AUS - New guy - filler text filler text

Hi all,

I’m looking to get away from rent and with the economy as it is, even with a good job, buying a house is out of the question. Hence, VAN LIFE!

I have many questions, mostly around purchasing a second hand vehicle in AUS as well as the build. I’m a plan ahead, measure twice and cut once kind of guy. I haven’t purchased a vehicle yet and think the Hiace Commuter is what is going to work best for me. Anyone have any experience building in a Hiace? I would love to hear from you!

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Greetings & Welcome!

Hopefully you mean the passenger version rather than the cargo van version. The passenger version can save you a ton of time & money, because it will already have finished floor, walls, & ceiling. If it has opening windows all around, a $20 fan can save you $500+ on roof vents. You can just remove the rear seats, and move your new furniture in and secure it to the existing seat mounts. It makes for a cheap, simple, and easy conversion. Much easier & cheaper than starting with a cargo van.

The pro’s for passenger vans far outweigh any cons, cargo vans are the exact opposite, almost all negatives.

Good luck & keep us posted.


"Beat Murphy's Law with a KISS! (Keep It Stupidly Simple)" ~ Van_Dweller

Sorry to jump on your comment- I am in the planning stage of my first van. think I am also going for the Hiace- with regards to the finished walls, ceiling etc, does this mean no insulating would be required? I am mostly going to be in the top end of Aus so going to be hot hot hot!

Greetings & Welcome!

I’m an extreme weather camper in a window van with no added insulation. In my humble opinion, proper heating & cooling methods are far more important than insulation. I use an energy efficient 12v swamp cooler that only draws 1-2 amps @ 12vdc. It keeps my van cool inside no matter how hot it gets, even in direct sunlight. The only drawback is that it doess use water. I also seek shade whenever possible though. :slight_smile:

About your only other sensible option is an air conditioner, but they’ll require either a generator or shore power.


"Always avoid complicated solutions to solve simple problems." ~ OffGrid