Here is another van into home conversion done right. It was designed and created by builder, architect and entrepreneur Ross Lukeman who wished to enjoy the digital nomad life in style. He completed his van home about half a year ago and now lives in it full time.
He used a non-descript white cargo van for the purpose, which he first stripped down completely. The mobile dwelling is barebones, and features a bed, an office space, a sink and closet/storage space. The twin bed flips up to reveal ample storage space. All the amenities and utilities, such as a water tank and batteries, are also hidden out of sight. The office space is very well thought out too. It features a full-size computer that’s mounted on the wall, and can also be used as a TV. All the other office components, including the keyboard, can be safely and neatly tucked away when not in use.
For insulation, Ross opted for a sustainable approach using UltraTouch recycled denim insulation instead of spray foam, which is often seen in projects like this. He also used very little protective polyurethane coating, which he only added in the kitchen. Another great sustainable feature is the solar panel, which provides all the needed electricity for the van. It is a 300-watt LG panel, which is connected to a 200 amp-hour battery bank. The van also features a roof vent fan, as well as an interior box fan. For heating, a propane heater is used.
Ross has been living in his van home for the past eight months and has travelled across most of the west coast in this time. He finances his nomadic lifestyle by helping other people design and covert vans into homes. He also teaches an online cargo van conversion course.
When seeking a mobile home, converting a van into one makes a lot of sense. And that’s exactly what Christine On thought. She completed the entire conversion by herself and it took her 32 months, but the end result is a cozy mobile home, which is exactly how she wanted it.
She used a 2004 Chevy Express passenger van for the project, and went into it with no construction, plumbing or woodworking experience. She had to learn everything from scratch, but that’s not the only reason it took her almost three years to complete it. She also had to take care of her ailing father, renovate her condo, and move house.
She calls her mobile home Gypsy, and apart from being solar powered it also boasts of a number of interesting features. She added a fiberglass roof to gain extra headspace, and the home also features a storage area under the floor, and a large bed that can be converted into a sofa. The home can be used off the grid, and has lots of windows that offer great views and let in plenty of light. She also added curtains to gain privacy when needed.
One very interesting space saving technique Christine used was having the kitchen sink double as a shower. She used a large IKEA sink for the job, and I’m not sure this type of solution will appeal to most people, but it is quite innovative. To further save space, she opted for a projector instead of a TV.
She converted the van in an effort to downsize and live a simpler life. She’s offering a free guide that features advice on how to select a good van, proper insulation techniques, framing and other technical aspects of converting a van into a home. You can download the guide at Defying Normal.