Diving into your DIY van build can be a scary thing. You’re interested in vanlife but where do you even start?
Your very own campervan conversion just might be one of the most important projects that you’ll tackle. You may have been looking at other builds, getting inspiration for months, maybe even years. So, now you’re ready to begin. Where do you start? There are so many questions that will arise, which is why online research and resources for a DIY van build could become your best friend.
Thankfully, there are many other vanlifers that have put together valuable resources that you just may be able to benefit from. These resources can vary from other van build examples specific measurements, to layout design ideas, to every option of insulation that you might ever need. No matter your approach, we’re sure that after you browse these specific resources for a DIY van build, you’ll be set to start your conversion.
With over 100 pages, Vanessa and Adam created a thorough e-book filled with resources for a DIY van build. The guide includes over 160 high-resolution photos, step-by-step instructions for each process of converting a van, and their best-recommended products they’ve used in their own van conversions. Their van build guide just might be the thing that saves you a massive amount of time and money during your project. Not a big reader? They also have a detailed YouTube channel that walks you through each step of one of their latest projects, a sprinter conversion.
“When we built our van out in the summer of 2017, there weren’t many resources out there to help us. We needed advice and it was hard to find. That is why we created this van build guide. It is the resource we wish we had when we were building our van.”
Sydney Ferbrache of Divine on the Road put together one of the first examples of van dimensions we’ve seen. While many online resources for a DIY van build break down information by phases of the build with how-to tips and tricks, Sydney’s van dimensions give you actual measurements that can be used as a blueprint for your own build. Resources such as this also allow you to design and get an idea regarding what size of vehicle you’ll need for all your build wants and needs.
“You have to consider things like sitting upright on the benches while not hitting your head on the upper cabinet, etc. This will save you so much time in figuring that out and knowing exactly how we made my space feel comfortable and cozy.”
This 15 page PDF document includes everything you need to know about Sydney’s Ford Transit. Pages include an aerial view of the van along with any other point-of-view you could think of, complete with over 50 dimensions and measurements. You’re also in luck! Sydney’s van dimensions and complete design are normally $20.00 but currently on sale for $15.00, which you can purchase here.
Mike and Jess of Van.There have three resources for your DIY van build needs. The first two include digital design plans for both the smaller and larger versions of a Sprinter van conversion. You’re able to view and manage the plans and resources through a web-based program they put together just for you. Another awesome feature that they offer is one-on-one support and consultations, complete with video chatting and support throughout your project!
“After building two vans and living on the road for the past two years, we know what works and what doesn’t. If our Sprinter SketchUp plans aren’t exactly what you’re looking for, we are available to design custom plans for your build based on your exact needs. We also offer video conferencing and phone support if you get stuck on a build problem or are wondering exactly how we did something in our build.”
Each of their 3D digital designs costs $10.00, with more details regarding one-on-one support available once you get in touch with Mike and Jess. Learn more about their three online resources here.
Jayme and John of Gnomad Home put together an extensive guide to converting a van. With over 15 sections in their table of contents, they will walk you through many of the various steps throughout the process of a DIY van build. Which van will you choose? What kind of bathroom should you install? How will your plumbing system function? These are all questions that can be answered through this resource for a DIY van build.
This guide is great in learning the overview of the many options you have throughout this process. Definitely check out this near the beginning of your research in seeking resources for a DIY van build. It will give you a wonderful walkthrough so you can decide which route you want to take. The best part? This online resource is available for you, free of charge! Browse the entire resource here.
We created our vanlife guide last year to serve you as an all-encompassing resource for a DIY van build. The Go-Van vanlife guide is complete with 10 articles dedicated to the various phases through a van conversion, and 5 lifestyle articles to prepare you for life on the road.
“This step-by-step guide is an all-encompassing visual vanlife resource! It includes various sections, beginning with a breakdown of each aspect of the van build process, written by Go-Van collaborators who have completed their own build. It also contains lifestyle articles that will walk you through tackling larger questions about vanlife, including budgeting, finding free camping, and more.”
Our favorite pieces of this guide? We personally love “Preparing for a Lifestyle of Minimalism” and “10 Things you Need to Know (Before Living in a Van)“. But our all-time favorite is the “Wiring and Electrical“, complete with a glossary to teach you all the verbiage you’ll need to know when building your electrical system. Experience the entire Go-Van vanlife guide for free here!