How to convert a Van in to an Off-Grid Camper in 17 Days!

How to convert a Van in to an Off-Grid Camper in 17 Days!



this is the transit van I have bought not too old 80,000 miles just need to convert it so I can live for free everywhere and so it's pretty filthy say it's gonna give you really good clean up I've taken before the wooden paneling from the ceilings floors and walls let's get out with these bolts and attachments so I have taken out the bulkhead from the front you can like really opens up the front I'm gonna have a divider here anyway but it will make things a little bit nicer I've cut the window out and take off the shop but on this fan there's some these kind of food sections so taking a pair of mole grips and the piece of wood behind it to support it I'm just gonna clean them up muffins and they sit within these run of us in the van then it's 2.5 centimeters which makes it perfect to put in the insulation and when I put the plane on top they put it in the insulation they do and I've been putting in the conduit this will be for my wiring got why LEDs from LEDs more LEDs extract a fan and two more LEDs we're going to town with LEDs and also gonna have these LEDs so I've got never conduit coming all the way around the side I made like a hinge in bracket which is attached by one bolt and the other one's a hinge and that means that I can essentially um lift the solar panel up only one way if I need to if maybe a winter it's not get enough light but and hopefully it's tight enough to the roof and underneath you might just really see I put some tap rubber tap washers just to kind of take make you a little bit more deadened with it with movement and things on the other end of the solar panel is just connected by one bolt safe nd that bolt and I can lift this wholesaler panel up this is one of the ones things are kind of worried about it's proved an effort to do best about half a day to engineer these brackets and 1.5 millimeter square where and I reuse this for all of my smaller stuff like LEDs extractor fan I can start putting it through and laboring the wires so I can remember where they are later when I come to worried up to the battery and all the secretary who gets a easy way to keep it in place it's kind of difficult form slowly these beams are slightly tape it in and there's some parts I had to cut out to help it flex a little bit cut some cuts all the way along the beam and bolted it in two places and I'll just kind of glue and seal around it just to kind of give it additional support I've got in the four buttons which open up bolted in had to make a late of shape and it's kind of annoying with this that's basically every single one that's a different shape different dimensions just because the way the vehicle was being constructed with what's the insulation in I mean squirting foam gun which is a very enjoyable activity all around the edges inside filling in some of these these ducting in the van you should hopefully make it nice and warm most of the installationnow in I'll give you a top tip for when you're using an expanding foam if you're doing a six foot high ceiling and you're six foot wear a hat I might need to give myself a haircut a little bit later and I just fill it with spray foam you like pen cement in I've put this 50 mil Celotex installation board up and then I'm covering it with this foil insulation which is technically another four centimeters say by our time this vans finish it would be equivalent of nine centimeters and installations they should be pretty good where's the end of day for now on the field and all of the insulation is basically complete it's for you and then math gaffer tape around and this will be trapped behind stuff anyway say but we've pretty solid in there and I've got my horse little flaps cut for my lights and fan and now I can start putting in some of the block work for the base and the base of the bed and the cabinet cabinets I'm quite cool day five I am adding some cladding just where it can go and I've managed to make the window just the right diameter a piece of wood in and I have like a nice window sill and I office on it fits flush I've got some red wood pine which will look a bit better here because there are some parts where I can actually attach it to with screws because I want it to have like a flush finish I've been using these little clips cladding clips that are really good because basically you can't see you where I've attached it in a line here say actually looks pretty clean which is quite nice continuing putting on the cladding give an example of how I'll put in the cladding on some of the box metal work in some play with in all the way around and a support of the middle and that means I can bridge it along with the entire cladding and I can use those clips so it doesn't mean you get any screws on the face so it should look quite good latex I put in a ton of part of the old bulkhead gives you just a really stable thing to drill things to and I'm gonna build my own wooden bulkhead with a slider here which we kind of cover up with an insulated screen and on the other side it would just look like it's just all part of a builder's band and because it will have its black order copy on it I didn't realize that the seats would kind of project back into the van say when I was doing my plans I didn't really account for that I'm fortunate it's gonna probably add a day probably a build to try and work out how to make this screen slider and I'm gonna have a shelf at the top of that now but hopefully I'll get it done today and it will look quite good so this is the extractor fan I just got a piece of wood which will fit in behind there looks a little rough but when it's behind the the edge here will be completely fine patience Beauty fast this is the end of day six sealing a little gap here just because of distances and lengths and the fact I had to line stuff up to fit the fan in but I need to get that filled but I shouldn't be too bad let's little bit or something say day seven and I am gonna try and put in these battery containers so like find out that position I've drilled a hole in the floor and the most messy way possible for this power box I mean how the power box come on the underside of the vehicle just because I won the van to be much more stealthy you say doesn't look like a camper van anyway and we'll say start to build the bed frame say you can see here blocking it out trying to make sure it's completely parallel to the other side the van is not really straight and it curves in all directions so it's kind of complicated to kind of make sure that it's completely perfect but I don't want to have to have several different level several different size slats as I gave backwards took along the bed otherwise once this is blocked out I can start the electronics which I didn't have a clue about but I can read the internet so it's okay a mini tour of van being done in a bulkhead and like a sliding screen here through kind of like cover up and insulate more in this top corner you can actually hang a hammock across to these points in the roof a nice big window swimming a bench at the back of it kitchen unit kind of here in this side and I just put in sort of frame stuff for the bed I just