Help and advice if possible

Hi everyone, first newby post here. I’m thinking of buying a horse box (sorry please don’t throw me out as it’s not a van) that has basic living. Which compromise of a bench seat that turns into a bed and a couple of cupboards with a work top. I’m hoping to redo the living area to be more practical for when we stay away and want to install a sink, a gas hob, a fridge and a small microwave. Could anyone give me some pointers (would this be a simple conversion) and ideas of where to look for kit please

1 Like

Greetings & Welcome!

Everybody is welcome here, vandwelling can mean many different types of camping or living where a vehicle is somehow involved. I would even include bicycles & motorcycles. We can all learn from each other.

Why a horse box? Are we talking about a trailer or a truck? Have you checked the prices on factory campers?

DIY projects frequently wind up costing more than cheap older factory campers, which is the direction I normally go if anything is available. I only do DIY if nothing better or cheaper is available. With only one sorry exception, I have never paid more than $2500 for a move in ready rig. I just can’t justify spending more for something newer that won’t be one bit more comfortable or reliable.

DIY doesn’t “NEED” to be expensive, but if you follow the advice of the promoters, it will cost you many thousands instead of a few hundred. Unfortunately their advice is bought and paid for, which in the end means it will cost you big unnecessary bucks.

My camper is a plain, simple, cheap, & easy “build”. Built for my comfort & convenience in any weather conditions. I built it to live in it, not just out of it. For that reason, I need all the amenities of a factory camper, including a kitchen, a toilet, a shower, heating, cooling, and power. My “systems” are just made differently. My total conversion from empty van to camper cost me just under $300, and not because I was trying to be “cheap”. I simply moved my new interior in and secured it, rather than building it in, with comfortable household furniture. Everything is portable and modular so it can be used inside or outside without duplication, because space can be tight.

At a campground in the summer, I carry a 10x20 pop up canopy that has both screen and tent walls, that can triple my indoor/outdoor living space. That cost extra of course, maybe another $200, but I really enjoy it. It can be heated or cooled along with my van to keep me comfortable regardless of the weather or temperature conditions. Since it is free standing, I can drive to town while leaving it set up.

While kits might be handy, they are usually expensive and I would actually prefer a DIY project instead.

Good Luck & keep us posted!


"If you prepare for the worst, every thing else is easier." ~ Off Grid


Welcome to the forums!

I’ve found a lot of great advice during my time here as I’ve put my build together, but some of the best advice I’ve seen is the post just above this one.

If you are looking to do a project, buy that horse box! You’ll have a lot of fun, learn a lot of stuff, but you’ll definitely spend more money than if you just bought a camper like Van_Dweller was saying.

I went with a Shuttle Bus, and while I love my Bus, I’ve been working on it for over a year and have easily wasted at least $3-5k on things that ultimately I changed or didn’t want to use. Maybe less, but still, the point is that I much rather would have been out there on the road 6 months ago rather than still sitting around trying to finish this build.

But like I said, don’t let that discourage you from your dream “tiny house / van / bus / horse box / box truck / whatever”! Just be aware that, yes, the promoters are full of S%$#!

I saw one video where a guy said he painted his entire school bus with spray paint cans, for less than $50. Or another that said he spray foamed the entire inside for insulation with “Great Stuff” cans for less than 100. Both of those videos are completely full of S%#, but you won’t realize that until you are $350 into cans of “Great Stuff” yourself if you’ve never tried it before. :laughing:

1 Like


I totally agree with Rydel on this, and should do a better job of addressing it in my posts… Some people want projects and enjoy them, and I certainly appreciate that. Just don’t let somebody else convince you that such a project is preferable, even though you have no skills or tools. Even with the skills and tools, such a project could be more expensive than other options.

If “YOU” consider such a project fun, and it’s within your budget, my advice isn’t meant to discourage you, just make you aware of other possible options.


"If you prepare for the worst, every thing else is easier." ~ Off Grid

1 Like