Just bought a small van to convert into a camper, a complete DIY beginner with borrowed tools.
It has a gas tank in back I've attempted to box in, and hashing a bed frame together!
Not sure how to post pics. But be great if anyone has any advice/ideas......
Welcome to Workshop. It's fantastic to have you join us.
I'm looking forward to learning more about your terrific campervan project and trust you will receive plenty of ideas, inspiration and advice from other community members here on the site. You will also be interested in this previous discussion from @Willow - Coverting a van into a camper.
I see that you successfully posted a picture on the gallery - thanks for that. Adding a picture here in a discussion post is also pretty simple. Just click on the insert/edit image button above the text editor. The icon looks a little like a painting. I'll add a screenshot below.
Please let me know if you ever need a hand getting the most from the site. The team and I are always happy to help.
Saw your post, and I'm in the planning stages of something similar.
There is actually loads of information on the web about how to go about doing this kind of conversion. Probably the best video I've seen on YouTube is from a British guy:
He's particularly good when it comes to how to insulate the van. I've watched maybe six or seven videos on this, and his approach seems the best and most sensible.There is also some good information there on how best to hook solar panels up and so forth.
The guys DIY skills are much better than mine, but you can work out how to get things done, and also you can substitute less expensive materials and systems for the higher-grade stuff he uses.
Another good source of information is this site:
Loads of stories there, and it's a good site to browse around to look at the different layouts people use for their vans.
I was wondering if you could possibly offer a bit of advice for me, if you have a sec. I'm looking to convert a van for use as an office space. I do computer coding, and, after paying way too high prices for very small offices in Melbourne, I thought I would try to rig up a van. That way i can drive to pleasant places outside the city, and do my work in a bit of nature, taking a relaxing walk when I need one.
What I'm stuck on is just buying the van at the moment. I just don't have much money for this project, like maybe $10,000 all done. The conversion, because I will need solar power (though not much), is going to cost at least $2500, so I need to buy a van for around the $7500 mark.
I've looked at a few vans, but can't find what I want really. The thing is, I'll only be driving the van less that 6000kms a year, and I'll likely need it for three years, so I just need something that will be reliable for another 20,000kms. So I'm looking at vans with up to 280,000kms on the clock -- I mean, I'm not being unreasonable for the money I've got -- but nothing I look at has really been any good.
Could you tell me what model van you've got, how you found it, and what you think are its strengths and weaknesses? That would be great. Thanks.
Its been a few years since my Movanning builds, but a couple of thoughts for you too consider.
Firstly, Ive never been a fan of having gas bottles INSIDE the van, its a health and saftey risk, one with leaks, two with fire. You dont want to be gassed while asleep, so mount it in a compartment underneath the van if possible, make sure you have a shut off valve where it enters the van that you can shut off when finished cooking. Not sure of aussie regulations, but here in NZ if we want to camp in forests etc we must have exhaust coming out between rear wheels, not out the side. We also must have grey water recovery tank, very handy even if you park in town, you dont drop your sink water on the road. Handy too to add a fresh water tank to cover you for however long you intend to be away from a source. If its a small van make sure to make your bed dual purpose, ie turns into a table during the day, easily done with a few hinges and support.
I guess you will be wiring it for both ac & dc, with perhaps a solar panel/inverter/battery system, / portable generator, add up all the wattage required to run everything you need to run and go from there.
Insulation will lower demand for heating or cooling, so line walls & roof with batts or even polystyrene,, even used cut up old fish crates on one we did, they are nice and thin so easy to put behind linings.
Anyhow, good luck with the build, draw a floorplan of the inside of the van and lay it out. You can make it basic or have some home comforts Once you get an plan, post it
Apparently you guys should keep posting about your campervan exploits and attract some sponsorship - https://www.domain.com.au/news/the-young-australians-using-the-vanlife-movement-to-get-paid-to-trave...
Looking forward to seeing what you do with your van @Craftynix. If you could share some photos it would be great for those of us who are contemplating doing something similar in future.