The Van Build


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

-Not me about van building


The above #vanlifer quote applies to plenty of things in life, and in this blog’s context, it very much applies to climbing.  However, when it comes to van building, I’m all about getting to the finish line.  So I’m dedicating this to people who want their van the easy way.  To the people who don’t want a project.  To 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 living in 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 reviews here has been written after approximately 6 months of use.

  1. Demolition
  2. Insulation
    • Floor: BEDRUG Vanrug review
    • Wall & Ceiling: Havelock Wool review
  3. Electric
    • Battery System: Bluetti AC200P review
    • Wiring: Powerwerx (mostly)
      • General supplies
      • Primary switch panel
      • Rear pillar switch panels
    • Solar: Cascade 4×4 VSS SYSTEM review
    • Exterior Lighting: Outside Van review
      • Outside Van Dual 6″ Light & Bracket Kit review
      • Outside Van Ditch Light & Bracket Kit review
  4. ⭐️Interior Build, SergSupply Review
    • Wall Panel Kit by SergSupply
    • Ceiling Kit by SergSupply
    • Floor Kit by SergSupply
    • Wheel Well Storage & Bed Kit by SergSupply
    • Kitchen Galley, Custom by SergSupply
    • Bench Seating and Storage, Custom by SergSupply
  5. Plumbing
    • Water Pump: FloJet (03526144) Triplex Automatic Water System Pump review
    • Tanks & Hoses: Superior RV Portable Galley Fresh Water & Grey Water Holding Tank Kit review
    • Sink: Tec Vanlife Black Nanotech Stainless Steel Sink review
  6. Appliances
    • Fridge: Dometic CFX3 45 review
    • Fridge Slider Tray: DFG Offroad Fridge Slide Sideways review
  7. Miscellaneous
    • Swivel Seats: Scopema Seat Swivels review
    • Mattress: Mattress Insider Custom Mattress review
    • Floormats: Mercedes OEM (Terrawagen “Floor Mats That Fit”) review

To people who want their van the easy way.  To the people who don’t want a project.

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