Are you looking for a DIY Van Conversion Products List? If you’re planning to convert a van to a campervan, you’re going to need building materials, tools, and a whole lot of appliances and other equipment.
To make your van comfortable and functional, you’ll need specific RV friendly equipment, especially if you’re hoping to go off-grid in your tiny home on wheels.
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Our Van Conversion
When we started our Van Build research in 2020, we followed a lot of “how to convert a van” videos on YouTube. This was great for the technical “how-to” however, a lot of these videos were from people building out a van in the UK or North America, where they had access to a lot of different products than we have in Australia.
We found it tricky finding the best products here in Australia, and spent HOURS researching on the internet. If only we’d be able to find a comprehensive list of everything we needed!
Since we’ve completed our built and been living in our van for the last 2.5 years, travelling Australia, we get so many questions about the different products we used in our build. We have put together this list of Van Build Must-have Products and hope it helps you in planning your own Van Conversion
NOTE: Our van is a 2011 LWB Mercedes Sprinter. There are a couple of items on this list which are made specifically for this shape van, and these will be noted in the list. All other items can be used for any type of van conversion.
We wanted an electrical system that was simple and reliable, so we went with Enerdrive. Enerdrive have a series of pre-wired boards, we chose the “E Board” and we simply had to connect everything up. We are set up to charge the 200Ah Lithium battery from Solar panels on the roof, from the alternator while driving, or from a 240v shore power hook-up if required. We have a 2000 watt inverter that powers our kitchen appliances and charges our computers and cameras.
- Pre-wired Electric Board with DC2DC charger, 40Ah AC charger and Battery monitor
- 200Ah Lithium Battery
- 2000 watt Inverter with cable pack
- 2 x 190W solar panels *
- Double USB Charge point
- 4mm Twin Core wire x 100m (for 12v)
- 2.5mm twin and earth and corrugated conduit x 20m for 240V wiring
- 2 x double pole double power points
- Rocker switches for lights/water pump/fridge
- Assorted Blade Fuse Pack
*We actually have 2 x 120 and 1 x 130 watt solar panels on our roof, however, these have been superceded. The Enerdrive 190W panels listed are the same size as ours, and you’ll only need 2 panels to get the same amount of power coming in!
Our kitchen needed to be functional above all else. We love to cook, and we didn’t want to feel like we were cooking on a camp stove, and digging through an esky to find food. So a proper stove (with oven) and an upright fridge were “must-haves” on our list.
Being able to look at a different beautiful view every day while cooking is one of our favourite things about vanlife.
- Bushman 130 L upright fridge
- Thetford Triplex 3 burner stove with oven
- Clark Monaco Sink (with strainer and chopping board)
- Stainless Steel Hot & Cold Mixer Tap
- Drinking water filter and tap
- Brackets for fold-up bench extension
- Mason Jars for under overhead cupboard
- Paper towel holder with ratchet (note: Nigel had to trim this to fit)
- Spice Rack
- Magnetic Knife Rack
- Benchtop – custom built Camphor Laurel wood
There’s a few schools of thought about putting an actual bathroom into a van build. Some people think it takes up too much room, and if they have a toilet, they stow it under the bed or in a separate cupboard.
We always wanted the luxury of a separate bathroom as we do like to wild camp and go off-grid as much as possible. We certainly don’t regret including an actual bathroom in our build.
*The Airhead Composting toilet is not currently distributed in Australia. You can order direct from the USA. Many van-lifers chose the similar Nature’s Head composting toilet.
We knew we wanted hot and cold running water in the van, as we are living in it full-time. Our kitchen sink and internal shower both have hot and cold water and we have a cold water outside shower. We also wanted our hot water “on demand” – we didn’t want to wait 20 minutes for water to heat before we could have a shower.
We have fresh water and grey water tanks under the van, and we can usually go 3-4 days before needing to fill up our water tank. Our tanks are from Atlas Tanks, who have a range to fit various different vans
- 110 Litre fresh water tank
- 86 litre grey water tank
- Shurflo 12V water pump
- Suburban Nautilus Gas Hot Water system
- Hot Water system vent
- Hot Water system control centre
- Water tank level gauge
- Water tank level probe (x 2)
- Water inlet pressure regulator
- Pipes and fittings – John Guest
- Kitchen Waste Trap
- Shower Waste Valve – HepvO
- Grey water hose (25mm)
- GAS box – external access for 2 bottles
Appliances and Fittings
These are the appliances and fittings we put into the van that make it a lot more comfortable to live in. After all, its our home!
- Maxx Air Fan Deluxe with Remote (x 2)
- Insulated Maxx Fan Covers (disc code nas_adventures)
- Swivel table mount
- Passenger Seat Swivel Base
- Chinese Diesel Heater
- Sirrocco Fans (x 2)
- Bedside light with USB charger (x 2)
- Awning Fiamma F80s 4m
- Insulated window covers (disc code nas_adventures)
- Door and Window magnetic fly/bug screens (disc code nas_adventures)
There were so many products and items we used during the build, from timber, to screws, to paint and consumables like sikaflex. We’ve attempted to list and link most of the products, and have divided this section into the various build stages.
- Subfloor – 17mm ply 2400 x 1200m sheets
- Under floor insulation – reflectix roll
- Garage flooring – Grey checkerplate rubber sheet
- Living area flooring – wood look vinyl sheet
Walls and Ceiling
- Sound Deadener – FatMat Roll
- Insulation – 25mm foil board
- Insulation – Polymax Polyester batts
- Ceiling battens – 42 x 19 pine
- Ceiling planks – 4.8m tongue and groove planks from local timber shop
- Wall battens – 19m ply cut to size
- Wall panels – 9mm v groove 2400 x 1200 panels
- Cabot’s water based wood stain – Boxwood
- Paint for Walls – Taubmans low sheen Whisper White
We fitted 3 windows to the van, all of them being sliding windows with fly screens. However, this is one thing we would change if we were to build our van again. The sliding windows let rain in, so we have to keep them closed when it’s raining. In hindsight we would have been much better off fitting pop-out caravan style windows
These are what we would recommend now:
- Bedside windows 762mm x 280mm
- Lounge area window 762mm x 450mm
Most of our cabinetry was from Ikea – some of the internal cabinets we had to trim to retro-fit to the curved walls of the van. The cabinet doors we used were “Savedal” which have been discontinued.
- Pull out pantry unit (door not included)
- Wine rack unit (door not included) we trimmed this down to be a single shelf unit
- Under bed 3 drawer chest base unit (40 x 37 x 80cm)
- 2 x Maximera drawers low (40 x 37cm)
- 1 x Maximera drawer medium (40 x 37cm)
- Sliders for under bed chest of drawers (to make it slide side-to-side)
- Ottoman for bed step/laundry hamper (fits under the drawers)
- RV Labs drawer latches