Vanlife in a Vintage Mercedes from 80’s

Sesil and Mahoma were successful entrepreneurs when they decided to sell their business, buy an old-school van, convert it into a camper, and hit the road.

We met Sesil & Mahoma near Malaga during our 2 month trip in Spain. They are a very lovely german couple who decided it’s time to enjoy life more while being young.

They purchased this Mercedes van from the first owner. Interesting fact, it is an 1988 built Mercedes van but registered only in 2010 and since then it was used very little. So they got an almost brand new old school van with only 19’000km (12k miles). The comfortable cruising speed for this van is 80km/h (45mph) and consumption is 12L/100km (19mpg).

When they bought it, the van had already two roof windows and they installed one more right above the bed. They used a light color palette for the interior so the space feels bigger and brighter. The goal was to reduce the feeling of clutter as much as possible which they totally achieved by having such a bright space and solutions such as a transparent glass table which you can barely notice.

In the kitchen, they installed a large sink and two-burner gas stove, and built enough storage under the countertop where they also placed a 100L 12v fridge. They even found place for their old rice cooker which runs on electricity they get from the solar system. Above the countertop is an upper head cabinet decorated with rattan which not only looks stylish but also saves some weight.

The shower room is 60cmx60cm (24”x24”), with a porta-potty and a beautiful linen curtain. We have a similar curtain from linen in our tiny house and we can definitely recommend it as it looks super nice and it doesn’t stick to the skin or fly around while showering. The shower walls are built from PVC and the edges are sealed with silicon.

The bed is built relatively high to have enough storage underneath, which is accessible both from inside and outside and where they keep all their hobby gear, a 200L (53Gal) water tank and a lithium battery with inverter and solar charge controller. The bed is 185cm (6.1ft) long and 140cm (4.6ft) wide.

They insulated all van with 16mm (0.6inch) Armaflex and built the interior walls with 5mm (0.2inch) plywood.


To have clean water they are using an Alb water filter.

Their off-grid power system contains a 200Amh lithium battery, 2.4kw inverter, and 350w solar panels.

In terms of costs, they bought the van for 14500 Euros and invested additional 15000Euros in the build. They definitely did an amazing job converting it into a very cozy bohemian tiny home on wheels, especially since it was their very first time building anything.

If you want to see the full tour of their camper van you can watch it below.

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