Doing Up Dolly (Part 2): Our VW Camper Conversion

October 28, 2018

Doing Up Dolly (Part 2): Our VW Camper Conversion

So they say the path to success is never a straight line.  Well in the case of our camper conversion project, this has certainly been the case.

It's been two months since my first blog post about our exciting plans to turn 'Dolly' the VW Camper into the mobile fabric shop of my dreams.  And it's safe to say that things have not gone entirely to plan.

In late August we stripped out the insides to begin her revamp, and what we found wasn't good.  So many new problems emerged, that it really seemed it might be too expensive and time consuming to put her right.  

The naked truth


Removing the seats revealed that someone had cut a hole in the bodywork between the petrol tank and the engine.  Now on hearing this news, even I (non-mechanic as I am) realised that this probably wasn't a good thing.  But essentially, if you get a fuel leak ...

You get the idea. 

Also, it came to light that virtually any key you could lay your hands on would start the ignition, and in general the whole steering wheel/locking/immobiliser system needed replacing.

Oh, and that lovely bright turquoise colour she'd been painted....

Turns out it was just ordinary domestic emulsion paint, and it all has to be stripped back to the metal before she can be resprayed.

Also, a few things which I don't think need an explanation, the photos speak for themselves. 

WARNING: contains images that car enthusiasts might find distressing!


What to do?

Well, as you can imagine, there has been a lot of mulling over of the options as plugging on with our restoration project has lots of obvious risks.  Will we continue to be met by a barrage of persistent problems if we continue, with our limited budget spiralling out of control.  Can she ever look like I want her to, and be a solid, reliable and problem-free van? 

The bottom line is, I am still very committed to my mobile fabric dream.  I think the idea is good for so many reasons, and fundamentally, I still really love my rusty old lemon-of-a-van.  In spite of everything.

And so, after much pondering we have decided to risk it and stick with the plan.

Guy and his amazing team have fixed all the enormous problems with the bodywork, and so next stop the paint lab!


Moving on up

It feels great to finally be moving in a positive direction with Dolly, and I will share more photos next week.  Watch this space to find out if we actually can turn her into the beautiful Birdy & Blue fabric shop of my dreams.  

Keep your fingers crossed the road to success straightens out a bit for her!

Bye for now,

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Also in Birdy & Blue - The Blog

The Birdy and Blue live bird box camera
The Birdy and Blue live bird box camera

May 17, 2020

Continue Reading

Todays "Fabric of the Week" is Baby Girl by Riley Blake

October 03, 2019

Ideal for welcoming a new baby girl, this is super cute and ideal for a new baby's nursery.

Continue Reading

We’re on the road and getting noticed!
We’re on the road and getting noticed!

August 10, 2019

Issue 59 of Simply Sewing magazine is out now and this weeks Pinboard features our shop on the road!

Continue Reading