Our Van Build Details

We bought a brand new extended 2017 Ram Promaster 3500. Here are some of the products we used in our conversion. You can click on the links to see where we purchased it from. (As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases).

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Bathroom & Shower

We decided we wanted to have a separate bathroom and shower instead of having a wet bath. We didn’t like the idea of having our toilet in our shower and having to worry about it getting wet since it’s a composting toilet. We felt like we could make a decent size shower and then use that space for storage when it’s not being used. Since we use the toilet more often than the shower, it made more sense this way. It only takes us a few minutes to move our stuff in and out of the shower so we don’t find it to be a problem. We shower every other day since we only have 40 gallons of fresh water and we would have to fill up water quite often if we showered every day. But it is nice to have a shower and toilet in our van so we don’t have to worry about finding one somewhere. Overall, we are happy with our shower and separate bathroom and we would recommend it. We think it is the best use of space.

Toilet:

We decided to go with a composting toilet, so of course we got a Nature's Head because the reviews said it was the best. We felt that this was a better option than a black tank or a cassette type so that we don't need to go to a dump station to empty it out. We have loved it so far, it doesn’t smell because of the fan that sucks the air out. We would definitely recommend it.

Bathroom storage:

  • Medicine cabinet

    This doubles as our mirror and has enough space to store things like our electrical toothbrushes. We also cut a whole in the back so that we would be able to access our electrical outlet to charge our toothbrushes in there. It also has a key & lock so things don’t fall out when we are driving.

  • Hanging storage

    We used shoe organizers to put things like our cleaning supplies so we have easy access to it.

Bathroom door:

  • Pleated Shower Door

    We got a shower door to use for our bathroom because it was the only one we could find that would fit the space. It works fine but I don’t think we would buy it again because it took forever to ship and it wasn’t the easiest thing to install. It also can be difficult to use at times. The nice thing is that it clips out of the way. And it is nice to have a door for privacy.

Shower pan:

  • Bestbath 30″ x 30″ Step-in Shower Base/Pan

    We chose a shower pan that we felt like would be big enough for us to be comfortable to stand in. It does take up a lot of space but we think it’s worthwhile and we use the shower for extra storage space when it’s not in use.

Shower wall material:

Shower head:

Shower door:

  • Nautilus 66″x36″ Square Shower Door

    We really like our shower door because it is lightweight, retractable, and self cleaning. It also looks really nice. It was fairly easy to install. The only thing is to make sure you are precise with your measurements and that it is a custom product so it takes longer to ship.

Shower storage:

  • Shower caddy

    We bought a cheap one from walmart that works fine but we had to secure it to the shower wall to keep it from moving. We also didn’t think about how it gets in the way of the detachable shower head so I think next time we will buy one like this: https://amzn.to/2GuPeja

  • Hanging organizer

    We use this to store things like extra towels and blankets. We like it and think it works well for our space. It can hold quite a bit of weight and we like that it has a zipper to keep everything enclosed so it doesn’t fall out when we are driving.


Kitchen

Lower Cabinets:

  • We bought an already built bathroom vanity because it saved a lot of time compared to making custom cabinets. It are also nice quality. However, it does not have as much storage as a kitchen cabinet would normally have. All of the hinges and drawer slides are soft closing.

Upper Cabinets:

  • Newport Assembled 30 in. x 15 in. x 12 in. Wall Kitchen Cabinet

  • We decided to buy an already built cabinet for this as well to save time. This one has a good amount of storage but I do wish it was slightly longer. The doors also hinge outward and we decided not to change them, though the doors sometimes get in the way.

Cabinet hardware:

  • Sea Dog 224300-1 Push-Button Rim Latch, Chrome

  • We added these push latches to all the cabinet doors in our kitchen (and dresser in our closet) to keep the doors locked when driving. They work well and look nice. However, they were a little expensive and we didn’t have the right tools to install them so that was a little bit of a challenge to cut the whole to the right size and in the correct place in the door so that it lined up with the locking point.

Countertop:

  • Silestone Quartz Countertop

  • We bought our countertop from a local shop but you can find a similar one at home depot (linked above).