put the bed in beds here just so I can kind of measure off it basically and make sure I've got things right I just put in later slats underneath eventually we screw it in and it will mean that because there's nothing between here in the back if I want to take out these parts then I can still use the fan it's like a big space right now I'm trying to work out the electronics and I just run you through it say we have the main plug which is going to go underneath the van into the MCU and our CD and then this is a battery charger which goes into my two batteries and from the battery gate a inverter and the inverter will go two plugs that's the only thing which will come off the inverter and then from the solar panel on the roof will come down to the solar traffic controller which will go into the battery and also from this we have the kind of monitoring remain wonderful thing and from the battery will go off to this fuse box and from the fuse box it will go away to my lights other 12-volt applications got these two curves which is the battery one between the the car battery and the kind of the trailer and it will say one which will come off the anything which comes out so essentially will sit between two batteries my fuse box oh I can just kill the power as well and will say all the lights you forgot the roofies LED lights and this is like a role a role of LEDs okay on my side lights and off the back will say for the battery or go to the heat source pump let me Peter and off the he to okay the little key controller see yeah it's quite a lot but it's not too bad I think it's figure out a ball as you can see my paneling is almost completely finished now I'm gonna be using some sandpaper not too heavy sandpaper basically gonna smooth it all down I'm gonna use some danish oil to kind of bring out the machine should look nice that's the whole band say you leave a Danish over for six hours let's set and you do it again you just rub it on the clocks day in day and a half it should be done in terms of getting the cladding sorted anyway these are my two ledger batteries I've made it so that they can't move anywhere quite heavy and I've shift around the vehicle I've kind of screwed blocks in around all the way around them this is gonna be the panel access through under the bed I'll have this fixed up a little bit better and that's also connect into these two cutoff switches in soil now done first cake well you got three more times it's not too bad and I've used about two-thirds of a can so three count should basically do the whole whole pants that's not bad so evening of day eight and I've but on both sides of Vannes I've got these pieces of ply which will eventually be covered in a thin layer of foam than fabric which will go each side of the sleeping area I'm going to try and hang them now so I can build everything else around it to make sure it fits got this arrived this is the gas layer 11 kilo bottle it's basically we fill of a way LPG gas which means I can get gas anywhere in Europe pretty much anywhere in the world I guess which is good and I'd rather start marking out the kitchen a bit better now I've got that also in my kitchen sink and gas has come so as soon as I finished most of the sleeping area stuff I like blocking out and I can start working out on the Block work off of the kitchen and the chair and we will have the under lit LEDs throw out some box around the battery housing she was like a hundred much today but quite a lot of planning I know how I'm doing a lot of things and I can start building some of these separators here which will kind of fill in that gap and kind of know how that's going to work I'm just really not looking forward to build the closed unit just so with detail to which accuracy to things on more massive panels so yeah it's broad on day nine day nine and I am making kitchen block work just put the block work in and then I put panels on the back and sides and I'll give you a lot of strength on the front side it's gonna be painted sanded down and painted so I'll screw it from from the back and I'm gonna need a piece of weight on the back to block in this area behind the bulkhead there's a sink in place just like fold up lid she's kind of cool and underneath the gas bottle and there's gonna be two jerry cans so it's a bit of a snug fit but it should be okay and right now I've got stuff from an old conversion about a year ago and it's nice to recycle into the new van so end of day yeah got a lot of block work today done tired kind of doing night 12 14 hours on this and then an evens kind of work into like order more materials I'm actually pretty tired say I think maybe tomorrow I'm gonna have a long lion or maybe a half day off I'm just tired I'm starting to get a what stressy about things when they're not going right and not having patience to do things the way they should be done say probably good time to have a break say for the kitchen top I could spend a lot of money on something or manage to find these key pieces of mahogany and slightly food but if I put them back together they should make quite a nice kitchen top just glue them together sand them down a lot and she'd look pretty good so this is the reclaimed wood I just sanded it down and now I'm gonna plump it up a lot of glue so we've got two parts on come on day 10 and I've boxed in the cover units it's been a real pain I've been some complete screw-ups here to try and make this but I'm gonna have like four flaps coming across here and that would be like a long cupboard beside the bed hey this little shelf here I've kind of cut these out angles out here and then sanded off the back of them to make the the window profile otherwise it's quite difficult to do other than that ivory done the reef with a Danish wheel so I could put the lights in finally like stuff them in and I've done some work on the kitchen same thing save that should be dry tomorrow to perhaps become one and then I can cut it out and turn it into like a sink bench with a lot of sanding hopefully it will look good and tomorrow I need to buy gas stuff I have no idea what I'm doing gasps I've got connect up the bottle to the gas cooker and we'll say the gas heater say don't freeze something we'll work with that and this stupid thing here the MPPT which is bust gonna get new one of those tomorrow hopefully else I'm really behind because everything all the electronics go for it so until that's working I don't know if anything works my Florin has arrived two packs like great some family we're getting rid of this futon which happens to be made almost 100% of foam so I can use that in the beds harvest some foam from it Oh save me how to buy some foam it's day 11 and I've been shopping for more wood this fan just eats work like nothing else and my kitchen top and ready basically holding trying to get the scratches out of this stuff looks pretty it's kind of working I mean there's no because I just couldn't get a load out and for some reason there's a short in the in the heater so I didn't know why that is but I'll have to check that out but just really exciting together turn on and off a light for the switch that's cool very happy now so it's day 12 Azrael yesterday say I took a day off but now feeling a little bit