Where to go if you dont own a garage/driveway?

Buying my boxtruck in a month or so and excited to start my journey. I’m just curious if any of you did this without owning a garage or a full set of industrial tools lol

TLDR: where can i go if i dont have my own space to work on the truck? Is tool rental feasible or should i just buy?

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Hi @Tokojouen and welcome!

You don’t need to own or necessarily rent any land or space, but it does help. Perhaps you could seek out someone who is willing to allow you to use some of their spare space, possibly for a small price or return favors in the worst case scenario.

As far as tools are concerned, you don’t need industrial tools, but I would recommend reasonable quality battery operated tools as and when you can afford them and only rent the larger and more cumbersome tools you know you won’t need on a regular basis! (over a period of time you will learn what tools you use regularly) I started with mains AC tools and I have slowly migrated to cordless battery operated tools over time. The advantage of these is that you can pretty much work anywhere as long as you are able to charge the batteries. (see other parts of the forum for advice on suitable electrical system set ups to suit your needs)

As far as tools are concerned, I started out with a cordless drill/screwdriver, a 240V mains jigsaw, a mains hand planer, and a mains grinder. Most of these tools with a careful hand, are more than adequate to do the jobs during a conversion. Note, that I also used a mains drill for cutting holes into the steel work of my van on account of the torque that a mains operated drill can provide in comparison to a battery operated one.

And a note on working anywhere…it can be done because I do it all the time!

I hope this helps.

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Home Depot rents tools
Harbor Freight has really good prices on power tools, usually 1/4 the price of name brands. Tools I use daily I buy name brand, a tool that I might use 10 times in a lifetime Ill buy off brand at HF.
If your planning a build and ready to start, maybe a short term garage rental.
The only power tools you will really need is a good drill and jigsaw.

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Greetings & Welcome!

I like to start with a cheap used generator, to which I add a quiet muffler. Then I have all the portable power I need, for whatever I need it for.

Due to my build philosophy, I rarely need power tools, but a drill/screwdriver, and a jigsaw can handle almost everything. Toss in a hand file & some sandpaper for good measure, and I could build a camper you’d swear was done by professionals.

That being said, I prefer to NOT build anything in. I like to do it more like a normal house, simply move my furniture in and secure it. If I start with a passenger vehicle, like a passenger van or shuttle bus, the floor, walls, ceilings, & windows are already in & finished, saving a lot of time, money, & headaches, and lots of opening windows are what makes for a much more comfortable home.

Portable, modular builds can be easily reconfigured as desired. The same can’t be said for built ins… My “No Build” conversions can typically be done in a day and livable by bedtime.

Starting with a cargo van or box truck, most people spend the time & money to add windows, and do the floor/walls/ceiling. All of which are poor choices, and to only wind up with an inferior camper.

Many commercial vehicles are geared for hauling heavy loads in town, not highway travel. The result is worse gas mileage and more maintenance required. Make sure you get something geared for highway miles, or be prepared to spend the money to convert it.

Pre-computerized vehicles are much more reliable, require far less maintenance, and can be to tuned to get far better gas mileage. Newer isn’t always better, just more expensive and more headaches.

Both my bus & my van are 1973 models, pre-smog, and pre-computer, totally reliable, low maintenance, and drive like a dream.


"Failures are merely a learning oportunity." ~ Rubber Tramp


Hello, I have a sprinter that was a passenger van with the ceilings and most of the walls in place. Do you think the factory walls and ceilings are sufficient insulation? I plan of traveling to warm and cold places.


I always keep the original, and let my climate control handle keeping me comfortable. This has been the best solution I have found after much trial & error.


"Failures are merely a learning oportunity." ~ Rubber Tramp

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Thanks so much for the advice