Van Build | DIY Camper Van Conversion

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Van Build | DIY Camper Van Conversion

Building our van is one of the most ambitious project we’ve ever done, but one of the most rewarding as well! We built ourselves a home and we’re proud of that. We’ve been doing the Vanlife full-time since August 2017… from the cold Canadian powder highway to colorful hot Mexico, our van has taken us to places we always dreamed about.

Below you’ll find all the details about our van conversion, but also extensive resources on how to build your own van: Guides, Tools, Calculators, Diagrams, Plans and more!

Happy build! 🙂
– Isabelle and Antoine

Van-Tour-Heading

Features

Van Tour

3D Model

Cost and Labor

Weight Summary

Repair Cost

Build Journal

Our Build Journal is a BIG DEAL! We obsessively documented the entire conversion process of our van: products, materials, build techniques, lessons learned, etc. Our Build Journal is presented sequentially and chronologically (pretty much in the same order as we built our van).

We're honored to be featured in

"The 9 Best Camper Vans of 2018"
Alongside OutsideVan , VW California , Winnebago Revel , Sportsmobile , and more. Wow! We're Speechless!

Tools and Calculators

Created to make your life easier.
Made with ❤️ from our van!

Van Electrical Calculator

Wire Gauge Calculator

Insulation Calculator

Diagrams and Plans

These are the plans we followed for our own van and that we've been using full time since 2017. Save time and take the guesswork out of the equation.
Build your van around systems that are safe, reliable and perform as they should.

STAY IN TOUCH!

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about us

Nice To Meet You.

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

102 thoughts on “Van Build | DIY Camper Van Conversion”

  1. Hi Antoine,

    I’m coming back to Canada from overseas and looking to build a van with similar ski goals to yours. Thanks for the inspiration. I’ll be based out of Ottawa while doing the build and have been searching online to try and find a good used van. Wondering if you could give me a few tips on where to find a great vehicle as my searches have been less successful than I would hope.

    I’m open to traveling a bit to find the right van, would it be worth expanding my search into Montreal, Toronto, upstate New York?

    Any websites you’d recommend for more options than kijiji autos?
    Should I just wait until I arrive and will have better chances in person?

    Thanks for any advice! Can’t wait to make use of all the work you have done creating this website!

    Reply
  2. Okay. When you have a foot of snow on the roof in front of the maxair fan, and you stop on a moderate down hill, the avalanche coming down covering the windshield still scares the shit out of you.
    Don’t lie.

    Reply
  3. Love the build! Do you have a link to the aluminum table hardware? I’m liking the idea of not being wedded to a langun mount. thanks!

    Reply
  4. Nice Build. We bought a 2019 Transit and are doing our own build. I’m looking for premade window screens for both sides of the van-that will fit over the “pop” open windows. I can’t find them anywhere… any ideas? I had seen them on a brand that I saw at a dealer that had several diff brands of class B RV.. took a pic, but not the type of rig.. 🙁
    Thanks in advance!
    Rosanne

    Reply
  5. Hi, nice build, do you have a better picture of the wiring diagram? It is not very clear and I tried a number of things to clear it up. I see it is very extensive and just what I need to do the job. thank you in advance for anything you can share with me. Or where I can go to get a better picture of it.
    Tony Pietro
    please feel free to email any info you would like to share, thanks,
    pietro3352@yahoo.com

    Reply
  6. Hey,
    Awesome van and amazing website! Thanks so much for the invaluable information! Quick question though: is your van gearing a 4.10 differential or a 3.73? I’m trying to source out a van and was wondering which ratio would be better for a campervan…

    Reply
    • If you plan on being heavy and doing lot’s of mountain climbing, consider 4.10. If you live on flat lands 3.73 is probably fine.

      We have the 4.10 as it was the only option possible with the 3.7 engine and extended-length van.

      Reply
  7. Been in a rabbit hole on the site all night and loving it!! I’m curious about your RWD choice and whether you have ever wished you went for the AWD, especially considering the terrain you tackle. Curious if I can go with RWD too (which certainly opens up the used Transit market!)

    Reply
  8. Hi Antoine & Isabelle!

    Spent some time this week digging around your website and just wanted to let you know how fascinated I am with your work…

    Don’t think I’ve ever been so gripped browsing through a Builders/DIY site. The content architecture is so neatly organized & easy to browse, your build diagrams – so detailed, legible, understandable, and even beautiful to look at. Also, the divergence from the “know it all” attitude is a breath of fresh air when reading commentary.

    My background is in both architecture and engineering – so it’s pretty easy to notice your all your hard work & and extreme patience…Mad respect mates!

    Seems like you guys took a lot of risk… no, calculated* risk…to end up where you are – so just thought I’d try and emphasize the impact it’s having (impact that extends well beyond subscriber counts & affiliate links)

    I do have one inquiry for you guys and I’m not quite sure how easy is to answer, but first a little background…

    I currently work as a Production Manager/Design Engineer for a company that builds high-end Trade Show & marketing exhibits for Fortune 500 Companies. Our custom shop is outfitted for woodworking, CNC, metal extrusions, fabric finishing, lighting/electrical components, and visual graphic prints – as our clients come from a wide range of different industries (Loreal, Dyson, Bosch Tools, ClosetMaid, Skil-Saw, LiftMaster)

    Given the times and current COVID-19 situation, we are considering pivot options for our shop. So my quyestion is…Any idea what the current market might look like for Custom Van Conversions? Is it saturated with tons of DIY builders / small custom shops? I’ve explored online and researched several different shops with varying size, scope, and scale but it’s hard to gauge what demand might look like. Thought maybe, through your travels and just talking with people through your website, you might have some kind of general idea what customer demand looks like. I see some commenters asking you guys to build one for them… Anyway, anything you can offer her would be a huge help.

    -Taylor Wilmsen
    twilmsen9@gmail.com
    matrexexhibits.com

    Reply
    • Hi Taylor, thanks for the kind words.

      We frequently speak with van builders and van accessories sellers; everyone is either overbooked or overworked. The demand is huge and it looks like there is still room for more players 😉

      Antoine

      Reply
  9. Do you have a floor plan
    Layout for a Dodge Promaster 2500 159wb high roof?

    Also , would I be able use your diagram for plumbing and electrical In a Promaster 2500 159wb high roof?

    Reply
    • We don’t have floor plan for the ProMaster, unfortunately.
      Our wiring diagram works for any van, really. ProMaster, Sprinter, Transit, etc. It’s all the same, except how you’ll connect to your alternator power. We provided a link in the tutorial on how to access auxiliary power for each van model.

      Cheers!

      Reply
  10. Antoine,
    There are many grades of Baltic birch. Did u use marine grade? as i understand it,the less expensive grades do not have an extra application of glue and may in fact not be birch on the interior. Marine grade is substantially stronger ..and substantially more expensive.
    thanks again..

    Reply

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