Last Updated: November 2017

A few notes:
– Installation hardware and misc are included in major components
– The hours shown are hands-on time spent on the van; we probably spent over 400-600 hours of research and planning which is not accounted here…

Conversion Progress


*In fact, it’s probably close to 1000 hours. Why? There is ALWAYS hours lost here and there that we did not account for…



Click on any items below to access their Build Journal Post!


Electrical System Design:


Click on any items below to access their Build Journal Post!


We publish our travel expenses every month; we thought that might help others to plan a trip similar to ours:

Vanlife Actual Cost:


Check out our Build Journal, learn everything about The Van, read our VanLife Guides, or if you’re new to this start by reading The Prologue.


Join 15,000+ followers via Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Patreon or e-mail:




Hello! Weโ€™re Isabelle and Antoine ๐Ÿ™‚ In 2017 we sold our house (and everything in it), quit our engineering careers and moved into our self built campervan. Weโ€™ve been on the road since then and every day is an opportunity for a new adventure; weโ€™re chasing our dreams and hopefully it inspires others to do the same!


  1. Comment by Scott N.

    Scott N. Reply September 10, 2018 at 12:07 pm

    Hey Antoine,

    I wanted to thank you for all of the amazingly helpful information. I also had a question, I’m in the process of remodeling a 2018 Ford Transit and was wondering which wires you removed in the interior of the van, besides the lights, before starting your build process?


    • Comment by Antoine

      Antoine Reply September 10, 2018 at 12:10 pm

      Only the lights, that’s all we needed to discard. Have a good one!

  2. Comment by C. Caruso

    C. Caruso Reply July 31, 2018 at 12:40 pm

    Thanks guys! This is an incredible resource. This it what makes the internet a special place. We pick or transit highroof ecoboost in a few weeks!

  3. Comment by Andrea

    Andrea Reply April 17, 2018 at 2:43 pm

    Did you come up with an estimate for the time it took to panel the interior? It says “TBD”, so wondering if there is an update. Thanks!

    • Comment by Antoine

      Antoine Reply April 18, 2018 at 10:53 am

      Oh that’s a good question! I honestly can’t remember sorry ๐Ÿ™

      While paneling, we had to route some wires, install the lights, the wall fan, light switch, etc, etc.; so it would be hard to calculate…

      Good luck!

  4. Comment by Jim Screven

    Jim Screven Reply October 12, 2017 at 2:25 am

    Would you be willing to duplicate another van like yours for a price? If so what would that be approx amount. I have the Ford Transit 350 High Roof Extended. It’s a cargo van but passenger glass all around.

    • Comment by Antoine

      Antoine Reply October 12, 2017 at 10:43 am

      Hi Jim,
      Right now at this very moment, we’re not interested. We just started our one year (or two years) journey and we’re busy living our dream ๐Ÿ™‚
      Of course eventually we will run out of savings, so we will have to go back to our cubicle life; at that time, it will be a different story! We could picture ourselves building a van rather than sit in our cubicle…

      Let’s pretend we’re interested. I’m just thinking out loud here:
      There are the fixed costs (materials); you’ve seen the approximate price on this page. Then there are the hours; it says 505 hours as i’m writing these line, but it’s not completed (as mentioned in the intro). It’s probably more like 800-1000 hours. Let’s say 800 hours X our hourly salary. If I go back to my cubicle, I can get about 50-60$ per hour. I’m willing to work for a lower hourly salary building a van, but the question is how much less?

      Sorry for the confusing answer, but right now this is my best guesstimate ๐Ÿ™‚

      There are a bunch of dudes/dudettes our there doing custom vans: freedomvans, kestrelvans, etc, etc.

      Thanks for inquiring, you’re welcome to add your inputs ๐Ÿ™‚


  5. Comment by Lando

    Lando Reply September 19, 2017 at 9:51 pm

    Do your costs include shipping?

    • Comment by Antoine

      Antoine Reply September 19, 2017 at 10:01 pm

      Yes, but again we did our best to keep track of the cost accurately, be we might be a little off… there are so many things to track!!

  6. Comment by Jonathan

    Jonathan Reply July 11, 2017 at 6:54 am

    When you post the labor hours, are they taking into account your combined effort?
    If you spent 100 hours working together, do you count that as 100 hours or 200 man hours since it’s two people?
    I’m trying to figure out how long it’ll take me to complete a build by myself.

    • Comment by Antoine

      Antoine Reply July 11, 2017 at 7:20 am

      We first wanted to account for the man-hours, but we realized it would be too difficult to track. The hours shown on this page are not man-hours they’re estimated combined effort. For example, if it took us the whole day to install the Maxxair Fan, we entered 8 hours in the table. That being said, I don’t think that two people is twice as efficient, so don’t multiply the time by two! Also, we did our best to provide accurate time, but as we work part time on the van it’s very difficult to track… hours might be a little off…

      Good luck with your conversion!

  7. Comment by Wander3r

    Wander3r Reply April 24, 2017 at 9:21 pm

    What sink is that? Looks lovely. Trying to gear out my Sprinter. I’m at that phase now. Time to build the counter.

  8. Comment by Salami

    Salami Reply February 26, 2017 at 7:56 pm

    How much did the van itself cost?

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Go top