Old Prison Van Transformed Into Motorhome

While millions of Brits go on weekend and summer holidays, one handy father-of-two takes his family camping in an old prison van he transformed into a luxury motorhome.

Old Prison Van Transformed Into Motorhome (Credit: Jon Rowley/Newstream)

Old Prison Van Transformed Into Motorhome (Credit: Jon Rowley/Newstream)

A painter and decorator from England bought an old, dirty prison van on eBay for £3000 ($5,000) and transformed it into his dream motorhome.

The 22 foot-long, five tonne (11,000 pound) van used to belong to security firm Reliance who sold some of their vehicles when they lost a Scottish courts and prisoners service contract to G4S in 2011.

The old prison security van came complete with lockable cell doors and peep-holes for the guards.

Alex Saunders, 42, from Andover, Hampshire, spent another £4,000 ($6,700) completely stripping the 2004 van and turning it into a luxury motorhome. Over a period of 18 months, Saunders built and installed everything from bunk beds and a fully-functional kitchen to a heating and water system on his own, reports dailymail.co.uk.

After knocking through walls of the six cells, he worked evenings and weekends installing bunk beds for the kids at the back and a bathroom and kitchen down each side.

Saunders then built an L-shaped sofa which transforms into a double bed at the front with a table for the family to use at meal times.

Old Prison Van Transformed Into Motorhome (Credit: Jon Rowley/Newstream)

Old Prison Van Transformed Into Motorhome (Credit: Jon Rowley/Newstream)

“I saw a prison van on eBay and thought it would be ridiculous but I kept going back and looking and the more I thought about it the more it made sense, Saunders told dailymail.co.uk.

“‘It already had a heating system and great insulation. Prison vans have better insulation than some house rooms so we don’t even need to use the heating.

“I got stuck in immediately. The insurance said I had to have it registered as a motorhome within three months so I worked on it every night and weekend.

“Then after that I spent another 15 months doing it properly and following the plans my wife had drawn up. I tore the cells out and got everything in there that I made myself. I started at the back with a tape measure and worked forwards.

“I covered the outside with grey enamel and then my wife wanted flowers so I stenciled them on the outside and she painted over them.”

“There’s a few scratches on the windows that I left there to keep its character,” Saunders added.

Old Prison Van Transformed Into Motorhome (Credit: Jon Rowley/Newstream)

Old Prison Van Transformed Into Motorhome (Credit: Jon Rowley/Newstream)

“It was pretty grim when I first went in there, it smelt like a mixture of blood and old soup which had been spilt everywhere. It was miserable but it’s a much happier place to be now.”

He finished his pride and joy in January and has already taken his wife Sarah, 40, and their two sons Connor, 15, and Bailey, 12, on several British holidays this year including a tour of the southwest of England over the Easter long weekend.

Cost of Transforming the Old Prison Van into a Motorhome

£500 ($840): Tools to strip and clean interior of van

£150 ($250): Water heater from eBay

£50 ($85): Chemical toilet from motorhome online shop

£750 ($1260): Plywood for furniture and strip-wood style lino for floor from B&Q

£800 ($1350): Bespoke upholstery cushions and mattresses from motorhome fitters

Old Prison Van Transformed Into Motorhome (Credit: Jon Rowley/Newstream)

Old Prison Van Transformed Into Motorhome (Credit: Jon Rowley/Newstream)

£30 ($50): Sink from eBay

£50 ($85): Two-ring gas hob from eBay

£150 ($250): Taps from motorhome online shop

£150 ($250): Exterior decorations

£250 ($420): LED lights

£500 ($840): Strengthening chassis of vehicle

£100 ($170): Paint

£350 ($590): HD TV

£250 ($420): Sockets, electricity and plumbing

£70 ($120): Screws, hinges etc.

£4,150 ($7000): Total Cost

Worth Pondering…

Creative thinking may mean simply the realization that there’s no particular virtue in doing things the way they have always been done.

—Rudolph Flesch

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