In just about every do-it-yourself camper conversion we've seen, the vehicle either already has a tall roof or gets one during the build. That's not the case with Kath, the woman behind this ordinary-yet-extraordinary 2007 Ford E-250. She specifically wanted something with a low roof for easier manoeuvrability in cities, where her home on wheels doubles as the base of operations for her jewellery business.
The result is a plain wrapper on the outside with a warm, cosy living space within. In a video from Tiny Home Tours on YouTube, Kath says she built the van herself, with about $20,000 (approx. £16,000) invested. This is her full-time home, and she says it's important for full-timers like her to build a van that feels like a proper home. That's why she has a bed permanently built at the back, so she can crash out for a nap anytime without having to set things up.
It's also why there's a permanent two-burner gas stove in the small kitchen. An 11-pound (5 kilogram) propane tank lasts about six months, and she uses about five gallons (19 litres) of fresh water a week. It's dispensed through the faucet with a simple foot pump, which helps her conserve water. A basic camp toilet serves as the bathroom. The only thing missing is a shower. But considering this is a standard-length Ford van with a low roof, we'd say she's doing pretty well.
In the video, Kath confesses to liking antiques and locally sourced art. Oftentimes we see camper builds that emphasise function over aesthetics, so it's nice to see something that actually looks like a home. Knick-knacks are placed around the stove, art is hanging off the walls, and the onboard electronics – a 100 amp-hour lithium-ion battery and a 1,000-watt inverter – are neatly stored beneath a rustic-themed bench seat.
And while we automotive writers aren't always as creative as we'd like to be, we adore Kath's antique typewriter (an old Remington perhaps?) being put to good use. Her kitchen table doubles as a desk, pivoting over the bed to create a comfortable workspace.
Kath says there's just 20 square feet (1.85 square meters) of space in the van. Between the video tour and photos posted to her Instagram account, she's clearly done a fantastic job of converting the available room into a delightful home.