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Installing Solar Panels and a Fan on a Van Roof

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With the insulation and plywood walls up, the inside of the van was starting to look good. Before I could move on to the ceiling, though, we needed to do the scariest part: cut a hole in the roof to install a fan. Layout I purchased a MaxxFan to keep the inside of the van cool in the summer and well-ventilated while cooking. It offers some great options, like the ability to turn on automatically...

Days 2-6: Installing Sturdy, Good-Looking Plywood Walls in a Van

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Walls are the thing that that first transformed the way my cargo van felt. It went from an industrial/shipping vibe to… something vaguely cozy within just a few days. Why Plywood? I liked the idea of a wood aesthetic, but I didn’t want the walls to look too rugged. The idea was for a little woodgrain to show through lightly-stained walls to improve the sense of spaciousness in such a...

Day 2: Installing a Passenger Swivel-Seat for Maximum Living Space

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There’s not much living space in a cargo van. A swivel-seat installed on the passenger side can help fix that. What to Know Swivel seats can rotate 180 degrees so that a seat is facing backwards. In the case of a van, this increases the effective living area by turning the cabin into more seating for the living room.   It’s hard to capture just how much of a space difference this...

Day 1: Insulating a Van for Summer & Winter Living

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The first thing I did to my new Ford Transit van was rip out all of the factory-installed cargo gear to make room for insulation. Insulation Needs I wanted to be able to park my van to the base of a ski mountain, like Tahoe, so that I could get first runs in the morning. In order to not freeze my butt off, I knew I’d need some good insulation. Heat retention in insulation is measured by its R...

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