Send me epic build guides and kickass vanlife tips

Send me epic build guides and kickass vanlife tips

Van Build

Recent Posts

Mounting an ARB Awning on a High Top Van (Without a Roof Rack)

By John | August 27, 2018

The Best 12V Power Inverters for DIY Campervans and RVs

By John | August 7, 2018

Vanlife Mold Prevention and Redoing Our Floor: Tips and Lessons

By John | June 26, 2018

Refrigeration on the Road: The Best 12V Portable Fridges for Vanlife

By John | April 23, 2018

Epic Guide to DIY Van Build Electrical: How to Install a Campervan Solar Electrical System

By John | March 22, 2018

Insulating Your Van: Everything You Need to Know for Your DIY Van Build

By John | January 24, 2018

5 Things We’d Change About Our Van Build (and 5 We Wouldn’t)

By John | November 6, 2017

Vanlife Essentials: Installing a Smart Battery Isolator

By John | October 11, 2017

Installing Our Water System: DIY Van Build Plumbing Made Easy

By John | October 2, 2017

On the Road with Our Fan-Tastic Vent: Would We Buy it Again?

By John | August 14, 2017

11 Space-Saving Storage Ideas for a DIY Van Conversion

By John & Jayme | July 24, 2017

How We Made Custom Kitchen Cabinets for Our DIY Van Build

By John & Jayme | June 26, 2017

How to Build an Easy Portable Solar Panel Mount Out of PVC

By John | June 1, 2017

How to Build a Plywood Battery Box for a DIY Van Conversion

By John | May 15, 2017

How to Fit a Queen-sized Bed in Your Van: Badass Pullout Bed Frame Design

By John | May 1, 2017

Your Parents Were Right! Build a Van and Be Whatever You Want

By John & Jayme | March 27, 2017

How to Make Your DIY Van Build Easier with Pocket Holes

By John | March 20, 2017

What’s In Those Cabinets? Inside Our Van’s Kitchenette

By John & Jayme | February 13, 2017

Creating Our Mobile Log Cabin: Easy Steps to Staining a Van

By John & Jayme | January 30, 2017

DIY Van Conversion: Awesome Cedar Plank Ceiling Installation

By John & Jayme | January 16, 2017

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Deep dives into van build topics and products

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All about your van's off grid electrical system

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Insulation, ventilation, and more

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Step-by-step instructions for building a van

Our Build

See how we converted our van into a home

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Build Your Van

The Ultimate Van Build Guide

Planning a van build? Read our free guide. We cover just about everything you need to know - from planning, to insulation, to solar and electrical, to picking appliances, to essential tools. Get started today so you can get out there on the road!

Epic Guides

The Best 12V Power Inverters for DIY Campervans and RVs

August 7, 2018 / 13 Comments
Best 12V Power Inverter for Vanlife

It’s tough to live without electricity in today’s world, even when you’re traveling in a van. And if you want to keep your laptop charged, or if you like to make super healthy smoothies for breakfast, or if you prefer to freshly grind your coffee every morning – you need an inverter. An inverter is […]

Refrigeration on the Road: The Best 12V Portable Fridges for Vanlife

April 23, 2018 / 30 Comments
the best portable 12v fridges from vanlife

There’s nothing like having a refrigerator in your van to really bring the comforts of home on the road. Refrigeration means you can store fresh food and other cold items – like vegetables, dairy, meat, “booch,” and beer. It means you don’t have to fuss with a cooler full of ice and water-logged food. And […]

Epic Guide to DIY Van Build Electrical: How to Install a Campervan Solar Electrical System

March 22, 2018 / 278 Comments
van build electrical

When we first started thinking about our vanlife electrical system and buying our components, we had a lot of questions. We researched online, read other van build blogs and forum posts, and watched Youtube videos. Some were very helpful, but many left us with a swirl of even more questions. What gauge wiring do we […]

Insulating Your Van: Everything You Need to Know for Your DIY Van Build

January 24, 2018 / 114 Comments
Van Build Insulation

If you want to stay comfortable in your van no matter the weather, you need to insulate. Insulation is one of the most important steps of any van build, and it pays to take the time to do it right. There’s also a lot of confusion and debate over the best way to insulate a […]

