The Van Build

“It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey.”

-Not me about van building

The above typical #vanlifer quote applies to plenty of things in life, and in this blog’s context, it applies very much to climbing.  However, when it comes to van building, I’m all about getting to the destination with as little journey as possible.  So I’m dedicating this to people who want their van the easy way.  The people who don’t want a project.  The climbers who want to climb.

Ideally I would have gone with a turnkey option with a van builder, but my stomach churned when looking at pricing.  And even when I considered swallowing the price-pill, the build times thoroughly scared me off. I’d embark on a quick build, semi-DIY, without cutting corners on quality.

Goals & Constraints

  • A buildout comfortable for 2-5 day stretches.
  • An overall installation that I could accomplish over 2-3 weekends. (Not including the planning.)
  • A well featured electrical system that would not require professional level knowledge for a 100% safe installation.
  • A cold water plumbing system that would be unlikely to leak with plenty of use.
  • Zero addition to the heigh clearance requirement of the vehicle as to continue fitting in my garage.
  • The ability to build the van “inside out” from inside a Downtown Seattle condo parking garage, with zero workspace outside of the van interior itself.

The purpose of the following pages is not to provide van-build eye candy, but to provide a resource and product feedback for folks building their own vans. I did not photograph or video any process of my build, mostly because that would be a huge waste of time with the collection of high quality videos already available online that I’ll be linking to. All the product feedback here has been written after approximately 6 months of use.

  1. Choosing a van
  2. Demolition
  3. Insulation
  4. Interior
    • Walls
    • Ceiling
    • Floor
    • Galley
    • Storage
    • Bed
  5. Electric
    • Battery
    • Wiring
    • Interior
    • Solar
  6. Appliances and Lighting
    • Refrigerator
    • Sink
    • Plumbing
    • Lighting
  7. Swivel Seats
  8. Mattress