• Year, Make & Model:  1996 Chevy Express 1500
  • Body Style: High-Top Conversion
  • Purchased From: Craigslist
  • Initial Mileage: 101,000
  • Name: Gnomie (…Tiara on weekends)
Gnomie_our rig

Cost Breakdown

Vehicle Costs

Purchase Price:  $1,500
Pre-Inspection:     $250
Taxes and Reg. Fees:     $320
Badass Off-Road Tires:     $800
Misc Mechanical Work:     $800

TOTAL: $3,670

Conversion Costs

Building Materials:  $2,350
Solar and Electrical:  $2,000
Plumbing System:     $450
Appliances and Fans:  $1,400
Mattress and Bedding:     $200
Misc Items:     $200

TOTAL: $6,600

Total Cost of Vehicle and Conversion: $10,270


Van Build Gutting and Insulation

Walls and ceiling:¾” Polyisio Foam Sheets
Floor Insulation:Reflectix
Door Panels:R-19 Fiberglass Batts
Cracks and Fill-in:Great Stuff Gaps and Cracks Spray Foam
Insulated Curtains:Insul-Shine Batting and Fabric
Reflective Windshield Covering:Eclipse Sunshades <— Buy using this link for a 3% discount

Walls, Ceiling, and Floor

Van Build Floor Walls Ceiling

Floor: First Laminate, then Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring
Subfloor: Mold-treated 3/8″ Plywood
Walls:¼” Plywood
Ceiling:5/16” Cedar Paneling
Stain:Varathane and General Finishes Gel Stains
Topcoat:Minwax Wipe-On Polyurethane

Solar and Electrical

Van Build Solar and Electrical

Solar Panels: Renogy 400-Watt Premium Solar Kit
Batteries: VMAX 155-ah Deep Cycle Batteries
Inverter: Xantrex 1000-watt Inverter

Appliances and Ventilation

Van Build Appliances

Fridge: ARB 50-qt Fridge Freezer
Stove: Dometic ORIGO 3000 Alcohol Stove***
Vent Fan: Fan-Tastic Fan 7350

***The ORIGO 3000 has unfortunately been discontinued (sadface). We’re bummed because this is an awesome stove, and we’re keeping ours forever. We are currently investigating alternative recommendations.

Kitchen and Plumbing

Van Build Kitchen and Plumbing

Water Tank:14-Gallon Stainless Steel Fusti Tank
Faucet:Whale Systems Telescoping Faucet
Foot Pump:Whale Systems Gusher Galley Mk III
Sink:Kingston Brass Stainless Steel Bar Sink
Tubing:½” and ⅜” Beverage Tubing
Drainage:5-gallon Plastic Container

Bed and Mattress

Van Build Bed

Mattress: Modway Aveline 6” Gel-Infused Memory Foam Mattress

Essential Extras

Van Build Essential extras

Most Used Tools

van build tools