We built a camper van.

And it took lots of trial and error. This is the gear and materials we found both cheap and effective, so you can spend less time...error-ing... and more time on the road!

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Find your happy place

Lighting, warmth, and ways to comfortably pass the time are the difference between sleeping in a van, and LIVING in a van.

Get busy livin'

The Build

Choosing a van Choosing a van to convert into a camper is arguably the most exciting part of the build. Do…

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Get amped on your van conversion. Wiring up electrical components in a van conversion is daunting, especially if you’re like me…

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The Bed

*Squeak* *Squeak* If the van’s a-rockin’, you’ve probably already finished building your camper van bed, so you can skip this. But…

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Get busy livin’. Here’s the fun part – determining what is not critical to your everyday vanlife. And getting rid of…

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Welcome to BuyitforVanLife

Converting a cargo van into a camper sounds like a lot of fun – and it is. That’s why my wife and I decided to take the plunge, buy a beat up ’02 Dodge Ram Van, and make it our little curbside cabin.  While we aren’t planning to move into vanlife full-time (yet), it will carry us on a month-long roadtrip and will serve as the perfect weekend warrior machine for traveling up and down the California coast for surf/dive trips.

Every campervan build is different, and we spent a lot of time trying to determine what was right for us.   Our budget was small (<$5,000, including the van) and when money (and space) is limited, you begin to analyze the pros and cons of every little thing that goes into the van conversion.

Instead of keeping all of that research to ourselves, we created BuyitforVanLife – an organized braindump of the things we learned, helpful resources, and most of all – the gear and materials that we decided upon.

Recent finds: