A young couple who converted their 1999 Toyota LandCruiser Prado into their dream ‘home on wheels’ are now planning to complete a full loop around Australia.
Bailee and Jesse, 21 and 29, originally from Victoria, have always enjoyed travelling but it wasn’t until living in Noosa that they were inspired to take to the road.
‘All we had was a mattress in our car, a small cooker, our surfboards, no power, no awnings, no internet and we loved it,’ Bailee told Daily Mail Australia.
‘Something about being in nature, away from business, surfing and exploring is incredible.’
Earlier this year, the pair decided to move back to Victoria to begin working on their car-to-home conversion.
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Bailee (left) and Jesse (right) Jesse (right) originally from Victoria, have always enjoyed travelling but it wasn’t until living in Noosa that they were inspired to attempt living on the road
BEFORE: The conversion took three months of planning and getting the products to ensure the small space was being used in the best way possible
AFTER: The car is now decked out with a small fridge, cooktop, sink, lights, a bed, drawers, dual battery system, inverter and curtains
The cooktop is hidden in the drawers beneath the bed, which is all made from plywood
The conversion took three months of planning to ensure the small space was being used in the best way possible.
Bailee, a uni student studying social work, said the conversion took only six weeks to complete between April and May 2021 for an approximate cost of $10,850 due to high-quality materials used.
The couple cleaned out the car, removed all rust and unnecessary metal, soundproofed it, sealed all the gaps, measured and cut plywood, sanded and waterproofed the plywood, attached the wood to the car and built drawers.
They also installed a fridge, cooktop, sink, lights, a bed, drawers, dual battery system, inverter and made the curtains themselves. The car doesn’t have any bathroom facilities.
Bailee said the conversion took a total of six weeks to complete between April and May 2021 for an approximate cost of $10,850 due to high-quality materials used
‘We have no time limits on how long we are travelling for but we presume at least one year. We are open to the idea of it taking six months to five years, whatever happens really!’ Bailee said
‘We plan to do a full lap of Australia, sticking as close to the coast as possible and starting with the east coast first,’ Bailee said.
‘We have no time limit on how long we are travelling for but we presume at least one year. We are open to the idea of it taking six months to five years, whatever happens really!’
Bailee said in regards to earning money, the pair will work if necessary but also have a motorcycle apparel business, Morton Custom Motors Apparel, on the side of their full-time commitments.
Bailee said in regards to earning money, the pair will work if necessary but also have a motorcycle apparel business on the side of their full-time commitments
The couple are most excited about visiting Western Australia, South Australia and hidden beaches around the country that few people may know about.
‘We’re super keen to surf as much as possible, do lots of hiking, explore hidden gems and meet like-minded people. We are also excited to have the time to cook delicious creative meals while on the road,’ Bailee said.
Despite completing the fun DIY project in short amount of time, the couple’s plan to start trekking around the country have been put on hold due to Victoria’s fourth Covid-19 lockdown.
‘We decided rather than rushing to cross the borders, we would go home and use the lockdown to improve our build,’ Bailee said.
‘In our first week we have realised that the height of our bed is too high which does not give us enough room to be comfortable for an extended period of time.’
Creating enough room to lay comfortably on the bed will be one small improvement the pair are striving to fix by cutting down the plywood underneath.
What was the allocated costs spent on?
The total conversion cost the couple $10,850
$2600 – Electrical – Enerdrive DCDC, Enerdrive Lithium Battery, Enerdrive Inverter, LED lights, solar panel, solar blanket, fuses & anderson plugs.
$1850 – plywood, waterproofing, Underdog soundproofing, screws, hinges, brackets, heavy duty drawer sliders 3 sets
$1410 – Kings side and back awnings, Dometic Waeco fridge, Companion double burner cooker, Clark rubber deluxe mattress
$790 – wheel rubbish bag, gas bottle & holder, water tank, seat covers, sink, wash rack, table, DIY curtains, first aid kit, jump starter, fake grass, mosquito nets (for windows), back seat organisers, Kings sleeping bag.
$1650 – Kings Roof tradie rack, Rhino box (for the roof), Bulbar, exterior lights
$1850 – New 4WD tyres, a full service of the car, JVC Bluetooth head unit
$700 – surfboard bags & lockable straps, two fans
The side of the car (pictured) also has further storage space for additional supplies and materials
The pair hope they can inspire other Australians to venture out and explore parts of the country they haven’t visited, particularly since overseas remains unreachable due to Covid-19.
‘If you have been thinking about travelling around Australia in a motorhome and you have the ability to, just do it! Now is such a perfect time to explore our own country,’ they said.
TIPS WHEN COMPLETING A CAR TO HOME CONVERSION:
Build as many compartments as possible, so everything is organised and has a set place in your motorhome
Don’t be afraid to utilise your room space (the pair have a top box with solar panels on it, four surfboards, a water can and gas)
Build your own centre console to utilise the space
Purchase a rear wheel bag for rubbish
Velcro things down to prevent movement whilst driving
Have sections cut out of your mattress to access your storage space if needed
Take your time with the build and be realistic about what will and will not work