THE CONVERSION

WE DON'T BUILD CAMPERVANS

Each and every van we breathe on here is a passion project. They are individually numbered and signed as they leave the Atelier. We like our peaches picked fresh off the tree rather than from a tin and we're choosy about those peaches too. If a certain build isn't us, what we'd hypothetically be delivering back wouldn't be you. Elitist? Far from it. We believe being true to ourselves is only fair and we'd be doing ourselves a disservice breathing on something we didn't entirely and truly embody. We've worked hard mapping, plotting and perfecting the interior shapes of the models we love and consequently can only build and work to the shapes we've worked so hard to get right. We're no custom house either. As Henry Ford once said 'you can choose any colour you want, as long as its Black'.  

WE WERE OUR OWN FIRST CUSTOMERS.

The way these modern workhorses are used has been evolving. Gone are the days of having an outright campervan just for camping, or a work van just for the nine-to-five. As vans become more environmentally friendly, economical, efficient and useable, the way they’re being used has changed too.

 

It’s fair to say on a personal level we’ve always kept van-life flexible; while the van first and foremost needed to be a home away from home, it has also had to meet the demands of daily life. As we’ve forged our path it’s become even more relevant that a van can well and truly meet the work/ life/ adventure balance. 

PEOPLE, PLACES, CULTURE, LEARNING ABOUT YOURSELF, THIS IS WHAT TRAVELLING ON THE ROAD EMBODIES MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE. 

Monday to Friday we needed to haul boxes to and from the warehouse; at the weekend it had to carry boards, boys and help a friend move house at the drop of hat. Come Autumn it then had to be home as we chased summer South spending extended week on the road. The realisation that with a whole lot less, the varied demands placed on this modern workhorse could found. We'd so often witnessed these vans, once lightweight, fun-to-drive, useful tools fall under the common curse of 'campervan conversion' to then be case aside on the driveway as they were only capable of being the moving kitchen.

The notion of the van being ‘pimped.’ Big wardrobes, TV’s, heavy fold-up beds, elaborate cookers, we wanted the opposite of excess, the bulk and weight had to go which let the core idea of van-life breathe. 

The reason we found ourselves using our vans is to get outside, explore and escape. To find the feeling of freedom. This small contemporary moving space needed few materials and ones that worked with the environments we find ourselves in. The focus was on traveling light, utilising outside space, and on being outside rather than in. 

A light van is a good van. It’s a very different experience to driving a fully laden one. With saving weight high on the agenda, we set about sourcing materials more often associated with open ocean yacht racing, disciplines where strength, weight saving, longevity and smart storage were paramount. 

It was a similar story for the hardware. We've worked closely within the sailing industry referring to 'marine grade' often. The pulleys, blocks and the components that comprise of the suspended carbon fibre bed has a DNA embedded in the sail loft. 

WE'VE SEARCHED HIGH AND LOW TO FIND THE RIGHT MATERIALS. THEY HAVE BEEN HUNTED DOWN AND PURPOSED FOR THEIR SPECIFIC ROLES, ALL WHILE KEEPING ONE EYE ON THE ENVIRONMENT. 

We measured, mapped and digitised the spaces to create an elaborate network of shapes that make up the interior floor. The outcome is a seamless modular unit, which follows the exact form of the van and fits together effortlessly. The conversion is designed to use the original bolt threads and natural shapes in the chassis to prevent permanent alterations to the van requiring zero invasive surgery. 

The Carbon Fibre and Dacron double bunk drop by un-cleating a single line. This contemporary solution allows the bed to be stored in the roof in a matter of seconds, keeping bedding stowed discreetly while turning the van back into a practical working vehicle.

WE'VE SEARCHED TIRELESSLY TO FIND THE RIGHT PEOPLE TO WORK WITH FOR THIS PROJECT. THIS IN TURN HAS LEAD TO US USING THE BEST POSSIBLE MATERIALS, OVERCOMING BIG HURDLES AND ULTIMATELY FINDING INNOVATIVE SOLUTIONS. 

Since day one we have taken a pioneering approach to making a better, more understated and useful product, challenging and innovating, seeking alternatives to what has gone before. We’re committed to making informed decisions about our impact on the environment while pushing boundaries to make the best products we can. Our interpretation of realising how these contemporary moving spaces can work to their fullest potential is a big moment for us and we believe our interpretation to be a game-changer, not only pushing the boundaries functionally but perhaps transforming the work, life adventure balance these vehicles can be capable of. 


If you have a van that you would like STITCHES + STEEL to breathe on, or you'd like help sourcing a van to convert, or maybe just to hand us the batten entirely.  We'd be thrilled to talk you through, and how the theconversion@stitchesandsteel.com can work. Introduce yourself and your project via email.