Im back with a load of updated plans

Hi All

Well, what a year its been so far!

Last time I was on here I had all sorts of plans for my self-build project these included; purchasing a minibus to convert
first and foremost paying off my debt to my ex.

Well, my status has now changed for the good I might add.

Due to all this COVID stuff happening, I found myself in the very fortunate position of being able to work and the very nature of my work meant that I could earn pretty much triple to what I was earning.

Consequently, I’ve now paid off my partner and I’m now debt-free. I’m also managing to put away a tidy sum towards my vehicle and at the time of posting, I have 5 grand (GBP) in the bank.

Speaking of vehicles I was going for a minibus but my insurer told me that’s just a non-starter as far as insurance goes. I was toying with the idea of a 7-5 ton cargo lorry but again the ins was a problem as was the DVLA reclassification so I decided to settle on a Luton box van.

Ive spent the last year or so planning for this lots of research on the www and youtube etc.

I have commercial insurance lined up and Ive also got somewhere to store the van whilst I work on it, also lined up is a carpenter and an electrician to help. All this courtesy of my new partner.

The box van has lots of advantages ; more space no real condensation problems as its not metal Ive got all my layout done i know what I need to build and where its all going Im just in middle of getting my head round the 12v electrics and im currently (yeah yeah yeah i know) conducting (ooops again hahah) tests so when the time comes I wont be fazed Im also practicing making frames and getting to grips with certain tools (jig and mitre saws) so I will be fairly proficient with them,

Anyone else converting a box van? I d love to chat to you and swap ideas and tips etc

great to be back and on such a positive note

take care and stay safe

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I was just looking at a killer Box Van build, I love those! My only real issue with them was the lack of windows, because I am admittedly paranoid, I just like the idea of being able to see outside. But honestly, you’re right about the space! Also, being a rectangle, you probably won’t end up with any of the weird “angle” problems I did in my Shuttle.

But, as far as insurance goes, I’m paying $125 a year through Progressive so I’m not sure that alone should write out minibus options. But then again, I’m in the States so that might be the difference.

I hope you’ll post some pics of your progress as you go along, would love to see them!

Best of luck! :smiley:

Hi and good morning

thanks for the reply I have plans to add a door and (as per the DVLA reclassification parameters) about 4 windows.

The main thing I’m really concerned about as we all are is the dreaded condensation issues. When I joined this forum last year I spoke at length with Vandweller and he actually put me right on a number of different things.

These conversations actually opened my eyes and prevented me from going down routes that may have compromised my build both practically and financially. :blush:

The main thing was ventilation I see so many builds on youtube where they seal it all up doing everything wrong with reflectix and vapour barriers etc . . and I know from experience and doing research that a well-ventilated space will ultimately keep the condensation at bay.

One experiment I tried to test this theory was camping. I used to do the doors up to seal the tent and found the walls to be dripping wet in the morning. I now leave the tent doors open and just leave the flyscreen closed and guess what?

yeah, no more condensation! I’m assuming the same is true in a van. :thinking:

Even on the issue of flooring, ventilation is a serious issue especially in a metal vehicle. I found lots of good advice on this guys channel

I’m going to be adding ventilation channels in my flooring battens so that air will move between the door and the garage (whilst both are open) under the flooring.

I’m adding windows on both sides of the build plus one at the rear, plus a door with a window and adding a roof vent fan(maxi fan)

And whilst on the subject of ventilation, I have seen nobody adding an extractor over the cooking hob. To me, this is probably one of the main causes of condensation in an enclosed space as we all intend to cook right?

I’ve sourced a pretty good fan from amazon here . .

and I’m adding some filters . . . . here they are

We are waiting for those to arrive, once here I shall build the extractor around them. I shall post images of that build because it’s very simple and I do think that people should seriously consider adding an extractor over the cooking area.

In fact, I’m quite busy now its an exciting stage to be in. Doing all the research and drawing up plans and testing stuff. I’m no carpenter but after watching stuff on youtube I feel confident to tackle some cabinetry. :smiley:

I’m also going to acquire some tools (battery operated Jigsaw & a Mitre saw) so that I may get started on learning how to use them and try to iron out all the possible hurdles I no doubt will encounter.
I’m getting all sorts done before I actually get the van so that I won’t be overwhelmed.

