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Downsizing (getting rid of most of your stuff, keeping useful stuff) is a Good Thing whether or not you ever move into a van.


  1. get ideas from forums, instagram, youtube, etc
  2. consider what kind of amenities you want
    1. bed: material, across the van or lengthwise, dedicated or used for other purposes, mattress ventilation
    2. storage: plastic bins, milk crates, thrift store dressers, built cabinets
    3. water tanks
      1. fresh
        1. pump: manual, electric
      2. gray
    4. cooking
    5. toilet and hygiene
    6. power: shore, solar, house battery
    7. roof real estate: solar panels, fan
  3. sketch ideas for layout on paper or software

mocking up

  • Mark out a space on the floor to represent your van's living space. A corner may work best, so you can also mark the interior height on two walls. Blue painter's tape will remove easily and without damage when you move into your van.
  • place your belongings in their actual locations in the “van”.
  • use cardboard boxes to represent items you haven't sourced yet (bed, refrigerator, etc)
  • This experience tends to be one of the first OMG moments: the physical constraints become very real. The upside is it may be encouragement to get rid of stuff faster!


this is done early so metal debris can be swept/vacuumed out easily

  1. fan - cut hole, install, leave wiring accessible
    1. install rack or tabs
    2. install panels
    3. install wiring entry point
  2. insulate ceiling and cover ceiling if desired


  1. cut any needed holes for vents, drains, etc
  2. body modification - cut any holes for water entry, shore power connectors, etc. Note: traditionally hookups go on the driver's side of the camper.

acoustic dampening



Framing is done before wiring to avoid damaging wiring.

- if you FIXME



shakedown, iteration

  1. overnights
  2. weekends
  3. trips

Ideas taken from

rv/build/steps.txt · Last modified: 2020/10/11 19:48 (external edit)