The Ultimate “Do-it-yourself” Van Conversion Products List

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.

In this post you’ll find a comprehensive list of all the products and tools you’ll need for building a van.

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Our Van Conversion

When we started to build a van 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 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 3 years, travelling Australia, we get so many questions about the different products we used in our van build. We have put together this list of Van Build Must-have Products and hope it helps you in planning your own campervan 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.

Electrical

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.

*We actually have 2 x 120 and 1 x 130 watt solar panels on our roof, however, these have been superceded.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!

Kitchen

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.

Bathroom

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.

Plumbing

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

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!

Building

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.

Floor

Walls and Ceiling

Windows

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:

Cabinetry

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.

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What’s next?

Check out our 19 Essential vanlife hacks, or watch our complete Van Tour video

2 thoughts on “The Ultimate “Do-it-yourself” Van Conversion Products List”

  1. Thanks for sharing. Very helpful as I am now thinking of doing the campervan conversion myself. Still thinking if I should get a pro to do it for me.

    Reply
    • Hi Patrick, glad you enjoyed the article. We will have a few more posts up soon with more of a step-by-step to building your own van, to go along with our YouTube video series (which is incomplete due to loss of footage in a hard drive failure). We didn’t have any experience, but learned a lot from reading blogs and watching YouTube. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions.
      Nigel and Sue

      Reply

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