Garry Davoren is a serious Bike enthusiast with a well established bike shop in Galway. As part of his service he provides a mobile repair service with a customised van and trailer complete with onboard workshop. And, as Garry explains if you’re working on site and on the road as part of your work then you want to make sure the living and working environment is as high quality as possible. That was his starting point in customising his van.
For Garry, it’s not just a van, but a fully insulated workshop-come-living quarters that maximises space and provides the ideal environment for expensive tools, pieces of bike gear and other equipment. Given it is his livelihood and hobby combined, you can see why he wanted to spend time to get it just right. And that means everything from maximising space to ensuring the interior is dry.
The thought of any sort of build up of condensation was a non-starter. The key is customising the van was to find the thinnest insulation material possible that was also light and could fit the contours of the van to maintain a steady temperature and not use up excessive space.
Garry explains: “I was researching the whole are of insulation, because space is key. With the pillars in the van you want to get a continuous vapour / thermal barrier inside the van and I didn’t want any un-insulated steel that would result in the formation of condensation. It was highly critical that we prevented this or any sort of cold bridging.”
“So I wanted the best performing and thinnest flexible insulation material. Condensation and the build-up of moisture inside the van leads to corrosion and that’s a no-no. You need to completely insulate and seal all surfaces because if any hot air generated inside the van were to come in contact with cold steel then you will have a serious problem – water build-up.”
“I was literally online looking for the thinnest form of the highest value insulation I could get. I looked more and more into Spaceloft®Aerogel and I went into a few camper forums to see if anyone used it and a few people did and it was successful.”
“Then I got Liam’s details at Enviroform Insulation, I had started hitting people with the questions but when I rang Liam I learned more about how insulation works from him in real depth and that’s when I did more homework. He helped me with the layout of the van with where to use the Spaceloft®Aerogel and how to use it. His knowledge was a real help and explained a lot.”
Bikes are more than a hobby for Garry, he has a number of interests. And, as he puts it to make a living out of your hobby you have to do a few things to get the bills paid. He’s on the road, he has his bike shop MBW in Galway. It’s fun but it’s also a serious business.
“The idea of this van is we have a mobile repair service, so we have the van and a trailer so the workshop and gear is in the back of this van so we can’t have any condensation in there because we have some high end tools in the van and we have product in there and it has to be like a shop and we have to keep it dry.”
“With the mountain biking side of it for example we are away doing stuff as well so the front-end cabin is an office, when you’re doing demos you need to be able to stay overnight when you have expensive stock with you. You need to stay in the vehicle so I have a pull out bed, kitchenette, it makes for good living accommodation.”
With the vehicle we do a lot of content work now for Instagram and so on I have an account @BeyondTheTrailsEdge. We have a good few projects for content work. We have solar and we charge up a lot of our equipment in the van too. I do some work for Kona Bikes and designed a Fat bike for them. A lot of that is off the beaten track and the van is what I live in basically.”
“There’s a lot of guys now living in vans, van life is huge. Van conversion globally is greater than it ever was. People are selling up apartments and living in vans no mortgage, working remotely. Content creators are going that way.
“I’m always away. That’s why I needed this van. If you’re going to do it you want to do it once and do it right!”