DIY Campervan Conversion
This Project was to make an affordable van "Self Contained" to keep me charging through to the next adventure.
With tools at my disposal from a friends workshop, it would make this all possible.
A lot of TIME, RECYCLED PRODUCTS and THOUGHT was used in the making of this van.
1. The original body
2. Sound proofing with sealed insulation
Using Roofing tape as a sound deadener and recycled carpet underlay. I made a strong barrier against vibrations, sound, cold and the summer heat.
It took some time getting every little bit covered but can definitely notice the difference now.
- Step1: Clean thoroughly
- Step 2: Cover panel walls with roofing tape (sound deadener)
- Step 3: Fill inner panels with off-cut recycled form for insulation
- Step 4: Plastic seal and taped over panels to keep out moisture
This is essential for a solid and level base to build off. Adding a bit of insulation and a good look.
- Step 1: Measure out and plan cuts accordingly
- Step 2: Seal ply-wood to shell for no squeaks in the future
- Step 3: Instal flooring of choice
To keep down on weight, I went with a vinyl planks with a dark wood finish.
When you go this far, why not go all the way.
Took a few weeks to find the right recycled items and fabric for the build.
I went with a handful of raw coffee sacks and a bundle of fabric from the local thrift shop. Used some off cuts of dense entry carpet for the ceiling from a local shop as well. Small bit of leather on the armrests from a friends shop.
- Step 1: Cleaned panels
- Step 2: Sort out and lay material
- Step 3: Materials----Compressed air glue gun, heat gun, razor blades, sheers, and tucking fabric/panel removal tools
- Step 4: Patience and planning
5. Bed Frame
Didn't want to lose sight of what was most important from this campervan.. A good nights sleep! Decided to go with nearly a full size queen size bed frame I was going to construct from recycled lengths of wood from a local junkyard that I had access to. Had to wait a couple weeks for halfway decent un-warped wood to appear...
Worked out a lot of different designs and thought this would be best suited for me and my uses and NZ Self Containment restrictions.
Now the frame has the support of a rock concert stage as well as under storage necessary for a gypsy caravan.
- Step 1: Measure, measure, and measure again
- Step 2: Two sheets of non-structural ply and Twelve Meters of recycled 2x2
- Step 3: Use your still to get it together and pre-drill and pre-sink your entry points
- Step 4: Wood glue and screw to keep the bond strong as iron
- Step 5: Sand the hell out of it
- Step 6: There are many more steps but you get the idea..
This would have to be a highly constructed, well engineered piece of wood.
After many, many, many drawings, I started coming around with the right shape and widths / measurements to incorporate my recycled products.
Recycled main bits
Macrocarpa Bench Top
Two shipping palets
Had to buy 2 sheets of 12mm ply
15 doles for bench top
This was the main part of my build and was everything I was looking forward to. It took just shy of 3 months working most nights every week after work from 7-10 pm. Learned soo many lessons and if I were to do it again. Would be able to do it again in half the time lol.
- Step 1: Cannot stress this measuring part!
- Step 2: Prep- sink and sand the 2 year weathered Macrocarpa
- Step 3: Cut Ply front and rear section
- Step 4: Side, shelve, and backsplash templets
- Step 5: Pre drill, Pre Counter Sink, glue, screw and assemble
- Step 6: Dole bench top and Epoxy and clamp for 24 hrs
- Step 7: Level and thickness bench top
- Step 8: Fill and glue knots in Macrocarpa to preserve, and sand
- Step 9: Apply three coast of Poly to water proof unit over 4 days
- Step 10: Get hardware for back splash and lock in
- Step 11: Mount bench top and secure to unit
- Step 12: Cut and fit polished basin and sink tap
- Step 13: Build pallet cabinet doors on hinge and magnetic clasp
- Step 14: Drink a two cold beers
- Step 15: Oil Macrocarpa for the real wood finish and feel
7. Roof Vent
Ventilation is an important necessity to a campervan, especially while cooking inside. I have already have installed a small solar powered fan light integrated vent but wanted to added opening and fresh air.
- Step 1. Measure
- Step 2. Drill into roof, set jig saw and cut
- Step 3. Seal with clear sealant and touch-up for waterproof roof
8. Spice Rack
This is a critical part for full use of the vertical space on the kitchen top and adds a bit of the home feel.
- Step 1. Recycle the hell out of it.
- Step 2. Measure and sort out what your application will be needing.