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1987 Dodge Roadtrek Campervan $8K Conversion, Their Unexpected 2020 Project

Sometimes good things really do just fall in your lap! Hanna and Cody weren’t looking for a van, but when they saw one on the side of the road for sale by owner, and they had plenty of COVID-era free time on their hands, they chose to jump at the opportunity to convert it into a home on wheels!

They took out two of the extra passenger seats to allow for more room and an epic cooler. They did choose to leave the original orange shag carpet at the front of the van, but otherwise replaced it with laminate flooring that offers an easy-to-clean surface.

You’ll want to check out all the details (like their hidden toilet) in the Tiny Home Tours video below! Follow them on Instagram here.

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They Weren’t Even Shopping for a Van!

The exterior has an awesome retro look.

They chose to make dinette bed into a full-time bed with a foam topper. Comfy!

Wallpaper and burnt wood adds lots of character.

VIDEO: Beautifully Renovated 1987 Camper Van


  • 1987 Dodge Roadtrek camper van
  • Spent $8K on van and renovations
  • Hidden toilet!
  • Propane stove
  • Grey and black water tanks
  • Little sink

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Our big thanks to Allison for sharing! 🙏

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Natalie C. McKee

Natalie C. McKee is a contributor for Tiny House Talk and the Tiny House Newsletter. She's a wife, and mama of three little kids. She and her family are homesteaders with sheep, goats, chickens, ducks and quail on their happy little acre.
{ 14 comments… add one }
  • Michael
    December 18, 2020, 6:26 pm

    Nicely done but for me lacking a bathroom as so many others of this size. Beside that most of these vans don’t offer sufficient headroom for a 6’4″tall guy. But I am sure they build it to fit their needs and others may have other requirements like myself.
    Well done.

    • Claude
      December 18, 2020, 7:18 pm

      Sometime ago, I had a 1985 Roadtrek that I totally renovated the interior after removing the big exterior shade that did not work too well. I took out eveything including the original toilet and replace it by a more easily maintained chemical one. The new rear bench that used to make the bed was a bit too small due to the interior widht, so I had to sleep diagonally, since I am 6feet 1. The inside headroom was about 6 foot1 near the front, but as you went toward the rear you where loosing some. Loved it a lot anyway.

    • David Pedersen
      December 19, 2020, 2:23 am

      I have a van with a bathroom. But we hardly never use it, since there usually is a bathroom available where we go – which prevent the van from smelling of whatever is in the toilet. No matter what you do, you will be able to smell the toilet. Mostly it is the toilet chemical, which does not have such a pleasent smell. If I ever get a new van, or make one myself, I am not going to have a toilet in it. I have not tried a composting toilet in a van. Though I have tried it in other places, and it also smells even with a fan.

      • Natalie C. McKee
        December 21, 2020, 2:46 pm

        That’s very good to know, David!

  • sheila plourde
    December 19, 2020, 3:15 am

    This is beautiful. I love it. Is very cozy in there. Love how they decorated it. Tried to watch the video but it won’t load and start. You tube had had trouble. They went down and so did GMAIL a few days ago. I will save this and try tomorrow. Really love love love this.

  • David Michael
    December 19, 2020, 11:45 am

    Great video of your van upgrade and added conversion. The cost is amazing. Great work! I bought a new Promaster four years ago and converted it to a van camper for mostly part time use of a few days to four months on the road. The one thing we learned real fast was to get rid of the ice chest and replace it with a solar frig. Love it! Everything we have depends on solar with two batteries (300 watts). Again, great work on your van. Happy Travels!

    • Natalie C. McKee
      December 21, 2020, 2:44 pm

      That’s so cool, David. Would love to see your conversion!

  • Jacques R Forget
    December 20, 2020, 4:50 pm

    You two make a real nice adventurous couple with a very inspiring attitude. Keep it up!

  • Theresa Perdue
    December 21, 2020, 7:30 pm

    It’s a very nice little home. But of all the people I have heard from not one has ever complained about a smell from their toilet or bathroom. Perhaps the problem the commenter had was something he was eating? I love the idea of a bathroom but I also love how they did their van.

    • Natalie C. McKee
      December 22, 2020, 1:42 pm


    • Amber
      January 24, 2021, 11:07 am

      We’ve been thinking about tiny life for a long time and last November, a family emergency coupled with the need for quarantine meant my daughter and I stayed in a beat up old caravan in a barn on my brothers farm. We had the old cassette type of toilet set up, using fabric conditioner as the chemical. It wasn’t an issue for the tiny girl and I but we did decide we’d need an outhouse for the husband who is not named Bear for nothing!

  • Marsha Cowan
    March 20, 2021, 9:25 pm

    This camper is very personable. Great job!

  • Sgmaps
    March 21, 2021, 12:34 am

    That’s a really nice van, what a great job they did. Just a side note however, the carpet is not really very orange & is absolutely not shag carpet. . I had shag carpet in my home which was built in 1972, when shag was sadly in high fashion. I could definitely live in that van.

  • Gayle Farr
    August 31, 2021, 1:37 pm

    Another classic Roadtrek ruined. They have taken out all the decent things that make it a Roadtrek. Very sad to see something this well made, destroyed. All that money wasted on putting in cheap fire wood/ wall paper and they could not spend a bit on upholstery.

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