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Beth & Jake

Digital nomads and influencers, Beth & Jake (@sheisthelostgirl) recently built a new van to continue exploring the world in a more capable vehicle. Having learnt the hard way and making mistakes with their first van’s electrics, they used Nohma to design and supply a bespoke system.

Tell us more about your journey so far

We are Beth and Jake. We met in New Zealand while both traveling solo full-time. I have been traveling full-time since 2014, and Jake since 2016. After living out of our backpacks for many years, we decided we wanted to settle down. However, since we couldn’t decide where, we opted to build a tiny home on wheels so that we could feel at home while still being able to move around as we pleased.

We converted a medium wheelbase, bright red Vauxhall Movano, which we later painted to be our big green bean machine. Having lived in a car before while touring New Zealand and Australia, it truly felt like we were moving into a mansion! We have been living in this beautiful little van for three and a half years, and it has taken us all the way from the UK to Turkey and everywhere in between.

We never expected to live in the van for longer than one year, but the money it saved us and the adventures we had, got us hooked! Currently, we are building an even bigger van, which will be our long-term home that we can travel in but also use as a base to come back to from further away backpacking trips.

Tell us about your new van conversion

We didn’t really plan on doing another van build. Initially, our plan was to buy a big old motorhome to convert into an off-grid beast. However, while scrolling on eBay, I came across this Luton that seemed a little too good to be true. It was a rental van for a self-storage facility, and the mileage was unbelievably low for the price. Intrigued, we decided to check it out. As it turned out, it was indeed too good to be true—it had a leak in the fibreglass roof.

Fortunately, my dad is a boat builder specialising in fibreglass. After some haggling, we drove away with a van that I knew would be as good as new after some expert treatment from my dad. The van is a 2016 Peugeot Boxer Luton van, and when we’re done with it, it will be a modern country cottage on wheels. And, of course, it won’t be a white van when we’re finished with it—I can’t resist adding a splash of colour. We are so excited to have a shower, a separate room for the toilet, a big sofa, an oven, hot water, and a space to do yoga.

Why did you choose to use Nohma?

Before we found Nohma we were really struggling to design our camper van electrics, it felt completely impossible. We spent hundreds of hours trawling through forums and YouTube videos for our last van and a traditional retailer even got involved to try and design the system, however despite the effort and expense it simply didn’t work as we needed it too. We lived in our old van for three years full time and explored some amazing places but we always worried that we would run out of power and had to make lots of compromises, which was really frustrating when we needed to work.

Without help, 99.4% of people will get their electrical system wrong. Our clever software uses 200+ calculations & parameters to design your system, so you can leave the electrics to the experts.

Results from our Nohma electrical system survey. Discover more.

We knew that when we started our new van conversion that we had to get it right and we had heard lots of people talking about Nohma’s electrical design service. So, we filled out a really simple questionnaire and an engineer was in touch within minutes. Our engineer Dan also lives in a campervan so really understands the challenges of living the off-grid lifestyle. He (Dan) was so helpful and worked with us to review everything we wanted to use in our van so we could work out the most cost effective way of building our system.

He even checked where in the world we wanted to travel and when so we could optimise the solar panels to our system so everything in the van was completely bespoke to our lifestyle.

The whole process was really quick because we didn’t have to worry about ordering every individual wire and component separately, they organised everything for us and they even did a price match so we didn’t have to pay any extra.

Watch Beth & Jake’s customer story 🎥

Powered by Nohma

See how Beth & Jake built a beautiful Luton van conversion to travel the world and power their lives as digital nomads and travel influencers.

How did you find installing the system yourself?

When we opened up the boxes there were so many components inside, and some of them, I didn’t know what they were, but luckily, Dan created this really amazing step by step installation guide and a wiring diagram. This removed all of the confusion and gave us the confidence to install the system ourselves. It only took us a day to install everything and be up and running, which compared to our first van which took two weeks of back and forth and ordering replacement components, this was so simple.

Beth and Jake's electrical system (for illustration purposes only)

Our engineer Dan was even able to video call us once the system was installed to run through some final checks of the system and answer any questions, so we felt confident when we turn the system on. Because we decided to include a Cerbo GX he could also remote into our system and check that all of the important settings were correct and the system was operating as intended, so we had complete confidence in our system which was a nice change from our old system.

Nohma made everything so easy, our engineer Dan created a super helpful wiring diagram installation guide for us which made the install so easy. I would recommend anyone looking to convert a van or a tiny home to use Nohma.

Beth Johnstone, @sheisthelostgirl

Components used in Beth and Jake's electrical system ⚡

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