My camper van conversion is finally finished! Yes! After 2 years and 8 months, I can finally stamp “FINISHED” on this project. It feels awesome. I can’t believe I did it.
Of course, I could not have done it without help. Jef assisted me in accomplishing several tasks, including hoisting solar panels up to the roof, helping me load and unload supplies and materials, and providing an extra pair of hands when I needed them. At some point he’d taken to calling me “Little Boss,” which I like more than I care to admit.
If I could thank my dad for letting me use his tools and his garage, I would. I wish I could show him my van, because I know he’d be proud. I remember telling him about my plan for the camper van two years ago, when he could still comprehend spoken words, and he simply said, “That sounds ambitious.” A year later, when I still hadn’t finished, he looked at my van and grumbled, “That van is gonna be here forever.” Ha ha, thanks, Dad.
And I had a lot more help than that. Jef’s parents let me completely take over their garage for a few days, Jef’s uncle provided a lot of guidance and advice, and Jef’s aunt helped build the bed frame. Even Jef’s grandmother let me store a bunch of materials for a day or two in her garage. Amazing, right? Did you know that people this nice lived on our planet?
The list goes on! My uncle let me borrow his super duper expensive plasma cutter, and my mom let me store all my supplies in the living room and in the garage for years (it’s probably about time that I get all my junk out of her way now). Glenn Morrisette from tosimplify.net is now a good friend of mine after we’ve exchanged lots of ideas and questions, and Bob Wells of cheaprvliving.com helped me see that living in a van is actually possible.
Finally, I’ve had a lot of support from you all, and I really appreciate it. You guys have all had great suggestions, and even just exchanging occasional hellos and ‘What are you up to?’ emails has been really wonderful.
So, a big, huge, gigantic THANK YOU to you all! I would not have been able to accomplish any of this without you.
Okay, let’s get on to the stuff you really want to see. Here are some photos:
- Bought the van on: March 7, 2013
- Started building on: March 11, 2013
- Finished building on: November 15, 2015
- Money spent: lost track
- Sleeps: 2 (and a 7 lb. dog)
- Solar power system: 600 watts, 440 AH battery
What makes my van unique:
- Projector and projection screen
- Under-floor storage
- Sink doubles as a shower
- Has a mirror
- (7) 12 volt outlets
- Full-size bed coverts to a full-size chaise
- Solar electric system can power a toaster, blender, microwave, and induction cooktop (not all at the same time)
Things I’ve learned about myself during the building process:
- I love having removable interior walls.
- I strongly dislike doors on cabinets.
- I like being able to see my stuff.
- I take a really long time to build things.
- I prefer building things that don’t require help from anyone else.
- I strongly dislike drilling upside down.
- I find glue to be too permanent, and I prefer screws instead.
- I value functionality over aesthetics.
- I can be a perfectionist, but after a certain amount of time and frustration I turn into a “good-enough-ist”.