VAN TOUR | Converting an Old Van into a Cozy Home and Office!

VAN TOUR | Converting an Old Van into a Cozy Home and Office!


– Hey there, guys. My name is Jordan, and this is my home. (soft electronic music) She’s a 1986 Toyota HiAce
with a pop top roof, and as of two and a half weeks ago, it is now my full time
home and office on wheels. So, in this video, I
wanted to show you guys the process that I went through in converting it into a camper van, and then give you a detailed tour, and a look of the inside, and show you how I’ve
got everything set up, so let’s get into it. So, after buying the van, the first thing I did was
completely gut the inside. It was set up as a basic camper, but it was old, it smelled weird, and it just wasn’t set up how I needed it. Once I had a blank slate, I started by laying down a
timber frame for the floor. Then I put down Earthwool insulation, and covered it with a vapour barrier. I then made the vapour barrier
as airtight as possible by sticking down the
edges with aluminium tape. Shout out to Mum and Dad for helping throughout various stages of the build. Next, I put down the plywood floor, and screwed it into the timber frame. This was gonna be my home, so it was really important to insulate it the best that I could. I made a timber frame for the walls, and then covered them in a vapour barrier. Then I screwed pine lining
boards into that timber frame. Then I framed up the shelves
that would go beside the bed. After the shelves, I built
the frame for the bed, 30 centimeters off the ground so I could have storage underneath. And once the bed was completed, it was onto building the kitchen. Because I was so focused
on finishing the van, this is all the build footage I have. So I spent two and a half
months converting the van, probably spending about
six hours a day on it. I paid six grand for the van, and I think I spent around
four on the conversion. I think that’s pretty good for a home. (soft electronic music) So welcome to the kitchen. I like to cook, so I prioritized having a decent-size kitchen in the van, and tried to make the most of the small amount of space
that I’ve got to work with. So, this is the sink. I just reused it from the
old camper conversion, and changed the position of the tap. That’s why there’s this black, a little bit of rubber
here, to cover up the hole. It’s a hand pump tap that is connected to this
23-liter water container at the bottom here. It’s made of glass. It’s a brewing demijohn. I don’t like to drink out of
plastic if I can avoid it, so this was the best
solution I could think of as a cheap solution. In the future, I’d probably like to get a custom tank
fitted for under the van, but for now, this is working really well. I’ve got a ratchet strap here that is screwed into the wall, and it’s securing this really well so, when I’m driving, it’s not moving. It’s just staying put. So it’s a hand pump tap that the drinking water hose just sits in the water in the demijohn, and then I can just go like this, and I’ve got drinking water. And so the sink drains into
this 20-liter jerrycan here that I can just take out and empty. It’s also secured to the wall so it doesn’t move around, and I plumbed that into the sink, and just made this drain trap here, just out of hose fittings and the old hose from the original van, and this stops smell from
the jerrycan coming back up into the sink, that’s
what this shape here does. I’ve also got these fancy
magnetic springy cupboard openers that I was pretty pleased with. And this is just a simple
two-burner camping gas cooker that I’ve taken the lid off, and screwed it into the
bench so it’s secured, and the gas line comes
in through the bench, and the gas bottle sits in
its own fiberglass housing under here that’s vented to the outside. You can get fancier cook tops that are all stainless steel, and they sink into the bench, but they’re, like, eight times the price of one of these, so I just went with this, and it’s been working great. So this is a drawer here that slides out, and I keep my cutlery in there, and other cooking utensils. I was gonna have three drawers along here, but making one of these was enough of a pain in the ass that I just decided to have another cupboard, and in here, I keep saucepan, frying
pan, bowls and stuff, and below there, I keep my compost bin, recycling, and rubbish, and just other bits and pieces. And so I tried to use as
many recycled materials as I could in this van, and so these bench tops here
are just an old bed head that I found on the side
of the road in Melbourne, and I just sanded them
back and stained it, and they look amazing, so
I’m super happy with those. And so these are pine lining boards that I got from the Tip for $20. They were probably, like, 300 bucks worth of timber that was being thrown away. It’d just been taken out of an old house, and so I picked it up, and
used it everywhere I could. I just sanded it back, and stained it, and used it for the cupboard doors here, and for the lining of the entire van. And under here is the electrical system. So I’ve got three 160-watt
solar panels on the roof, and that is fed down into the van, into this breaker box here, and then into this
60-amp charge controller, and I’ve got a 130-amp power
deep cycle AGM battery here, and then a 375-watt inverter. I did have two 130-amp
power batteries in parallel, but when I was wiring this all up, I was rushing, and accidentally
fried the other battery. It was pretty devastating, but I plan to buy another
one in a couple months’ time, and then just pop it back in here, and join them back up in parallel. And for the 12-volt stuff, the connection goes from
the charge controller, up into the fuses here, and then I’ve got this switch panel on the front here for the lights. As you can see, I’ve just got
these little fairy lights, I love how they look, just pinned up around the
whole edge of the van. I’ve got a switch for the fridge, and one for the pump, which
is underneath the van, and that powers my gas shower. And here, I’ve got a little USB port here for charging my phone and other things that are connected via USB. So this is my fridge that is connected to the solar setup. It’s a Waeco CF40, and
it’s been great so far. It doesn’t use much power, and it’s big enough for what I need. For ventilation, I’ve also got a 12-volt exhaust van in the roof. So here’s my bed. It’s a futon mattress under here, and I’ve built it 30
centimeters off the ground so I could have storage underneath here, so there’s hinges in the middle, and the slats fold up from each end, and the storage can be accessed from either inside here, or from outside at the back of the van. So the bed isn’t long enough for me to sleep on in its state like this, so I’ve got an extension that
sits under the mattress here that I can pull out, and
it slots in at the end, and then I can have two
meters of bed space, which is how tall I am, so if I had two meters of bed, it would just take up too much room, so I’ve made this little extendable part. And the bed extension doubles as my desk, so I can take the extension out, and put it into these bits of timber here, and then put the legs down, and then I’ve got a little surface that I can put my
computer, mouse, keyboard, and I’ve got my little office here. So you can kinda think of this
as version one of the van. It’s probably going to be
an ever-evolving design, but now that I’m living in it, there are small tweaks
that I’d like to make that I’ve become aware of
since actually using the space and living here full-time. So one of those things I’d like to tweak is the desk setup. Because I have to sit
on the bed cross-legged, I can only do that for about 40 minutes or an hour before my legs start to hurt, and I need to go for
a walk, which is fine, but if I need to work for
longer periods of time, it’s just a bit uncomfortable. And yeah, there’s just
little finishing touches I’d like to make one day. Because I was so keen to get on the road, I just did kind of what I had to do to make it liveable and functional, and there are some bits and pieces that are still unfinished, like the edge of the door here, where you can see the insulation. I’m kind of excited about that, that I can continually just work on it, and refine it, and tweak it as I go. And over here, I’ve got my shelves. So I’ve got food stored
up here and down here, and then, on this side, I’ve got computer stuff, and camera gear, and other electronics, and then I’ve got clothing
underneath, just down here, and this is my hot water bottle, Whaley. I like Whaley. He keeps me warm. And over here is my little bookshelf that I can fit a small amount of books in. I just made it out of plywood and some brackets that are
screwed into the shelving. So this is my shower setup. I’ve got a gas camping shower here that I’ve just mounted
some brackets onto the van that I can just hang it on. This is connected to the gas bottle, which lives in here, and I’ve got a water
container that is plumbed into the pump that’s underneath the van, and then the pump goes into the unit, and then out the shower
head, and I’ve got hot water, and I’ve got a shower tent that I can just set up
in front of the unit, and I’ve got a shower. (soft electronic music) So I hope you all enjoyed
this little look at my home. If you’ve got any questions, please leave them in the comments below, and I’ll make a video just dedicated to answering a bunch of questions. So thanks for watching, and I’ll see you all in the next video.

