to complete the transformation while working full time

Courtney said: ‘We knew that we did not want a plain white van, so when we saw this bright bold orange van we instantly loved it. It had good mileage for its age and had the least bumps and scrapes compared to others that we saw. 

‘We did everything ourselves, and we are complete DIY novices. We did not even know how to put a shelf up before the van project. 

‘So I think this also why it took so long because we were learning how to do stuff on the job. Everything from the plumbing to the carpentry. We used Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube to help us with our research for the project.’

James working on the van during the transformation, which cost £21,000 overall and took 18 months to complete


Courtney (pictured right) said: ‘We did everything ourselves, and we are complete DIY novices. We did not even know how to put a shelf up before the van project’

The van is now a stunning and fully liveable space and kitted out with all the necessary amenities and home comforts (pictured) including thermostat heating to see them through the cold British winters

The van is now a stunning and fully liveable space and kitted out with all the necessary amenities and home comforts including thermostat heating to see them through the cold British winters.

Courtney said: ‘The van has a wet room with a hot water shower and a toilet. There is over-head wardrobe space for all of our belongings and a sitting area that converts to an extremely comfy super king-size bed.

‘We have solar panels on the roof which powers all of our devices, we even have Wi-Fi which enables us to do our jobs remotely and work on the road. There is also a kitchen area with a sink and running hot water, large fridge and a portable stove.’

‘We were not ready for the whole settle down and buy a house thing. We wanted a better work-life balance, so this seemed like the perfect solution,’ Courtney said. Pictured, the van at a beauty spot on a road trip

Recalling the moment the van’s transformation was completed, Courtney said: ‘It was so rewarding to step back and see the end result.’ Pictured, the van as the couple bought it

She added: ‘Moving into our van has been perfect for us. We wanted to be able to travel more, so living in a van would give us the ability to explore more and also limited our impact on the environment.

‘We were not ready for the whole settle down and buy a house thing. We wanted a better work-life balance, so this seemed like the perfect solution.’

Recalling the moment the van’s transformation was completed, she continued: ‘It was so rewarding to step back and see the end result. We had a real sense of accomplishment, we had dedicated so much time and hard work, we were so proud of it.

‘We thought “wow, we have really built this”. We could not believe it was finally complete and we could move in. We love living in the van and being able to travel to wherever we like while working on the go. We have no plans of not living in the van any time soon.’ 

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