From Rusty Van To Cozy Home - The Van Converstion Is Finally Complete!

Categories: Mobility

My DIY camper – from rusty van to cosy home in 5 months 

The van conversion is finally complete.

I love the idea of living in a van

But I don’t really find the look and feel of most motorhomes or campers very appealing (I mean home like). Months of daydreaming allowed me to get a pretty clear image of how I wanted the van to be. No plans/layouts were drawn up or measured. It was pretty much built on-the-fly.

UPDATE: My book, From Van to Home, is now available as an instant download. It covers every detail of my conversion and much more. Read more about it and get it here.

My van – a space for living

I used common materials found in DIY and home shops rather than using the specialised (and expensive) materials from motorhome/camopervan shops.

The result is something that feels pretty cosy and home like, and you can easily forget you are in a 10 year old van by the side of the road.

Here’s the van before conversion

The van is 10 years old. It was rusty, holey and hacked up. This is after repairing some of the rust on the floor – see removing floor rust 


A look at my solar panels


Like most things of this nature, I like to poke around for a while with a screwdriver and multimeter to see what’s what before I do anything else.

The panels came with no labels on them; no indication of min/max voltage or power ratings. I googled ‘mono-crystalline solar panel’ and the ones with 4 by 9 solar cells are 100W so its probably safe to say my panels are 100W each.

Back in November I checked that each panel was giving the same voltage – if they disagreed then it would probably indicate a dead cell somewhere but all seemed well. Despite some cells having visible hotspot damage (scroll down to photo), both panels gave the same voltage of 18V and a closed current of 4.33A so around 80W of power. Not bad for November, although it was a clear sunny day and the panels were directly pointing to the sun.

solar panels continued

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