Well after three years, we finally feel as though our van conversion is complete. That’s right, it has taken us three years to complete our van. Throughout those three years, we have built, added on, gotten rid of, and re-done a lot of the interior and exterior build out. Honestly, we will always be renovating our home. But for now, we are enjoying what we have accomplished and are always thinking of the next vanlife idea.
People always want to know how long it took us to build out our van. Our answer usually involves describing the numerous renovations we have embarked on.
I figured a list would be appropriate right here.
List of Renovations:
- 3 different countertops. The first two were shitty plywood. The third is the final product made from oak.
- 2 sinks. The first one was free and very small. Now we have a stainless steel bigger sink.
- 3 Bed frames. The first one was designed poorly with a wall running down the middle. The second was to build cubbies for our storage. The final renovation was a bed raise by an inch in order to fit more climbing equipment in, and took out a few cubbies.
- 2 x painting. The first time was to seal the wood. We thought we wanted a wood colored feel. Then we realized that we needed more light in the van so we went with an off-white color. This involved taking all our belongings out of the van for 4 days while we primed and painted the interior.
- 4 window installations. Our van had no windows behind the drivers seat. We cut all the holes for the windows and installed the last window recently.
- 2 bench renovations. There was the original build, and then cat pee stained and rotted the wood. We had to replace that.
On the outside of the van:
- Rotated the solar panels by 90 degrees and placed them both in the front part of the roof.
- Built a deck on the top of the roof.
- Built and sealed a Jerry can box on the back. This carries 2 diesel canisters, ax, shovel, tire pump, jumper cables, and tow line. Also doubles as an outside table.
After all the renovations and with a great sigh of relief, we finally feel that our home is complete. Well, mostly complete because learning from our past experiences, it’s clear the van will never be finished. There will always be something to fix or change.
Now all of this wouldn’t be without it’s struggles. Check out our previous blog post on Mistakes We Have Made: The Vanlife Way.