The Sussex company updating classic campervans

PUBLISHED: 16:08 17 August 2017

Toby Mills, left, and Andy Strange work as Tifa looks on

Toby Mills, left, and Andy Strange work as Tifa looks on

Philip Traill

Andy Strange took his passion project full-time last November. His company Trimspeed updates classic campervans as well as converting commercial vehicles, as he explained to Jenny Mark-Bell

Andy Strange turned his passion into profit when he set up Trimspeed, a camper conversion and interiors company.

He’d always loved VWs and old campervans. He spent 14 years in the marine industry, where he learnt his trade in upholstery while doing up campers to sell privately in his free time.

After registering Trimspeed in 2014 he worked part-time out of his parents’ garage in Bosham, finally quitting his day job to work on the company full-time last March.

In November 2016 the company had grown out of their existing space and moved into their unit in Funtington. Now Andy works there alongside Toby Mills and Toby’s dog Tifa.

As well as updating and refurbishing classic vehicle interiors Trimspeed converts commercial vehicles into campervans. Every project is aimed at helping the customer get the most out of their vehicle. That could include adding cupboard and kitchenette units; seats and beds; elevating roofs; and exterior styling.

“We do complete custom builds,” says Andy. “At the moment we’re working on a large Sprinter van and we’re doing a curved ceiling in plywood, which will be painted white. That’s quite an unusual job.”

Most people with a classic camper use them as a weekend getaway, but some projects are bound for longer sojourns – the Sprinter’s owner plans to take it around Europe and run his business out of it.

Andy’s own camper is a VW T5 which he is slowly converting. He says: “I surf, which comes with the territory. In the UK I like to take it down to Bude or Sandymouth in Cornwall.

“From time to time I go further afield – down to the south of France or even Portugal if I feel I can handle the trip down there with the kids!”

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Sussex Creation is a series by photographer Philip Traill, exploring people in their work environment, capturing the characters and what they do in a single image.

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