Custom Camper Van – How to Build – 1

This is our Van, Citroen Jumper six metres long with extra high roof, so inside we have a lot of head space. Our action plan is to transform it into a nice camper, so this is our design. We wanted in very invisible camper, so we don’t have any windows on the side of van. Only 2 hatches on the roof. High bed with a huge storage under.

Large working desk. Sofa that becomes a second bed at night. Hidden explainer and toilet inside of the cupboard small kitchen and of course some cupboards on the wall for personal items. We will install two solar panels and a gasoline heater on board.

So we finally finish the cleaning. It took us about maybe 3 hours. And it feels like we can already can bring some girls here. We’ve cleaned properly the van as soon as we bought it but we do not recommend doing it, because it will get dirty and dusty while you are building it.

Since we don’t have the proper place to build the camper we’re kind of using the parking spot. You need to just consider the weather and all that things. And just maybe the current were to plug your stuff to cut the wood.

So we removed all the panels it was a bit a mission to remove the original ones from Citroen. As you see, some of them are broken. It much better to have proper tools, but… After an hour of cleaning it looks quite new, so I think we can even make money on it if we decide to sell it now. Yeah, true I’m filling up the gaps with insolation material I’m not sure this is the best one.

Bhaa, I feel like the guy from the shop says it’s the most thermic one. It’s pretty pain in the ass to fill up these gaps. I was thinking it’s a nice idea to cover the hole with aluminium thing. So the air doesn’t pass through and that’s what I’m doing now.

I’m not using the extendable foam just for the reason in case you need to do something else after on the van It’s basically impossible to get through the holes So I finished insolation of the van and now it’s warm and cozy.

specifically designed for this

Most of the things are closed now with aluminium tape. I would open here a bit more. it’s a bit uncomfortable to cut the roof. Now this one is pretty wobbly.
I hope with the hatch it will be stable.

We had to send them a little bit just for better grip. So our job is done for the oblo is installed and is waiting for Sikaflex to dry. For example just for your curiosity the guy he wanted for two windows he wanted 240 euros to mount them. Just double check which one you should use for example with our Fiamma they they gave a suggestion to use one so we took the same type of the silicone but from another brand just to double-check that one.

When you finish to put the silicone around with your finger, okay you make it nice but if you wet your finger it makes it much smoother and much nicer yeah and don’t be lazy and use maybe the tape just put around so when you just finish your Sikaflex job just remove the tape and it looks nice and neat. It looks like we put in a lot of Sikaflex but when you put on top of the roof it seems that it’s almost not enough so don’t save money on that just put it in abundance We’re putting dual tape It’s a special one it’s specifically designed for this type of things or other similar ones Specifically expensive one. Yeah, it’s 2 euro for one meter So it’s espensive. At least we don’t have to drill any holes for solar panels And this was recommended by the guy who is basically doing the campers so the plan is we just dual tape the solar panels they are flex ones, they are light so we don’t need anything more How is the cable going?

We drilled four holes two positive, two negative so we do all the connections inside the camper actually so we do simply four holes which goes inside and from inside we join them together and then we will seal it 19 stripes and each one is one meter 10 cm you need some good knees as well So our choice was 140 watts NDS solar panels Yeah, they are flexible ones Yeah, a lot of people Even guys flying with helicopter to film how we installing the solar panels So it’s quite important event in Livorno just because it’s less visible Yeah, it doesn’t stay like too high. It doesn’t look like a camper at all. We cleaned it properly with alcohol and everything yeah now we attached the adhesive on one side now we’ll put them on top of this and they should stay very steady I see already that this is really sticky stuff Voila! The action plan right now is to empty the van and make a new flooring there.

It took us 3 and a half hours It took a bit of time to cut the wood and make it perfectly you know perfect fit So we are mounting the boxes so it’s quite simple boxes so it’s one, two, three, four panels but even if it’s simple the van is not straight so we have to adjust to cut it like just to make that corner there We are waiting until the paint will dry we gave the first layer and we’ll do probably another two layers first impression I like this wood on the floor ten minutes it dryies really, it’s absorbs really quickly, so probably in five minutes, ten minutes we’ll do it again We installed the support for the bed, for the wall. we decided to put back the panels but we wanted to have something underneath it so we can fix the bed to the walls as well And that’s what we’ve done and here for the wooden panels for these guys so they’re not going to do this work so attaching basically panels it’s a bit tricky thing to do I mean you need to Not tricky, but you need to find the right width of wood, right screw, so it doesn’t go through the through the van Yeah, and the van is not squared so it’s all… So it takes time. We used SketchUp application just for for designing and just for measurements Just for visual presentation We found quite efficient guy We ordered yesterday the wood And here it is. It’s all ready to put together.

