How to build a Camper Van / Studio - DIY conversion (Step by step)

  • Published on Feb 18, 2018
  • How to convert a van into a camper/ video production studio. I hope this step by step video is useful to many of you. Time stamps bellow:
    0:43 Windows
    2:27 Bulkhead
    2:57 / 28:26 Floor
    3:27 Wires
    3:58 Roof ventilation
    6:17 Insulation
    8:43 Ceiling
    9:45 / 29:20 Ikea LEDs
    10:06 Pallet wood walls
    10:47 Bed Frame / 18:36 & 29:57 Sliding bed
    13:38 Kitchen
    17:04 / 21:12 Carpeting
    17:57 / 21:33 / 28:00 Painting
    20:06 Back doors / 26:32 Side door
    25:05 Charging station
    30:29 LED strips
    32:44 Wooden deck
    34:23 Solar panels
    35:19 Plastics and van polish
    Music by Joakim Karud
    The Emerging Alternatives van is what makes filming on the road possible. It both severs as a mobile studio and a tiny living space. Its color quickly gave it the stage name" Red".
    It's mostly made of reclaimed wood and was originally inspired by the typical Norwegian Rorbu (small wooden cabin used by fishermen). The wooden deck on top of the van is made in the Japanese way of preserving wood with fire called Shou Sugi Ban (charred wood). There are two 100W solar panels on the roof making it a good off grid camper and providing enough electricity to power the cameras and laptop required for the making of the videos. I decided to share the van conversion with the community hoping it will inspire potential van-builders and travelers.
    This video is as descriptive as I could make it without boring everybody to death. Do leave a comment with your questions if you have some. I'll do my best to answer them. If there are a lot of the same questions coming up, i'll do a Q&A.

    This is a 100% DIY van. It was a long process and I didn't really know what to expect. I often had to change ideas, adapt and find solutions to problems I could not have thought about before the start. I was already pretty good with my hands and enjoyed building things, but this van build was definitely a first.
    There will be some more van life videos coming up on the channel, a van tour and extra little van build videos if there are frequent questions coming up, but the channel won't be focused only on that subject. I'd like to also make content on alternative living, like tiny house and minimalist living rather than just camper vans as living a nomadic life ins't really sustainable in the long run (speaking from experience).
    I hope you enjoyed this tutorial on how to do a van conversion.
    Once again do ask questions or share with us your van build ideas in the comments.

    Follow Emerging Alternatives:
    Facebook Page:

    Video gear list:
    Panasonic GH4
    14/140 lens
    DJI Mavic pro
    Gopro 4 Silver
    Rode Lavalier Mic for smartphones
    Lav mic windscreen (Dead Cat)
    Superlux HD668B Dynamic Semi-Open Headphones
  • EntertainmentEntertainment

Comments • 1 594

  • Emerging Alternatives

    To see the finished van check out the Van Tour video:
    I hope you guys enjoyed the build. If you have any questions do leave a comment!
    Time Stamps are available below in case you're looking for something in particular.
    0:43 Windows
    2:27 Bulkhead
    2:57 / 28:26 Floor
    3:27 Wires
    3:58 Roof ventilation
    6:17 Insulation
    8:43 Ceiling
    9:45 / 29:20 Ikea LEDs
    10:06 Pallet wood walls
    10:47 Bed Frame / 18:36 & 29:57 Sliding bed
    13:38 Kitchen
    17:04 / 21:12 Carpeting
    17:57 / 21:33 / 28:00 Painting
    20:06 Back doors / 26:32 Side door
    25:05 Charging station
    30:29 LED strips
    32:44 Wooden deck
    34:23 Solar panels
    35:19 Plastics and van polish.

    • rima Khalid
      rima Khalid 9 days ago

      please tel me the final cost of this van after build ?

    • Sano Bezho
      Sano Bezho Year ago

      Emerging Alternatives I

    • soloflyght1
      soloflyght1 Year ago

      Emerging Alternatives I understand, stuff like that happens to all of us. You had to improvise and you got it done in the end.

    • Emerging Alternatives
      Emerging Alternatives  Year ago

      soliflyght1 Yes agreed! Just didn't have one...

