Conversion: Part 4/4


Since the conversion is more or less complete, I've taken new pictures of the finished product. They're spread out over 4 posts to quicken the download time. Enjoy!

Note: Clicking on the pics will load up a significantly larger version... if you have a slow connection, don't do it.









Conversion: Part 3/4

I'm putting up a series of posts with pics of the conversion, organized by areas of the van.
Note: Clicking on the pics will load up a significantly larger version... if you have a slow connection, don't do it.

Conversion: Part 3/4

View from behind. Bike rack, frosted windows... and racing stripes.

Frosted window panels for privacy.

Box on the left is the toilet. On the right is the bed and the crawlspace underneath it.

Plastic drawers hold my clothes. In the far corner is the cooler which slides out. In the near corner is my Weber grill inside a plastic tub for washing.

There is a crawlspace under the bed where I keep my bicycle stuff, cables, tools, extra cooler, charcoal, and art supplies.


Conversion: Part 2/4

I've divided the pictures of the final conversion into 4 posts.

Note: Clicking on the pics will load up a significantly larger version... if you have a slow connection, don't do it.

Conversion: 2/4: The Kitchen

Here you can see the opened propane stove, sink, and towel rack. The unit mounted below the towel rack is a barometer/thermometer panel from a boat.

The top cabinet is for kitchenware. I've driven 300 miles with this set-up, highway and city, and surprisingly nothing moves around or bangs too much.

The cabinet below that holds a tub of disorganized food.

This plastic shelf unit holds cleaning products, toiletries, and some kitchen odds/ends.

The view under the sink. On the left, the sink drain feeds directly into a water jug. The gray fitting between the jug and the white pipe is flexible. On the right is the fresh-water tank. That straight-looking hose connects to a water inlet on the counter (see the next pic). The curly hose connects to the pump faucet. Over all, the sink is only useful for dumping and for washing. The pump faucet is too slow to actually fill anything unless you want to heave at it for 5 minutes.

While driving, the stove is bungeed tight to the counter. I never keep the propane connected except when cooking.

Conversion: Part 1/4

Conversion Part 1/4

Note: Clicking on pics will load significantly larger image.

Here is the desk unit. The desk folds down and the chair straps across it when not in use / during drive.

The bed.

The toilet. For emergencies only... The toilet is not mounted to the box. It sits inside it and there is an opening on the front so I can check the fullness meter and pull the lever.

Storage space built around the driver's side tire.

Bookshelf, fully loaded.



Me with the van shortly before departing RI for NJ.

I added some simple red and blue stripes to make the van a little more festive-looking. The stripes are for boats, $15 per 50' roll.

Here is the bed with a mattress and bedding.


Construction 3

self portrait - sitting on the bed frame. having a beer.

The completed bed frame.

The frame is 26 inches high; there is good storage space beneath it.

There is a drop-leaf desk attached to the headboard. Here it is in the down position. Then...

In the up position. Apparently, a Narragansett beer appears whenever you erect it.

Final details to the sink.


Construction 2

Self Portrait: me very proud of how the kitchen unit turned out.

On the left are the basin and pump faucet. Next, the cutting board and propane stove. The countertop is butcher block spruce. It won't be as food-friendly or durable as maple, but was far more affordable. The cabinets are 3/4 plywood.

The thin cabinet holds a plastic storage tower that will keep toiletries and cleaning supplies.

Next over is the 2-tier shelf. On the top is a tub of kitchenware. On the bottom will be a tub of food supplies.

This is the space under the sink. It's not rigged up yet. The red tank will receive gray water from the sink. The white tank holds fresh water and will be connected to the pressurized pump faucet. The white tank is fed by the portal on the side, as seen in the next photo.


Construction 1

The walls have been paneled with thin plywood. The smaller box covers the tire and is a small storage space (see pics at bottom of post). The larger box contains the chemical toilet; the top lifts off and there is a small window to check the volume gauge.

Covering up the ugly pattern of holes, curves, and wires running the length of the van required some creativity. I bought 2 lengths of 10 foot vinyl drip guard normally used on house rooves. These were screwed to the van and curved to hide the wiring. On the underside I attached ferring straps to conceal some of the ugly handywork as well as to create a surface for hooks. The top of it has become a lightweight shelf.

The shelf over the cab is now a gear loft. Twin posts, screwed into the van, provide the anchors for a mesh screen.

Above is the open storage space built around the tire well.

And above is the book shelf using the rear space. I leveled a sheet of thin plywood to form the floor of it and ran a ferring strap along the bottom for support. The "fancy" railing is actually part of a baby crib I picked up in the garbage awhile ago. The railing is buttressed on both ends by pine plywood.