So... where do I begin. Let's take a tour, shall we?
First off, we have to go back (1) and look at (2) where (3) we started (4):
It used to be a cushy passenger van with green carpet, two captains chairs in the 2nd row, a bench seat in the 3rd row, wood trim, limo lights, and a tv with VCR (I know you want that VCR). Ian built a bed out of 2x4 when we made our move from CA to CO, which satisfied our needs for a while but once he learned how to weld, his inspiration to transform this space took off!
He began with a full gutting:
We insulated the floors and walls, paneled it with 1/8" plywood sheets, and decided to cover up the large side windows for a) better insulation and b) ease of install. The greatest challenge in this build was the curves in the van. They were everywhere and inconsistent and a P.I.T.A. to work with. Ian rewired everything in the back and installed back up and rear view cameras, a ceiling vent fan, and an LED light on the wall. He welded & spray painted (some of) the bed frame & the slide-out frame to support the fridge, built all the cabinets, installed the vinyl plank flooring, and upholstered the overhead speaker paneling and a few doors. Oh, and he installed an extra battery under the van along with a solar panel on the roof and a solar controller on the wall behind the driver's seat. Of course, that list is a gross over-simplification of the huge scope of what Ian really did.
The cubby has our vent fan remote, LED lights, and two USB charging ports. This is where we store our kindles, books/magazines, camera+accessories and other miscellaneous stuff.
And that's it! You probably noticed wall & ceiling joints with vapor barrier+insulation poking out the edges. That and 3 more door panels are basically the remaining things to be finished. Oh, and some covering for the roof over the front seats. Right now it's just bare metal with two jaggedy holes cut in the metal on each side. We were originally thinking of making a panel with lights but having used it without, we haven't missed it since we always have a headlamp around. I think if we ever finish the trim work, we'd just cover the jaggedy holes in the metal.
A few big things we've learned from this process that we'll do differently next time:
1) Start with a van with straight walls.
2) Install the flooring throughout and then build on top. As it is, Ian just put flooring down where you see it: he floored around the cabinets, which he regrets because of the dirt-trap the bare plywood floor can be and also because it's not water-resistant in the cabinets.
3) Start with a van with straight walls. Did I mention what P.I.T.A. the curves were?
A general source list for the major pieces:
- Counter top: $10 scrap board from Ikea's As-Is section. Probably a former desk or cabinet siding.
- Ikea FYNDIG single bowl sink
- Ikea TÄRNAN pull-out faucet (looks to be discontinued as of July 2015 when I just checked)
- Ikea RINGSKÄR soap dispenser
- Fan-Tastic vent fan with rain sensor
- ARB fridge-freezer 50 QT
- LED light strips purchased on ebay originating from China.
- LED wall light purchased on ebay also originating from China.
- 100W Solar panel (I think this is the one we bought.)
- TrafficMASTER interlocking vinyl plank flooring from Home Depot
Oh! One thing I recently purchased for the van is this roll-up over-the-sink dish drainer:
It is coated with a heat-resistant silicone (up to 400F) so it can also be used as a trivet. It is invaluable given our limited/non-existent counter space. Highly recommend for anyone living in a small space! I normally have it folded in half over the sink so we can still use the faucet.
I have cushion covers in the works for the bed, but so far I've only cut the fabric: still need to sew everything. These photos were taken before I got to that.
If you have any questions about process or resources, leave a comment below and I will do my best to get back to you. I hope this and my previous posts about our van remodel were useful! We gathered a lot of ideas from others who shared their van build so I hope this adds to that knowledge base =)