When Mark Atkins was a little boy, he followed his father around the house. When he was doing do-it-yourself, little Mark tried his best to help – and often stood in the way more than he could help. He watched attentively as his father carried out repairs and practiced imitating the movements. His passion for handicrafts and tinkering remained, because today Mark is a trained carpenter and owns his own company in Sydney, Australia. With his company Van Go Fitouts, Mark has specialized in van conversions. Mark’s motivation is to help other people realize their dreams: “Designing dream vans and finally seeing them finished in front of me makes me proud every day.” If you ask Mark about his recipe for success, he modestly refers to his father. Because from him he inherited a knack for craftsmanship and a feeling for creative solutions.
Mark loves the wild waves of the Australian coasts. Since his youth, he has been drawn from one secret surf spot to the next. While working as a carpenter, he rebuilt his first van in 2016 and carefully adapted it to his needs: This was a difficult undertaking, as the van not only had to be suitable for staying overnight, but also for safely storing tools and surfing equipment. Mark drove his finished van for months along the Australian east coast from project to project, from beach to beach. But he was always frustrated that he only ever did part of the work and seldom had the satisfying feeling of accompanying a complete project from start to finish. On the way, Mark increasingly approached strangers and pestered them with questions about their remodeling. One day, a whole bunch of people bombarded him with questions. Then, he had a brainwave and Mark knew what he had to do: The idea for Van Go Fitouts was born.
In 2016, Mark was still working alone on his first conversion, in the middle of the boxes in his parents’ garage. In the meantime, ten employees are working with him on the wishes of his customers, including plumbers, electricians, carpenters and an interior designer. The team has already converted over 20 vans and various buses, campers and off-road vehicles. Mark particularly enjoys working with Mercedes-Benz vehicles and proudly talks about the Sprinter, Vito and Marco Polo models that he has converted. Van Go’s concept combines various services under one roof, thus relieving customers of a great deal of organizational work. In addition, Mark makes a special promise: High quality and a seamless conversion with light materials and soft woods. The prospect of surprising customers with tailor-made conversions after the work is done motivates the team to give their all. Radiant faces make up for every effort.
New and old Mercedes-Benz are unique and at Van Go we love creating flawless comfort into all of our conversions.
Mark understands why more and more people are giving up their homes and moving into a van: You gain valuable experience and travelling in a van is cheaper than staying in a hotel. The vanlife trend in Australia has long since infected not only the “Instagram generation”, but also more and more pensioners. “They call themselves ‘The Grey Nomads’”, explains Mark with a smile. He has bet on the right horse and his business is booming. He will soon be building a new warehouse to deal with the rush. When Mark is not working on a rebuild, the adventure is on. He has been to Australia, New Zealand, the Caribbean, Mexico and Costa Rica – his next destination is Europe. Of course, Mark also travels there in a van: with limited space, but boundless freedom.
The shown conversions were carried out by independent third parties. The suppliers and conversions were not checked by Mercedes-Benz. In this respect, these illustrations do not represent an assessment of the supplier and/or conversions by Mercedes-Benz.