Living and traveling as a digital nomad is probably the ultimate #Vanlife dream- working remotely from your home office on wheels from whatever beach or mountain you choose to pitch up on, earning money to allow you to keep traveling. But in order to work from home, off-grid, you’re going to need a decent office set up, right?
Vanlife convert Matt Clarke took this idea to a new level, creating his own mobile office out of a Ford Transit van which has got everything a person could need in order to work, eat, sleep and play- it even has space for hauling a surfboard, and we’re going to take a look inside it.
The base van for the ultimate mobile office and surf wagon is a 2012 long wheel base Ford Transit with a 2.2L 123bhp diesel engine. It was purchased by Clarke with 135,000 miles (217,250km) on the clock, and took him around four months to convert. He left the van white with no major exterior modifications so as to create a stealth van for camping out in cities.
The interior is simplistic and minimal, with grey furniture and walls accented with light pine wood and a solid oak floor built onto Line-X plywood. The van is insulated with rockwool and foam insulation, with the living/working space at the front and the kitchen/bathroom occupying the rear.
A convertible sofa with integrated storage dominates one half of the space, and pulls out into a comfy double bed at night, with a wardrobe adjacent for clothes storage. Above the bed hangs a surfboard rack mounted onto the roof, which can be moved to make way for a drop down shelf.
Next to this, mounted to the bulkhead, you’ll find the van’s office in the form of a computer cabinet box, of which the face can be dropped down on struts to create an instant workspace for an iMac (as seen in the photos), PC or laptop. The box is lockable for security and can also be used as a table or dining space. No good workspace would be complete without music either, and this one includes an audio system with Cambridge speakers and a Pioneer receiver.
But the force behind digital nomadism is a strong internet connection, and this van’s got three of them. As well as the three antennas mounted on the roof it has a 3G/4G MiFi connection, a 2.4/5GHz antenna for picking up WiFi signals from cafes or campsites etc, and a wired-in router which shares the internet connection equally across multiple devices.
Powering this mighty off-grid set-up are three 115Ah leisure batteries, an external 240V hook up and a 200W solar panel, although the batteries can also be charged from the van’s alternator via a split charge relay. The van is complete with 12V and 240V power outlets all around.
Now, what’s the final ingredient in the ultimate off-grid office recipe? Coffee, of course! No digital nomad can be expected to work without a fresh brew, but luckily this van’s kitchen is fully equipped with a dual burner stove, a Thetford Duplex oven and grill and an 80L Dometic fridge/freezer.
This Transit van even manages to squeeze in a wet bath with toilet and shower, and feeding this shower, as well as the kitchen sink, is a 90L fresh water tank with a Truma boiler to heat it.
Should you wish to take a break from working, the van comes equipped with a fold-out awning for chill sessions, and it’s even got a handy Boomerang holder mounted onto the kitchen unit.
There’s no compromise between working and living space in this Ford Transit van conversion, and what sounds more idyllic than sipping a freshly brewed cup of coffee, gazing out of your van door at the view while you tackle some work on your computer?
Unfortunately, this van is one of a kind, created by Matt Clarke as an “off-grid, surf, live and work stealth camper van”. He has since sold the van due to a change of plans for a bargain £15,000 ($19,350), but it’s great to take a look at different van conversion styles, get some ideas and draw inspiration.