Artist John Dyer converted his beloved Land Rover Defender Ruby into a Dormobile so that he can paint on location and never get stuck in the mud

Our Dormobile Land Rover Defender 110, ‘Ruby’, is far more than just a vehicle; Ruby has become part of the glue that keeps our family young and happy. It’s an instant escape from pressure and it really is a means to be together, to make time for each other and to being a family again. One night away in her is like a holiday; it’s that simple. 

Ruby has been used and used. We lived in France and had an art studio in Italy for three years. It’s quite comical doing those tight corners in Monaco in a Defender – it always needed a three-point turn and was accompanied by a chorus of furious beeping horns! We drove her to Pompeii and Barcelona, from Monaco to Falmouth and everywhere in between. 

Ruby was part of the family, but she really needed a revamp after a decade of hard work with us. It would be unthinkable to sell her and what could possibly replace a 12-seater Land Rover? A campervan, perhaps? And that is how we got to the Dormobile idea, because we had always wanted to sleep in Ruby on our adventures.

I found you can still get an original new Dormobile conversion for Land Rovers and Volkswagen vans at Dormobile in Romsey, near Southampton. The Dormobile design is great value, rugged and tried and tested. It's perfect for us. Ruby is now officially the 1000th Dormobile to join the Dormobile Owners' Club in the UK! Revamped Ruby is now a fabulous 12-seater, four-berth campervan, complete with heating, a table, sofa, LED lighting and iPhone charging points. Ideal.

We use our Dormobile Land Rover to explore Cornwall and beyond. My wife Jo and I are artists, and we travel to amazing locations to paint and to gather material for new sets of paintings. We love capturing lively and colourful coastal scenes, with little boats bobbing in harbours and on the rivers and estuaries in Cornwall. Now we always have a warm and dry home from home – warm food and hot tea wherever we are. It’s great knowing that we can drive into muddy woodland or a field to get a fabulous view and be able to drive out again! 

If the weather happens to be dry we cook on the bonnet, while the kids sit on the roof and play their musical instruments. Our evenings are spent under the stars, and we all look forward to snuggling up for the night. Our imaginations refreshed and our creative juices flowing. What could be better?

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