better and just putting in the gas tank ratchet strap a good idea from the van zold traveler website use that to basically fix it in chris lpg but the filler nozzle on the front should work quite nicely yeah and I've got a regulator and stuff arrived so I can start putting all the gas spikes hopefully connected and most stuff up but I didn't know what I'm doing say I've got a friend who does I'm gonna ask him to check it when it's done because I don't blow myself up I'm just working on the slider screen which will separate the cab from the main part kind of like shut it off and on this I insulated coil and in the end up put some water a carpet on the back of it so just look black in the back of the cab this other seating where the mechanism underneath which means that this chair can fold down as well my gray fabric still hasn't right so I can't do the top panels but I've been sorting out the kind of setup for it and now we have side lights these are these 3m LED strips can like a warm light color the fabric I ordered like 10 days ago is funny arrived today we're more blue than I thought but I think that probably better anyway a little bit of color I put the fame on the boards I'm just smoothing it down and then I'll turn it over and steal it so end of day 13 and I've got to London tomorrow so I won't get so much done that few days so probably basically not have a couple days off maybe three days off one other bit of learning has been the solar charge controller so I just bought one yeah got solar charge controller that's awesome but by Apollo is 300 watt and essentially really with a bit of margin I need a 40 amp port and the one I've got is 10 amps so doesn't take long for it to get over voltage and emits charge in factories I think but after a point it's too much very kind of handle it say basically I've got another one in the place where I went a couple days I just have to basically leave the panel unplug for the moment just so just to be safe so back from London started to do a bit more work and day 15 I guess really in terms of working on it and I got these IKEA trays which kind of work quite nicely is like stayed outdoors will say you down here I've got this bin we shall build in it should be nice my new charger controller the 40 amp version is in which is very external monitoring unit which is useful if the bet to see what's going on just around my gas stuff that's basically finished now I think now I just need to make a big draw I'm gonna have a big draw above these will come out some sort of stuffing and the other big bit really to do is just this area I've ordered a kitchen cabinet I can't find one in like I went like five different shops like DIY home store shops and none of them had like a small kitchen cabinet they managed to find on Amazon I need to insulate this because I was living in the van in London for a few days I really realized how how hot the cab gets it's so hot and even just the the metalwork here above the cab like doesn't get any direct sunlight but it's roasting hot and obviously the roof does as well and you can kinda just feel the heat trying to get into the main body of the van through here and apart from that I mean the Vans quite cooled but as soon as you realize how much heats coming through from the cab just realized I'm going to double down on insulation all round of this Bobcat area gonna put another layer on the slider unit and I'm just gonna go to town with the top of the cab because it just gets so hot inside the cabin if I can isolate that from the main body of the van I think even in like a really hot summer's day I think would be okay so it's I have a day 15 or 16 I'd have to look at my videos to remember and basically it's time to sort the cab out it's been a great tool store but now I can steal my cools in the tray and a big out drawer m8 so it's back to foam in insulation remember how much I love this stuff I just filled up abduct in as well so it's kind of just use it out but my hair this time and then I'm gonna put a layer of oil by morning it because this thing gets so hot and above the cab at roost so gifts is really well covered up and then I've got this mirror unit I'm gonna put in the middle the bathroom unit and then gonna basically you can see it's basically snow and foam such a beautiful thing so this is the covered unit I made yesterday yeah I mean it's such a beast I mean it's so heavy and cool but like as you can see inside here I try to have four hinges because I was thinking of having two doors on each side it just doesn't work you can only have two it's just kind of really with it so yeah I just got to fix this in I can start like bolt like blocking out the sides but it's nice to see it in place kind of starting to look like it's kind of getting close to finish which is pretty cool I am making it in the drawers I'm using some spare flooring it's just but I just look at the bases I've got the sides back front sorted out the bases put in the runners sand it all down and then put blocks in the corners to glue it together yeah just gonna make it so it's late and I have just put it in the drawers is essential were these these handles I got from Ikea the front floor in which I had spare and yes nice to get these in bore into me but quite pleased with the January effect let's kind of swish I've added this little bin area the bin just pushes in and kind of wedges also because it's right by the door I've added a little light so as you come in you can very quickly find your way around the band in case you didn't have light I put in the bathroom cabinet and really pleased it works really well good little magnetic push button just directly over sink say so ready for Hama shape or whatever just upholstery the cushions using some staple gun way easier than seven it's actually the end of another day I went too lazy to film today but I've discovered Auto carpet oh my god it's a good it's kind of just really fills in these gaps and kind of takes of those weird edges and I can just put some crap behind it cover it off your carpet it looks great say just got to do that to the ends here other than that I've filled in a nice map behind I'm gonna put it on the door doing this and basically I'm finished apart from these two cupboards just got to make some doors and been putting on autograph it and it's really nice so basically finished I'm having it soon like Salem monetary USB you know the USB in the middle bed round got the drawers the kitchen the water tanks the gas thing works the water works basically I just put some knobs on these cupboards got this little bathroom cabinet thing in as well that's pretty cool have some like Twitter trees over yeah say race yet posted just finish yeah and now I just need to have this thing you [Applause] we have these sidelines which when the stock like this it gives a really nice clay and when you compare it to how bright it is as white for these seeded lights suddenly you really realize how nice these other side lights is LEDs are now these LEDs actually quite a lot electricity because it's like loads and loads of them and they're not really super low energy but the Sailor panel can handle it and in comparison which we end up with like a really nice feel to the rack you

