Kitchen in van conversion, and weight distrubtion. Is my layout ok?

Hi there!

New van builders here. My boyfriend and I bought a 2022 Ram Promaster 3500 159 EXT cab Van.

We are trying to go about building the van and it occurred to me that there might be weight distribution issues.
We plan to have 8 lithium batteries on one side, and fresh water tank on the other with weight hopefully coming from the added bench seats.

Let me know what you think of this sketch of what we want.

Be honest. Is this practical? What could potentially go wrong or be an annoyance with this build?

Any and all advice is appreciated.

I think for me you may have difficulties with the bathroom and the kitchen area in the rear only because of the wheel wells. Think this is why many people create a space for storage or mixed use below their bed. Appliances plumbing drains all may have a difficult time being connected and run through this area where the wheel wells are.

72 inches of wall space running the length of the van on both sides also seems a poor utilization of space. These could double as sitting benches but you have additional bench seats most likely used for travel and seatbelts.

I don’t think the weight of the kitchen area is really that much of a concern. Either way water weighs about 8 pounds a gallon so depending on the size of your freshwater tank versus the weight of your batteries which are light being with him probably 25 to 30 pounds each. I don’t think 100#’s More on either side will make a significant difference.” 8 “lithium batteries ?? - Wow that seems excessive from a cost/ return perspective. Maybe they’re smaller sized but assuming that’s 800 amp hours of lithium. Maybe you should see if there’s ways you can utilize much more cost effective fuels and or resources to reduce your power consumption energy needs?

I have a 2019 Ram promaster 3500 159 inch wheelbase as well-Not the extended but I do have pretty good familiarity with mapping out the dimensions. If you have any other questions let me know.
Good luck!!

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I’ll agree with the beds in the back and the kitchen & bathroom being in the middle being a better layout. Add a table between them for a big dinette.

While the bench seat behind the driver looks good on paper, in reality, the steering wheel interferes with turning the drivers seat around for comfortable seating.

I have helped build many like below, the front 4 seats also turn into twin beds.


"Be the reason someone smiles today!" ~ Van_Dweller

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We actually like the lay out of the Winnebago Travato 59K, which we were trying to miminic. But it doesnt have the seats and seatbelts like the Travato 59G. As you can see by the picture, we wanted a mixture of both.

Middle bathrooms and large storage closets cuts off and ruins the sense of space. I walked into a Coachman Beyond and i felt so claustrophobic and boxed in. We might install seats that fold up. I would post a link but new users can’t do that. But if you youtube the video “installing bench seat in a van and our new van layout plans” you can see what we’re thinking.

The batteries are:
Battle Born Batteries LiFePO4 Deep Cycle Battery - 100Ah 12v Lithium Battery w/Built-In BMS - 3000-5000 Deep Cycle Rechargeable Battery - RV/Camper, Marine, Overland/Van, and Off Grid Applications

We are getting a lot of batteries, 6 to 8 because we’re going to have a 12V air conditioner, 12V refrigerator, induction stove, and we’ll be boondocking. Off grid. Not in campgrounds. We are not installing propane. Heat will be Wabasco gasoline.

@Van_Dweller The swivel seats are factory promaster and the steering wheel is not in the way. That design isn’t bad though, just a bit claustrophobic for me. Not open concept. :frowning: But the two beds on each side is nice, i really like the separation like in the Travato 59K.


You might want to rethink your power system and the idea of normal A/C running for any decent amount of time. Batteries & A/C’s simply don’t play well together. Swamp coolers or Peltier heat pumps are much more battery friendly.

While many people have attempted all or mostly electrical, the only ones who seem to be successful are still either using generators or shore power, not just batteries & solar.

Spending a fortune to become a nomad rarely leads to a happy ending, usually just broken dreams & broken budgets.

Many people are on their 2nd, 3rd, 4th, or more build, because they didn’t understand the basics in the beginning. Income first, followed by buying cheap, building cheap, and living cheap. Vehicles are a depreciating asset, and only become valuable if they’re either making us money, or saving us more money than they’re costing us, and with expensive rigs that can take a very very long time.


"KISSAC (Keep It Stupidly Simple And Cheap!)" ~ Rubber Tramp