The Process of Finding the Perfect Rig in Malaysia is so Challenging.
It has been two months since we first decided to downsize our lives and move into a tiny house on wheels. We are in midst of selling off our stuff and also putting in many hours of research to find the right rig for our travels. Finding the perfect campervan rig has proven to be a difficult process here in Malaysia.
There are so many versions of a house on wheels, RVs and Caravans were already very popular in the west for over 50 years and today there are even more versions of a house on wheels. In the last 5 years people have been making Van Conversions look amazing check out #VanLife on Instagram and Pinterest to see the myriad designs and we too were looking at converting a Toyota Hiace or a Ford Transit until we found out that van conversions are illegal in Malaysia. Although illegal, we went ahead and weighed out the pros and cons of having a van conversion but after much thought we decided against it.
Vans make great rigs because of its open concept layout, you can hop from the back to the front seats easily without having to jump out and back into the vehicle because you never know when you need a fast get away. LOL Depending on the size of a van, you be able to head off road into areas less travelled. If we manage to find the right van this is an option we may well explore.
After much research on Google we contacted a man named Wing, I told him our story and that we needed to get a rig for our travels. He said he wasn’t coming back to Kuala Lumpur anytime soon and if we wanted to meet him we would have to go to Langkawi. Wing is originally from Kuala Lumpur and he is the man behind building Malaysia’s first JPJ approved Campervan.
Destination Langkawi Island
malindoair.com from Subang Airport is the most convenient way to get to Langkawi. Love the little propeller planes.
With ideas in our heads and hope in our hearts, we flew to Langkawi Island to meet Wing. Langkawi is about 417km from Kuala Lumpur and it’s an island situated just north-west of Malaysia, a just a spit away from Koh Lipe (Thailand).
Rene and I have been to several islands in Asia, for example Borocay, Koh Samui, Koh Lipe, Bali, Phuket, Redang, Perhentian, Tioman, Pangkor, Penang … and Langkawi is by far our favourite. There’s a peaceful charm about Langkawi. It has it’s own little airport, a hospital, clear blue waters, right amount of tourists, duty free and it is just a two hour boat ride to Penang and Koh Lipe. (Penang is the island which I grew up on.)
Wing picked us up from the airport with his CAM Campervan and took us for a ride around Langkawi Island. This is a man who we had just met and he was kind enough to pick us up and give us a scenic tour of Langkawi. Wing’s camper is the CAM Caravan I first saw this in the CAM Showroom in Klang. You can read more about it here – Malaysia’s First JPJ Approved Campervan
We spent a total of five nights in Langkawi we managed to move a step forward towards creating our own Camper truck. After much brainstorming and discussion, we have decided to manufacture our camper cabin in China. The interior space will have to abide by JPJ (Malaysia’s Road Council) rules and the camper cabins will fit onto twin cab Toyota Hilux trucks and be able to house a small toilet/shower, kitchenette, dinette and bed. The cabin’s tiny interior size will prove to be a huge challenge for us to live in but we will spend most of our time outdoors anyways. After spending some time with Wing in his Campervan life, we realised more than ever that it was truly what we see ourselves doing on a daily basis.