Daniel Johnson, pictured, became the envy of his friends after fitting out his own van this year
Daniel Johnson loves to be able to jump in his van with his partner Teigan and 11-year-old son at every opportunity – taking quick overnight visits to some of Australia’s most beautiful locations.
During the covid shutdowns the 36-year-old tradie from Newcastle built his dream ‘vanlife’ setup – and it wasn’t long until his rig was the envy of his friends, family and ‘vanlifers’ he met on the road.
The beautiful layout allows for the family to lead their very active lifestyle without having to pack anything other than clothes when they head off for their next adventure.
With room for surfboards, a pull out kitchen and solar panels on the roof to make everything work they found the perfect way to add mini escapes into their weekly routine.
The carpenter made his design with his family’s lifestyle in mind, it needed room for surfboards, a fridge and a kitchen
Pictured here with his 11-year-old son Xavier and partner Teigan who love getting away in the van
The beautiful layout allows for the family to lead their very active lifestyle without having to pack anything other than clothes when they head off for their next adventure
Now Daniel is making easy to assemble packs anyone can put together so others can build their dream van without hassle and stress too.
‘I have 20 years in the trade, access to the tools and the know how to use them. For me it was a quick and easy job but most people quit before they even start.
‘Others quit before they finish because they can’t work it all out,’ he said.
He launched the Vanlife DIY Fitout business with Geoff Rupp, 49, the pair already have a business together and Geoff was one of the first people to grow envious of the family’s luxury van transformation.
He launched the Vanlife DIY Fitout business with Geoff Rupp, 49, the pair already have a business together and Geoff was one of the first people to grow envious of the family’s luxury van transformation
Everything is always in the van. Teigantook this photo during a solo adventure to Byron Bay
Daniel now helps other people get out on the road and live the lifestyle he loves
The inserts, pictured here, slide easily into vans and then just need to be screwed together
The job can be done in a few hours from unpacking the boxes to decorating and getting on the road
‘He said ‘I want one, shame you can’t flat pack it’ and the idea was born.’
The idea didn’t go much further until Daniel was speaking to another friend who needed ideas on how to fit his van together.
How to ‘fit in all the stuff’ and still be able to make the most of the space.
Within a week he was giving tips to more and more people who had stopped halfway through building their dream life on wheels.
Or pay someone $20,000 – $30,000 to finish the job.
Now Daniel is selling cubes which slot into the back of vans, even easier than the flat packs he initially discussed.
The family love to get away at least twice a month, if not almost every weekend
Now they can hop in their car and experience life on the road – even with border closures
Daniel has now launched a business from his garage – making the moat of his 20 years as a tradesman
Daniel has put solar on his van so he can use his fridge and cooking gear anywhere
There are six layouts to choose from – basically if you have a ‘regular van’ – one of the main brands then there is a pack to fit, according to Daniel.
‘All you need is a drill. You can put floors and walls in or you can paint the inside of the van if you don’t want to worry about it.
‘These are designed to get you on the road in a few hours,’ he said.
People still need to put in their own fridge, bedding, stoves if they buy one of the inserts. But the ‘hard stuff’ of getting everything to fit and fold away is done for them.
Daniel and his family prioritise getting out into nature and disconnecting from the rat race. He is excited to be able to offer people that with his product which fills a gaping hole in the market.