Hippo Motor Finance recently had a Summer Family Day to celebrate our tenth anniversary. It was an amazing day thanks to the bright sunny weather and fantastic guests. We quenched our thirst with a mobile bar that came in the shell of the VW Camper van. That gave us an idea to see what other van conversions exist currently in the world.
It is amazing to see how many converted vans there are in use for a variety of different uses, some official and some personal. Each has it owns specific use and may give some of you ideas for your very own van conversion.
The Emergency Van
These are vans that have been converted for official emergency service use.
Police vans can be converted for a whole manner of purpose. The Police convert vans into mobile holding cells, while they transport arrested people from the scene of the crime to the police station. It isn’t a major change, but it is still a form of conversion. Police convert vans into mobile speed cameras to catch dangerous drivers speeding where they may otherwise not be a stationary speed camera. There are Dog Transport Vehicles, which must follow the regulations set out by DEFRA RSPCA ensuring there is a sound reducing bulkhead and is fully sealed and drained with emergency exits.
There are Prison Transport Vehicles, which are vans fitted with full containment cells with a full range of security options to allow the safe and secure transport of prisoners, whether it be to court or prison.
Ambulances are simply converted vans for medical use. That includes all the medical equipment, seats and stretchers. There are also vans converted into Patient Transport Vehicles that are minibuses with large glass windows picking up patients if they couldn’t otherwise make the journey to the hospital. There are small vans converted for the use of wheelchair access that picks up those confined to a wheelchair and transports them to their appointment.
The fire brigade converts vans into Mobile Stations, which include communications systems, power and electrical distribution and additional equipment.
There is a breakdown company that calls itself the Fourth Emergency Service. They converted their vans to include diagnostic equipment, jacks, axle stands, tools, parts and car batteries to do any repair job needed. If your car requires more work, then their vans include a compact recovery trailer to tow your car to a garage.
The Party Van
Many of us love the great outdoors, but the British weather is fickle at best. That means we need to create a van that allows us to party, relax in the sun or take cover when the clouds roll in. Converted vans are popping up with BBQs, electric grills, rotisseries and more to offer delicious cooked food, whether as a service or just for a personal party.
These either take place in a van or a converted trailer towed by a car. The most popular conversion choice is the old fashioned horse box.
We’ve mentioned the bar van that came to our event, but we can’t forget the food van. It is similar to the party van, except these vans can be used for a variety of different foods. They usually take vintage vans and transform them into food trucks.
These vans can sell hot dogs, pizzas, ice creams and burgers. If you see one, make sure you stop and enjoy whatever they have on offer. Again, these either appear as old fashioned horse boxes or classic VW Camper vans. You will see them at popular locations like rest stops on dual carriageways, tourist destinations like landmarks and forest resorts to name a few.
The Sleeping Van
Festival goers and those of you who hate camping in tents and hotels will be thinking of alternative ways of travelling and sleeping. The converted sleeper van is the choice. It includes an elevated roof giving you space to sleep at night. You can also convert the rest of the van into living quarters including seating, fridges and tables in the main body.
These were inspired by the original VW Camper van. VW is planning on resurrecting their purpose built camper van and releasing it next year. It will be one of the only non-converted camper vans on the market giving you a choice between converting your own or choosing the Volkswagen route.
That will allow you to go on road trips, park up and sleep before continuing the next day. Who needs hotels or tents?
For those of you with big parties needing some luxury travel, a school minibus isn’t going to cut it. Vans can be turned into luxury transportation. All it requires is a soft, luxury carpet on the floor, quality leather seats, a shelf for glasses and champagne and television on the wall. Don’t forget the mini fridge in the corner to keep all of your drinks, whether they be beers, cider, spirits or wine. Perfect to crack open when the time comes!
That allows you to be transported in style and comfort while enjoying your party. This van is perfect for stag and hen dos, birthdays and school proms. Get dressed in your best suit or frock and head out to that party.