Conversion Worklist V2.0
Making a Cargo Van Conversion work, involves many steps, even before touching the van. With each step I take, a detailed posting of it will be published on this website and a link will be added to the following list, hopefully resulting in a comprehensive work list that encompasses the entire building process.
- Reality Check
- Safety First
- The Vehicle
Buying a Van for Conversion
- Making A Checklist
- Analyse The Competition
- Compare Your Choice Of Models
- How To Choose Your Cargo Van
- Narrowing Down Your Choices
- Purchase The Van
- Chassis And Weight Restrictions
- Layout & Design Considerations
- Van Conversion
- Formulate your basic needs
- Installation Guidelines
- Exterior Work
- Working With Wood
- Interior Work
- Water And Sewer Systems
- Electrical Systems
- Propane Supply
- Appliances And Accessories
- Electronic Gadgets
Solar Panel Guide (1)
Solar Panel Guide (2)
- Time To Travel
- Conversion Projects
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I am seeking a conversion shop for a Sprinter or Transit 4 person family camper. We want clean & minimal, like a racing yacht. Kids now 3 and 5, desire folding upper bunks. I have researched this for 2 years now and know what I am getting into. Winnebago Travato is looking like a decent product, no?
Please advise on your workload and lead time, also your location. I am in San Diego.
Thank you kindly. -Vernon Franck
As I’m a blogger, with some experience converting a Cargo Van and right now in the process of converting a 2015 Cargo Van, it is difficult for me to genuinely suggest a specific conversion shop. It also doesn’t help that I’m located in Central-Florida and you in California.
One thing you’ve done right and that is taking the time to do the proper research, as the options to build are limitless.
I have no experience with factory built Class B RV’s, but the Winnebago Travato is well-known and Winnebago has a good reputation. I have previously owned several travel trailers and my insight into the fabrication of such vehicles has led me to start building/converting myself. In a DIY project you can address the shortcomings and have more liberty on layouts and interior finishes. Those are less important if you plan to use the van occasionally and on campgrounds with full hook-ups. With extended vacations in locations without utilities available these personal decisions may be the difference between comfortable use and continued nuisance.
One of my grievances, for instance, is the frequent undersizing of the insulation of the walls, floor and ceiling as well as the undersizing of the wiring of a photovoltaic system. These are good reasons for doing it yourself.
As I wrote, I’m located on the Gulf Coast in Central-Florida and have to do the conversion in addition to my regular work. One complication is that the blogging and upkeep of the website substantially impacts the time devoted to the conversion. However time is not an issue for me. Even with little work done on the van, like a bed and a porta potti, I can already use it on short excursions to my favorite places. In the meantime, I can work in my workshop on some future wood project. I take my time to do things right, rather than focus on the finish line.
With my current project, I waited on the availability of the 2015 Ford Transit and am currently evaluating and comparing the different brands and models. This very likely will keep me busy the next few months, in which I’m working hard on layouts, materials and finishes.
I expect a one or two year built period with an effective use already after the first basic work is done. This is mostly limited by the time I can put into it.
You mentioned the folding upper bunks for your kids; in my research I found the following image of a Murphy Bunkbed. Hope that it inspires you.
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