Hello folks. I've recently finished up my van build and thought I would share it with you. I'm about to set off on it full time once I get rid of my home and my job over the next few weeks. I’m planning to travel around for however long I’d like to, hopefully more than 2 years. I expect I’ll mostly be in the western half of the U.S. I’d like to go down into Mexico and maybe Central America but I’m not sure whether I’ll actually do that.
I’ve been living in the van for about a month and a half while I wait around for my house sale to finish. (I moved into my van and left only staging furniture in my house to help it sell)
For more detailed conversion information, you could find my thread over at CheapRVliving, username FALCON.
To just see all the conversion pictures, go on Flickr and search for "FALCON.MORDACAI" and select the "search people" dropdown.
I bought the van in May 2015. It had under 105,000 miles on it. I paid $3,200 for it from a motorcycle/atv dealer who took it as a trade in. The van had previously been used by someone with a boat company or just a boat. It appears they used it tow boats, and didn't really do much of anything in the back of the van itself, as that area was spotless and the walls/paint were in perfect condition. It had only very little rust and drives well.
Here’s how it looked when I first bought it:
And with the exterior changes finished:
(removed the running boards. Put on slightly bigger tires (Goodyear Duratracs). Put on vent fan, roof rack, and solar array.
Interior, before starting:
This is with all the curtains up covering the windows. The electrical system was not installed when I took this picture. The curtains are black on the side facing the windows. They attach to the van with metal snaps. They are almost perfect and let very very little light escape. I may fix the snap locations sometime to make them 100% perfect.
View from the back. That tall box on the left side is for storing a bicycle. The right side of the van is the kitchen area, with food storage in the cubbard next to the van, a Whynter 45q fridge in the middle, and the front area I use for storing water and other misc. things. I made the water and cooking systems very simple – I just have 2.5g jugs for storing water, and a 64oz container that I refill from the jugs and use to dispense water. No sink or anything. For cooking, I use a single burner propane stove that fits on top of 1lb propane bottles. I also have a Mr Buddy heater that screws onto the 1lb propane canisters.
The left side contains (starting from the bed and moving forward)
- Drawers for storage, and a trash van that fits into the bit of space in front of the wheelwell
- Another set of drawers. These are on wheels, and I wheel them out of that area in order to use that space for my legs and feet while I use the top surface for a desk/table
- Electrical area
- Bike box/more storage
(also, I build the bed and sized the mattress thickness so I can fit four large rubbermaid containers under the bed (maybe 17 gallon size, I can’t remember for sure), and also sit on the bed without having to slouch over from my head hitting the roof. This just barely works out. The rubbermaids fit perfectly and if I sit on the bed with completely upright posture, my head just touches the roof.)