WEBASTO - Feel the Drive
  • In the workshop: thesunnyside’s Defender is having work done.

    Tips On Converting Vehicles
    From Karo And Philipp

    The coronavirus pandemic has made travel difficult, often impossible.

    But you can still use this time at home to your advantage, just as YouTubers Karo and Philipp from The Sunnyside have done. The couple are highly experienced in converting vehicles and are currently fine-tuning their MAN truck.

    Read their tips in our interview below.

  • A Mitsubishi Pajero as a campervan by a campfire in Australia. Upgrading, converting, tinkering: it all started with a Mitsubishi Pajero.

    When An Old Vehicle Ignites A Passion For Conversion

    Easy Way magazine: You guys have a passion for converting and tinkering with vehicles. How did you get into this?

    Philipp: We had a VW campervan with a pop-top roof – that was our first vehicle. Then we went to Australia, we had a Mitsubishi there. That was cool. We could go anywhere, drive around on the beach and stay there overnight.

    Karo: The Mitsubishi was the first old vehicle we bought. It was back in 2015, and we upgraded it in 10 minutes in a DIY superstore car park in Australia. This was when we noticed that travelling by car is so much more comfortable and convenient than backpacking. And it made us want to travel in a proper motor home one day.

  • Philipp Wülfing from thesunnyside working on his Defender. “Just do it”: if anything is not right, it will be adapted for the journey.

    Just Do It

    Easy Way magazine: Do you have any tips for people who want to give it a go?

    Philipp: Just do it. I hadn’t done much with cars before that point. Then it all changed as we adopted the ethos of learning-by-doing. Being able to sleep well – and above all,
    stretch out – in the vehicle is important. Some people with panel vans think it’s best to install their bed widthways in the back due to the limited space. And if you're short, that can work really well. But if you’re quite tall and can’t fully stretch out, your body will start to ache over time.

    Karo: We met three people in Australia who were travelling in a really small car and slept widthways in it. The tallest one opened the window and stretched their legs out of it.












  • Karolin Kracht from thesunnyside cooks in a Defender heated by a Webasto parking heater. Thanks to the parking heater, Karo and Philipp can relax and cook in their cosy Defender, even when it’s chilly outside.

    Warmth And Comfort On The Road

    Easy Way magazine: What do you need to think about when travelling in a campervan?

    Karo: Heating the vehicle is a big issue. A parking heater is the ultimate technology when it comes to warmth and comfort in your home away from home. It’ll stop you from having to freeze at night.

    Philipp: For me, the main thing is you can relax better when you don’t have to cram yourself into a tiny sleeping bag. When it’s cold and wet outside and you can go inside, be warm and even sit in a T-shirt. This makes evenings so much more pleasant compared to lying in the cold and having to wrap up every part of your body, right to the tip of your nose.

    Karo: It also makes cooking so much better. And you often have these moments when you can just sit there. You’d be freezing if you weren’t able to make it all cosy. When we were on the road, we didn’t meet a single person who said “I like being freezing cold”.

    Philipp: In summer, having a fridge is more important. Well, a fridge, a parking heater and a good bed.

  • thesunnyside’s converted Defender campervan with the mountains in the background. Always on board: Maya the dog and a snowboard as a practical outdoor table.

    Hot Water, Knives, An Axe And Awning Are Campervan Essentials

    Easy Way magazine: What is the weirdest thing you’ve ever installed in or on your vehicle?

    Phil: We had a snowboard on the side of the vehicle for three years, but it was exposed to the elements the entire time. So the board went downhill from there, so to speak. In the end, we used it as an outdoor table.


    Easy Way magazine: Do you have any other camping or travel hacks for our readers?

    Philipp: I installed a heater core in the engine so that we can have hot water. This enables us to heat all the water we have on board. It makes life so much easier, especially when washing dishes. You don’t think about it, but there’s always so much fat and grease after cooking. It’s really difficult to clean with just cold water. And showering is way more fun with warm water, rather than cold. A good knife is always important. And an axe for chopping firewood.



  • Converted Defender from thesunnyside at night, Philipp and Karo in front of it. Karo and Philipp, enjoying the evening in front of their converted Defender.

    Awning And Pop-Top Roof For Even More Comfort

    Philipp: An awning is also great, especially if your vehicle is on the small side: when it’s not cold but it’s raining, you can sit under it and cook outside without getting wet. We bought an awning quite early on because it simply makes the space so much bigger. The awning also offers pretty good shade from the sun.

    Karo: When we bought the awning, we also installed a pop-top roof. This gave us the option of sleeping on the roof. We loved doing this when it was hot and there were mosquitoes around, as everything is protected. We didn’t have protection against mosquitoes in the Mitsubishi, they just came in. Everything is mosquito-proof in the pop-top roof. So we could sleep in peace in the fresh air, as you can let down nets on all sides.

  • Karolin Kracht and Philipp Wülfing from thesunnyside with a new engine for their Defender.Converting vehicles for the journey: Karo and Philipp know how it's done.

    The Journey Pays Off

    Easy Way magazine: Is there anything else you want to tell our readers?

    Philipp: “Der Weg lohnt sich” – the journey pays off. That’s what we always say on YouTube. Just do it. You don’t need a lot of expertise or money. You just have to get on with it. Everything works out in the end when you're on the road. So you don’t really need to agonise over it.

    Karo: Necessity is the mother of invention. You don’t need to think about the issues you could encounter before they actually occur.

    Easy Way magazine: Thank you for the interview!

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