All Posts

Mounting an ARB Awning on a High Top Van (Without a Roof Rack)

By John / August 27, 2018 / 17 Comments
how to mount arb awning without a roof rack

We didn’t install a roof rack when we built our van. At the time, we didn’t see the need for one. “Our roof is going to be taken over by solar panels and a vent fan,” we thought. “There’s no reason for us to get a roof rack.” How wrong we were. We know now […]

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The Best 12V Power Inverters for DIY Campervans and RVs

By John / August 7, 2018 / 13 Comments
Best 12V Power Inverter for Vanlife

It’s tough to live without electricity in today’s world, even when you’re traveling in a van. And if you want to keep your laptop charged, or if you like to make super healthy smoothies for breakfast, or if you prefer to freshly grind your coffee every morning – you need an inverter. An inverter is […]

Read More >>

Vanlife Mold Prevention and Redoing Our Floor: Tips and Lessons

By John / June 26, 2018 / 20 Comments
vanlife mold prevention

It’s every vanlifer’s worst nightmare. There’s a leak somewhere, and a good rainstorm brings a steady drip of water that might not seem like a big deal at first. But that water ends up leaching into some dark, unventilated corner of your van, and before you know it you’ve got a mold problem. This is […]

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Refrigeration on the Road: The Best 12V Portable Fridges for Vanlife

By John / April 23, 2018 / 30 Comments
the best portable 12v fridges from vanlife

There’s nothing like having a refrigerator in your van to really bring the comforts of home on the road. Refrigeration means you can store fresh food and other cold items – like vegetables, dairy, meat, “booch,” and beer. It means you don’t have to fuss with a cooler full of ice and water-logged food. And […]

Read More >>

Epic Guide to DIY Van Build Electrical: How to Install a Campervan Solar Electrical System

By John / March 22, 2018 / 278 Comments
van build electrical

When we first started thinking about our vanlife electrical system and buying our components, we had a lot of questions. We researched online, read other van build blogs and forum posts, and watched Youtube videos. Some were very helpful, but many left us with a swirl of even more questions. What gauge wiring do we […]

Read More >>

Insulating Your Van: Everything You Need to Know for Your DIY Van Build

By John / January 24, 2018 / 114 Comments
Van Build Insulation

If you want to stay comfortable in your van no matter the weather, you need to insulate. Insulation is one of the most important steps of any van build, and it pays to take the time to do it right. There’s also a lot of confusion and debate over the best way to insulate a […]

Read More >>

5 Things We’d Change About Our Van Build (and 5 We Wouldn’t)

By John / November 6, 2017 / 8 Comments
5 changes van build

It’s officially November, and for us that means it’s time for some anniversary celebrations! A year ago we launched this blog, quit our jobs, and jumped full steam into our van build. We’re also well past six months on the road, and we thought it would be helpful to reflect on what we’ve learned about […]

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Vanlife Essentials: Installing a Smart Battery Isolator

By John / October 11, 2017 / 126 Comments
installing a battery isolator in your van

Having solar power in your van is just plain awesome. It means you can live completely off the grid with lights, a fridge, phones and computers – all while not worrying about electric bills or power outages. But sometimes solar power just isn’t enough, especially if your budget doesn’t allow you to throw down for […]

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Installing Our Water System: DIY Van Build Plumbing Made Easy

By John / October 2, 2017 / 15 Comments
water system van build plumbing

If you plan on going off grid for any length of time, you need water in your van. And if you like to cook as much as we do, you’ll also want a sink for washing dishes and a way to catch waste water. But how do you go about setting all of this up? […]

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On the Road with Our Fan-Tastic Vent: Would We Buy it Again?

