Our Tiny Renault Trafic Camper Van – Winter Vanlife In Spain

We built our camper van in just two months just in time to escape Swiss winter by heading to the south of Spain. We finished our build on the 30th of December at 4 am. We then had a nap, packed, and hit the road. On the 31st afternoon we were already in Catalunia where we celebrated New Year’s Eve. Then slowly continued exploring the east coast of Spain, all the way to Cadiz.

We thought this trip could be the perfect opportunity to test how is it to travel with a small campervan as building a larger camper would have taken significantly longer time.  The most challenging part was finding a good maintained cargo van. Most of the vans we’ve seen, even five years old, were in very bad condition with many dents and scratches. So even though we initially thought we would have 3-4 months for the build, we ended up only with 2 months as it took a while to find THE ONE. Although we wouldn’t consider that time entirely lost as this allowed us to plan the layout in detail. So once we found the van we already knew the layout we wanted to have.

Quality was the highest priority for us so we didn’t cut corners and used only high-quality products to ensure a durable build.

We spent two months in southern Spain full-time living, working, and traveling with the van and didn’t have any issues. Everything is still in perfect condition so we’re very happy with the end result,

As we have received many questions on Instagram about the build, we decided to cover most asked questions about the components and devices. If you have any other questions don’t hesitate to reach out here or on our IG https://instagram.com/riexploring


To build the toilet we bought a Kildwick set. As we planned to place it under the sofabed, we needed the toilet to be as low as possible to have enough headspace while sitting on the sofa. This is why we decided to build our own frame as all-ready-made options with the built-in fan were at least 10cm higher. Below are links to the products we used.

German Amazon                                                                                                          US Amazon

Kildwick Toilet Kit that we have                                                                            Composting Toilet Kit 

Kildwick Toilet Full Kit


For the portable table, we used storage shelf wall mountings. Links below.

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Table Wall rails                                                                                                              Wall Rails for the table 

Brackets                                                                                                                            Brackets

We chose to get a mobile gas stove to be able to cook both inside and outside. If we would buy one again we would buy the one with a windshield.  Links below.

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Gas Stove                                                                                                                        Gas Stove

To keep the van warm we installed a Planar 2kw diesel heater which is more than enough for such small space. Also, insulated all van with Armaflex 19mm insulation which works amazingly. On sunny warm days while doors were closed the van stayed cool inside and opposite, at night when it was already chilly outside – inside it was still warm. To keep the van a bit quieter while driving we used abutyl virbo insulation. Links below.

German Amazon                                                                                                            US Amazon

Diesel Heater                                                                                                                 Diesel Heater

Insulation                                                                                                                           Insulation

Vibro insulation                                                                                                            Vibro Insulation

Having enough water on board is very important for us so we installed a 70L fresh water tank. As we don’t have a shower on board, we installed the smallest 12v water pump. We wanted to have a reasonable size sink so we can do the dishes and a tap that extends in case we needed to wash something outside. To have clean water we got the Alb nano water filter so we’ve been filling up water anywhere in Spain without worrying of getting dirty water in our tank.

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Water Tank                                                                                                                       Water Tank

Sink                                                                                                                                        Sink 

Tap                                                                                                                                         Tap

Water pump                                                                                                                     Water pump

Alb water filer                                                                                                                 Alb water filer

Water Indicator                                                                                                               Water indicator

Water sensor                                                                                                                   Water sensor

For the power system, we went for the Ecoflow River Pro power station with an extra battery and with portable 160w solar panel. On sunny days it was more than enough to power our fridge, all our gadgets, and the heather at night. The only thing is the 12v outlet is too weak to power the diesel heater as when it starts it pulls a lot of peak power and the battery is shutting down. So to make the heater work we bought a 220v to 12v inverter. This way, instead of powering the heater directly DC to DC, we installed the invertor that runs from AC and makes DC power. Since then we never had an issue with the heater. And as a backup, we used Nitecor’s small power station with a 100w solar panel.

German Amazon                                                                                                                   US Amazon

EcoFlow River Pro                                                                                                               Ecoflow River Pro

EcoFlow Extra battery                                                                                                      Extra Battery 

EcoFlow solar panel                                                                                                            Solar Panel

Inverter                                                                                                                                       Inverter

Nitecore solar panel 

Nitecore Power Station 

The sticker we applied to give the van a bit more character has a story of its own. Ioana actually spent a lot of time making a custom design for both sides of the van. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find a company that would print the design (for a reasonable price). If you know where we can get printed stickers for our next project, please let us know. This time we ended up buying ready made stickers from Amazon.

Of course a roof vent is a must in any van build and we choose to place it above the stove, so when we cook inside all steam immediately goes out. We used exactly the same Dometic fan model as we have in our hippie bus Leni since we’re very happy with it and it’s been lasting nicely over the years. Only this time we got it without a remote controller as in this small van we can reach it easily.

German Amazon                                                                                                        US Amazon

Sticker mountains                                                                                                     Sticker  Mountains

Sticker compass                                                                                                          Sticker compass 

Roof Vent                                                                                                                         Roof Vent

It took a long research before we found this fridge that can be used as a freezer too (at the beginning we accidentally turned on that option and all our food got frozen 🙂 ). It’s very economical and it costs three times less than well-known brand same build fridges.

German Amazon                                                                                                         US Amazon

Fridge                                                                                                                                 Fridge

And last but not least, the windows! Campervan windows can be very expensive, especially those double glazed. It took us a while to find windows that are at least half of the price from well-known brands, same quality, and double glazed. The ones we got are also tinted to have more privacy and keep the heat out on hot summer days.

German Amazon                                                                                                                  US Amazon

Different size windows                                                                                                       Window 


So that’s about it. If you have any questions feel free to reach out via our Instagram account https://instagram.com/riexploring


If you haven’t seen the full tour of our van you can watch it here.




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