Backpacking couple convert an £8,000 van into a home on wheels

Backpacking couple convert an £8,000 van into a home on wheels and explore the UK and France with their baby son

  • Sarah McWilliams and her partner Neil Quantrill have been travelling around the world for the past 10 years
  • Last September their son, Reggie Mac, was born, but it hasn’t stopped the couple from exploring new places 
  • They adapted their Volkswagen Transporter T5 van and have been travelling around the UK and France in it   

A backpacking couple converted their van into a ‘home on wheels’ so their baby can travel with them safely – and they’ve been trundling around the UK and France together since he was born last September.  

Sarah McWilliams, 34, and her partner Neil Quantrill, 38, from Weymouth, Dorset, have been travelling to different countries around the world for the past 10 years. 

And when their baby boy Reggie Mac was born, they didn’t want to stop exploring new places.

Sarah McWilliams, a backpacker from Dorset, who has been travelling around the UK and France with her partner Neil Quantrill and baby son Reggie Mac in their van 

The couple have made adaptations to their van, which is their ‘home on wheels’ so Reggie can travel with them safely 

Sarah said: ”We don’t want to stop travelling and exploring just because we have a baby so we instead adapted our van’ 

Neil, Sarah and Reggie Mac enjoy the view on their travels. The couple bought their Volkswagen Transporter T5 for £8,000 and spent £1,000 converting it 

The couple bought their Volkswagen Transporter T5 in 2013 for £8,000 and spent around £1,000 installing basic extras such as a bed and storage.

Since then they have visited many locations in the UK, such as the New Forest, Hampshire, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, the Lake District, the Peak District, Wales and Scotland – plus France, Spain, Portugal and Croatia.

Sarah said: ‘In recent years and after having done our time living out of a backpack we decided to buy a home on wheels.

‘Last year we had a gorgeous baby boy and our adventure became even more exciting.

Sarah said: ‘Reggie has now adapted to van life perfectly. We used to go off-grid all the time and I think the biggest thing was to see if we were brave enough to do that with Reggie and we were and it was fine’ 

Sarah explained: ‘We choose not to stay in campsites and prefer to wild camp in the woods, next to lakes, on beaches and in mountains – we’ve just always made sure we were prepared’ 


Reggie enjoys the view from his bed in the van, left, and poses for the camera with Sarah, right 

Sarah says that Reggie sleeps better in the van than at home. She added: ‘We said we are going to go away all the time if he’s going to sleep better!’ 


Sarah Sarah enjoys a drink on the roof of the van, left, while Reggie climbs over logs, right. Sarah said: ‘I think babies just adapt to what you do’ 

The family have now swapped their van for a bigger vehicle and are planning to transform it for a trip to Morocco 

‘We don’t want to stop travelling and exploring just because we have a baby so we instead adapted our van and had some epic adventures in the UK and France.

‘The first time we did it, we worried whether it would be too much for him, if he was going to be warm enough, all those questions all new parents ask themselves anyway.

‘But he was fine, he slept better in the van than he does at home. We said we are going to go away all the time if he’s going to sleep better!

‘He has now adapted to van life perfectly. We used to go off-grid all the time and I think the biggest thing was to see if we were brave enough to do that with Reggie and we were and it was fine – I think babies just adapt to what you do.

‘We choose not to stay in campsites and prefer to wild camp in the woods, next to lakes, on beaches and in mountains – we’ve just always made sure we were prepared.’

The pair, who document their travels on Instagram, have now swapped their van for a bigger one and are planning to transform it fully and eventually take their first big trip to Morocco.

Sarah added: ‘After our recent travels to France and it being a bit of a squeeze, we decided to look for a bigger van but still small enough to be stealthy.

‘We have found the perfect home to be on wheels and have just started the conversion we have big dreams and are going to do as much of the conversion as we can ourselves to save on cost but also use the experts where we need it.’

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