We have our van (in Iowa)....now what

Introduce Yourself…

After a few years of lurking around YouTube and ingesting all about building out a van, we finally have it in our driveway! In appreciation beforehand for the experience and wisdom on this forum.


Greetings & Welcome!

You didn’t mention what van you have… If it’s a passenger van with lots of opening windows, that’s great, you’re already ahead of the game, because the floor, walls, & ceiling are already finished.

If it’s a cargo van, you’ve gotten suckered by the promoters. It’s not the end of the world, but if you continue to listen to the promoters, you’re in for a very expensive, unreliable, and uncomfortable build. The promoters are NOT your friends, they are only in it for themselves.

People only promote cargo vans for 3 reasons, A) They’re trying to sell theirs, B) They’re getting paid to promote bad choices, or C) Misery loves company. Very few people can actually be happy living in a windowless box.

So if it’s a cargo van, I would start by adding as many opening windows as possible. Many opening windows can save you the headaches of expensive, leaky roof vents. Any expert will tell you to NEVER put a hole in your roof. Jalousie windows are one of my favorites because they can be open in the rain.


"Accountability, responsibility, sustainability,
& creative solutions for the win." ~ Old_Soul

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Thanks for asking! Our new-to-us van is a 2022 Ford Transit Extended. A big boy! Actually, it is a cargo van. It’s prior incarnation was for delivering packages, if I am reading the few pieces of paper left on the floor. Windows are ordered, and good air is on the way, for sure.

If that lovely VW van is yours…what a classic!

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That one wasn’t mine, but I started my nomadic life in a 1961 VW Westfalia camper. The only thing I needed that it didn’t come with was a toilet & shower, so I added those before embarking on my journey.

I bought it at an insurance auction, and it was like brand new, except the drivers side was damaged. It looked like it had been laid on it’s side. Nothing really serious other than a broken mirror. The doors worked fine, and all the windows were intact & functional. A driveable home on wheels for only $300, was the start of my nomadic adventures which continue to this day, 60+ years later, and I’m still a happy camper, working full time while traveling the country.


"Beat the heat with a swamp cooler." ~ Old_Soul

Are you going to be building it on your own?

If yes, I would check out vanlife academy