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

The Best 12V Power Inverters for DIY Campervans and RVs
Electrical & Solar Epic Guides Van Build

The Best 12V Power Inverters for DIY Campervans and RVs

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…

Vanlife Mold Prevention and Redoing Our Floor: Tips and Lessons
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Vanlife Mold Prevention and Redoing Our Floor: Tips and Lessons

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…

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

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. We were learning a lot…

Insulating Your Van: Everything You Need to Know for Your DIY Van Build
Epic Guides Heating & Cooling Van Build

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

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…

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

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…

Vanlife Essentials: Installing a Smart Battery Isolator
Electrical & Solar Van Build Van Build How-Tos

Vanlife Essentials: Installing a Smart Battery Isolator

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…

11 Space-Saving Storage Ideas for a DIY Van Conversion
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11 Space-Saving Storage Ideas for a DIY Van Conversion

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…

How We Made Custom Kitchen Cabinets for Our DIY Van Build
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How We Made Custom Kitchen Cabinets for Our DIY Van Build

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?)…

How to Build an Easy Portable Solar Panel Mount Out of PVC
Electrical & Solar Van Build Van Build How-Tos

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

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

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 AGM or LiFePO4, a battery box isn’t required. If charged and discharged properly,…

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

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…

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

Your Parents Were Right! Build a Van and Be Whatever 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…

How to Make Your DIY Van Build Easier with Pocket Holes
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How to Make Your DIY Van Build Easier 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…

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

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….

DIY Van Conversion:  Awesome Cedar Plank Ceiling Installation
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DIY Van Conversion: Awesome Cedar Plank Ceiling Installation

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…

DIY Van Conversion: Installing Plywood Walls in Our Van
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DIY Van Conversion: Installing Plywood Walls in Our Van

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
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Installing Laminate Flooring in Our Conversion Van

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
Heating & Cooling Our Build Van Build Van Build How-Tos

Installing a Vent Fan on Our High Top Conversion 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…