Graphic Artist Luke has been vanning for 20 years. Although he claims to be hopeless DIY’er, he is constantly tinkering and evolving his Delica Van. He’s actively involved in NZ Adaptive Surfers. In 2017 Luke represented NZ in San Diego at the Adaptive Surfing World Games.
‘I think it just started out as a way to stay at the beach without having to put up a tent. My first was van was a Ford Falcon panel van (mattress in back). Next was a Nissan Caravan that came converted and worked really well. After the Nissan succumbed to rust I bought the Delica.
The Delica is a popular conversion because they’re 4WD and cheap! I picked mine up for 5K 200K on clock. They’re cheap for a reason though. They’re old wagons that need a lot of TLC so befriend a mechanic. I found a good resource for parts and ideas is NZ’s Delica FB group. JOIN HERE
A key thing for me is to be able to chill inside the van when it is wet or windy and not feel cramped. The layout of the Nissan was good. Two comfy bench seats and a table that convert into a bed. The kitchen is behind the back seats which works best for me. Less mess in van – it also meant I didn’t have to remove it when taking the seats in and out which I need to transport 5 kids. The design is pretty simple.
Space for two chilly bins, draw, two cupboards with fold down table and two plastic bins. The van came with racks. I put everything I can on the roof to get it out of the way. The roof box is great for extra storage which I access through the sunroof.
Under the roof box is a PVC pipe full of water. I became a bit obsessed with water after a trip to Great Barrier Island so I customised a plastic drum to fit in the spare tyre hold. I now have a good tyre repair kit 🙂 I’m super unhandy so got my builder dad to give me a hand. I gave him a design that changed by the hour as he pointed out what wouldn’t work. My wife made the cushions (thanks baby) – still waiting on those curtains (3 years now 😉
Luke’s Five Tips for Better Recreation;
1. Tents suck
2. Water – you can never have enough
3. It can be clear skies in the morning and cyclonic by the afternoon
4. Have space to relax in crap weather
5. Stap it down – things move when you do