By John / August 14, 2017 / 8 Comments
Fan-Tastic Vent Review vs Maxxfan Deluxe

It’s now been over four months since we left our old lives behind and hit the road in our van. Since then we’ve learned a lot about what features we do and don’t need, and what actually works best when you live in a vehicle full time. As soon as we hit the road, we […]

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11 Space-Saving Storage Ideas for a DIY Van Conversion

By John & Jayme / July 24, 2017 / 8 Comments
11 storage ideas for your van build

It’s incredibly important to keep your space organized when you live in a van. You may not have many belongings, but in a small space things can quickly get out of hand if you don’t have a good place to put everything. That’s why planning your storage areas and using every available inch is so […]

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How We Made Custom Kitchen Cabinets for Our DIY Van Build

By John & Jayme / June 26, 2017 / 10 Comments
Custom Van Build Kitchen Cabinets

Without water and a way to cook food, living in a van just wouldn’t be possible. Buying food and drinks at restaurants and gas stations all the time is not only unhealthy, it’s also expensive. So, one of the most important parts of any van build is the kitchen setup. Our kitchuation (…kitchen situation…get it?) […]

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How to Build an Easy Portable Solar Panel Mount Out of PVC

By John / June 1, 2017 / 4 Comments
portable solar panel mount pvc

It gets hot in the summer. Even hotter inside of a van – no matter how good your insulation and ventilation are. And when the sun’s beating down and making that temperature rise, sometimes you just need to park your van in the shade to help keep it cool. The problem with that, though, is […]

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How to Build a Plywood Battery Box for a DIY Van Conversion

By John / May 15, 2017 / 8 Comments
battery box for diy campervan

Where do we house all of the electrical components in our van build? We have two big AGM (absorbed glass mat) batteries in our van, and we decided to build our own battery box out of plywood. With a sealed battery like an AGM, a battery box isn’t technically required. If charged and discharged properly, […]

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How to Fit a Queen-sized Bed in Your Van: Badass Pullout Bed Frame Design

By John / May 1, 2017 / 18 Comments
diy van build how to build bed frame

How do you live in a van and make it comfortable at the same time? Especially if you’re traveling with another person, it’s vital to maximize every inch and make sure there’s plenty of available space for stretching out. Even more so if you have dogs (or cats) in the van with you. In our […]

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Your Parents Were Right! Build a Van and Be Whatever You Want

By John & Jayme / March 27, 2017 / 1 Comment
build van be what you want

Turning a van into a home is an adventure. It forces you to learn new skills and deal with setbacks and screwups. But first and foremost it teaches you to be patient, to work hard, and to persevere in the face of obstacles. And with those skills, you can do anything. As we get ready […]

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How to Make Your DIY Van Build Easier with Pocket Holes

By John / March 20, 2017 / 4 Comments
featured image_diy van build with pocket holes

You’ve got your van insulated, you’ve installed walls, a floor, and a ceiling. Now you need a bed, a kitchen unit, maybe a bench to sit on. But how, exactly, do you put all of this together? Whether you’re building furniture or building a custom van interior, there’s always more than one way to do just about […]

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What’s In Those Cabinets? Inside Our Van’s Kitchenette

By John & Jayme / February 13, 2017 / 4 Comments
whats in our van kitchen

Last week we took a pretty big step in our van build: we finally completed building, staining and finishing our kitchen cabinets and countertop. We continued the mismatched log cabin style we had going on our cedar plank ceiling, and we threw in some blue stain to add a splash of color to the van. […]

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Creating Our Mobile Log Cabin: Easy Steps to Staining a Van

By John & Jayme / January 30, 2017 / 7 Comments
easy steps to staining a van

If you’re living in a van, it’s important that it really feels like a home. And for us, there’s nothing more comfortable and homey than having wood lining every surface. Our birch plywood walls and beautiful cedar plank ceiling looked great right away, but staining and sealing them really brings out the grain patterns and […]

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DIY Van Conversion: Awesome Cedar Plank Ceiling Installation

By John & Jayme / January 16, 2017 / 15 Comments
diy van conversion ceiling

In our last post we went over how we installed plywood walls in our van. The next step in turning our van into a home is hanging the ceiling. We toyed with a few different options for our ceiling. Many van-lifers just screw up a sheet of 1/4” or 1/8” plywood, which is relatively easy […]

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