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From Cargo Van to Camper Van: Steatlhy DIY Van Dwelling Conversion

Today I wanted to show you a great example of how you can turn an existing cargo van into an inexpensive DIY camper.

If you’ve ever thought about van dwelling then you’ll probably love this van conversion.

The person who converted this van wanted to create something that she can travel with and go one or two nights without any hookups on her way to her destination.

The cool part about this one is that it has standing room thanks to the fact that it’s a high top van that she found on Craigslist.

Since it’s a high top she’s able to change clothes, shower, and even cook in there with comfort.

Here, let me show you the van:

Van Dwelling: Cargo Van to DIY Camper

Vandwelling Conversion

Images: TinyCamper

When she first got it, it looked like this on the inside (see below):



And here’s what it looked like after:



Looks pretty good, right?

Just like a fully functional RV…

Only it’s stealthy in the way that it looks nothing like one on the outside.

This allows you to be able to park for free in a lot of places without being noticed.

…unlike when you’re traveling around in a Winnebago.

Micro Kitchen


And there’s even a shower and port-a-potty set up… See below:

Shower & Port-a-potty



Images: TinyCamper

Learn more about this camper and see more pics of it at the original story/post right here.

For more like this one check out our van dwelling category.

If you enjoyed this DIY stealthy cargo van to camper conversion you’ll love our free daily tiny house newsletter with more!

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Alex is the founding editor of TinyHouseTalk.com and the always free Tiny House Newsletter. He has a passion for exploring and sharing tiny homes (from yurts and RVs to cabins and cottages) and inspiring simple living stories. Send in your story and tiny home photos so we can share and inspire others towards simplicity too. Thank you!

{ 11 comments… add one }

  • Tim December 11, 2013, 5:46 pm

    I’m familiar with this van. It sure is a nice one.

    • Alex Pino December 11, 2013, 7:05 pm

      I think so too!

  • Roger Steen December 11, 2013, 10:26 pm

    That’s a really nice looking interior. I put together a stealthy campervan too, though it’s more minimalist than this one (http://roger-steen.squarespace.com). Would be happy to send a review copy, Alex.

  • Ralph Sly December 11, 2013, 10:48 pm

    This really is all you need; I have done this for years and have never had a problem. The longest trip I took was a winter trip in a GMC minivan, across Canada, around the perimeter of the US and back to western Canada 3 months, no batteries, just an inverter for a small fridge that used the power of a light bulb small buddy heater, showered at truck stops, YMCAs and shelters and it was great. Good Job on this one, enjoy and have fun.

    • Alex Pino December 12, 2013, 6:14 am

      Thanks Ralph!

  • Pirate December 12, 2013, 10:49 am

    Alex, you might want to go read the original article again, as I spotted an inconsistency between it and your write up above. You stated the van has a big battery bank, but the original article says it has no battery bank, only the engine cranking battery.


    • Alex Pino December 13, 2013, 3:29 pm

      Whoops! Thanks for catching that. I corrected it.

  • Marcia@Frugal Healthy Simple December 12, 2013, 3:53 pm

    Wow, this was so awesome. My neighbors have a camping fan (you know, full on van Ford purchased for six figures, etc.) and I’ve always admired it. This is a really amazing setup.

    I think some day I’d like to do a project like this. I’d need a slightly different setup though – we have two kids and need seating for four (with 2 carseats) and sleeping for four.

    I like the RV toilet too – I have a 1BA house and have been struggling for a way to get a second bathroom. Really, all I need is an RV toilet. I could put that in the laundry room for emergencies!

  • Heapie March 23, 2015, 11:04 am

    This is a well thought out conversaion of a van to a camper. Use of the KISS principle was used. Everything that is needed was used. The work was superior. This should be an inspiration for anybody who wants a low cost class camper. Thank you.


  • Ralph March 23, 2015, 5:41 pm

    since I last commented on this van I have been living in a vanguard manufactured 1 for 11 months and it’s worked out great. I got derailed for two months and had to take a room because of and maintenance and very foul northern Canadian winters. I move back into it next week and I’m looking forward to it. I have had no problem finding parking, free parking that is, and have been fortunate to be able to plug in at work to recharge things. it’s amazing how little room you need when you get used to it but I have to admit it took some getting used to as many who know me, no too well, I carry far more than is required. anyway I’m looking forward to my next adventure in it. good job on this one though, it’s beautiful and I like the new remarks.

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