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Comments

  1. I love to see men working with their hands and create great things. I would love to know how much did you expended on your van. My husband wants to do something like that, but I'm skeptical because I don't see how to incorporate a functional toilet. Very proud of your excellent work! 👍🙌

  2. i did my conversion in 10 mins – double mattress thrown in back and an industrial size bottle of Chloroform secured to the van wall. i thank you

  3. good job! but never ever possible allone in 17 days. I am working togehter with my son on a van. We do everything, every little item by our selves. It is possible to do it all. But it is just not possible to make it in this time!

  4. SET ALUMINUN FOILD ON TOP OF THE BATTTERIES. SO YOU AND YOUR LIFE SLEEP BETTER AND HAVE A HEALTHY LIFE STYLE. STAY TUNE. NICE WORK BODY

  5. since the van is so tall you could've made a loft and put the bed up there and possibly had a legit bathroom underneath

  6. I need to do this but I only have a small amount of experience with wood work.
    With some use of the internet would this be doable?

  7. Its great to see the transition of the van and yourself as the video progresses!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. Great video if you're looking for ideas, but not much else. This is not a step-by-step video. You don't really show us how you install each component. talks about doing something then shows you when it's done without showing any of the actual work being done or how to do it. You're a handy guy but I wouldn't go into teaching. That being said, thank you for sharing your experience.

  9. Awesome work. But shouldn't you have to find a way to isolate the gas tank into its own box with a vent to the outside? If you have a leak it will kill you…

  10. For the overhead above front seats, I had 4 trays from home depot they were perfect lengths 1 for pants, 1 for shirts, 1 for dresses or other clothes, 1 for undies all out of sight am 5’4” sliding them out was easy grab clothes push back. My jackets or items tha required ganging i hung against wall then covered them with a beautiful cloth. As for wood its heavy and more fuel use. Did you install a heater???
    Very nice van

  11. Am cant wait to trade my pacifica for a high top comm van to live in. In December i turn 60 so i think its best bet for me even if i buy land i think its great to have a vehicle to live in just in case

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