When you’re seriously considering to transform your cargo van into a full-fletched RV, you really have to pay attention to your SAFETY during and after the conversion. You know, whether you’re clumsy, impatient or don’t know how to hold a hammer. In that case, this undertaking is not for you. Go and buy a fully converted van from a professional or just put a mattress and porto-potti in the back of your van.
For the rest of us, who, with different degrees of sophistication, can expect to complete a total conversion, we should be aware of all the related details and safety issues.
The game plan is the full conversion of a standard cargo van, made up of a plumbing, 12V solar and woodworking component. Additional work may involve some car body work, a little mechanical and other small changes to the vehicle. Each requires a substantial amount of knowledge and experience, yet when you brake it down into smaller projects, the work becomes more manageable.
The diversity of skills needed to finish the project, brings with it the need to familiarize yourself with the tools and techniques of each portion of the build and have or gain some basic experience with each of them. Luckily, the Internet is a great source of information and most tasks, when taken down to their smallest elements, are fairly easy to accomplish.
The great unknown is safety, both during construction and during future use. If you don’t have the tenacity to strictly follow instructions and always take your time to consider and review your options, this project may not be your cup of tea.
Safety during construction must be taken seriously, because the sheer amount of different tools and chemicals substances brings with them the necessary safety concerns. Loosing a finger on the tablesaw or extended inhalation of toxic fumes, while working on the van, is something that must be avoided at all cost.
Many safety issues can be addressed with a good dose of common sense, yet each trade has its own safety concerns. I made a list with some of the most important safety rules for each component of this build. Incomplete as it is, you must do your own research and never take these rules to lightly.
Now start building!