1996 Camper Van Conversion Project – Interior Pics

I am finally getting around to taking some photos of the van. I should have taken before shots and documented some of the projects but I didn’t. I bought this van at an auction from the State of Michigan last year. It was used to transport prisoners. It looked basically like a REALLY dirty church bus. After a lot of work it is now pretty nice inside and setup so I can take it camping but I mainly use it as a delivery van. I have installed a complete auxilary electrical system with two marine trolling batteries, a 1200 watt inverter, a 3 stage battery charger/DC converter, a transfer switch to toggle between inverter power and shore power and all the necessary wiring and fuses. This powers a Dometic fridge from a popup camper, a microwave, a DVD and audio system and any other DC or AC item we might need. Here are some pics of the back of the van. I built a bulkhead wall that seperates the rear cargo area from the front seats. I will show the front later.

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Here is a view from the back doors with the bed installed and folded down. The bed is held in with metal pins that allow it to be removed
pretty easily. The benchs that run along the sides of the van are for storage and also house the AC and DC power systems.

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This is a view from inside the van. You can see the DVD player on the ceiling. This is portable and comes out when we aren’t using it. I did run wires so I can plug it into power and also output the sound through the van’s rear stereo system. You can see some of the speakers in the ceiling also.

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Here is another shot looking forward. You can see the Fridge and Microwave in the background. I paneled over the windows for security and privacy. I left a small porthole opening to let in fresh air. All the back windows have custom made screens on them.

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The DVD screen swivels so you can see it from pretty much anywhere in the van.

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The sofa bed in booth mode. I just put this table in today. It uses a standard RV table base so it transforms for sleeping very quickly.

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Here is a closeup of the fridge and microwave. The fridge draws a lot of power but should last long enough on the auxilary batteries to make it to the next campground. The batteries are stored in a compartment below the fridge.

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The DC Switch Panel for the overhead lights, outlets and stereo system controls are in easy reach from the bed.

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The AC transfer switch is next to the main electrical outlet. I also made custom ducts for left the rear heat and air system.

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I made these custom door panels and the curtains as well. I think they look pretty good.

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Here is a pic showing one of the screens I made. I also put in a pretty nice roof vent/fan and a lot of insulation. It still gets pretty hot in there in the summer.

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There is a hidden compartment in each door. Not a huge space but every bit helps.

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3 responses so far, want to say something?

  1. bill says:

    Your van looks great. I have the rather difficult task of trying to put curtains in my Chrysler minivan. It’s difficult with all the uneven surfaces of the molding and windows are never a nice rectangle. I’m just looking around for ideas and saw yours. That’s the best way to do it with a rod top and bottom. I was wondering what you used for the curtain rod. Looks like some sort of plastic bathroom gizmo but suits the purpose perfectly and looks good.
    If you ever get tired of the idea of having a dvd player strapped to the ceiling, a good alternative is a 12 volt Skyworth flat screen with a built-in dvd player. That way, you have a tv tuner where you can watch broadcast tv and play discs too. I put a 13 incher in a 13 foot Casita trailer and you just can’t beat it. Of course, any 12 volt TV also runs on 120 volt if desired.

  2. Rey says:

    Van looks good. I was curious what is the grey material you are using to wrap everything? What does it cost and where did you get it? Do you glue it on or just wrap tightly and fasten from behind?

  3. JB says:

    Nice Job.

    I see you put this post up in 2005, how have things held up in the van?

    I have a 2005 E150 that I’ve converted so it has a nice camp setup but I can remove the bed and load two dirt bikes. My bed setup is similar to what you did above but I didn’t hinge it to work as a table. ‘Good idea you had there.

    I want to add a sliding roof vent so i’m looking around the web for ideas.

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