Viewing 28 posts - 1 through 28 (of 28 total)
  • WFH Van?
  • Premier Icon franksinatra
    Full Member

    I’ve always fancied a day van or small camper but when I’ve looked at it rationally I’ve never been able to justify it as simply wasn’t use it often enough. Three kids means five travelling so not suited to overnights in small van.

    Things change though. Kids are growing up and need less of my time. Also, this is the biggy, I work from home full time. I had been thinking about end of garden office room but don’t really need one as have got space in house and perhaps the money can be better spent being more mobile. So how about a WFH van? Space to work, just head out to van office on driveway. When at home I would hook-up and have hot air fan for heat. When I fancy it I could drive off to a nice spot to work for the day / a few days. Why not head hills or beach and work there, all I need is comfy chair, desk, coffee making facilities, heat and 4G signal. Just me, a few hours work then a ride. long dog walk, Netflix and self chill?

    Is this an entirely daft idea? Car needs replacing in 12 months or so, I hoping the current van market will drop a bit and prices become more sensible. What do you think I should be looking for or avoiding?

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    Netflix and self chill?

    Poor euphemism.

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Full Member

    Netflix and self chill

    TMI dude.

    Premier Icon Nobeerinthefridge
    Free Member

    That sounds a decent idea!

    Premier Icon earl_brutus
    Full Member

    “hoping the current van market will drop a bit and prices become more sensible”

    I think you and 6 million others are also waiting for this to happen which means inevitably -prices will still stay wild for the foreseeable, especially with international leisure travel still looking unlike for much of this year.

    otherwise its a great idea – but prepared to pay top $$$

    Premier Icon Tom-B
    Free Member

    Ignoring the ‘sherman tank’ stuff

    It’s definitely doable….we’ve moved into our motorhome for the forseeable whilst we do a barn conversion. My girlfriend is doing a day per week of emails/zoom meetings in there whilst her workplace is shut. No reason at all why she couldn’t do it parked up elsewhere.

    Only thing is, a day van is significantly more expensive than a garden office unless you’re buying something with mega miles and mega rust!

    Premier Icon trail_rat
    Free Member

    I used mine as an office when this was looking to be temporary ish.

    Tbh it’s an ergonomic night mare.

    After a couple of months I sacked it and had work send out a chair and desk for the garage.* But once moved in here I realised how much better it is for working.

    Be ok for occasional office use I guess.

    * Ok I was forced out by my dad coming to stay with us for 6 weeks and the van was the obvious place for him to stay.

    Premier Icon franksinatra
    Full Member

    Only thing is, a day van is significantly more expensive than a garden office unless you’re buying something with mega miles and mega rust!

    I have zero skills and zero time so not able to do work myself or keep a bucket running. But when looking at options I’m taking into account that I need to replace car. So potential budget is car replacement plus what I might have paid for garden room. Possibly.

    I should add that none of this has bene run past the house boss yet!

    Premier Icon nickjb
    Free Member

    Tbh it’s an ergonomic night mare.

    After a couple of months I sacked it and had work send out a chair and desk for the garage.*

    No reason you couldn’t put a proper chair and desk in there. Would be fine on the drive or when parked up. Just take them out to put the bikes in for other trips. Our first van, back in my student days, came with a couple of armchairs in the back so that was how we drove it around for a while. Probably not that safe for the rear passenger but it was comfy.

    If you don’t want to ‘bodge’ it there are plenty of examples on youtube. A lot of the van lifers on there are professional youtubers so spend a lot of time sat at a computer editing videos

    Premier Icon Hob-Nob
    Free Member

    I don’t think it’s a daft idea at all, we have a big XLWB Crafter based race conversion – with progressive employers, they don’t care where the work gets done, as long as it’s done.

    I wouldn’t want to do it long term, but to tack a few days onto a holiday working somewhere different, or nice with a view (even abroad) with the opportunity to pop out and ride in the afternoon, or just get outside, we are well into the plan of it 🙂

    Premier Icon dirkpitt74
    Full Member

    Sounds like a great idea – WFV !

    Have a look at Paul The Punters van with his work station etc.

    Premier Icon ahsat
    Full Member

    Betweeen lockdown 1 and 2 I did a few days of what got called WFSE (working from somewhere else!) as I got so sick of being in the empty house on my own all the time. Definitely need a desk etc – I did one day sat with the laptop on my lap and had a really sore neck, shoulder and wrist.

    I bought a folding bamboo table which I use with the passenger swivel seat

    https://www.instagram.com/p/CG4c8NLHeo5/?igshid=ws55d7gsyrou

    Works well for odd days for a change of scene – would definitely need a better set up with proper desk, screen etc if it was day-in-day-out. Just make myself a coffee on the stove with an aeropress. Plan to do the same to drive to the Lakes on a Thursday evening, p20 can enjoy his day off and I can work, finish at 4 and jump on the bike / in the kayak.

