Whether it’s a van conversion built for mountain biking or a burly beast ready for the backcountry, some of today’s newest campers prioritize adventure and gear over the comforts of home. But a small company in Oxford, England, is proving that vans can look more like tiny houses than roving gear haulers. Love campers and trailers? Come join our new community group.
Documented on their website, This Moving House, we’ve marveled at the work of Jack Richens and Lucy Hedges before when they converted a 2012 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter into a soothing retreat that sleeps a family of four.
Now, the team has a new van conversion, built for a unique client who regularly attends dog shows. Using the Volkswagen Crafter as a base, what This Moving House affectionately calls the ‘Dog Van’ includes a fixed double bed above a space normally reserved in other builds for a gear garage. But instead of bikes or skis, the Dog Van includes space for two dog kennels, perfect for four-legged friends on the road. The custom dog kennels are accessed from both inside the van and from the rear, and include wipe clean cladding to keep things from getting messy.
A special kennel for dogs was not the only unique request for this modest-size build; the client also asked for a guest bed. Known for their creative sleeping quarter designs, This Moving House designed a hidden slide out guest bed underneath the master bed above. Heavy-duty cross struts ensure that the bed can hold up to 265 pounds, and the bed slides cleanly out of the way during the day. Movable steps provide storage for a portable toilet and other items, and the overall effect is a sleek blue-and-white getaway with plenty of space.
A small kitchen includes a two-burner stove top, a copper faucet and sink, a micro-oven, a 12-volt fridge, and a bit of light blue counter space. Three seats in the cab swivel to face the living area, and the Dog Van cleverly hides a Eberspacher Diesel Night Heater under the bench.
Overall, it’s an innovative take on van design that works for both people and pets. And whether or not you have dogs, I can guarantee that there are a slew of DIY van hopefuls out there pining over this pull-out drawer bed system. For more build photos and video tours, head over to This Moving House on Instagram. And if you like what you see, This Moving House is taking commissions for new van conversions.