Gallery 1

Image heavy! This page contains photos documenting the first phase I built my van in.

Phase 1: April 2009
I ended up purchasing the van in March of 2009 from a donation yard. The first phase of construction, I was fortunate enough to stay at my mother's for two weeks while I built the van at a friend's house. The only power tools used were a chopsaw, drill, and jigsaw.

I bought things and tools for the van that first week, since I needed them in order to get measurements for the cabinetry and woodworking. The first fixture to go inside the van was the framework for the bed platform which is 2x3 resting on the wheelwell and screwed into the sidewalls. All other measurements and placements were based off of the bed platform.

The framework was made out of 2x2 pine with 3/4" plywood. All framework was built outside the van and then hoisted in through the barn doors.

Once the basic framework was in place, wiring for the 110v system was run to the different outlets in the van for the microwave, fridge, and what was going to be the computer behind the fridge. These pictures were taken after about three days of construction. I didn't have a camera with me as I was working on it so I had to snap shots at my grandparent's house.

Nice and stealthy, first day I got it
Parked in the grandparents' driveway
From the back doors looking in. This van was probably used to move furniture. A few items I picked up are in the front, including the kitchen sink. Viva Craigslist!
My loving grandfather, wondering what the heck I'm getting into. Next to him is the queensized foam mattress I would eventually cut down to fit the bed platform.
Some goodies - camp stove and two six gallon tanks for water. These tanks are available in the store.
 These were the only real shots I was able to get when I first got the van. The second batch of photos were taken after two days of construction and twice as many trips to Home Depot.



This is a simple box to house my batteries. The weathersealing makes the box close tight. A hole is drilled through the side and then linked to a vent on the side of the van.
Battery box closed. This went behind the driver seat
Here are the vents on the van at this point. The gray box behind the window is the 110v hookup (available in the store), the small round one beneath it vents the battery box, and the rectangular one behind that gives some air circulation to the fridge.

This is the bed platform. It's made out of 2x3 crossmembers and carpet covered particle board. Once this was bolted down securely, all other measurements came off this platform.

 Framework on the drivers side. The frame was built outside of the van and hoisted in, with the plywood paneling the last to be secured. The battery box is in the lower right along with the inverter above it. The switch box above that controls the power to the rest of the van. To the left of the fridge is the framework for my desktop computer. This was ripped out when I was able to get a laptop, and I had my wardrobe in that area.

 Kitchen cabinet framework. You can see the romex coming out of the floor to the microwave outlet and the other two outlets in the photo. The microwave has its own circuit. Behind the romex are the two water tanks under the sink. The countertop is 3/4" plywood with laminate glued to it with gorilla glue.

Here's a closeup of the switches above the inverter. Left controls the microwave, the center controls the computer area/boxfan, and the right switch controls the refrigerator,

Here's another shot of the kitchen area. You can see the rocket hand pump that pulls water from the fresh tank.

Not much else was done that was captured in pictures before moving in. Drawers were put in below the microwave, a drop down leaf was added to the countertop to make room for the stove. A spice rack was added above sink, and another bulkhead boxed in the area above the fridge. The mattress was cut down to fit, and shelves were added. The van stayed this way until October of that year when I upgraded a few things and took many more pictures.

3 comments:

  1. Looks badass, I want to do the same style, but I want to install the propane tank underneath the frame.

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  2. Is this the same conversion that used to appear on www.cheaprvliving.com? Seems there was more to it than what is on this blog? It was my favorite conversion that I hope to build. Any info appreciated. Their site is under construction and the description/photos no longer appear?

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