Building a Wood Cabin Steampunk Van

There are many, many websites showing off #vanlife vans. We run into travelers every day with beautiful, albeit “standard” vans. Some look super polished, with crisp white lines. There are several professional after-market companies that create “perfect” vanlife vans…

You won’t find any of that here.

When I bought my Ford Transit 250 in late 2018, I knew almost nothing about carpentry or construction. I just knew that I wanted to do it all myself, from the insulation to the electrical.

Photo Gallery

A year and a half later, the result is what real estate agents would describe as “cozy.” The van was designed to look like a wood cabin on the inside. Touches include fairy lights and steampunk analog switches.

It is not perfect. Things still break more often than I might like, but at least I know how to fix everything.

Here are each of the steps that went in to the build process. I’ll share the materials I used, what worked, and what didn’t.

What I’d Change About my Van Build

Now that my van build is complete (photo gallery), I wanted to look back on what I'd change (and what I'd keep the same). Some day, maybe once vans are electric and self-driving, I'll end up building...

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laptop computer monitor arm in a van mobile office

Mobile Office and Desk in a Van

To work from the road, we needed the van to also serve as a mobile office. It's hard enough to have an ergonomic work space at home or at an office. It was an even bigger challenge to make the...

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