Interview with Van Furniture Ltd
16 December 2021 | Paul
We recently sat down with Darren at Van Furniture Ltd to discuss the challenges of designing and manufacturing furniture for self-built camper vans.
Van Furniture Ltd is based in Thetford, Norfolk and designs and manufactures a range of unique kitchens, cabinets & bed kits, offering delivery of both fully assembled and flat-pack kits direct to trade and self-build customers. Offering a range of materials and designs, customers are welcome to make appointments to visit their showroom & look at demo vans, view colour ranges & stock of the popular items. The team can also offer advice on interior layouts, colours & fitting if required.
12 Volt Planet: Thank you for taking the time for us today Darren. Firstly, what was the driving force behind the creation of the business?
Darren: The business was founded after seeing a lack of a range of quality furniture for camper vans that are available fully assembled as well as flat pack kits. The majority of products on the market are made from the same materials, in the same style, with a very limited range of colour choices and difficult to build for your average self-build customer.
12 Volt Planet: When you design your furniture what is the hardest part?
Darren: The most difficult part of any project is ensuring a good fit for the van. You can design anything on a computer in a 3D model or build a new cabinet design on a nice square workbench, but ensuring the perfect fit for a van is very difficult and time-consuming.
Van Furniture uses the latest 360o modelling software and creates 3D models to help cut down on prototype manufacturing time. All designs are also uploaded with CAD drawings to provide clear dimensions when reviewing the products.
12 Volt Planet: So when you design furniture how much thinking do you have to do regarding the 12-volt electrics?
Darren: During the design & installation we have to make sure we allow space for electrics, fridges & sinks in our original designs. To make sure we have allowed enough space we do extensive testing in our demo van on site.
12 Volt Planet: What would you say is your most surprising build?
Darren: The popularity of our u-shape interiors for our customers if seat belts aren’t required has been surprising. It's interesting seeing multiple companies copy our U-shape design!
Featuring seating that can be turned into a bed easily, slide out tables, storage and counter space, it is easy to see why the U-shape Bed system has been popular.
12 Volt Planet: What would be the best piece of advice you can give anyone planning furniture for their van?
Darren: Spend time measuring and choosing the best layout that works for you, using masking tape to lay the area out to see what works best for your requirements. Customers can view our popular products and layouts in our demo vans or showroom.
12 Volt Planet: So what does the future hold for Van Furniture Ltd?
Darren: We have lots of exciting plans for new product designs and we are building 3 new demo vans, a VW Caddy, VW T6.1 and VW Crafter to offer a complete range of interiors for small, medium and large vans.
We would like to thank Darren & Van Furniture Ltd for their time & hope you will check out their wonderful range of products on their website here.
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