    • Emerging Alternatives
      Emerging Alternatives  Year ago +2

      Rang123 Yea , I thought it was a given with my accent. France.

  • o o
    o o 2 hours ago

    Been looking at a bunch of Chevrolet Vans lately and I've decided to catch a Chevrolet Van G20/G30, hopefully the G20 1989 model, and get to renovate it into an off-grid camper!

  • Anna Lena
    Anna Lena 7 hours ago +1

    Wow soo fascinating to watch.I want to buy a van in the next years too make a travel van out of it.

  • choux maker
    choux maker 13 hours ago

    hey there, how long did it take and how much it cost you to make it ?

  • BOTCAZOU Jean-Louis
    BOTCAZOU Jean-Louis 15 hours ago

    Bonjour, comment s’appellent et où trouvent-on les visses que vous avez utilisé pour rendre étanche le passage des câbles des panneaux solaires sur le toit du van ? Merci

  • Faith
    Faith 19 hours ago

    Hey, how tall are you? I'm 6'0 and I'm trying to figure out if I will be able to stand up in the van

  • Samy
    Samy Day ago

    Trop beau ton van Pierre Croce ;)

  • Belvedere Bailey

    Beautiful eyes....
    oh yeah...van cool ;)

  • Mereti Taipana
    Mereti Taipana Day ago +1

    Just amazing you are so talented!!

  • Louann Evans
    Louann Evans 3 days ago

    I like take to do measurement very good you good work!

    BELZANTI 3 days ago

    Merci pour cette vidéo, je récupère les choix et methodes de chacun pour passer à mon tour en mode libre, un lien pour le matériel utilisé?

  • dacirus suricad
    dacirus suricad 3 days ago

    trop lourd..dommage.

  • claude dehay
    claude dehay 4 days ago

    how much did it cost brother?

  • Firoz Ahmed
    Firoz Ahmed 5 days ago

    xcelent work

  • Jaime Flores
    Jaime Flores 6 days ago +2

    I love your build, man! Do you have a list of the items you used and where you purchased?

  • Jeff Shankle
    Jeff Shankle 7 days ago +1

    Not to be critical, but at ~5:25 you were filing metal without safety glasses. PLEASE use them next time!

  • izhar hifnei
    izhar hifnei 7 days ago

    nice!! love it! what kind of polish product?

  • atul kadam
    atul kadam 8 days ago

    Nice work .. good job..

  • Sandeep Singh
    Sandeep Singh 8 days ago

    I love like

  • joshua biglang-awa
    joshua biglang-awa 8 days ago

    He started the whole thing short hair then he finished long hair :)

  • Dennis Adongo
    Dennis Adongo 9 days ago

    woow man thats

  • Petter Nybråten
    Petter Nybråten 10 days ago

    This product is so different from what I would have made. But nonetheless I loved the video. Nice guy, nice project, nice vid.

  • Blessed Israel
    Blessed Israel 10 days ago +2

    You are so amazing!
    So great work! Is it possible if you give me the list or types of materials that you used? Thank you.

  • #A B#
    #A B# 10 days ago

    Greetings from Belgium. Are you also from Belgium or France? I would like help with my Campervan-transformation please 💚

  • Steffen Frøkjær
    Steffen Frøkjær 11 days ago

    the final weight??

  • percusionista música
    percusionista música 12 days ago

    cuando tienes las herramientas uno se puede divertir armando lo que fuera

  • Nicolas Domergue
    Nicolas Domergue 12 days ago

    Nice one bro!!

  • neness rod
    neness rod 12 days ago

    pierre croce ? lol

  • Kalango Play
    Kalango Play 13 days ago

    Wow... Very Nice Van.... Work a lot

  • Iuri Reis
    Iuri Reis 13 days ago


  • kensmania
    kensmania 13 days ago

    Good Van, bro! Have a nice adventures

  • Yash Kumar
    Yash Kumar 15 days ago

    Great video buddy 😍 ❤,It was very helping with all that detailed information😄😄😄

  • DIY Astro
    DIY Astro 16 days ago +1

    Wow, that was amazing, thank you!