  • We really love how it looks. Even though it does add quite a bit of weight to the van, we feel like we balanced the weight well with our electrical system and shower on the other side. Obviously the one downside of having a white countertop is that it stains easily but most of the marks come off and the ones that didn’t seem to blend in with the existing pattern so it is hard to tell.

Countertop extension:

  • Sumnacon Sturdy Folding Shelf Brackets 

  • We really wanted to have some extra counter space so we added an extra 2 feet with our extension. We just painted a project panel from home depot and used these folding shelf brackets. They work well and support a good amount of weight.

Sink:

  • 20″ x 15″ x 10″  Undermount Stainless Steel Sink

  • We wanted a big sink to have for washing dishes. We really love this one because it is super deep. The only thing is that it has sharp corners so food can get stuck in there. And when we are ever parked off level, it can be difficult to drain. It also takes up quite a bit of counter space and since it’s so deep, it limits the storage space underneath in the cabinet, but we think it is worth it.

Faucet:

  • Kraus KPF-2230ORB Single Lever Pull Out Kitchen Faucet Rubbed Bronze

  • We think that this faucet looks really nice. We like that it has a detachable head and can be used for cleaning. We also like that it can be swiveled around. It has two setting to change the water pressure but one thing we don’t like is that you have to hold the button down to keep it on the spray setting, which can be difficult when doing dishes. It also is difficult to only turn the faucet on part way if we are trying to conserve water because of the way the handle is designed. Having a twist knob type would be easier to regulate. We also can’t tell which side is hot or cold unless we test it. So some of the functionality could be better but overall it works just fine.

Stovetop:

  • True Induction MD2B Mini Duo Portable Counter Inset Double Burner Induction Cooktop

  • We really like our cooktop. We keep it stored in a sliding drawer when we aren’t using it and put in on the countertop when we need to use it, that way we can save counter space. The cooktop works really well and heats up really quick. The only problem we had at first was not realizing that we needed to have specific cookware that is compatible with induction cooktops.

Refrigerator:

  • Cruise 130 Classic DC Only Refrigerator Freezer

  • We love our fridge. We think it is the perfect size (4.6 cu ft) and we can fit at least a weeks worth of groceries in it. It also has a small freezer, which we wish was bigger, but we can still fit a few things in it. It has a latch so it stays locked when we are driving. It is 12v and doesn’t use very much power. It is also a marine fridge, so it is made to be off-level. The only thing is that we wish the door was magnetic because we wanted to put magnetic spice jars on it.

Microwave:

  • High Pointe 1.1 CU FT 1000-Watt Built-In RV Convection/Microwave Oven

  • One of our favorite appliances in our van is our microwave! It is also a convection oven so we can use it to cook all sorts things but we can also just quickly heat up food. It is relatively energy efficient and made for RV’s. We are lucky that we don’t need to be hooked up to power to use it because our batteries can supply enough power. One challenge was that it is pretty big so it was hard to find a place for it to fit in our van. We made it work but it does stick out a bit so we had to put rubber pads on the corners of the cabinet because we kept hitting our heads on it.

Coffee maker/toaster oven:

  • This was a gift we received from a family member and at first we weren’t sure if we would be able to fit it in our van. It does take up quite a bit of counter space but we put it under our microwave where it is kind of challenging to reach the counter space anyway. Since we made a countertop extension, we feel like we have enough room. We mounted it the countertop so that it does not move around when we are driving. Overall, we like the breakfast station and think it is super cute. The coffee maker works well and we use it every morning. We also love the toaster oven if we need to toast something or if we are trying to conserve energy it is better to use than our convection oven. It is also nice to have because the convection oven has limited space so sometimes we need to use both to make dinner. We also like that it has a grill on top. There are some challenges in using it when we are off level, but overall it works well.

Stick on Backsplash

Magnetic Knife strip:

  • Modern Innovations 16 Inch Stainless Steel Magnetic Knife Bar

  • This isn’t the exact one we have but it is similar. We like having the knife strip because it saves space in the cabinet. We decided to mount it vertically to not cover so much of our backsplash. It works well and we have never had a problem with our knives moving around when driving.

Fruit Hammock:

  • Under Cabinet Veggie Hammock

  • We love our fruit hammock. It works well but we did overfill it one time and the rope broke. We were able to fix it and just don’t fill it as much now.

