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He Built A Tiny House In A Van For Only $3,500


This is the story of how a 1989 Ford camper van has been modified and modernized into an off-grid solar motor camper. Or as Sharrieff Fareed of the DualEx/YouTube Channel calls it, an off-grid solar tiny house in a van.

So he acquired the van and used his DIY skills to carefully convert it into a modern tiny home (in a van) for a total of only $3,500 (including the cost of buying the van) and then turned around and sold it for $12,000 (after several months). You can always see what he’s up to next on his YouTube, Instagram, and website where he offers his Campervan Conversion Guide eBook.

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Modernized 1989 Ford Camper Van Tiny House Built For $3,500

DualEx Builds Rehabs Class B Van For Only 3500usd via DualEx YouTube 001

Images via DualEx/YouTube

Believe it or not, the engine actually makes its way into the cockpit in these vans!

DualEx Builds Rehabs Class B Van For Only 3500usd via DualEx YouTube 002

Images via DualEx/YouTube

This is what it was like when he acquired it.

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Images via DualEx/YouTube

Like many rehabs, it started out, well, not-so-great. Not bad, but not great.

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Images via DualEx/YouTube

So DualEx started the project by ripping everything out of the van so that he can have a fresh slate to work with.

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Images via DualEx/YouTube

It’s a process.

DualEx Builds Rehabs Class B Van For Only 3500usd via DualEx YouTube 007

Images via DualEx/YouTube

One screw at a time…

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Images via DualEx/YouTube

To get the van to its bar bones!

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Images via DualEx/YouTube

Including, of course, removing the old flooring.

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Images via DualEx/YouTube

Preparing it for new floors. Exciting!

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Images via DualEx/YouTube

It’s so fun to bring life to something old.

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Images via DualEx/YouTube

It’s nice to be handy, too. But hey, those who are handy, were once not! It all starts somewhere.

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Images via DualEx/YouTube

One of the scary parts of the build. Cutting a hole in the roof for a fan! What if you mess this up?!

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Images via DualEx/YouTube

Fortunately I think he measured twice…

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Images via DualEx/YouTube

As you can see, the fan install was a success.

DualEx Builds Rehabs Class B Van For Only 3500usd via DualEx YouTube 0016

Images via DualEx/YouTube

Then it was time to insulate the walls and start building out the furniture inside the van.

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Images via DualEx/YouTube

Going to definitely need some solar panels.

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Images via DualEx/YouTube

After days and days and hours and hours of work, it really starts to come together.

DualEx Builds Rehabs Class B Van For Only 3500usd via DualEx YouTube 0019

Images via DualEx/YouTube

Putting the kitchen together seems satisfying.

DualEx Builds Rehabs Class B Van For Only 3500usd via DualEx YouTube 0020

Images via DualEx/YouTube

There’s a bed, built-in benches, storage, and a kitchen… It’s really turning out!

DualEx Builds Rehabs Class B Van For Only 3500usd via DualEx YouTube 0021

Images via DualEx/YouTube

Once finished, you would never guess it’s a 1980’s van from the inside. Incredible! People pay BIG BUCKS for rigs like this brand-new.

DualEx Builds Rehabs Class B Van For Only 3500usd via DualEx YouTube 0022

Images via DualEx/YouTube

He was able to re-create a similar value to a newer class B motorhome, for a fraction of the cost.

DualEx Builds Rehabs Class B Van For Only 3500usd via DualEx YouTube 0023

Images via DualEx/YouTube

A modernized 1980’s Chevy Campervan!

DualEx Builds Rehabs Class B Van For Only 3500usd via DualEx YouTube 0024

Images via DualEx/YouTube

It even has high-tech gadgets built-in, like a cabinet that charges your phone (wirelessly), rear security camera, and a projector system for entertainment.

DualEx Builds Rehabs Class B Van For Only 3500usd via DualEx YouTube 0025

Images via DualEx/YouTube

Oh yeah, and the solar panels to keep everything powered 🙂

DualEx Builds Rehabs Class B Van For Only 3500usd via DualEx YouTube 0026

Images via DualEx/YouTube

Pretty awesome, right? He turned what would be an ever-aging camper van, and modernized it with new technology as well as a complete interior rehab!

VIDEO: How It Was Built For Only $3,500

VIDEO: Urban Stealth Camping With The Finished Van

Did you like this van conversion?

Highlights

  • He bought a used 1989 camper van
  • He spent a total of $3,500 to buy the van and materials to convert it
  • He used his own labor to convert the van and flip it for $12,000, making an $8,500 profit for all of his time and expertise
  • The van has high tech features like wireless phone charging built into the furniture, security camera system, and more…

Learn more

Our big thanks to DualEx for sharing!🙏

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Alex

Alex is a contributor and editor for TinyHouseTalk.com and the always free Tiny House Newsletter. He has a passion for exploring and sharing tiny homes (from yurts and RVs to tiny cabins and cottages) and inspiring simple living stories. We invite you to send in your story and tiny home photos too so we can re-share and inspire others towards a simple life too. Thank you!
{ 12 comments… add one }
  • Avatar Theresa Perdue
    May 11, 2020, 4:50 pm

    very nice now all it needs is some kind of composting toilet so when that bear scares the p*ss outta you you can stay in your van.🙂

    • Natalie C. McKee Natalie C. McKee
      May 13, 2020, 5:58 am

      LOL

  • Avatar Carol
    May 11, 2020, 7:02 pm

    That is so cool!! You did a fantastic job.
    Good luck when you embark on your travels 🙂

  • Avatar Kat
    May 11, 2020, 7:08 pm

    Fantastic!

  • Avatar Mark
    May 12, 2020, 12:51 am

    Nice job but confused as to how he made an $8500 profit as the price of the van is how much? Is this the new accounting technique?

    • Natalie C. McKee Natalie C. McKee
      May 13, 2020, 5:55 am

      He spent $3,500 on the van and fixing the van, and then sold it for $12,000.

  • Avatar Conchita Congo
    May 12, 2020, 8:45 am

    Amazing job! Your ideas & execution are flawless. 💯

  • Avatar Landa
    May 12, 2020, 9:12 am

    I’m a huge fan! I’ve been following him for quite a while. The main reason I enjoy his builds, is due to his skills, patience, passion, and reliability. I hope he continues to do well.

  • Avatar Marie Sears
    May 12, 2020, 11:13 pm

    If he had made a table and put one inch edges on the seats, he could use the table as part of the bed and put the cushions on top of the table.

    • Natalie C. McKee Natalie C. McKee
      May 13, 2020, 5:48 am

      Oh clever!

  • Avatar Don
    May 15, 2020, 1:58 am

    Madd, Cool, Sick Love it! Aloha

  • Avatar Marsha Cowan
    May 15, 2020, 4:54 pm

    Great job!! Looks pretty comfy and organized. Hope you have some great adventures in it.

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