Welcome to my van build page! Here I’m sharing as much information as I can about what I used for the build and where I got it. The build itself was all captured over on my Instagram and can be found in the story highlights. Before I get too into the build details, you can take a look at the van tour video to familiarise yourself.

Ok, here’s how it’s going to go. I’ll keep it simple and just add the materials I used and the links on where to buy it. For anything I have some additional info for, I’ll add it in. If you are currently building your own van – GOOD LUCK I’m so excited for you, and I hope this helps!

Van Specs
2003 Toyota Hiace Commuter
Automatic, Petrol
280,000kms when purchased
Price: $11,500
Note: These are traditionally a 14 seater minibus. Mine came semi converted (with an updated engineers certificate that legally makes it a 3 seater now) which Dad and I gutted and started again from scratch.

Build Specs
Build time: 12 weeks (May – August 2020)
Experience level: None
Team: Dad & I (plus a friend for the overhead cabinets)
Total Conversion Cost: $5,765.56
Van name: Vanessa (Vee for short)

Walls and Ceiling
Shiplap Pine Lining – Bunnings

Insulation/Temperature Control
Earth Wool – Bunnings
Block Out Curtains – Spotlight (Thankyou Mum and Emma for sewing x)
Reflectix sun shade window covers – Kmart
Magnetic Clips – Bunnings
Window Tint – Super Cheap Auto

6mm ply – Bunnings
7mm Mink Oak laminate – Bunnings (1 box)
Additional thoughts: While this has worked I notice get gaps in between the boards as the van flexes and moves.  If I were to do it again I would use a lino timber look covering which would be more long term waterproof.  This looks and feels great though so no regrets.

Ceiling Vent Fan Fiamma – Ebay
Sirocco Fan – Ebay

Kitchen Cabinets
Drawers – Ikea
Pantry – Ikea
Sink Cupboard – Ikea
Door Handles – Ikea
Bench Top – Bunnings
Sink – Ikea
Tap – Bunnings
Fridge Brass Moneky 36L – Jaycar
Internal cabinet lights – Bunnings
Non Slip mats – Bunnings
Internal Drawer Catch – Bunnings
Cupboard door magnets – Bunnings
Drawer locks – Bunnings
Splashback Tiles – Ebay (These are stickers and SUPER easy to install)
Additional thoughts: Kickbacks need to be installed so cabinet doors have better clearance from the floor. We also modified the Ikea flat packs a lot – we changed doors, shortened the sink cupboard, trimmed to fit against the curved walls, and added fridge ventilation.

120aph Battery – came with the van
Charge controller – came with the van
Solar 2 x 130W panels – Jaycar
Puck lights – Ebay
Power inlet – Bunnings
Electrical sockets (double pole) – Bunnings
15 AMP lead – Bunnings
Fuse Block – Jaycar
300W Inverter – Jaycar
Note: Dad is an electrician so we did all the electrical ourselves. The battery charges off the alternator, solar, and charges when connected to mains power too.

Water System / Plumbing
Water Pump 2.4L per min – Road Tech Marine
2 x Jerry Can – Bunnings
Drain pipe – Old vacuum cleaner hose from the cleanup #thrifty
Note: Everyone always says it and I totally agree – van plumbing is a nightmare. It’s too small of a scale for normal household drainage and there are different threads for different types of connects/pipes, depending on their intended use. This is why I ended up just using a vacuum hose, making sure to loop it so I had an air trap to prevent odor coming back up the drain.

Bed spread – Adairs
Mattress – Clark Rubber (cut down to 117cm x 174cm)
Bamboo cubes – Ikea
Sound activated clock with temperature – Ebay
Mirror – Etsy
Hooks – Ikea
Hanging bag – Ikea
Fairy Lights – Kmart
Teal pot and plants – Bunnings instore only

Glasses – Road Tech Marine
Mugs – Anaconda
Bowls – Ikea
Plates – Kmart (no longer available)
Kettle – Super Cheap Auto
Stove – Big W

Lastly a huge huge THANKYOU to my Dad who gave me three months of this time and knowledge to help and teach me how to use the tools, problem solve, and build a van together. Not only is the finished van a home and prized possession of mine now, but so are the memories and skills you gave me. From the bottom of my heart, Thankyou Dad.

*This page contains some affiliate links however they are all the products I have used in the van and throughout the build. Purchasing through my links costs no extra for you and supports me to write articles like this for free.