2019 Building a VAN

Date: April - September 2019
summary: Its been a plan I have had for many years - this year I finally did it!
instagram: trevor.the.van
tags: TREVOR - BLOG - 2019
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The Build

I had always wanted to build a van. Not so much for living in, but for being creative and having the opportunity for adventure.

I had spent the last couple of years planning, and researching for what I wanted, and what I thought I needed! I had my heart set on a VW T4 Transporter for a long time. When I started looking at some of these vans, they were ok - but I figured they would not be as reliable or as comfy as I would have liked. So I increased my budget a little, and stepped up to the VW T5 transporter, a bit newer, a bit more comfortable (electric windows!) and a bit more expensive.

Eventually a great van came up, and it was local! Just a little too expensive. So after a few months, the price dropped and I went for a test drive (literally two minutes from work) and immediately made an offer which was accepted! The next day, I was the new owner of a 2009 VW T5 Transporter. It was long wheel base and as a bonus, had a mid height roof, AND dual sliding doors.

So at that point, I decided I had until Spring (September) to complete the build process - about five months!

I started the main build on the Easter long weekend in 2019, and after many busy weekends - and a few days off work! I finally 'completed' the build at the end of August - right on time!

I have built in lots of storage, with a wrap around seating area and removable table. Within the seats are a long drawer out the rear which can hold camping/cooking gear. There is also a hidden toilet - something I believed was a must have even in a little van.

At the front of the van, is a full width kitchen which includes a sink and runnig water - 40 litre capacity under the sink, and 20 litres of grey water storage. There is also a large fridge to keep things cold.

Looking to the ceiling, I have installed a roof vent, lots of lights with dimmers, lots of power points (all 12v and USB - no 240v) and one of the best additions, a stereo unit and speakers. And finally, hidden away during the day, there is a TV which hooks up to the internal internet, and uses Chromecast to stream all my favourite shows! There is even an external antenna which I can put up to get free to air TV.

Driving all the electrics is a 145A/H battery installed between the front seats, along with a CTEK 250S charge controller for maintaining from the alternator, and roof top solar. There is also a CTEK 240v charger that can be powered from the external power socket at the rear.

Writing this article now after my first trip away - I can say that everything has worked VERY well - there are some improvements needed of course, but I was very surprised on how comfortable, and easy it was to 'live' in TREVOR!

Photos from TREVOR trips