With the population around the world growing exponentially every single day, we are running out of space and resources. Cities are growing faster than ever and more and more areas are turning into concrete jungles. Climate change has become a serious issue as well as the amount of garbage and waste being produced. With all these frightening issues, seemingly getting worse and worse, people are starting to take action. I’m starting to see more and more recycling centers, I’m seeing more fuel-efficient cars, I’m seeing alternative energy sources starting to emerge from brilliant engineers. These are all huge advancements in a sustainable society. Perhaps the thing I’m noticing the most is that people are starting to cut back and live with what they need rather than what they want. It seems that it has become rather attractive these days to find a small space and convert it into a completely functional home. People are starting to get off the grid in some very creative small spaces. The bills are significantly lower to nonexistent, the maintenance is minimal to say the least, and the resources to enjoy a small home will cost you next to nothing. Combine the loss of all that stress with the ability to have everything you need and be anywhere you want in the world and you’ve got it made! While some people enjoy a giant lavish place to call home, others don’t think it’s necessary and would rather live simply in order to simply live. That is the mentality of one free-spirited man named Dipa Vasudeva Das. He didn’t want to be locked down with a mortgage, forced to live in one place while paying off his debt. He had an entirely different idea and the first step to execute his perfect lifestyle was to purchase an old, reliable, and huge cargo van. His plans would require a lot of work but they would offer a lifetime of adventure in the end.
Dipa purchased this old big van. It was mechanically perfect and would be a strong foundation for his project.
There was a lot of space in the interior which would be perfect for him. You see he wasn’t just going to be building an adventure ready van, Dipa was actually going to build his home. His plan was to convert an old van into his permanent residence, fully equipped with everything he would need for a life on the road.
Being very crafty and highly skilled in carpentry and building, Dipa wanted to do all the work himself. He would be able to build it to suit his needs and save a fortune as well.
Dipa began by building a subfloor. The van is very tall so he wanted to take advantage of this and place as much storage as possible under the floor. He started laying out the framing and the underfloor storage design. The functionality of this layout was critical. Everything built on top of this would rely on the framing and subfloor storage system.
With the floor storage system in place, he was able to start constructing the walls. He started by insulating and framing the structure of the van. With the framing climbing up the van walls, he started layering some beautiful wood paneling.
What home would be complete without a skylight? He decided that because the van had no windows in it that a source of natural light would be required. I love the natural wood walls. They remind me of a cozy cabin.
With the wood walls, floor, and ceiling complete he was ready to plan out where his furniture and necessities would go. I love the slight detail he included on the trim and the casing. He’s obviously a very skilled craftsman.
Facing the other way, you can see a lot of storage, shelving, and a sleeping area. You can’t see much but every single panel in this van hides something unique or stores something useful. He needed to make the most out of the space he had so everything is multi-functional.
He stained the panels and trim pieces with a medium shade walnut brown for a more rustic feel. I personally think that this closes off the area a little. I would have done the walnut stain on the floor and the counters and seating spaces but left the walls and ceiling natural with a few coats of lacquer. I think this might have given you the illusion of a bigger space. Darker colors tend to close walls in. Either way, it looks really good.
The handcrafted doors look like they’re right out of a hobbit home in the Shire. They are absolutely beautiful, especially the window framing. He also implemented some large storage spaces below the side entry doors for gear. I never would have thought of using old rope as drawer handles but I love the idea. I will most likely be implementing these on some future DIY projects.
The storage drawers extend all the way to the other side of the van and include locks to secure them shut. They’re huge and can obviously hold quite a bit. Keep in mind that he designed the entire floor as a storage system so the whole floor is completely functional and dual purpose. It’s actually quite a bit of storage space.
That is one proud craftsman. Why shouldn’t he be, just take a look at all the work that has gone into this van turned home. The finish, the quality, the design are all top-notch in my book.
If you lift up the seating bench on the side of the van below the sleeping area you will find a functional sink. If you’re thinking that would be too low to be comfortable, you’d be right. He planned ahead and designed it so that he can remove the floor below the sink and give him some extra standing room. This also doubles as a huge storage area.
The back doors open up and an actual back deck folds down! Can you imagine sitting on your private back deck in the middle of Yosemite National Forest or down overlooking the cliffs of Zion, Utah? This van turned home has more than most RVs do. I love the unique wall coverings on the inside of the back doors. That space view of Earth is beautiful.
He even built in a little storage space that can fit a few small bicycles. This van has everything! All of this and it doesn’t even need a top rack or a trailer hitch. Implement those things and you could fit an entire family!
The inside of this van looks surprisingly big. In fact, in my opinion it looks much bigger inside now that it’s filled with furniture, framing, a stove, a sink, and even a back deck, than it did when it was completely empty.
Beneath the floor of the sleeping area is a storage space that contains a foldable table. This can be used for dining or entertaining friends. When you are done using it, simply tuck it back into the storage space and you have a very comfortable sleeping area. Look at how the back door view of Earth lines up perfectly with the windows. What a cool sight.
With the table tucked away, the sleeping area is actually quite large and comfortable. If I didn’t know any better, I would say this was a cabin bedroom, not a sleeping area in a van turned a home.
The interior of the van is deceptively large. Here are 6 people, a cameraman, and a dog are all hanging out together comfortably.
The ambient accent lighting really accents the wood highlights beautifully. It looks like a small ski chalet, the perfect place to unwind after a long day of adventure in the great outdoors.
What cozy home would be complete without a wood burning stove? He installed an insulated vent out the top of the van so this little stove is perfectly safe and can easily warm up the van almost instantly.
From the outside, you would never know that this was someone’s home. The best part is that he can call anywhere in the world home just as long as he can get there.
With the entire floor being storage, all of his belongings are tucked neatly below. There is no clutter or obstacles to step around inside the van because of this ingenious storage system.
This old van turned into a home is nicer than a lot of the tiny homes I’ve seen. It has everything he needs and is able to jump in the driver’s seat and relocate on a whim. Who knew that an old van had so much potential?
Dipa Vasudeva Das is a very skilled, free-spirited adventurer who seems to have everything he needs in life. With this van turned into a home, Dipa can experience more than the average person because he has nothing holding him back. This is one hell of a setup.
Some of my favorite hobbies are building things and wood working. I love having the ability to create something that has a function and helps ease my life, or creates enjoyment out of a simple, raw piece of wood using just my hands and my tools. Dipa took a pile of lumber and an old van and created a life full of opportunity, adventure, and freedom. Both he and his dog have a very comfortable home that is fully equipped with everything they need to enjoy a life full of adventure and travel. I can’t tell you how good it is for the soul to travel and experience the world. Dipa has his priorities straight and is on the path to happiness. What more could you ask for?