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 Serbell | August 27, 2018

The Best 12V Power Inverters for DIY Campervans and RVs

By John Serbell | August 7, 2018

Vanlife Mold Prevention and Redoing Our Floor: Tips and Lessons

By John Serbell | June 26, 2018

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

By John Serbell | April 23, 2018

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

By John Serbell | March 22, 2018

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

By John Serbell | January 24, 2018

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

By John Serbell | November 6, 2017

Vanlife Essentials: Installing a Smart Battery Isolator

By John Serbell | October 11, 2017

Installing Our Water System: DIY Van Build Plumbing Made Easy

By John Serbell | October 2, 2017

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

By John Serbell | August 14, 2017

11 Space-Saving Storage Ideas for a DIY Van Conversion

By John & Jayme Serbell | July 24, 2017

How We Made Custom Kitchen Cabinets for Our DIY Van Build

By John & Jayme Serbell | June 26, 2017

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

By John Serbell | June 1, 2017

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

By John Serbell | May 15, 2017

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

By John Serbell | May 1, 2017

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

By John & Jayme Serbell | March 27, 2017

How to Make Your DIY Van Build Easier with Pocket Holes

By John Serbell | March 20, 2017

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

By John & Jayme Serbell | February 13, 2017

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

By John & Jayme Serbell | January 30, 2017

DIY Van Conversion: Awesome Cedar Plank Ceiling Installation

By John & Jayme Serbell | January 16, 2017


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All about your van's off grid electrical system

Heating & Cooling

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See how we converted our van into a home

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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 / 290 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 / 130 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 […]

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DIY Van Conversion: Installing Plywood Walls in Our Van

By John & Jayme Serbell / January 7, 2017 / 20 Comments
DIY Van Conversion Installing Plywood van walls

After fully insulating our van and installing laminate flooring, the next step was to put up the walls. As with every part of the van build process, there are many different options to choose from for walling material. For our van, we decided to go with 1/4” birch plywood because it’s flexible, easy to work with, […]


Installing Laminate Flooring in Our Conversion Van

By John & Jayme Serbell / December 19, 2016 / 24 Comments

A few weeks ago we did a post on how we insulated our conversion van. The last thing we did in the insulation process was laying down Reflectix on the floor. Now we get to install the rest of the floor! There are three main parts to a flooring installation for a van build: Insulation […]


Installing a Vent Fan on Our High Top Conversion Van

By John Serbell / December 12, 2016 / 14 Comments
Installing Fan-tastic vent fan in van

The next step in our van build was installing a roof vent exhaust fan, which means cutting a hole in the roof. Fun! A vent fan is an essential part of creating a comfortable living environment inside of a van. It keeps the van cool by sucking out hot air and creating airflow, and it […]


How We Mounted Solar Panels on a Fiberglass Van Roof

By John & Jayme Serbell / November 28, 2016 / 17 Comments

Every van is different, and throughout our van build we’ve found that ours poses some unique challenges with the shape and contours of its roof. Nothing is simple when you’re working with a curved surface, and mounting our solar panels was no different. Solar power is a must for van life. Electricity gives us the […]


Insulating Our Conversion Van: Tips, Tricks and Step-by-Step

By John & Jayme Serbell / November 14, 2016 / 18 Comments
insulating our conversion van

One very important thing to consider when preparing to live in a van is temperature control. And the biggest factor in controlling your van’s temperature is insulation. A well-insulated van will stay cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter, and it will be easier to maintain a comfortable temperature. When we were researching […]


Gutting Our Conversion Van and Removing the Wheelchair Lift

By John & Jayme Serbell / October 31, 2016 / 18 Comments
gutting our conversion van

The van we bought was a 1996 Chevy Express high top conversion van with a wheelchair lift. The good thing about buying a van like this is that many of them have some pretty nice amenities – leather seats, power windows and locks, etc. – and, of course, the high top. While we can’t fully […]

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