Cheapest van conversion ideas

Written by jeffery keilholtz
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Cheapest van conversion ideas
Converting a van can be inexpensive. (van fano Denmark image by david harding from Fotolia.com)

Converting a van is an economical way to live and drive under one roof. According to Scott Bidstrup, an essayist, over one million U.S. citizens live permanently in their converted vans with no fixed address. Retirees and folks looking to save money can benefit from converted van living. It takes only about £5,200 per year to live out of a converted van, as of 2010. While there are some drawbacks, such as no hard-line telephone access, there are a number of cheap ways to convert a van for practicality and pleasure.

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Sink Bowl

Most homes have bathroom and kitchen sinks made of heavy porcelain or expensive stainless steel. Install a sink in your newly converted van for under £3. These bowls are rust resistant, come in all sizes and are extremely lightweight. Buy a large, thin metal mixing bowl and cut a hole into the bottom. Install the bowl into a precut wooden shelf, which will act as a counter. Search your local home improvement store for a basic drain pipe and install it in the hole beneath the bowl. Cheap RV Living recommends sealing the pipe into the bowl using a fast-drying epoxy to complete your converted van sink.

Bedside Table

Find a used bedside table to fashion into an appliance counter. Standard microwaves or toaster ovens can sit steady on most end tables, freeing up much-needed counter space. Cheap RV Living also suggests boosting the stability of the table by securing "L" brackets to the legs with metal screws. By installing the new appliance stand where an old seat once was situated can make it easier to bolt the bottoms of the legs to the van floor.

Plastic Drawers

Minimise costs and excess weight by using plastic drawers instead of wooden or metal drawers. A horizontal stack of plastic drawers can hold anything from clothes to silverware. These storage units are light, so no unnecessary weight is added to the van. Additionally, plastic drawers are safer to use -- no sharp wooden or metal edges -- and they can be easily adjusted or moved. Cheap RV Living recommends keeping plastic drawers shut in a moving van by drilling single roofing nails into holes in the bottom edge of each drawer. Screws can be easily removed or drawers can be tilted up and pulled out once the van has stopped.

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