Meet Bruce

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We bought Bruce the “great white van” in March of 2018. He is a 2010 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 3500 dually (170” wheelbase). It was previously a cargo van, so we started from scratch and were able to customize it exactly the way we wanted. We spent 3 months to complete the build, working on it night and day as if it was our second job. Transforming a van into a home is no easy task, but it was worth every second of hard work in the heat of the Phoenix summer. If you want to see the details of our build, keep reading below!

 
 
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Kitchen

We opted for a larger kitchen so that at least two people could comfortably stand a cook without being in each other’s way. We make most of our meals at home so it was important to us to have a good setup!

Sink/faucet

stove

fridge

countertops

Ventilation

accessories


bathroom

  • While it may not be a full bathroom, it certainly does the job…and stealthily. We use a Nature’s head composting toilet and avoid the hassle of a black water tank. Most people have no idea that we have a toilet in the van because it is hidden in what looks like just another storage cabinet. And no, it doesn’t stink!

  • To access the toilet, we lift the countertop (which is hinged) and hook the loop on the underside of the countertop to a hook on the wall. Then we open the cabinet door and have full access to the toilet.

  • There isn’t much privacy with our setup, so we usually just step outside the van when the other person needs to use it.

Why don’t we have a shower?

  • In order to maximize the open living space in the van, we decided to not put a shower in it. While it would definitely be a luxury, it also means we would have to sacrifice kitchen space. For us, it is just as easy to shower at the gym, and it gives us some extra motivation to go work out.

  • Since installing our roof rack, we would like to get a solar shower to mount on it. This would be primarily used when we are camping (not in the city) so that we can have a nice warm outdoor shower heated by the sun!

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bed/table area

The back area of the van converts between “day mode” and “night mode.” This makes the space more versatile depending on what we are doing. To convert to bed mode, the table comes down and sits on two “lips” that extend from the benches. An additional piece of wood completes the length of it, and then the cushions come down to form nearly a king-size bed.

table

  • 3/4 birch/maple plywood stained with a dark walnut finish

  • Our lagun table mount allows the table to swivel in all directions, and move entirely to one side to allow us to move freely through the back of the van.

cushions


lighting

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electrical

Everything inside the van is powered with our solar/battery setup except for our Dometic A/C unit. Because of the amount of power it draws, we plug into shore power when we need to use it.

solar setup

Batteries/inverter

charging stations

  • USB charging port

    • Save power by wiring a 12v USB port to charge phones instead of using a 120v socket, as power is lost through the inverter

  • 2 120v outlets

 
 

plumbing

Fresh water

Water Pump

filtration

  • Our dual-stage water filter allows us to have safe drinking water even if we fill our water tanks with unfiltered water

grey water


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miscellaneous

cabinets/drawers

Curtains

Flooring

  • Laminate wood flooring (from Costco)

Insulation