We used 20 mm wood And it’s strong and it’s nice. For the top of the camper we are using 27 mm It’s quite nice, smells good, but we need to make some treatment. Ohh yeah. I think from now a lot of visual changing will be in the camper. Because until now we’ve been doing electricity, cables Buying things, going around for things and now I think…

Pa pa pa At least it felt quite slow you spend a lot of hours and you just in the evening you see like oh nothing changed As you can see we’re having this delicious slice of pizza. Margherita One side it’s 118 centimetres and in the middle is 120 so missing like one and a half centimeter and we need to add probably underneath like a small layer or something… It was a missing to put it all together. But as you can see it looks quite nice.

This is the bed support quite solid I think the great idea is to put something in the middle, or Install the metal bar, that one really works great now. And we went for both options. We just passed all the cables to all the places where we want to have electricity. You can see it’s all collected nicely here.

And everything is marked, because of the same color, to don’t have confusion. Don’t forget to mark everything. So we installing the support for the ceiling Yeah! It’s a ceiling day !

Yeah, it’s pretty simple we put one line with screws and after there will be the wood panels will be attached there. This is the last piece of wood we’ve installed. Now we’re ready for panels. Here we have some extra double tape and we will try to use it just for these small works just to don’t put too many screws and to make it nice. It takes about 5 minutes for one of this panels And maybe 10-15 minutes for one of this.

If not him, for sure I would be forgetting about insulation. It’s better to have me always around! That’s his point. I’m pretty happy with this. Ha!

Yeah it looks quite nice, quite solid And here will be probably the storage for the big containers and here just for random stuff. The action plan for is to put panels on the wall, make everything solid inside, Cover it and put the wooden panels on top. A bit tricky and slow to start because you need to think about many things.

All the measurements. Just to make it work, so one is sits on top of another. We finally finished covering all walls with the panels. What we gonna to do now. We’ll just put the wooden rails So we can attach the wooden panels.

The big thing is done because now underneath There are wood pieces which creates support for everything So we can attach table here. We cut a bit of structure to make it one line. So we can save 1 cm everywhere. I hope the camper still…

Should be alright… Should be alright… The floor is not that flat. It has that kinda arch. So we had to put something underneath. To make it flat, so we wouldn’t had problems with cupboard doors.

How is it going Chico? Quite good, quite good. Tomorrow when it will dry, we’ll need to sand it Sand it all and we’ll do it again a bit just…

The holes are quite deep, and it will suck a bit through the night So we’ll need to add, to make it nice and smooth. It took us about an hour to finish this thing. One is holding, one is drilling.

Yeah, it’s constant work, so… Important that the all pieces are coming Precisely without cutting away. We are on the stage of almost painting. So we covered all the cracks and holes with paste We sanded it.

Quite a lot. Now we cleaned couple of times. And now we are ready for action. We put couple of layers of primer and after we’ll put two hands of our favourite color. So, we’ll use the roll.

Do you think it’s half an hour, one hour? An hour. And important thing just to protect everything around Because when we were putting the paste it was a lot of mess because we didn’t protect properly so after you have to clean the floor as well and you can scratch it, so just be careful.

It’s two day we’ve been painting Yeah, first primer and now one coat of the gray paint as you can see Some areas we decided that we will give another layer. Yeah, the most visible parts. To make it nice and shiny. The invisible ones – it takes time, so maybe we’ll do only the bottom.

Where we’ll be putting the boxes. It takes time if you want to do properly.
One coat takes you four hours maybe. Even longer. My estimations were completely wrong. Half an hour, one hour…

We’ve been installing this rails just to put the wall on. Thats what we are working on. It’s a bit pain in the ass because each one needs some attention.

You probably don’t see that, but we draw the line, and we will follow that line for the screws, so at the end you see nice line along the wall. Another panel will go a bit further there for the LED light. We attached this panel of wood to the ceiling. So we cut the
So this is the main weight will be held by ceiling.

It’s attached to the frame. And the point why we put these panels, because we will make the fitting for the hinges. So this is the result. We’ll put some wooden stick here to make it nice the central line.

So you don’t see it actually. And… we decided to go all the way to cover everything, because As you can see here, it’s all a bit broken. It’s better to make it nice, even if it’s just for the trunk. This will be our escape route, so you can open the van from inside.

It’s hard to make it perfect without right tools but we are trying to do our best. Last couple of days I was painting the wood. Yeah, and we can say pretty much that we almost done with the wood.

It takes time! Ah? We decided to cover with this staff all the holes. To give a nice form and after we’ll just paint it. Or put the textile. Textile on top. Yeah. That’s the plan. Not sure if I’m doing the right thing, but let’s see tomorrow how it works. Just cover the holes.

