Anna Kilcooley -

As hipster as the hashtag, the instagram community replacing the conventional campervan of yesteryear with its own DIY conversions. No more mildewy cushions and formica surfaces, think hand-built pine units, slick lighting and the odd (very handsome) dog.

We never went camping as kids except for the odd night set up in someone’s garden. Inevitably, the first owl would hoot and we’d run screaming back into the house. There was also the occassion I woke up completely engulfed by the scout-style tent we were sleeping in, and decided it was better just to go back to sleep like some sort of canvas mummy than deal with it. Sleeping outdoors? Not for me.

It was only when I started working at festivals that I realised there was a whole world of stylish campers. On my way past a rusty Bedford, I noticed a few fairylights peeking out the back. The owner invited me to have a look, and instead of paint on the floor and bare metal walls, was beautiful pine panels, a full set up kitchen and single tealight burning on the raw-edged oak table.

I was hooked.

Check out these conversions – how could you not be green with envy?

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A few years later and I’ve got my own tiny van (known as a micro-camper in the #vanlife community). It’s an ex-postie van, small, but perfectly formed. The freedom it affords me is incredible. No need to plan trips weeks ahead, stuffing a car full of mildewy canvas, and worse, having to pack up a damp tent at the end of a weekend. Instead, it’s park up, open the doors and crack open a beer. There’s a whole world of tiny campers to make me jealous, (check out @PamtheVan for the ultimate micro-camper)

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There’s always someone willing to sell you the e-book telling you how they quit their job and converted an old library bus into a camper nicer than your house, so if inspiration takes you, everything you need is right there. Who knows, you might even be featured on our #vanlife mark II blog.