I’m actually going to build the extractor, the toilet and the electrical distribution board. and store them in my lock up all ready to go once the build is underway.

I’m doing a 12v system test today once my Wago connectors arrive I have to admit the bloody electrics took a while to get my head around, but I’ve found some helpful chaps over in Oxford who are brilliant
find them here

I’m adding solar but it’s a mobile unit by Renogy find that here®-Foldable-Suitcase-Without-Controller/dp/B00LXG4AXS/ref=sr_1_10?dchild=1&keywords=renogy+solar+panels&qid=1601286536&s=industrial&sr=1-10

I’m adding a Victron controller but don’t know which one yet but it will be MPPT.
I shall be adding shore power and a Honda generator for back up whilst off-grid, for the days when Solar just isn’t an option. :cry:

Ive found some cheap (ish) Lithium batteries on EBay find them here

In fact, I spent loads of time dissecting battery issues. AGM was gonna be my final choice but I came across those Lithium items and decided to go with those.

One very useful chap who is proving to be worth his weight in gold is a guy called Greg Virgoe his channel is just packed with amazing content and I’m sure that most of you will learn a thing or two check him out here

Hope all that helps and my advice is; go get a box van forget about the sprinter type vans in my opinion they just ain’t worth the hassle despite what Instagram says.
A box van is made from wood so no metal to deal with and that’s gotta cut down on all this moisture that is the bane of all our lives.

As Vandweller says it’s all about ventilation that’s the key even in winter.
I’m gonna be using a Chinese diesel heater that is very cost-effective and like any household, the bills in winter are going to be a little higher, but that’s a small price to pay to keep the moisture down.

I’m also looking into adding cork as insulation under the floor, behind the walls and in the ceiling (along with Celotex) Yes, it’s expensive but I’m only gonna do it once and the benefits are worth it.

Hope that helps and I shall keep this topic posted with updates and If I find anything that I think might be beneficial to you guys I shall post it here

have a great weekend :grinning:

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Greetings & Welcome Back!

I am impresssed by your research, and look forward to following your progress.


"Happiness only comes before money in the dictionary." ~ Smilin Sam

Hey Dude

yep been very busy whilst I’ve been absent I also took your advice on the computer thing. I did a small course in building a pc but along the way, I also learned how to do other various things IE; swap out HDD for SSD and install windows 10 and also strip it of all the junk that comes with it (that was a real eye-opener)

I’ve done my desktop and laptops and I’ve also done quite a few others as well all very successfully so I’m kinda on the way to getting all that sorted but it will take time.

I’m continuing with my despatch work and the photography is now really on the back burner all my efforts are now directed towards the build and the van


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So today I completed my first 12v electrical test.

I bought a 12-way fuse holder and led lights from Amazon, I got the crimping tools, cable and Wago connectors from 12v planet.

It took a while for the theory to sink in (IE; much head-scratching, cursing and a few phone calls) about keeping the connections completing the “loop” and finally I understand this now and can apply the concept to all the 12v stuff going into the build.

Parallel connections

From the battery take the positive feed into channel 1 of the Wago connector
insert the positive from the led into channel 2 of the Wago
take a positive feed from the Wago channel 3 into channel 1 of the next Wago
and repeat for all the LEDs you need

To complete the circuit . .

From the last LED take the negative feed and insert into channel 2 of a Wago connector,
then “daisy chain” from ch 1 into ch 3 of the next Wago connector, etc . . . connect to the - & + of the battery thus completing the circuit.

I would always use ch 2 of the wago’s for the feed (- &+) from the 12v appliance.

This method and procedure would apply to any USB charging points

next week I am going to splice the positive feed with an inline fuse and a switch.

I’m doing these tests now just to make sure I understand the concept as this is all very new and scary to me.

There are some things I do intend to get a qualified electrician to handle such as shore power connections that’s a whole new headache.

As of now, its mission accomplished. :grinning: :grinning:

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That’s what I’m doing for my own business these days, remote computer tune-ups, repairs, recovery, installation, updates, etc.

It’s been great for me, almost unlimited work, and it can be done from anywhere you have an internet connection. All my booking is done online for the days/hours that I want to work. Right now I’m booked solid for 2 months in advance.


"For every complicated problem there is usually
a cheap, easy, simple, & safe solution." ~ Road Warrior