Towel rack:

Kitchen storage/organization:

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Bedroom/Lounge

Bed lift system:

Happijac Bed Lift

  • We have a bed lift system to have a permanently made bed that can be stored up and out of the way so we can still use our living space during the day. There were many challenges with installing the bed lift and forming our entire layout around it, but we think it is definitely worth it. One of the challenges is that the walls of the van are slightly curved so we had to cut out slots for the bed lift system to fit into. We also had the challenge of making our own bed frame since it didn’t come with one. Another problem was that the chains in the system rattled and were very noisy. We were able to eliminate the noise by putting door corner seals in between the chain and the metal frame. We bought them from home depot: https://www.homedepot.com/p/M-D-Building-Products-2-in-x-1-7-10-in-Brown-Door-Corner-Seals-51501/203175626

Overall, we are really happy with this system and we would highly recommend it.

Bed bands for sheets:

Bed sheets:

Mattress protector:

Table mount:

We didn’t like the idea of having to convert our couches into a bed every night, but we still wanted to have that option. And we still wanted to have 2 couches/the lounge space to hangout and work.

  • We originally bought this one: Garelick/Eez-In Manual Adjustable Table Base (Anodized Finish, Smooth). The problem with this one was that we would have had to cut it to make it the right length to be lowered down to make our bottom bed. So once we saw the Lagun table mount, we decided to return this one and get that instead.

  • Lagun Table Mount

    This one works better for our set up because it can be moved around easily or removed completely. We like having a table to work and eat at. And we can still convert our couches into a bed by removing our table.

Gas props in benches:


Lighting

Ceiling lights:

Light strips:

Battery powered touch lights:

Outside lights:

Switches:

Dimmers:

  • Intervolt Switchmode Dimmer

  • Our electrician installed these dimmers and they are a lot more expensive than we were expecting. There are also not our favorite because they don’t reset back to full brightness after turning them off/on.

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Electrical components/Solar set up

Victron system:

Dual alternator:

  • DODGE PROMASTER DUAL ALTERNATOR KIT

    We originally bought this 12V alternator with mounting kit but when we took it to Jim at Infinity Coach for him to install it, he said we should get the 24v instead. So we returned the 12v alternator but kept the mounting kit.

Roof rack:

Solar panels:

Shore inlet:

  • We wanted to have the option to hook up to shore power just in case, but we haven’t needed to so far.


Water/Plumbing

Water heater:

  • Bosch Tronic 3000 T 4-Gallon Electric Mini-Tank Water Heater

  • Having hot water was a must for us and we felt like this tank wouldn’t take up too much space.

  • We chose this one over a tankless water heater because it’s more energy efficient. Even though it’s only 4 gallons, we won’t have to heat up the water every time we want it hot.

Fresh water tank:

Grey water tank:

Tank monitor:

Water filter:

Water fill up:

Water pump:

Outdoor shower:

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Ventilation/climate control

Windows:

Window covers:

  • We made these ourselves to save some money.

  • We used Reflectix and sewed fabric around them to make them look nicer but also so you can only see black from the outside looking in, instead of the shiny material

  • We also used strong Earth Magnets so they can be secured to the window

Fantastic Fan:

Air Conditioner:



Materials/insulation

Floor:

  • LifeProof Ash Oak

  • We love our floor and it doesn’t get scratched easily.

  • It’s also waterproof which has been helpful.

Wall material:

  • We used this Beadboard White True Bead Panel

  • It’s pretty light weight and we think it looks nice but it is not flexible so it was tricky to work with on the curves of the van.

  • It was also kind of annoying to paint to get into all the cracks. But overall we are happy with it.

  • It is also not waterproof so we had to put a protective coating on top.

Ceiling material:

  • Hardboard Thrifty White Tile Board

  • We used this for our ceiling because it is lightweight and somewhat flexible.

  • It also has an acrylic coating so resists staining, fading and mildew

  • It already had a smooth white finish so we didn’t need to paint it.

  • However, we think it would have been better to chose a material that was a little more flexible to fit the curves of the van.

Spray foam insulation:

Foam board insulation:

Sound deadening: