Building a van wasn't easy or cheap...

But hopefully some of these tips and things we used will help ease some of the van life building struggles.
All in all we spent about $14k converting our van.  Alex led the charge working about 10 hours a day for 3 months to get the project done. 

We were able to locate some hard to find items on Amazon and it definitely helped save quite a bit of money. 
The links below are affiliate links (meaning if you buy we make a little commision off of the sale).

 

Before

After

 

We purchased our van used.  It is a 2008 Dodge Sprinter 2500 170" wheelbase with the high roof. As we knew we would be living in the van full time, we wanted the extra space over the 144" wheelbase.  This allowed us to have a king sized converting bed and a bathroom and shower in our van. 

 

Build Details

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Kitchen

For the kitchen, we wanted an open feel with a farmhouse sink. Here are just a few details and the exact things we used:

SINK

  • We used a bathroom sink (yep) because it was the only thing that we could find with the right dimensions. It works great and no one knows ;)
    • if you buy the sink we have, use some kind of sealer on it!! It's super porous and we put over 4 coats of a tile sealer on it to keep it nice and white.
  • VIGO Matte Stone Vessel Sink

FAUCET

countertop

REFRIGERATOR

FRUIT HAMMOCK


Bathroom

40 hours of freedom sprinter van conversion bathroom shower door toilet

SHOWER door

  • We both agreed we wanted a private bathroom with a door so we could have some privacy. We absolutely love this self-cleaning shower door by Nautilus. A little pricey but worth it!

  • Nautilus Self Cleaning Retractable Door

shower FAUCET

SHOWER PAN

TOILET

  • As a couple we had to have a real conversation about what we did and didn't want to do in the van... and one of those things was #2. We made it a rule that you find a bathroom if you gotta go since we didn't want to deal with cleaning shit (literally). The payoff isn't worth the reward when there are bathrooms literally everywhere. We bought a urine diverting toilet (see below for link) and a toilet seat that fit it.
    We are so happy with our decision, but it's not for everyone. 
  • Urine Diverting Seat – Separett Privy 500

WATER TANK

  • We have a 20 gallon freshwater tank for our shower (for more plumbing details see the Plumbing Section below)
  • Custom RV Water Tank

WATER HEATER

 

 
 
 

Solar Setup

Sprinter van solar system conversion 40 hours of freedom

SOLAR PANELS

solar controller 40 hours of freedom sprinter van conversion

BATTERIES

INVERTER

SOlar Charge Controller

Battery monitor


    Plumbing

    water tanks

    water pumps

    sediment filter

    Water LInes

    • We used 1/2" Interior Diameter (ID) Nylon Braided Hose for all cold water lines.  You can make the connections using 1/2" ID Barbed fittings with whatever size threaded fitting you need on the other end. Then simply put a clamp over the hose where the barb inserts into the hose. 
    • For the hot water lines we used 1/2" ID PEX hot water lines. You will need to use PEX fittings to make your joints.  It is not very flexible so I found the elbow joints very helpful when making the connection from my hot water heater to the shower. 

    General Tips

    • I found it helpful to diagram out the entire plumbing system and listing off every fitting, hose, valve, t-joint etc... that I would need. Once you have this list completed you are ready to order your fittings off amazon or make a trip to your local Home Depot.
    sprinter van diy conversion sink plumbing
    sprinter van diy conversion shower plumbing

     

    Bed/Table Setup

    Since our van is a live/work situation we wanted the flexibility to have a table/desk area to sit at during the way while we work. 

     
     
     
    D1D64FB6-1842-4AB3-A3CD-20CE6CC5C681.JPG
    40 hours of freedom sprinter conversion van bed

    cushions/mattress

    40 hours of freedom bed conversion sprinter van

    Lighting

    • Marine 12V Switch & Charge Panel - We used a 4 toggle switch panel.  2 toggles control our recessed LED Rope Lighting and 2 toggle control our water pumps.  It comes with 2 built-in USB ports and a 12v port. 
    • Dimmable 12V LED Recessed Lighting - We love the fact that these are dimmable.  They are very bright otherwise. We had to go to another site to find a 12V Dimmable switch but it was well worth it. 
    • 12V LED Rope Lights - We used this under the valance that runs along our windows.  They are connected to the Marine Toggle Switch Panel. 

    Miscellaneous Stuff

    Cabinet hardware

    fantastic fan

    FLOORING

    BATHROOM TILE

    MAGNETIC KNIFE STRIP