Welcome Lieutenant Van !

As you may or may not know, although if you follow me on social media, you probably do, we are the happy owners of a Volkswagen LT40 van, aptly named Lieutenant Van. Here he is!

We have left everything behind in Montpellier, jobs, friends, family (mine at least) to embrace a nomadic lifestyle. We have for now moved to the Pyrenees to start the conversion of the Lieutenant. He has yet to join us in the mountains after a stay north of Paris for some engine and body work. Here is a recap of what has been done so far!

I will be totally honest with, at the moment the work is being done by my father in law and a friend of his, in Picardie as this is where the shop is.
It all started at the end of May with a massive and extensive clean up session. His former owner used the Lieutenant to transport auto and motorcycle parts, and let me tell you, that’s a dirty business! It took a whole day to get eveything out, then it was down to getting all those grease stains off, the dirt, some hardwood flooring… We discovered many rusty spots that had to be treated, cut out for some then replaced. The grinder and blowtorch came in handy!

And that was just the inside! Some part on the outside were in an even worse state, especially above the wheels. So again, those bits had to be either treated and repaired, or cut out and replaced with custom-made parts. Tedious, but necessary!

As if this wasn’t enough, something had to be done about the roof. As it was, and as huge as he is (2.7m high), the Lieutenant wasn’t high enough for some of us to be able to stand inside it. Yes, Thomas is 2.02m tall… We needed an extra 30cm, which were added by cutting out the roof and adding another one bought on Le Bon Coin. The Lieutenant now stands at approximately 3m. He’s big, he’s proud, deal with it!

The metal aroud the windshield also had to be redone, then the windshield broke when they tried to put it back. That happens, right? It was therefore replaced, not an easy thing since the LT isn’t a common model in France. But we got it!

After all this, which took a while, it was time for the “finishing” touches. A winch, for example, and a custom-made pushbar. It makes our big boy look pretty fierce, doesn’t it?

The Lieutenant will very soon be able to make the trip south, then our work will begin, insulation, electricity, etc… I can’t wait to get started!

Follow us on Instagram @roammates to see how we do!


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