He was using this fibreglass on this metal panel and this is the result. Yeah, the result looks quite solid, quite nice. You see, here like massive holes, but it’s all rock solid. Who’s there?

One of the thicks you can do is to use the roller Many fibres popping out, but if you use the… Yeah, but just the corners I guess. Probably next time I will improve my technique. And will do something different a bit. So I don’t have to clean.

There are like some sharp corners so I have to move around just to make it nice and smooth. So that’s how we covering the metal. What is your action plan? Some protection, and we ready for epoxy resin. And right now I’m painting the final coat for the cupboard shelves.

So we’ve added two thin layers of wood 1 cm each, so we have more space. And plus we’ve added those things to the end Exactly these ones. So the hinges can fit.

So last time when I was putting the resin on these panels I completely fucked up because it was windy and I was in rush. Now I really slowly prepared everything. I dusted off, I cleaned myself. I put this cover on me.

Yeah, I’ll redo it and will see how it comes out. I was this panel to be really nice, because it’s like a business card of the van. As soon as you open you have the table top and you want to touch it. If it feels nice and good, then it’s good. Another important point is You never should do this job on the sun.

And thats exactly what we did previous time. And… you have different types of catalyser This is basically the component that makes it hard. And you have fast and slow.

So depends on your temperature and how much time you have to work on. You choose the right one. We just making smaller the cover. Before we cut the mattress. Yeah, the customised one.

So we cut the mattress first. From Ikea. We got the normal size and now we just made it shorter The same size we need. If you order it from the professionals – it will cost you triple.

Probably even more. Yeah, so just… And now we’ll just Cut this part we don’t need. Extra stuff. And we’ll use it for something else. Not bad! Not bad at all. So we did small improvement. We cut the corners, very simple modification. Fold. Stitch. And cut.
Wow. I’m really impressed. This is cheep and nice modification Which you can do by yourself. To finish the explainer, we need to install the siphon.

So we are putting the silicon and this rubber protection and we finishing up I feel like is my birthday because we’ve received the sink we have finished epoxy resin on the wood. We finished the explainer. So everything we can put together. We just received it, and we’ve started to install it on our camper It’s very compact.

It’s nice and looks solid. It’s not cheap. We paid 400 euro for only for the sink without the tap. Yeah, but it’s a combination. It’s quite tricky.

It’s not enough just to cut one big hole put it in put some silicon or couple of screws. No. You have to do all the corners and a lot of small cuts. Round shapes.

I was thinking that gonna be Put, screw in and I’m done. And you can see it’s 2 layers so you have to drill one hole all the way and around you need to make the border. Like 1 cm deep, so you can fit it nicely. But I like how it looks.

When you put it on, it black and shiny. The final moment to put the desk on the wall I’ve been waiting for this moment for a month. It’s important to use protective thing, so when you are hitting with the drill it’s not damaging the wood.

So we are on the stage of connecting the batteries and all electrical stuff. The cables and 12 V, 220V How it was? It was quite good. Quite easy. So we connected all the cables.

12V, 220 and we ready for the final connection to the batteries and solar panels need to be connected. Yeah, and this connection we’ll do with our friend to be sure that we did everything in the right way. I’m pretty sure that if we would read the instructions we can do everything, but it’s better to… Second opinion. Yeah.

Yeah, and we connected the lights Everything working. The lights working and we have really nice dimmer on that LED stripe It’s off now, but it looks really nice Really cool. I have a feeling that it’s it’s almost there I think like 3 or 4, 5 days and the van is ready to go. We will do two layers The first one is the light one and the second one after we wait 10 minutes and after we do 2nd layer more heavy one.

The final one. Much better, much nicer. Shiny, a bit of dust on the top But that’s not a problem, because it will be anyway scratched again We started to have squeaky floor Since we have panel of wood, then insolation, then the floor.

And insolation is kinda bending, so now what we want to do We want to put two lines of screws, so the floor will be squeezed to the first panel. A bit squeezing the insolation and hopefully we’ll remove the noise. Yeah, so the noise is almost gone, which very good and I’m happy.

I’m drilling this hole right now, so we have some access to the trunk from here. Maybe for some laundry, taking some extra thing from storage And this cowboy he’s installing the shelf Yeah, the top. So after sawing and modifying these cushions, I might tell you nothing is fast.

This velcro is very tough material So make sure you use the strong thread. So for example: I’m using 100% polister. Cotton is not good enough, you need something nylon, polyester.

Or mixed cotton and nylon. So we have small velcro all around, which will be for the textile cover. And we have 2 velcros in the middle (self adhesive ones) Which will be going on the other side of velcro on the sofa.

This is the final result. You have a nice cushion. From this side it looks nice and actually very happy with it. It’s a bit too pulled and I see it’s already kinda bending.

