The DIY Shop
One-off installations | Consultation | Parts
Book your job or get an estimate
Know what you need? Click here to fill out our DIY Service Request Form. We’ll get you an estimate and set up your service.
Help with what’s beyond your skillset
You do the fun stuff, we’ll do the scary stuff
DIYing a van is fun and exhilarating. Many of our DIY customers enjoy the building process but don’t feel comfortable with certain aspects of van conversions, like:
- Cutting holes in the van for windows or vent fans
- Doing electrical work or installing the electrical system
- Tapping into the fuel lines or other engine components, to install a diesel cabin heater for example
Expert knowledge and proper installation are must-haves for the health of your van and your own safety. Cut that window hole a little too big and you’re looking at an enormous welding bill and a van that’s never the same again. And we don’t even want to get into the unsafe electrical systems we’ve seen – some of which have caught on fire.
Our DIY shop helps with the scary stuff so you can focus on the fun stuff.
Our DIY shop installs:
- Vent fans
- Electrical systems
- Cabin and hot water heaters
- Solar systems
- and more
Finish your van converesion
We help take your project across the finish line
The fantasy of DIYing your conversion often differs from reality. It looks so easy on Instagram, but how do you actually start the process? What happens when you hit a snag and YouTube is coming up empty? Months (or years) into the conversion, our customers report the novelty and romance of DIYing a van can wear thin if you’re not realistic and strategic.
The biggest challenges our DIY customers face are:
- They don’t have a concrete plan or overview of their build
- Certain aspects of the build intimidate them (like installing windows or electrical)
- It’s taking A LOT longer to finish the van then they anticipated
- They bought a partially converted van and are struggling to fix a poor design
Whether you’re just starting out or trying to finish, we can help. Our consultations services offer you personalized, expert recommendations about your build.
DIY Shop Services List
How our DIY Shop Works
Our goal at the shop is to make your DIY project more fun and cost-effective.
What we do:
- Piecemeal installations of van conversion components and features
- Hourly project consultation to offer expert advice and help you get your van done
- Parts sourcing, ordering, and sales
What we don’t do:
- Repair or overhaul poorly done conversions
- Finish half-started conversions
- Install your already purchased parts (on a case by case basis, we may install previously purchased parts with an added “corkage” fee)
How can we help you? Choose from our services list below. Prices include parts and labor. Most installations are also subject to tax.
Vent fan installation
Climate control for comfortable living and sleeping.
- Maxxair deluxe fan
- Choose white or smoke color
- Includes wiring to the location of your choice
Note: you must have an auxiliary battery system to power the fan
Maxxair fan installation: $1,200
Add windows for visibility and airflow. We install CR Laurence windows.
- Fixed or vented windows
- Side or rear windows
- Bunk windows and half-sliders
Window installation: cost of window + $600 per window
An auxiliary power system transforms your van. Run lights, household appliances, fans, and gadgets.
- Lithium-ion battery bank – you choose how large (we can help you decide)
- Wiring run based on your design
- An inverter makes standard AC household plugs possible
Average price: $9,500
Solar power makes true off-grid adventuring possible.
- 335W LG solar panel
- Hook into your existing electrical system or pre-wire for a future system
Average price: $5,250
Foldaway, bench, and convertible seats
- Foldaway seats are there when you need them, and tucked away when you don’t.
- Convertible benches do double duty when they fold down into a bed.
Bellagio foldaway seats: $3,500
Travois convertible bench seats and floor system: $8,500 to $10,500, depending on the seat type chosen
Captains seat swivels
Swivel seats give you options when it comes to lounging and dining.
- We install Travois seat swivels, which surpass Scopemas
- Prices vary depending on van type
Average price: $550 per seat
Insulated wall panels
We custom-build wall panels specific to your van.
- Fabric-covered wall panels with soft-touch foam padding
- Hundreds of fabric colors and styles to choose from
- Wool insulation – great R-value plus better for the environment
- Sound-deadening layer protects against noise and vibration
Average cost: $8,500
Prices vary based on van size, number of windows, and other options.
Vinyl plank floor with insulated subfloor.
