Iveco Daily – Photographer turned a boring van into a cosy home
Ash Pollard decided to turn a tired old Iveco Daily into a country crossing beast which he now calls home. He is traveling around Europe.
Quick facts about the Iveco Daily:
- car manufacturer: Iveco
- model: Daily
- year of construction: 2002
- how many seats: 2
- complete weight of vehicle: 3.400 kg
- how many kilometers: 225.308 km
- cylinder carpacity: 2800 cc
- output of the motor: 120 bhp
- consumption at 100km: 25 mpg
- driving license classify: standard UK
- top speed: 80 mph
- motor fuel: diesel
- price: £1000 / £7000 After conversion
- insurance: £200 per year
- vehicle taxes: £250 per year
Can you tell me a bit about you and how did you end up living this lifestyle?
I’ve never really been one for the 9-5 life. I respect the people that are happy to do that but it’s just not for me.
For the past 5 years I have worked in the nightlife industry as a photographer which I absolutely love but there was always something missing, I couldn’t work out what it was for a long time.
I never felt totally happy with the life I was living. I had the money, the flash car, nice clothes.
I worked my ass off for all this „stuff“ and would sit down, look around me and just think „What’s the point?“
I had the idea to travel but didn’t fancy backpacking so needed a better solution. Thats when I started looking into vans and motorhomes.
It was originally just supposed to be for going on short trips but I loved it so much I decided to move into it full time 7 months ago and have never looked back!
Why exactly did you choose the Iveco Daily and not a smaller or bigger one?
I chose the Iveco Daily for the size and the construction. It’s built on a ladder chassis with the body separate so much stronger and easier to repair than normal vans.
Also I’m 6ft so needed something high enough that I could stand up straight without brushing my head on the ceiling.
So, if not your vehicle, what camper-modell would you choose too if you could and why?
Honestly for me, after much research the Iveco Daily was the only choice.
The next plan is to build out an 8×8 military truck but that can wait a while!
Did you work anything on your Iveco Daily yourself or did you get a carpenter?
I built everything from the ground up.
The only part I had to get help for was when the engine needed to come out to repair an oil leak.
If you could rebuild your campervan, what would you change and why?
The only thing I would do is raise the roof area above the bed to give a bit more headroom.
But I decided to build the roof deck and give it another level instead!
How long did you worked on your campervan before you started your trip?
The first build process took around 10 months to get it ready. In total I’ve probably spent a year on it with the later additions.
The worst part was at the start when I had to repair all the rust! Took around 4 months and me learning to weld.
What do your friends and family say about your vanlife-choice?
At first they thought I was crazy… But after seeing all the places I’ve visited they soon changed their mind.
One of my friends liked the idea so much she bought her own camper and is joining me on the road in a few days time!
Which countries did you travel to with your Iveco Daily? Which one was your favorite by now?
So far… France, Belgium, The Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Germany, Czech Republic, Austria, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Switzerland.
Norway was absolutely incredible! Such a diverse landscape and the further north you go the wilder it gets.
What was the most beautiful road you have driven with your campervan?
That has to be sognefjellet in Norway. Driving over that hill and seeing that view is like nothing else I’ve ever experienced.
Some people prefer campsites for the night, others love free camping somewhere in the middle of nowhere. What do you prefer and why?
I’ve actually only ever been on 2 campsites and that was when I first started and didn’t know about overnight stops and wild camping.
Now ill happily drive out into the middle of nowhere and park up for the night. Cant beat the peace and the stars!
What is the hardest part about living in a campervan?
Personally the hardest part about this lifestyle is not speaking the other languages when changing countries so often.
I try to pick up bits but travelling alone and not speaking the language can get a bit lonely sometimes.
What is the best part?
For me it’s the pure freedom that I don’t think you can get living any other way.
You can go anywhere you want, with your cosy house and then when you want to move on you just turn the key and drive it away.
Waking up to sunrise in a different place every day cannot be beaten!
How do you fund your travels? Do you also work online?
I have a couple of passive incomes coming in, main one being stock photography and I also earn a very small amount from YouTube.
I have just been picking up odd jobs along the way though mostly.
How much money do you spend in a month roughly?
Following on from the last question, if you lower your spending habits and shop smartly you don’t actually need to be earning much money to live this life.
Even if I’m not particularly careful about how far I drive (obviously hauls trips get expensive) I can get down to less than 400 euro a month.
I rarely eat out and buy most of my food from the big supermarkets so it’s cheaper.
There are more and more people who want to experience vanlife. What is the most important thing you would wanna tell them before they start?
Living this way is going to change your whole outlook on life.
You will learn to appreciate things you never even thought about and you will forget about things you used to think were essential.
It can be difficult at times but the rewards outweigh the struggles ten times over.
How long do you plan on living in a van? Do you have a long term plan?
I don’t really have a long term plan, life is too short for that.
I live for what’s happening around me right now and make every moment count. For now though, I’ve found my happy place living from this van and I can’t see that changing anytime soon!
If you want to see the journey of Ash you can follow him at his YouTube channel Ash Pollard.