    One thing I didn’t really bank on was all the other people during the day using the lay-by and you spend the whole time annoyed at the banging doors, worrying people are about to drive into you etc. One lady didn’t like the way I was parked despite the fact I had got there at 8.30 and everyone else parked at 40 degrees to me afterwards – somehow that was my fault. Need to pick your spot – quiet, good data connection (I got 100Gb on my phone) and ideally a view.

    We do have an inverter so I can charge my laptop and you need a usb charger nearby too as I find running a hotspot off my phone hammers my battery.

    Premier Icon MrOvershoot
    Full Member

    Nothing to add other than this

    Premier Icon zilog6128
    Full Member

    are you saying I can build a campervan and legitimately write it off as a business expense? 🤔

    Premier Icon trail_rat
    Free Member

    Paul the punters set up isnt too dissimilar to what i had set up – i did have dual screens set up with the external keyboard and mouse set up on the lower table.

    theres no room for the obligatory note pad i seem to need to supliment my brain and for sketching planning purposes and the mouse and the keyboard , coffee cup to all occupy the desk at the same time ( do people really use their laptop touch pads long term – RSI anyone ? )

    as i (and ashat ) have said as an occasional use thing its ok but for long term use its ergonomically poor (without compormising on other aspects of the vehicles use)

    be ok for tagging a couple of days on to a holiday sure – i’ve done that but its no replacement for an actual area to work from. – given the option id have a home office / garden room for long term WFH before a van – as much as i like a van.

    Premier Icon surfer
    Free Member

    I “finished” my T6 conversion over the Xmas break and pre lockdown I drove to a nice spot near me to do just that. It was cold however and I have since installed my Diesel heater but not been able to test since.

    Premier Icon squirrelking
    Free Member

    If you don’t want to ‘bodge’ it there are plenty of examples on youtube. A lot of the van lifers on there are professional youtubers so spend a lot of time sat at a computer editing videos

    I’m sure they are, I’m also sure they don’t have employers with H&S obligations under work station ergonomics.

    Have a look at Paul The Punters van with his work station etc.

    Case in point, that looks absolute shit. Could you imagine rocking up to somewhere to work and being told that was your desk? Absolutely no room to lay down documents or even use a mouse.

    Also, thunderbox next to the fridge? 😳🤮

    Premier Icon andrewh
    Free Member

    are you saying I can build a campervan and legitimately write it off as a business expense? 🤔

    Same tax rules apply to them as to company cars. For this purpose they are not vans. Or travel expenses or accommodation costs or whatever. If you get one through your business it’s a company car

    Premier Icon Nick
    Full Member

    I work with a Brit who lives and works in the US who travels around in his RV, every teleconference starts with where are you today? “New Mexico”,”California” etc

    Premier Icon squirrelking
    Free Member

    Is that a Winnebago or a manky old builders van though? I can imagine the experience would be rather different in both.

    Premier Icon ahsat
    Full Member

    I very much agree with @trail_rat

    Premier Icon w00dster
    Full Member

    I have a T6 camper and before full on lock down I did this regularly. I don’t take my separate monitor, just make do with my laptop. I premake lunch, fridge in the van keeps the sandwiches cold. Diesel heater keeps me warm. I have solar panels to assist with charging.
    The van has captain seats so nice and comfortable….not as comfortable as my office but the fact that I’m out and about make up for it. I have 3mobile unlimited internet, so far it’s been great and no additional bills. I believe some contracts may charge you for tethering to your phone when you get over a certain amount.
    I don’t take the bike, could do, but the temptation to not work and just ride is too great!
    My plan was to WFH further afield than my local area but COVID has stopped that for now.

    Premier Icon jugheaddave
    Free Member

    I think this is a fantastic idea (I am a bit jealous!!!)

    Premier Icon Kuco
    Free Member

    Nissan mobile office concept

    Premier Icon Olly
    Free Member

    Friend of mine does it quite regularly in his Transporter.
    Work laptop, work mobile with data connection. Does a days work sat up on dartmoor with the side door open. In term time in the week pre Covid, it was just him and the ponies i think.

    5:00, close laptop, throw leg over bike, afternoon ride.

    And why blinkin not, if you can!

    Premier Icon ahsat
    Full Member

    I wish I had managed to do it more like w00dster, but Tier 3 restrictions and COVID meant it didn’t happen more once I got the desk. If you can, go for it as a way to change things up. My parents have a really nice Sprinter conversion and they can both sit at the table at the back with the door open over the coast at Bridlington. They go there and do their life admin.

    I just wouldn’t want to go it every day – but is perfect to have some variation.

    Premier Icon db
    Full Member

    Cambee did a mobile office a while back;

    https://www.cambee.co.uk/kombi/

    Premier Icon spooky_b329
    Full Member

    I’ve worked in mine a few times when I’ve needed to catch up whilst not at home.

    If you wanted to do it more often you’d have to be very careful about the ergonomics…or work out how to get an adjustable chair in there. Mine has upright seats and a table which isn’t too bad (still needed a pillow behind my shoulders) but it would be horrendous during on your average caravan/camper foam sofa.

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