Project logo
Mar 19, 2021

Old army van converted into a house

Learn how to transform an old van into a mobile house.

Illustration of a converted van
Van house illustration
This article is part of Project Kamp, a One Army project prototyping a more sustainable life. You can learn more

You have bought a nice piece of land to create your project prototyping a new sustainable way of life, next you've built the basic facilities like kitchen and workspace, last step to create the initial Basekamp is to create a nice and comfy place to rest in the evenings after long days building.

In our case converting a van into a cozy home was the best option, watch the video below to learn how we've done it or check out our academy for all the technical drawings, templates, tips and more.

Why a van?

In our case opting for a van was the most convenient approach for a number of reasons:

  • It's mobile, this means you don't need any papers or approvals. You can simply drive to the land, park and live in it. This could change depending on where you live but generally comes with way less hassles to live in a van in the beginning. Allows for a quick start.
  • It's cheap, compared with building more permanent structures it is fairly cheap to build.
  • It's moves (duh), it's nice to be able to move around the land and discover different spots to decide where to eventually place the more permanent buildings.
  • It's easy to build, compared with building a house it is quite easy to build and can be done with simple tools in a workspace.
  • It's fast, to renovate your van shouldn't taken more than 3 months max.
  • Can be built upfront, buying a land can take a lot of time so while waiting you can prepare yourself by building your new house. So you're ready to move in.


It's nice, particularly as you're starting off, to fit your van with some solars and batteries so you can be independent and take care of your individual energy requirements (laptop, cameras, phones etc..). By now it is fairly straightforward to purchase and hook up a solar system, just do yourself a search on Ecosia or watch a video on YT. But would highly recommend installing one.

man converting a van
Dave fixing his van

Visit Project Kamp academy

If you're trying to convert your van or thinking to start a Project Kamp make sure to visit our academy to learn all the details, tips & tricks, manuals and documentation to help you get started and avoid all the mistakes we've made along the way. Good luck and have fun!

Picture of the author of the suggestion
Written by
Now send it around :)
Handpicked suggestion

From here you could check out this Monthly News from our vans, or make sure to subscribe to Project Kamp Youtube channel for regular updates.