Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

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.

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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.

Related: Vanlife

"Tiny homes on wheels" embody the spirit of vanlife. Chances are you've walked by such a van without even knowing it. Solar panels and a fan on the roof may be the only sign that a small, off-grid house is inside.

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.

When I bought my van, I had almost no experience in carpentry, construction, or electrical engineering. Yet I was determined to build it all myself. Two years later, here are the plans for my cozy steampunk wood cabin van.

Choosing a Vanlife Van

Choosing a Vanlife Van
The first time I began to realize the potential of a van was when I encountered this blog post on Bearfoot Theory. Her open layout which manages to incorporate a ...
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About the author

(zane) / Technically Wizardry

I've been a game designer, startup founder, and @Airbnb for 6+ years. This blog documents my hobbies of building a vanlife van, "magic" home automation, and interesting software to control it all.


Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

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