  • s'Me
    s'Me 16 days ago

    Americans call that material for the drawers "Particle board" or "fiber-board" or "chipboard" - is an engineered wood product manufactured from wood chips, sawmill shavings, or even sawdust, and a synthetic resin or other suitable binder, which is pressed and extruded.

  • Mihai Novac
    Mihai Novac 17 days ago

    nice job but too much wood , too heavy

  • Heathen Wolf
    Heathen Wolf 17 days ago

    If that was me I'd put in a shower and toilet in.

  • Troy Morris
    Troy Morris 20 days ago +2

    I've watched a lot of RU-clip videos on DIY in my life, but yours was the best I've ever seen

  • Michael Sieland
    Michael Sieland 21 day ago

    after 1.557 comments I´m not able to check whether itss was mentioned before ... but .. the solarpanels should be vented from the downside. As I got it, you put them straight on the woodpanels which might happen to bring the panels in temperature problems which at first lowers the output of the panels and could lead to the "death" of the panels .. but .. many thanks for the video .. I really like it ..

  • derealovefestival Survival

    Very good video well done and you gave me some ideas too ATB and God bless you ..

  • Kazi Ariful Azam
    Kazi Ariful Azam 23 days ago

    Good job. God bless you.☺

  • qtwyregrgeroehwg fghwgeigwfej

    Try to not add too much weight for your engine

  • Adventure - Comedy gear

    Simply superb

  • Js
    Js 25 days ago


  • Oxygen of Truth
    Oxygen of Truth 26 days ago

    Love the back of the bed.

  • JanTube
    JanTube 26 days ago +1

    So much insulation like you're driving to the North Pole :D

  • JanTube
    JanTube 26 days ago

    I would like to have BIGGER windows :)

  • luv xx
    luv xx 28 days ago

    great work love 👏💖

  • Rohit rizy
    Rohit rizy 29 days ago

    No water

  • sarah johnson
    sarah johnson Month ago

    What was the van model? Thanks!

  • 文子&钓鱼
    文子&钓鱼 Month ago

    Where do you need to install the parts of your window?

  • Bourhane eddine Rais

    Great video! Thank you very much! Can you tell me about the circuit from the solar panels to the the LED's. Also about those little "bolts" you used to get the cable out the roof!..

  • Río Rímac
    Río Rímac Month ago

    Great work ! Greetings from Peru.

  • Around the World
    Around the World Month ago +1

    Like Like Like from Russia bro!!)))Where are you brother !!???)))

  • Super Obstbaum
    Super Obstbaum Month ago

    Enfin un francophone qui parle bien anglais

  • MountainDaughter
    MountainDaughter Month ago

    10:04 little reptilian tongue action?

  • drahmatt
    drahmatt Month ago

    Does someone know what type of car is that ?

  • Muzammil Baig
    Muzammil Baig Month ago +1


  • D P
    D P Month ago

    Great video, I like the Van. Please follow this up with some videos of you camping in it, maybe travel in it.

  • john Jones
    john Jones Month ago

    So you're not showing us the final product? Seriously?

    • john Jones
      john Jones Month ago

      @Emerging Alternatives ahhhh that would explain it, was kinda watching the whole time to see it!

    • Emerging Alternatives
      Emerging Alternatives  Month ago

      Check out the van tour video

  • CulichorHimself
    CulichorHimself Month ago +1

    Simply Amazing!!

  • HD Vol-3
    HD Vol-3 Month ago


  • Hamza Chergui
    Hamza Chergui Month ago

    il faut diluer la peinture et la melanger avec un baton

  • Toufik Ouail
    Toufik Ouail Month ago +1

    On dirait pierre cross

  • NaTure_MERCy
    NaTure_MERCy Month ago

    best van build ive ever seen

  • Itsme Julius
    Itsme Julius Month ago

    nice work been done there..

  • ronch550
    ronch550 Month ago

    I wish I have a knack for these things. Would be cool to be handy with tools and all. Would be cooler to build your own camper van.

  • Allan Tan
    Allan Tan Month ago +6

    Lovely and great video here! Can I ask, what is the estimated manpower hours you have input into the van conversion and cost? Thanks.

  • Florence The Ambulance

    Thanks for posting some really useful tips and techniques. Wish I'd seen this earlier 🙈

  • fatima zahra larrache

    You were better with your berd