Van Builder Stories: Nomads Campervan Creations

Team from Nomads Creations

Van Builder Stories: Nomads Campervan Creations

Buy or Sell Campers

Buy or Sell Campers

16 February 2023

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📷 @nomads_creations
👥 nomadscreationsvans 
📍 Dawlish, Devon, UK 
🚐 Building vans since: 2020

It was love at first lockdown for Nomads Campervan Creations!

Holly and Chris from Nomad Creations met a long way from home – on a deployment with the British Royal Navy in the Far East. A nomadic life was the norm for this well-travelled couple, who first landed on the idea of converting vans into the perfect home-on-wheels while navigating the waves of the Indian Ocean in 2018. 

But it wasn’t until the first UK lockdown in 2020 that their van conversion dreams came true, starting with a small build-out, and progressing from there.

Carpentry is in their blood – both Holly and Chris come from long lines of carpenters – so it was a natural move for them, especially once they’d sold their first camper van conversion. Spurred on by the satisfaction of that sale – and powered by a deep-rooted motivation to help others live the life of adventure they love – Nomads Campervan Creations was born (so you could say it was a ‘lockdown baby’!)

Today, their ‘cosy-home-on-wheels’ approach to van conversions makes them a popular choice for custom-build commissions. Starting from the ground-up, these guys don’t offer a signature build, it’s bespoke all the way, with layouts to guide you.

So guys, tell us where it all began...

Hello, we’re Holly & Chris – nomads at heart and passionate about our campervan creations!

We’ve been lucky enough to travel the world both in our previous military careers and just for fun, but craftsmanship and good design is in our DNA. We were both brought up by generations of carpenters – both of our fathers and grandfathers’ had an interest in carpentry, design and craftwork.

In addition to working with his father and grandfather in their workshops, Chris developed his creative skills working at a sheet metal fabrication company and in the automotive industry. Eager to see the world, he then embarked on a new adventure and spent 12 years in the Royal Navy. He went onto complete his 18th Edition Electricians Qualification during his Royal Navy resettlement period.

Holly spent much of her childhood travelling with her family and working with her father in his wood workshop. Keen to help people, she pursued a career as a Physiotherapist for the Army and Royal Navy. During this time, she was further able to experience travelling the world and realised her goal of helping others to do the same.

From our combined love of travel, passion for craftsmanship and our hard-work ethic, Nomads Campervan Creations was born!


What's unique about Nomads Campervan Creations?

We make our entire build process completely customer focused. We aim to deliver their van to the highest standard, to their exact specification to allow them to have the van life they want. Our high standards and attention to detail set us apart from a lot of other builders.

Tell us about your build style and approach - what can clients expect from you?

We take our inspiration from homes and from the beautiful natural world we live in. We believe our vans should feel like a cosy home on wheels, a home away from home and as such they should be homely, stylish and comfortable. Our themes and concepts are inspired by nature, natural products and bringing the outdoors within.

Whats the most popular van package/design/style?

Bespoke build service – we don’t currently offer ‘signature’ builds. We have had the most positive feedback from our ‘Bolt’ layout and ‘Fern’ layouts.

Converted camper van interior with blue cabinets
'Bolt' camper van layout
Converted camper van interior with teal cabinets
'Fern' camper van layout

What’s your favourite layout, and why?

Bolt layout. It’s welcoming and sociable. It allows an amazing view of the park-up location. Offers so much space for a van. And it has everything – kitchen, shower, garage, dog bed, fixed full sized bed, spacious lounge area… It’s gorgeous on the outside, too!

What’s your favourite van base to build from, and why?

Mercedes Sprinter camper vans – you can’t beat the quality and durability of a Mercedes Sprinter. VW Crafter camper vans come in a close second.

Do you take built-to-order commissions?

Yes! This is our bread and butter.

We work with the customer from the outset to design their perfect van.

We start off with by sending the client a bespoke conversion enquiry form, which helps us to identify exactly what the customer wants from their van, how they will use it and to allow us to give an initial estimate. We then work with the customer to design the perfect layout for their needs (pets, kids, hobbies etc). Once this has been agreed, we have 3D CAD images drawn up of the layout to show the customer exactly how their van will be.

At this stage the customer can make changes to the specification/layout as desired, until they are perfectly happy with their van – from interior design to textiles and fabric choices. Once the customer is happy, we accept their deposit and start building their van-life dream!

Help us end the eternal debate: which is the best shower format, and why? No shower...outside shower...pop-up shower...fixed shower...

Our personal preference is for a fixed, hot internal shower, with a fixed hot water garage shower too! Perfect for warming up on a cold day inside the van, washing the dog/surf boards off outdoors!

Let's cut the crap, give us your top toilet recommendation, and tell us why!

Portable compost toilets all the way. Despite their price, you can’t beat being eco-friendly and helping the planet we live on.

How do you live your best vanlife?

Surfing or paddle boarding, and mountain biking.

Cornwall coastline
Praa Sands, Cornwall

Where’s the best vanlife destination?

Cornwall – Praa Sands. In the van you can park up to the coastline, open the back doors and look out to sea. Walking along the beach, you could easily think you are somewhere in the Mediterranean!

Are there any particular ride-or-die brands you insist on for your builds?

Victron, Roamer, Maxx Air, Thetford, Truma, Dometic. You cannot beat high quality products built to last, backed with good warrantees.

What do you think will be the next big thing for vans?

Electric van conversions.

What's one van item that you couldn't live without on your journeys? and why?

Aeropress – because coffee is life. Or perhaps more practically, a decent heater – Truma all the way!

What's your message to people just starting or thinking about getting into vanlife?

Do it. Rent as many vans as you can before you buy your own, so you can figure out exactly what you love/hate about certain features or layouts.

One of our customers probably said it best: “We were saving up to buy a house, but decided to buy a van from Nomads Creations instead, and it was the best decision we ever made – truly life changing.”.

What are the must-ask questions when buying a camper van?

  • Did you do the electrics yourself?
  • Has it been professionally converted?
  • Has it got/had a habitation check?
  • Has it been weighed since the conversion has been completed?
  • Ask to see the service history/MOT
  • What was the camper’s previous life before being converted?

Why go pro, rather than fly solo on a conversion?

So many reasons!

  • Professional
  • Warranty available
  • Top quality
  • Understanding the pitfalls that DIY builders may not see – van weight, electrics safety etc Knowledge and understanding of safety requirements
  • Customer care/experience/aftercare
  • Reassurance and confidence in a large investment

What’s next? What are your dreams for your business?

Branch out to rental vans – we’d love to have a fleet of vans that our customers could test out for layouts, reassurance of build quality and features.

Let's connect...

📷 @nomads_creations
👥 nomadscreationsvans 
📍 Dawlish, Devon, UK 
🚐 Building vans since: 2020

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