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Mat and Danielle: How They Built Their Second Van

You may be familiar with Mat and Danielle and their incredible Exploring Alternatives YouTube channel, where they show us an array of inspiring stories, not to mention, their own. So this is how they built out their second van conversion.

They went with a used 2015 Ford Transit van with a high roof and 148″ wheelbase. Once they got it, they started by adding a couple of windows, gathering natural and non-toxic materials for the build, and preparing the van for the conversion. They used things like hemp for insulation and cork for flooring. You’ll get to learn all about it right here in this post! Enjoy…

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How They Converted Their 2015 Ford Transit High Top Into A DIY Dream Tiny Home

They went with a pre-owned 2015 Ford Transit High Top Van to start the project.

If you’re curious, here is what their first van looked like…

We posted about their van a few times: first here, then here. We also covered their new van in late 2019 right here. But anyway, back to the story because…

Once you get the van, it’s time to get to work…

Their van was carefully designed and built using non-toxic and natural materials.

Learn more about how they did it in the full video tour below!

VIDEO – Full DIY Van Build From Start to Finish


  • 2015 Ford Transit with High Roof
  • Mat and Danielle of Exploring Alternatives
  • Natural materials used like hemp insulation and cork floors
  • Planning, design, and prep work
  • Roof vent installation
  • Subfloor set up, insulation, and framing
  • Wall framing
  • Window frames and inset shelving
  • Insulating the van
  • Wiring
  • Building out the walls and ceilings
  • Built-in furniture
  • Bathroom
  • Solar-power
  • Building the bed and dinette
  • Overhead storage
  • Floor
  • Finishing touches

Learn more

To learn more about this van build, be sure to click the direct link on YouTube right here and look through the video description where you can find direct links to specific parts of the build as well as links to lots of the products and materials that they used to build it. That link is right here, just be sure to look below the video in the description to get it all. 🙂

Our big thanks to Mat & Danielle of Exploring Alternatives/YouTube!🙏

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More Like This: Vans | Van Dwelling | Van Life | Videos | DIY

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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!
{ 5 comments… add one }
  • Claude Philippe Pariseault
    June 4, 2020, 1:21 pm

    Well done, the Ford Transit high top is a smart choice. Love those vans they come in different lenghts if you have the budget.

    • Natalie C. McKee
      June 4, 2020, 1:35 pm

      They do seem quite roomy!

  • Michael
    June 5, 2020, 12:57 am

    Great example of an old sailor saying called KISS meaning, keep it simple but safe.
    Well done.

    • Natalie C. McKee
      June 5, 2020, 1:23 pm

      Great saying!

      • Eric
        October 11, 2020, 8:11 pm

        Actually the acronym stands for Keep It Simple Stupid. Just saying…

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