- Hundreds of flooring designs, from wood grain to modern
- Foam bottom contoured to floor ribs
- 1/2″ 9-ply structural plywood
Vinyl plank flooring install with insulated subfloor: $3,100
Removable three-panel platform bed
This versatile bed system lets you have a bed when you want it.
- In-house crafted from 1″ square aluminum tubing for rust resistance
- Topped with fabric covered 1/2″ ply
- Easily remove the 3 panels with just a few nuts and your van is open and available to haul large items or host a dance party
- Bed frame secures to angle aluminum on both sides
Three-panel bed system: $4,250
Rixens Hot Water and Cabin Heater
Rixens does double duty and ties into your fuel lines, so you never need to worry about running out of hot water.
- Diesel or gas-powered
- Hot water on demand
- Dual cabin and water heater
Rixens System: $9,490
Webasto cabin heater
Keep your van toasty warm in any weather.
- Webasto heaters run on fuel from your vehicle’s tank
- Come in gas and diesel models
Gas heater: $3,020
Diesel heater: $3,400
Consulting and support
Get expert help and advice.
- Pre-build van recommendations
- General Q & A – get all your questions answered by experts
- Project planning – what order to install features, schematics, etc.
- Parts sourcing and recommendations
- Design elements
- Troubleshooting your installations or stalled conversion
- Project completion – make a plan to get across the finish line
Project consultation: $150 per hour
Product sales - shop local!
Doing the installation yourself? Capitalize on our wholesale relationships with vendors and support a local business by buying parts through us.
We sell, for you to install at home:
- Havelock wool bags
- Maxxair vent fan installation kits
- CR Laurence windows
- Electrical system components
- And more
Stay tuned for our upcoming DIY electrical installation kit, which includes all parts plus a wiring schematic.
What we don't do
We love to help – but we don’t do the following:
- Diagnose or fix faulty conversions – we recommend extreme caution when purchasing a pre-converted van!
- Finish your half-done conversion – we’re happy to consult so you can finish it yourself
- Do extensive work on vans other than Sprinters, ProMasters, or Transit vans
- Install AGM, deep-cycle, or lead-acid batteries – we only work with Lithium for longevity reasons
- Install or repair propane systems – we instead offer induction cooktops and heaters powered by your fuel tank
- Install your pre-purchased parts except at our discretion with a “corkage” fee
Our Trusted Partners
Solar and electrical systems
Vent fans and windows
Captain's seat swivels (with satisfied customer!)
Parts recommendations and sourcing
Foldaway, bench, and convertible seats
Wool-insulated custom wall panels
Hourly project consultation
We won't finish it for you, but we will help you make a plan!
How do you decide what’s right for you?
Our three biggest tips as you’re building about your van:
- Do your research
- Know what you want
- Know your budget
This sets you up for success. You’ll know what features you need and which ones you don’t. You’ll end up with a van that works for you and your lifestyle – not anyone else’s. Because that’s what vanlife is all about – freedom to be yourself, travel on your own terms, and enjoy the natural world without the typical hassles of camping or limitations of RVs.
Our specific tips for DIYers
Some of our customers decide to DIY their van for the love of building. Some want to increase their skills. Others do it for financial reasons. Our DIY shop is designed to help those converting their own vans with the features beyond their skillsets.
The holy trinity of any construction job is: fast – cheap – high quality. You can have two out of three, but never all three at once. A conversion shop like ours provides quality services at a fast pace—but it will cost you money. If you have a reasonable skill level and access to YouTube, you can DIY your dream conversion and save money—but it will cost you time. Fast and cheap naturally signifies a drop in quality.
Many DIY customers come to us after they’ve been working on their vans for years and realize they need help. Others devote six months to the project and complete it with great success.
The key: get real with yourself in terms of your priorities. Decide what’s worth outsourcing to professionals and what you can do on your own. Whenever you’re looking to save costs, prepare to either spend a substantial amount of time on your build or sacrifice quality. If you’re stuck in the rut of endless tinkering and perfectionism, it might be time to speed up and either spend some extra money and lower your standards just a little. We never suggest cutting corners when it comes to such a major investment—but there’s also wisdom to the saying “done is better than perfect.”