1984 freight rover sherpa

Local Couple Convert Rare Van Into Off-Grid Home

A local couple from Southwold have recently bought their second van that they plan to turn into their own portable home as they get set to venture off around the world post-pandemic.

Abbie and Toby (@our.roaminghome) have been planning towards an off-grid lifestyle of travel in their own-build campervan, a classic 1984 Freight Rover Sherpa named Betty. They spent the first lockdown building Betty into a campervan from scratch and their plans haven’t stopped there.

Now completed, the pair are putting Betty up for sale after finding their dream van, a rare 2004 Mercedes Vario, named Vinnie, for which they plan to convert and travel in.

Toby told the Ipswich Star in a recent interview, “We never wanted sales jobs, but we have always wanted to travel and spend time on the roads. 

“We love the idea of being independent and living off-grid, being amongst nature. There is so much more to life, and happiness is much more important than money.”

In their new van, they’re aiming to build a platform bed with storage space underneath, a kitchen, shower, compost toilet and a large seating area. Using the intuitive spatial design, Abby and Toby will be able to create a compact but cosy space to live in.

However they’re not just stopping at the basics, the couple is also planning on installing an instant boiler and log burner for those colder trips, a projector fitted in the ceiling, solar panels for on-the-go electricity and a wooden roof deck, perfect to take in their surroundings and watch the sunset.

Their long-term plan is to buy a food trailer to pull behind Vinnie, earning money as they go.

Here’s a few photos from Abbie and Toby’s Instagram page: @our.roaminghome where you can keep up to date with their restoration and travels.