Fleurine and Jordan wanted to have a break in their job and studies and to travel. They thought about the best way to do it. So they bought a Renault Master II and converted their own van.
Key Data Renault Master II:
Car Manufacturer: Renault Modell: Renault Master II Year of construction: 2002 How many Seat: at the origin, It was a 7 seats and now It’s a 2 one. Complete weight of vehicle: 2,5 t How many kilometers:174000
Cylinder carpacity:2,5 L TDI / 90ch
Consumption at 100km: 11-12L
Top speed:140 (But our consomption will be so high ?)
Costs of repair per year:before travelling, it has cost 1600€ of repair
Can you tell me a bit about you and how did you end up living this lifestyle?
We are a French couple, Fleurine & Jordan, 24 & 25. We wanted to have a break in our job and studies and we wanted to travel. We thought about the best way for us to do it.
We have a Friend who has converted his own van, and this is that way we decided to converted our van too.
Why exactly did you choose the Renault Master II and not a smaller or bigger one?
We just wanted to stand up in our van, and we have seen this one, and there were a kind of feeling, and it became our Cactus?
Did you work anything on your vehicle yourself or did you get a carpenter?
Everything is homemade! Jordan has done, built everything with his hands.
Do you miss more space or are you happy as it is?
More space would be so nice ! For the next one, we want a larger one, maybe to put a shower in it and a real kitchen with gaz and a sin.
How long did you worked on your campervan before you started your trip?
We have started in January 2018, but with our job and the bad weather, it was not easy to work on it. Besides, we lived in a city and we didn’t have enough place to work on it.
We had to work at our parents‘ home (1,5hour from our home). When Jordan has quitted his job (on July), he has come back to his parents‘ house, and it was only at this time who he really started to work on Cactus.
He worked 8h/day everyday (unless the weekend) during 1,5 month ! The date of the beginning of our journey was the 3rd of Septembre, so it has to be ready for this day.
Tell me like 2-3 Things that you really love about traveling with a camper.
FREEDOM ! Haha. We love travelling by van because we can go (almost) everywhere and It’s amazing ! If we don’t like a place, we can drive to go somewhere else, and it’s not a problem, because Jordan loves driving so much !
I think that we love the most is to meet new people from our nationality (France ??) or other vanlifers, and meet local people, it’s so inspiring.
People tell us stories and the same for us. When you meet people who live in a van, you have directly a common point and it is the beginning of a nice day, or evening.
Which countries did you travel to with your Renault Master II? Which one was your favorite by now?
We are at the beginning of our journey, we have already visited France, Switzerland, North of Italy (Dolomites), Slovenia and Croatia.
I can’t say which one is our favorite because everytime we have seen so many beautiful landscapes ! Everytime is new, sometimes different. And our experience also depends on people we meet, if we have a lot of police controls…
We have a lot more country to visit for our first European roadtrip (Montenegro, Albania, Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungria, Austria, Czech Republic, Germany).
For the moment, we have loved Dolomites hikes and landscapes, Slovenian’s waterfalls and color of the rivers, and Croatian’s meeting and friendly local people.
Where there any countries, where you had problems or where you didn’t get treated well because of your camper-lifestyle?
In 40 days of travel, we had 5 controls of police (1 in Switzerland, 1 in Slovenia, 3 on Croatie). The one in Switzerland was the first and the policemen weren’t really nice, it was not at a border, and they were looking for drugs.
They looked trough our handbags, wallets and even in out pack of cigarettes. By the way, everything ends well. In the other countries, they usually ask if we travel with immigrants.
In Slovenia and Croatia, wild camping is forbidden, but we didn’t have any troubles with that.
And if some locals are mistrustful, we ask with a smile if we can stay for the night and nobody has refused it yet!
What was the longest Road at one piece you drove with your vehicle?
It was for the first day of our roadtrip. We were in the North East of France and we have driven during 6-7hours to join our fisrt step in Annecy.
Usually, we try not to drive a lot during a day, 2h is the max. Sometimes, it is more, but it is in order to cross a border or join some other vanlifers.
Do you sometimes meet other people traveling with their vans?
For the first two weeks, not really and after we have met some vanlifers via Instagram, and sometimes not on purpose (I speak mainly for French vanlifers) !
We meet lots of others vanlifers from Germany, England, Spain, espacially in our nightspots.
I think it is thanks to Park4Night, a free app which inventories spots where you can park for the day or for the night.
Are there any things that really annoy you about that lifestyle?
Not really, maybe the rainy day because when you are a vanlifer, you want to make the most of nature, and when it is raining, you are stuck in your van (and it is not huge haha) and you try to occupy yourself.
The other thing is when it is too cold outside, we don’t have a heater, and some nights are really cold (espacially in the mountains), so it is easy to be ill. The thing that really annoys us is people who let their garbage on the spots.
Some spots are really dirty. We don’t understand people who leave their toilet papier in the nature. But it is details, Vanlife is so cool, you can do what you want when you want to !
Not everything is perfect, what would you change about your Renault Master II?
The exposition of our bed, we wanted to sleep near the cabine side, but with the weight of the motor, we are too low. So we have to sleep in the other side.
Unfortunatelly, we have put the outlets in that side. Besides, we have a comb bed, ans when we open it, it condemns our food locker and the one with the waterblik is still reachable.
So if we start over, we’ll think about it.
So, if not your vehicle-which one would you choose if you could?
Maybe a L3-H2 to have more space, and more confort. And if it is possible, we want to have a van offroad like a 4×4 to be able to go everywhere, like a 4×4 sprinter or a real converted 4×4 (Jeep, Landrover)
Do you work online while traveling?
Not for now, but if we want to keep travelling by van for a longer period, we’ll think about it.
We have the chance to have studied for jobs on web and communication, so we can „easily“ become nomadic freelancers, but do we want to ? We don’t know for the moment.
What will your next destinations be?
We keep travelling in the Balkans, and the next step is Montenegro.
Our Instagram account is @roule_un_cactus (which means „drive a cactus“ due to the green color of our van).