This Couple Transformed A Regular Van Into A Custom Mobile Home

Adam Croft and Nikki Pepperell wanted to travel the world without the seriously expensive costs of renting and lodging along the way. After a trip to New Zealand, the couple wanted to find a new home that wouldn't end up breaking the bank. They were inspired by their friends who lived on a boat, so they made their minds up and got started. They decided to track down a regular old box van and turn it into a miniature mobile home!

Read on to see how Nikki and Adam turned their dreams into reality and built out their personalized space.

Choosing A Van

They chose a Ford Transit Luton box van for their apartment. It was the exact size they wanted and replacement parts are readily available around the world.

Designing The Interior

They used a 3D modeling software called Google SketchUp to produce the interior layout of the van. They planned space for a sofa, kitchenette, bunk bed, and more.

Chalking Up

They measured and chalked the layout on the van interior once they had made their minds up. The interior may look small, but wait until you see what they ended up doing!

Insulation And Electric

After insulating the floors and walls, they lined the van with plywood and then installed the electrical wiring. They use a combination of a battery and solar power to provide the van with plenty of electricity.


The couple actually built all of the van's cabinets and storage spaces by themselves, even though neither of them had any previous woodworking experience. Impressive!



The shower is powered by a pump with water that can be warmed on the stovetop, and the toilet pulls out to be emptied when it's full.

Bunk Beds

Here's a shot of the insulation install process. This structure would soon become the bunk bed that they'd sleep in. Many of their decisions were influenced by weight in order to keep the van from getting too heavy.

The Kitchen

The couple really enjoys cooking, "so it was important to us that we had room to store and cook food comfortably," they wrote on their blog.


They installed shelves, cabinets, and storage for all of their necessities and made the most out of the van's height, placing items all the way up the walls.


The couple wanted a woodburner and a friend made one that was small enough to fit in the van. The woodburner is still large enough to produce plenty of sufficient heat.

The Couch

They built their sofa frame just like they built their cabinets, and included drawers to maximize storage space. "Be prepared to make mistakes, but don't be afraid to try," they wrote on their blog.


The Back

The van's rear opens up to a garage of sorts to store wood, supplies, and more. "Don't be fooled into thinking this was an easy build," they wrote on their blog.

Finished Product

"It took a lot longer than expected due to various reasons and a lot more money than we anticipated," they wrote. "But we have a place to call home!"

Decorative Touches

They added plenty of decorations to tie the interior together. "There were many moments when we thought we were mad for ever taking on the project," they wrote.

All Done

Adam and Nikki's hard work paid off in the form of a totally unique and customized van that they can use to travel wherever they desire!

If you'd like to learn more about this project, visit Adam and Nikki's blog. Does this project look like something your friends or family might like? Make sure to SHARE it with them!

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