About the Author: Michael Flood

100 Comments

  1. You are so smart dude, this is so inspiring. I’m from Auckland NZ, I’m really tall like you, 6 ft 2 and trying to figure out how I could convert a van into a comfortable living space. I don’t know how to do all the technical stuff (plumbing and electrical) so I’ll prob just shower and charge my devices at the gym or my parents house. Thanks a lot for the insight. Now I know there is someone out there who lives in a van and has a pet whale (Whaley xD) haha. You learn something new every day!

  2. Does anybody know anybody that can do this for me I'll get the van pay however much I need to for them to build it just give me their contact info

  3. Jordan man, this is awesome! I have a 1985 Hiace camper, it's still in it's original config so I am sniffing around for inspiration and ideas. Great job! Love the interior and how homely you've made it.
    I hope it's going well!

  4. wow. this is totally awesome, Jordan! what great skills + vision you have. I subbed straight away for all your vids. [el'sda2].

  5. There must be so much weight on those wheels. I never really realized how much weight a home on wheels could have 🤔

  6. all the popies i've seen, are campers, or converted to something else, just sayin m8! wouldn't mind havin 1 myself to stand up in. having said that. nice job, similar to what i want to do for my van.

  7. Hola Jordan! Buen trabajo! Yo estoy haciendo mi furgoneta ahora también! Felicidades!! Km y buen viaje!❤🚐🚐
    Hi Jordan! Good job! I'm working now in my van too! Congratulations! Kms and good travel!🚐🚐❤❤

  8. This is like litarary my dream, I've been saving up for quite a bit now, but I'm not a handy man and don't know anything about electronics, so converting it myself will be pretty hard I think

  9. That's nice , why don't more people put the water above the sink for gravity flow? , that hand pump is awful lol. And no need for electric pump either 🤔🤔

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