Without a doubt, one of the coolest things about owning a van is being able to design and build it out however you want. But if you’re new to the van life game, you might be wondering what features you should include in your build. Here are ten must-haves to get you started.
- Storage: van living means living minimally, so you’ll need to be strategic about storage. If you’re not planning on doing much cooking, you can save space by opting for a small fridge and freezer. And make sure to include plenty of cabinets and shelves for all your gear.
- A dinette: A dinette is a must-have if you want to be able to eat inside your van. It can double as a workstation during the daytime and a place to eat and socialize in the evening.
- Lighting: One of the challenges of van life is dealing with limited natural light. Make sure to include plenty of overhead and task lighting in your build so you can see what you’re doing no matter what time of day it is.
- Climate control: Unless you’re planning on living in a van year-round, you’ll need some way to keep things cool (or warm) inside your vehicle. If you’re in a warmer climate, consider installing an air conditioner. And if you’re in a colder climate, make sure to insulate well and consider adding a heater.
- A bed: Obviously, you’ll need a place to sleep when you’re on the road. You can either go for a simple custom mattress or rig up a more elaborate sleeping area with benches that convert into a bed.
- A bathroom: If you plan on spending any significant amount of time in your van, you’ll probably want to include a bathroom. This doesn’t have to be anything fancy–a porta-potty or chemical toilet will do the trick. But if you want something a little more luxurious, you can install a shower and sink.
- Solar power: Solar power is a great way to keep your van self-sufficient. If you’re planning on doing any boondocking (camping without hookups), solar panels will be a lifesaver.
- Water storage: Even if you’re not planning on boondocking, it’s always a good idea to have plenty of water onboard. A simple water jug will do, but you might also want to install a gray water tank to store used water from the sink or shower.
- Awnings and screens: If you want to be able to enjoy the outdoors without being eaten alive by mosquitoes, you’ll need to invest in awnings and screens. These can be installed on the outside of your van, and will give you a comfortable place to relax and enjoy the view.
- A sound system: Last but not least, don’t forget to include a sound system in your build! Whether you’re into listening to music or watching movies, a good speaker will make your van feel like home.
There are endless possibilities when it comes to outfitting your van, so don’t be afraid to get creative. The most important thing is to make sure you include all the essentials so you can hit the road and start exploring as soon as possible!