But I think when you put it with velcro on the sofa it will be nice. From the back I’m not very happy. But, I tell you… When you start you do everything nice, precise and then something never works, something goes on… and you just go fast.. Why you need velcro at all is to be able to wash.

So I spent almost all day yesterday with this guy who was installing the electrical system. It was quite intense job because you kinda need to know what you are doing. Yeah, the correct way to connect the batteries to the solar charger, to controller.

You can do it by yourself if you will spend many hours on google or website or manuals. Since it’s only 4 hours job, so I decided to pay for this and he did a good job, it look tidy, alright. And… to add probably underneath like
Now you can see with iManager how much charge you have on the batteries You have two batteries and how much you consuming, how much you charging.

And… You can see also the voltage of the car battery. Electrical system works. You can turn on the lights, pump. And the solar panels are charging everything.

So I don’t need to worry about being flat with the batteries. what we are doing? We are installing the water tank. And heating system. This thing is inside of the fuel tank.

This is measuring how much fuel you have. This is the electrical pump, which pump the fuel. This thing will be installed somewhere here, around this one. This is the cable which goes inside of the van from the heater. You have a heater itself.

We have intake, exhaust. Exhaust you connect with this silencer and… Here you connect the fuel line. It’s a small cable and with this cable you need to take also electricity. So it goes to the front.

And here on the front you will put somewhere the pump and from the pump you will connect to the fuel tank. So basically they are pumping the fuel from the tank to the end there Where the cable is. We have fuel coming from the tank and coming out. It’s hanging like this and it’s coming out here. It’s warm inside.

Now it’s 14C. Outside is 7C. The heating is on. It’s on fire. It’s consuming about 200ml. From 100 to 280 ml of fuel. Depends on how much it’s working. So let me quickly explain how water tank works.

We installed this thing, where the water will be coming in. This is for the air to come out. So when it filling up with water it’s not doing strange sounds. And this hole is on the bottom. You pull this thing and the water comes out.

You put it – stays in. Voila! He shorten this piece on the machine, so it’s more levelled. This thing is used for – if you need to attach it on the distance, so can attach extra pipe here.

Hand break cable now is not arriving to the holder. Exactly that one. I vacuumed. Just to remove the main dust. Right now I’m assembling the Ikea chair. It’s fun. This is the bar chair. Idea for 90 cm table and I’m actually very happy with it. You have rest for your legs. It’s nice height for the table. The cool trick is you lower it when you finish.

And if you want to move, you just put small rag here and you raise it. When it hits the table – it’s just stays there. Because it doesn’t have legs – it’s not annoying. You see this new thing? I’ve put the mirror on this wall.

It’s easily passing without breaking nothing. So, before if we needed to remove a bit of wood – we were using the mouse. Now I bought this thing.

the side of van

Man! This a game changer! This does it in seconds. Seriously… So two new shelves installed. I like how they look. But I think grey would be nicer, so maybe after we’ll paint it. For now they stay like this. Final touch… Looks already nice. Everything works. I’m cleaning away everything. I’m giving away the generator. So, everything I do are the last things.

What I will notice now I will be putting on the wish list. Out solution for the tent was to buy the Decathlon Tarp and we were really lucky as we have some hooks on the roof. Fits perfectly, so we don’t need to do any adjustments here.

We were thinking we will need to drill, silicon, thing… We’re lucky… You have two metal poles 1 meter 80 cm, and after you use the rope to the ground. So as you can see we put two screws with this strap for the bike. Just put the bike.

Put the strap around, go through and just make it tight. Easy. Let’s do the same for the ladder. So, I’m on the final stage of decoration. I’m putting the bed linens. Making everything nice. Turning on the water, all systems… I’ve put champagne in the fridge. Everything is working.

In couple of hours I’m meeting all my friends just to explain them the van and have a glass of champagne. Why not? To celebrate, important. 2 months, 1 month and a half of work. Could be much faster, but…

We’ve been travelling for two months already and made some improvements and upgrades to make it work even better. Where you can find it? Exactly, we’ve made a separate article with all the thoughts, all the mistakes. There are quite a few of them.

You put one way because you are not sure how it gonna work and after on the way while you are using it, you see, maybe we should change it and put it differently. Exactly. We don’t want to make this article too long, so you can go and check the link below. That is the juice, because when you build the things, you think one way, but when you using them it’s completely different.

So, check out that one. Also in the description we’ll put the list of all things we bought, all things we used. More or less how much we spent. And… All the info, product review.

We reviewed couple of products already, but maybe we will do more. The things you shouldn’t buy. Basically everything useful apart of the build will be in that article. Check it out! Hey!

This is the final stage.
Celebration! The inauguration of the camper with a beautiful view. We waiting for the sun to appear. For the lovely sunset. The team is ready. Champagne is ready.