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The Vanlife Companion front cover
The Vanlife Companion Ian Dow

15/4/2019

Book review: The Vanlife Companion

This inspiring new book from Lonely Planet explores the wonderful world of campervans – with ideas for converting a van yourself, practical advice, and some fascinating personal stories about this type of travel.


The freedom of the open road is something that many of us hanker after – and having your own home on wheels means you can have truly independent and spontaneous adventures.

The Vanlife Companion is split into three sections. In the first section, practical advice and information is given on all aspects of campervan travel – from choosing the best sort of vehicle to suit your needs, to conversion ideas and travelling tips for the road.


The second section focuses on some of the people who have made this dream their reality: buying a van, getting it ready for life on the road, then setting out on their adventures.


These stories are inspirational. For example, Mirte van Dijk who inherited her love of her travel – as well as her van – from her parents, and is now roaming Europe in a converted Citroën HY. Also known as 'Mister H', Mirte's van is eco-friendly, with solar panels for off-grid energy.  

The Vanlife Companion converted Citroen

These stories are inspirational. For example, Mirte van Dijk who inherited her love of her travel – as well as her van – from her parents, and is now roaming Europe in a converted Citroën HY (pictured above). Also known as 'Mister H', Mirte's van is eco-friendly, with solar panels for off-grid energy.

Then there's Caroline Winslow, an environmental policy graduate who wanted to minimise her carbon footprint as much as possible. Electricity in Caroline's Ram ProMaster is solar-powered, allowing her to live off-grid in the van year-round. The stylish and comfortable interior was created using natural, reclaimed materials.

The Vanlife Companion Ram Promaster

Ben and Mande Tucker converted a school bus and installed a unique outdoor shower

The Vanlife Companion converted school bus

The third and final section of The Vanlife Companion offers some fantastic ideas for road trips you can take once your van is ready to go.


Fancy looking out for wild koalas, and walking high up in the rainforest canopy, along Australia's Great Ocean Road? Or exploring ancient cities and spectacular scenery on an Italian grand tour? These are just two of the exciting worldwide tour ideas that are sure to give you wanderlust.

The Vanlife Companion is illustrated throughout with stunning photography, as well as handy maps. And this book is not just for people planning a van conversion. It's also relevant for anyone with an interest in campervans, motorhomes or camping – or indeed any aspect of adventure travel.


Photographs reproduced with permission from Lonely Planet © 2018

The Vanlife Companion
The Vanlife Companion campervan