Build Tips

Some tips, tricks, and recommendations for knocking out your own DIY Van Conversion.

Let's Talk Timeline.


Our Kits and cabinetry are specifically designed to get you on the road in a matter of weekends. Most people can't take a month off from work, we work hard so you don't have to.

For most builds for trips lasting less than 2-weeks at a time, we see 4-6 weekends as the average time to complete a build from start to finish with plenty of speedbumps along the way.

Weekend 1: Insulation, Sound Deadening, and Electrical Prep

Weekend 2: Floors, Walls, and Ceiling

Weekend 3: Cabinetry Installation

Weekend 4: Connecting Electrical & Plumbing

Weekend 5: Fine-Tuning and troubleshooting.

First, decide what you want to build your van for. Is this for weekends? 1-2 week trips? Full-time Van life?

Answering that question will tell you what you'll need to know for components.

  • Weekend Warrior: Most weekend builds can function fine on a portable power system such as a Delta Pro, Bluetti, or Goal Zero. These builds usually do not support air conditioners, induction stoves, or showers. Solar is usually more than enough to power a couple fans, fridge, water pump, and lights. Plumbing is best kept light with Jerry Cans. Priority should be ease of movement and light storage.
  • 1-2 Week Camper: You may want to consider a 400Ah or 5kwh+ system. Most portable units will fail here, so consider a dedicated system. To power an A/C and induction stove + kitchen, 5kwh will be more than plenty, especially if paired with solar or DC/DC charging. Plumbing is best kept medium-light with a dedicated freshwater tank and Jerry-can grey water tank if you don't have a shower. Priority should be versatile and usable space with plenty of storage.
  • VanLifer: Consider 10kwh+ for your power system and make sure you set up solar, shore power, and DC/DC charging. If a shower is important to you, prepare to make sacrifices for space. You'll need dedicated fresh and grey water tanks. Priority should be storage storage storage!

Sound Deadening: Start with sound deadening. While sound skinz or Kilmat are ideal, they aren't necessary - most off the shelf sound deadening will do fine.

Insulation: Thinsulate by 3M is more than enough to get the job done for most campers while serious vanlifers should consider Havelock wool for better insulation.

This part is Key, so pay attention: MAKE SAFE CHOICES.

This is the time to make cutouts for your Maxx Air Fan, A/C, windows, capsules, etc. Use the right adhesives, rust-coat, and protect your seals with self-leveling lap-seal for a nice weather-proof seal.


  • Purchase pre-wired kits or prepare your own wiring using tinned & braided marine-grade wiring with wire loom.
  • Map out your wiring paths, and add 6ft for safe measure.
  • Make sure wiring gauge is right for the job, and use a 1" hole saw to put pass-through holes through non-structural sections with rust-coating + rubber grommets.

Running your Wires:

  • Route your wires wherever needed and use zipties generously to keep things from snagging.
  • Bundle your wires together in the wall where they will exit into your power system components and set them aside for now.
  • All of your wiring for lights, plugs, appliances, and outlets should be ziptied away in the walls and routed over the ceiling as to not obstruct the ceiling kit mounting.

Rivet Nut Installation is ideal during this step before you get to cleaning the van in the next step. If you don't already have one, get a Rivet-Nut tool! Note: This tool needs to be used cautiously as to Not Over-Torque the rivet nuts. You can risk stretching the thread or improperly seating the rivet nuts if you go too hard on them. Find some factory holes you won't need and set the torque on your drill so they don't spin freely and don't over-compress and strip out. Use extra 1/4"-20 machine screws to test the thread with a screw driver. NEVER USE A DRILL TO FASTEN MACHINE SCREWS INTO RIVET NUTS!

Now that all of the cutting, routing, and trimming is done you can move onto installing the Flooring Kit.

Give the van a good cleaning by dusting off the floors and removing any residue.

Adhere the flooring kit using Sikaflex 221 or similar adhesive for a nice permanent hold. If using lonseal, use the lonseal epoxy for a good seal. Take your time with this step, you'll thank yourself later.

Cover the floor with a protective layer of plastic, fabric, or paper to keep from damaging it as you continue.

Time for your Ceiling Kit!

Start one row at a time beginning from the center. Pause at rows 2 and 3 to connect and tuck away all of your puck lights before continuing.

Expect resistance at row 8 and 9. Across different vehicle models, the outside rows vary in hole position and width due to the manufacturing process, so be prepared to widen holes if needed.

Consider Leaving Out row 8 (driver side) until after the walls are up. We find it easy to access the wires if needed at this step, so we save it for last.

Finally - time to make the walls look pretty.

Start Simple with the door panels, this is good practice before you move onto wall panels. Also, if you mess up a panel practicing here, they're much easier to replace.

Move on to Lower Panels across the vehicle. When you get to the power side, feel free to make a large cutout to fish all of your wires out if they're being covered by a cabinet.

Move on to Upper Panels and expect this to go quite a bit smoother. If you have dimmers or outlets, now is the time to make your cutouts to pull the wires out. Avoid final wiring of any dimmers or outlets until the walls are in place and don't need to be removed.

Time to see this thing come together.

Go for Garage Cabinets First. This is usually the hardest since they house your water and power systems, but it is vital to get the power system connected and test small items like lights and outlets before you go full bore installing the rest of the cabinets.

Look for Factory Holes on your wall panels that you can use to fasten our cabinetry. Use a 1" hole saw to create spacious mounting holes on the backings if the hole is obstructed.

Move on to Kitchen Cabinets next in your process. Usually they need wires fed into them, so now is a good time to bore holes in sidewalls to get your bluesea or appliances connected.

Note: Plumbing when your holes are already made is way easier the making holes in pre-installed cabinets!

Start mounting! Just like with base cabinetry, look for mounting holes that line up and make new ones if they don't.

Connect Dimmer Wiring and test before you really crank everything down.

Connect Upper Cabinets to one another using 1-1/4" wood screws if they're side by side for nice alignment and minimized chatter.

Our least favorite of steps: Plumbing.

Now is the time to connect your water pump, heater, water lines, and sink components.

Set a towel down under any components that may leak. Be sure to leak-test all of your lines and add ball valves generously to help isolate the system in case of leaks.

Congratulations! Almost done.

Now is the time to connect your bluesea, chargers, outlets, and small appliances. Test everything for proper function.

Make sure Fuses are safely selected for the right loads. Don't risk a fire! Consider adding a carbon monoxide detector if using a gas stove.

Your Dream Build is a few weekends away.

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