Man converts cargo van into ultimate camper in just 17 days

DIY camper van

Like many of us, Nate Murphy had a dream of getting off the grid and devoting himself to a life of exploring, hiking, and adventure. But unlike most, he also had the tenacity to follow through on his desires—and quickly. In only 17 days, Murphy took a gutted cargo van and turned it into the ultimate in tiny, portable palace.

Luckily for all of us, he also filmed the process, creating a video document of how exactly he turned the empty van into a wood-panelled, self-powered, comfortable, beautiful home.

One of the first steps was installing a solar panel. With the flat panel mounted on his van’s roof, Murphy is able to power all of his mini-home’s electrical lights and appliances using nothing but the sun’s light. He even has a monitor that keeps him updated on the status of his battery’s charge and how much power is being generated.

solar power monitor
Photo by Nate Murphy
With this monitor, Murphy can track how much electricity he has and how much is currently being generated by his solar panel.

Murphy then put wood panelling all around the van’s interior, making it feel a bit like a miniature cabin. He put in hidden shelves and drawers, a double bed, LED lights, a heater, and even a tiny kitchen unit with a sink and burners. In the tiny space, he managed to recreate many of the comforts of home.

Kitchen unit
Photo by Nate Murphy
The miniature kitchen unit.

Murphy made his video, as well as a blog explaining his process, because he wanted to help others do the same thing. “I tried to make a video that I would have loved to be able to see when I was starting to create my van,” he wrote in the video description. His work will definitely be a great resource for others who want to create a similar camper, as he goes into great detail explaining the steps necessary to make a  camper both comfortable and functional.

Photo by Nate Murphy

Feel inspired? Murphy also created an ebook giving even more detail of how to build a van like his. Just think: all that stands between you and the ultimate vacation vehicle is 17 days.

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