a Blog About Adventure Travel for Kite-Surfing and Cycling with a Custom Built Van
Custom Van Build Complete?
Custom Van Build Complete?

Custom Van Build Complete?

So, you buy a van and decide to convert it to a camper. You spend time drawing out plans. You make a list of all the things that you need, would like, and would love to incorporate into your build. Hopefully, you also consider what you really don’t like and how each piece is going to affect the next. Then you start your build and you find out there is so much more to consider, but like a piece of are when do you know if your Custom Van Build is complete?

After ten months of building and adventuring, JoVanna is still not complete. Every time we head out on a new journey, we re-evaluate what works and doesn’t work with our current design. Hopefully, in the next couple of months, we will be close to deciding that she is finished.

Here are some of the design features that we loved, hated and modified with each adventure.

Design #1

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Initial Wants/Needs
  • Lots of open space to move around
  • Lots of garage space for kite gear
  • Inside bike storage
  • A bed
  • A cooler
  • A shelf for storing clothing
What Didn’t Work
  • Boards were in the way
  • Food containers sliding everywhere
  • Clothing scattered everywhere

Design #2

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Newly Fulfilled Wants/Needs
  • Ceiling board storage
  • Cargo net to keep kite gear in the garage space
  • A place to store food
  • A door to keep our clothing in the closet
  • A place to shower!
  • Counter space for cooking and working
What Didn’t work
  • We were always stopping for ice for the cooler
  • We were always looking for a place to sit
  • The cargo net was useless at keeping gear actually under the bed
  • Our shelves under the bed were useless and taking up space

Design #3

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Newly Fulfilled Wants/Needs
What Didn’t work
  • Not enough space for our battery and charger when setting up our off-grid system
  • Step was wasted storage space and not helpful for our dog
  • The new seat was not useful with the flip-table
  • No where to store a toilette
  • Still not enough seating
  • No where to store water

Design #4

Newly Fulfilled Wants/Needs
  • Practically seating that doubles as storage (toilette, stove, and fridge)
  • More counter/work space
  • New electrical box
  • Water storage
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We are still in the process of putting together our off-grid system, but now we have the space to do it. Our goal is to complete our battery and charging system before our summer adventures begin in June. Maybe then JoVanna will be complete?

What do you wish you would had done differently in your build? How did you know when you were finished? Let us know in the comments.

Follow for updates on more KiteBikeVan adventures and continued Custom Van Improvements.

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