After much consideration, I jumped head first into my largest and most lofty travel adventure. Converting a commercial van into an adventure camper is not easy task. Come with me as I show you step-by-step how to create your vehicle. There are lots of resources online regarding “vanlife” and several van build time-lapses with millions of views. My dream build includes everything needed to go out in nature with little assistance. I was drawn to the idea of traveling all over Europe; mountain biking, hiking and exploring the most beautiful nature through a plethora of other outdoor activities.
Now I don’t plan to live full time in a van, but I do plan to go on trips up to 6-8 weeks long, spending at least half the time off the grid. The other half will be spent at small campsites/airbnbs… mainly cause my better half gets a little cranky if she doesn’t get a real shower every few days.
“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.” – Helen Keller
I plan to build out my van is several phases.
Phase 1: Create a Mobile Tent
This is setting up a bare bones setup, that should easily be used for a week or two before running home for some of the creature comforts we get so easily accustom to. It will include a queen size mattress bed(fixed), sheeps wool insulation, sound deadening insulation, wall panels, one roof vent and one roof fan(no power), a garage for storing bikes and other outdoor/glamping gear, two fixed seats and folding table along with a mobile kitchen that can be placed either inside or outside the van. Battery powered lights for during the evenings.
Phase 2: Let there be light (power)
Here we will start to see some big changes in the quality and expenses. Building a roof rack for solar panels and a wooden terrace, 200amp/hour Lithium Ion Batteries, diesel heater, DC power system for hooking up the MaxxFan and some lights as well as cigarette lighter ports for charging phones and other small electronic devices. Also we will need to add an additional seat for the newest member of the family (baby Sebastian). This means we will have to reconfigure the dining area into a multi-use space for eating and sleeping for two small boys. Possibly the addition of a swivel seat and pull out the partition behind the driver’s seat.