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Last Updated: Thursday, 31 March, 2005, 16:17 GMT 17:17 UK
Firm builds internet motor home
Ben Tristem pictured in a similar camper van home to the one being built
Ben and Lizzie want a hi-tech life as well as being on the road
An internet entrepreneur with a taste for the open road is having a hi-tech motor home built for him in north Wales.

Online sales agent Ben Tristem, 28, has travelled the UK since selling his flat in London and moving into a camper van.

But now he is upgrading to a 250,000 vehicle complete with computers, home cinema and solar panels.

A Gwynedd firm is building the van. General manager Tym Williams said: "It's going to make quite a vehicle."

Since giving up the city rat race in November 2003, Mr Tristem, 28, has carved out a living as a businessman working via the internet.

It's literally the case of putting the stuff away in cupboards and turning the ignition key
Ben Tristem

He and girlfriend, Lizzie Bury, moved from south Kensington and have toured mainland Britain in a 50,000 motor home, while also building their business as retail agents.

With advances in satellite communications and voice-over-the internet technology, they are able to take calls from customers in the same way as any other firm.

At the same time, they are also able to be literally on the doorstep of any potential business opening almost overnight.

Now Mr Tristem wants a vehicle purpose-built for his luxury home-turned-office.

The six-wheel, 12-ton machine will boast the latest in space age communications, including solar panels, a home cinema screen for video conferencing with clients, and satellite broadband communications.

Ben Tristem and a control screen in another camper van built by the same company
Everything in the new van will be controlled by touch screens

Mr Tristem is a daily visitor to the workshop - which the pair now also represent as part of their online portfolio - to see how the vehicle is progressing.

"We knew pretty much what we wanted. We like the simplicity of a motor home, the fact that we don't have so many material possessions. There's so much of a house that you don't use regularly.

"We spend most of the week at the moment at the factory but every weekend we are in Snowdonia national park. It's literally the case of putting the stuff away in cupboards and turning the ignition key.

"It's a beautiful part of the country. We're keen rock climbers, so we can't complain about having well-known UK crags around the place."

His machine is designed to make the pair self-sufficient in food, water, electricity and amenities for a whole week, while also maintaining contact with an office-based secretary in Nottingham who handles their business calls.

Tym Williams, of MCL Motorhomes, based near Portmeirion in north Wales, said engineers were on schedule to finish the motor home in June.

"Some customers come to us with vague ideas and leave everything to our design team. Ben was an exception," he said.

"He is very involved and has this desire to know what goes where and how it all clicks together."




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