He Turned This Ugly Cargo Van Into An Awesome Home On Wheels


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For years, Instructables user Making It There had a dream to overhaul a Sprinter cargo van. This dream came at a price, though. He booked a trip from Portland, Oregon, to the East Coast where he was finally able to purchase the exact Sprinter model that he had always dreamed of.

With the van in his possession, in order to transform the vehicle from drab to fab, he first needed to gut the entire interior. In just over six months, Making It There was able to remodel his 2006 Sprinter into an RV ready for nomadic inhabiting.

Making It There loves to engineer and create new designs in CAD, so it only made sense that he would use the program to map out his new RV.

<a rel="author" href="https://www.instructables.com/member/Making+It+There/" itemprop="author" target="_blank">Making It There</a> loves to engineer and create new designs in CAD, so it only made sense that he would use the program to map out his new RV.

Instructables / Making It There

With the layout finalized, he was able to break up chunks of the design, such as the cabinetry, into smaller pieces, making it easier to produce a materials list.

With the layout finalized, he was able to break up chunks of the design, such as the cabinetry, into smaller pieces, making it easier to produce a materials list.

Instructables / Making It There

He found a professional to insulate the inside of the van. The catch? He had to complete all the prep work himself.

He found a professional to insulate the inside of the van. The catch? He had to complete all the prep work himself.

Instructables / Making It There

He masked out the cab and floor with painter's plastic.

He masked out the cab and floor with painter's plastic.

Instructables / Making It There

He then taped off areas where he was planning on attaching paneling.

He then taped off areas where he was planning on attaching paneling.

Instructables / Making It There

The insulation work took just over 15 minutes and was almost instantly dry to the touch.

The insulation work took just over 15 minutes and was almost instantly dry to the touch.

Instructables / Making It There

Then it was time to get to the meat of the van — he used a pre-finished piece of baltic birch plywood for paneling.

Then it was time to get to the meat of the van -- he used a pre-finished piece of baltic birch plywood for paneling.

Instructables / Making It There

The plywood was flexible enough to bend to the curve of the van's interior.

The plywood was flexible enough to bend to the curve of the van's interior.

Instructables / Making It There

The flooring went in and things were finally looking homey.

The flooring went in and things were finally looking homey.

Instructables / Making It There

Assembling the cabinets took a lot of patience — there were A LOT of pieces.

Assembling the cabinets took a lot of patience -- there were A LOT of pieces.

Instructables / Making It There

He assembled the cabinets in his garage and then transferred them into the van.

He assembled the cabinets in his garage and then transferred them into the van.

Instructables / Making It There

He started the installation with the upper cabinets and worked his way down.

He started the installation with the upper cabinets and worked his way down.

Instructables / Making It There

The cabinets came together rather quickly thanks to the precision of the CNC used to cut the pieces.

The cabinets came together rather quickly thanks to the precision of the CNC used to cut the pieces.

Instructables / Making It There

The birch cabinets were already pre-finished on both sides and therefore required very little attention after installation.

The birch cabinets were already pre-finished on both sides and therefore required very little attention after installation.

Instructables / Making It There

Making It There knew that he would be living out of the van for an extended period of time, so he wanted to make sure that when it came to cooking, he wouldn't have to sacrifice much.

Making It There knew that he would be living out of the van for an extended period of time, so he wanted to make sure that when it came to cooking, he wouldn't have to sacrifice much.

Instructables / Making It There

His design included a working oven and a kitchen sink. He also made the decision to house the propane and water tanks inside the van under the oven.

His design included a working oven and a kitchen sink. He also made the decision to house the propane and water tanks inside the van under the oven.

Instructables / Making It There

To save water, he installed a foot pedal and a hand pump.

To save water, he installed a foot pedal and a hand pump.

Instructables / Making It There

His decision to house the water tanks inside the locker stemmed from not wanting the water to get too hot or too cold during summer and winter.

His decision to house the water tanks inside the locker stemmed from not wanting the water to get too hot or too cold during summer and winter.

Instructables / Making It There

He created custom roof pods to house larger camping accessories like chairs and picnic tables.

He created custom roof pods to house larger camping accessories like chairs and picnic tables.

Instructables / Making It There

The pods can be opened from both sides of the van, for easy access.

The pods can be opened from both sides of the van, for easy access.

Instructables / Making It There

They were designed with energy efficiency in mind and reinforced with extra polymetal protection.

They were designed with energy efficiency in mind and reinforced with extra polymetal protection.

Instructables / Making It There

Two 100-watt solar panels solved their need for electricity.

Two 100-watt solar panels solved their need for electricity.

Instructables / Making It There

And finally the van was ready!

And finally the van was ready!

Instructables / Making It There

The interior looks a lot roomier than you would expect.

The interior looks a lot roomier than you would expect.

Instructables / Making It There

Just your average kitchen-living room hybrid.

Just your average kitchen-living room hybrid.

Instructables / Making It There

No need for a tent on this camping trip, this RV has a comfortable bed spread.

No need for a tent on this camping trip,  this RV has a comfortable bed spread.

Instructables / Making It There

Now the first question that comes to my mind, is where are they going to go to the bathroom?

Giphy

If you want to embark on your own RV project, check out all the instructions from this one here.

Original Article


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