Great Website for Converting a Van for Living

Info-heavy website reviewed by Kevin Kelly on his CoolTools:

“Roomier than a car, but cheaper than an RV, a retrofitted van makes a cool inexpensive house. Once popular during hippie days, the ancient American tradition of modifying a van is undergoing a resurgence as rents continue to rise. More folks each year commute from work and then park their home, instead of parking in front of it. On this lovely free website, you can find inspiring examples of cheap nomads, detailed instructions for conversions, gear recommendations, and lots of advice for living in a low rent or homemade RV from ‘them that’s doin’ it.’ -kk”

What vehicle to buy? If gas mileage and stealth are most important: Chevrolet Astro minivan–great mpg and super stealth

If room and stealth are most important: Full-size American van, especially the Dodge with a 318 V8

If headroom is most important: High-top American conversion van

For a couple, or if you need lots of room: Box van or Step-van, both with a diesel engine

If you want to go further into the back-country: Pickup with a camper with 4X4

Bedroom: I’ve seen three ways of laying out the sleeping area in conversion vans online:

The bed is a permanent fixture in the back.

It’s behind the driver’s seat lengthwise.

Or it’s an afterthought involving moving a ton of stuff around and moving

cushions every morning and night.

About Lloyd Kahn

Lloyd Kahn started building his own home in the early '60s and went on to publish books showing homeowners how they could build their own homes with their own hands. He got his start in publishing by working as the shelter editor of the Whole Earth Catalog with Stewart Brand in the late '60s. He has since authored six highly-graphic books on homemade building, all of which are interrelated. The books, "The Shelter Library Of Building Books," include Shelter, Shelter II (1978), Home Work (2004), Builders of the Pacific Coast (2008), Tiny Homes (2012), and Tiny Homes on the Move (2014). Lloyd operates from Northern California studio built of recycled lumber, set in the midst of a vegetable garden, and hooked into the world via five Mac computers. You can check out videos (one with over 450,000 views) on Lloyd by doing a search on YouTube:

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