Motors & Me: 'A little house on wheels' - Pádraig Greene and his Ford Transit camper van

The first in a series, Pádraig Greene tells us about his Ford Transit camper van conversion which he says helped him through the Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns.
Motors & Me: 'A little house on wheels' - Pádraig Greene and his Ford Transit camper van

Padraig Greene and Amy Blue with their Camper Van at Spanish Point, Co Clare. Picture: Eamon Ward

For the past number of months, 24-year-old Pádraig Greene has spent his time converting a second-hand Ford Cab Van into a livable, movable, space with the help of his girlfriend Amy Blue. 

The project made the last Covid lockdown go a lot quicker, according to the Co Clare natives.

Pádraig and Amy documented the project on their Instagram page - the_transit_camper_build - and has spent the summer months travelling the country making the most of their "little house on wheels".

As he now plans to sell his beloved campervan, Pádraig answers our questions about the project - from what he loved about it to his ideal road trip passenger. 

If you have a car that you would be interested in featuring in this series, scroll to the bottom and fill out our application form

Padraig Greene and Amy Blue with their Camper Van at Spanish Point, Co Clare. Picture: Eamon Ward
Padraig Greene and Amy Blue with their Camper Van at Spanish Point, Co Clare. Picture: Eamon Ward

Start at the beginning, where did you get the idea for the project?

I have always wanted to build my own campervan. It has been a dream for a long time and I wanted to build something personal that had my own creativity and thought pattern in it. 

Having to design everything single thing to a tee and make it by hand just sounded really nice.

Tell us a bit about the van

It's a 2006, 2.4l diesel Ford Transit. It used to be a crew cab van used to bring labourers to work sites. 

The interior of the the Transit Camper Van including a full working stove, running water and elecrticity. Picture: Padraig Greene
The interior of the the Transit Camper Van including a full working stove, running water and elecrticity. Picture: Padraig Greene

Where did you find it?

I found it on Donedeal after months of searching for the right one. I chose this one specifically because it already had two windows, one on each side, with one of them being a sliding window so it acted as ventilation for cooking also.

Was it love at first sight, the best of a bad lot, or somewhere in the middle?

Love at first sight, from the first minute I saw it I knew it had massive potential. 

What was the easiest part?

Buying the van - I had a good idea of what I wanted and thankfully the right one popped up.

In the last few months, it has been completely gutted out back to the bare skin, sealed, insulated, and kitted out with electricity, running water and a gas cooker with sleeping facilities and storage.

Running water and a working stove means Padraig and Amy were able to cook on the go during their summer travels. Picture: Padraig Greene
Running water and a working stove means Padraig and Amy were able to cook on the go during their summer travels. Picture: Padraig Greene

What was the hardest part?

Figuring out the wiring and where to place appliances and plumbing etc. 

That, and also the paperwork - there is so much paperwork people are unaware of! 

Between engineers reports, gas certs, receipt cost tables and spreadsheets, declarations of conversions, VRT paperwork and cost, more declarations etc, the paperwork went on for at least three months but it was so worth it to get the new logbook with “Motorcaravan” on it and pay the €102 per year camper tax.

Did you do all the work yourself or did you have help?

I had a lot of help from my girlfriend, Amy as well as my family and friends of the family also that had knowledge in different fields. 

Also, Youtube tutorials are worth their weight in gold!

Padraig says that his girlfriend Amy is his ideal road trip passenger. Picture: Eamon Ward
Padraig says that his girlfriend Amy is his ideal road trip passenger. Picture: Eamon Ward

If you could go back and change something, would you and what would it be?

I honestly wouldn't change a thing. I took my time designing it and making it so that I wouldn't have any regrets.

Dream drive in a dream location?

The Amalfi Coast in Italy, never been but it looks amazing.

Padraig had a lot of help from his girlfriend Amy, his family and friends in kitting out the Ford Transit. Picture: Padraig Greene
Padraig had a lot of help from his girlfriend Amy, his family and friends in kitting out the Ford Transit. Picture: Padraig Greene

Passenger you’d most like on a long journey?

My girlfriend.

Passenger you’d least like?

Katie Hopkins.

What’s on your playlist?

A bit of everything - Hozier, the Beatles, Ben Howard, The Coronas, The Academic, Patrick Topping, Denis Sulta, Mall Grab, Kettama, Red Hot Chilli Peppers etc.

"For the last few months, we toured the whole south of Ireland". Picture: Padraig Greene
"For the last few months, we toured the whole south of Ireland". Picture: Padraig Greene

Have you managed to make the most of your summer with it?

For the last few months, we toured the whole south of Ireland and explored in the van with the comfort of parking up and cooking breakfast/lunch/dinner and enjoying the views with a tea or coffee.

What are your future plans, and would you do it again?

Yes, definitely. I'm currently selling this van as I plan on heading to Australia when possible, but I would be up for doing it again and continuing the adventures!

Do you have a fancy car? Maybe a vintage motor? A project that you built yourself? Or perhaps just a run around that you're immensely proud of? If so, we'd like to feature it on IrishExaminer.com.

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