DIY – Fittings & Appliances

See also: DIY Campervan Mini Projects >>>


DIY Fit-out | What size van?Draw a floor planCabinet materials | Fittings | 12V power 


Below are some suggestions for fittings and appliances that are readily available and within the DIY realm, with links to suppliers (Australia). Prices are AUD.

See also: Drilling holes in your van wall (video) >>>

Infrastructure
Cabinet modules Cabinet Modules – Rather than build everything from scratch, ready-made cabinet modules might do the job, if the budget allows! Approx $2000 – $5000

Seat swivel turntable Seat base turntables – Increase your living space by swivelling the cabin seats to face the rear of the van to form a dining or lounge area. Approx $350.

Roof hatch Roof hatches – Simple wind up/down, or fan-powered, a roof vent is essential if cooking in the van, and for providing ventilation in warm weather. (Appox $100, though you can spend much more for auto-opening electric models).

LPG Storage LPG storage box – If you are installing a permanent LPG system you will need a sealed storage container for the bottles, with ventilation to outside the van. Approx $350 (LPG installations must be tested and certified by a qualified installer.)

Awning Wind-out awning – Double your living space with an awning fitted to the side of the van. Approx $1000.

Door catch Door catches – Essential for keeping cupboard doors securely closed when travelling, while providing easy open/close access when required. Approx $5 each.

Shelf Bracket Folding shelf bracket – Easily fold down utility tables when not required. Check out eBay – Approx $15 pair.
   
Kitchen
Kitchen sink Kitchen sink – Many options to choose from, including those with a combined cooktop. Sinks with a built-in cover provide additional bench space when the cover is closed. Approx $90-$400

Butane Stove Portable Stove – Butane stoves can be used inside or outside, and require no plumbing. Approx $100

Dometic cooktop Cooktop – Often supplied in tandem with a kitchen sink. Permanent LPG plumbing, requires an installation certificate. Approx $400 – $800.

Weber Baby Q Outdoor oven – A Weber BabyQ oven is well worth the expense, if you have the space to store it when travelling. (Approx $350 – go with the ‘premium’ model with a thermometer.)

Portable fridge with solar Portable Fridge – A top loading portable fridge is a great option for a DIY Campervan. A wide range is available from camping supply retailers, from around $400. More expensive models are dual-zone, with a separate freezer compartment. Check out the Brass Monkey range, many of which include an optional removable battery and built-in solar charging.

Fridge

Upright Fridge – Just like at home, with a freezer compartment, etc. A 2-way compressor fridge (12V / 230V ) is our preferred option, around 100 litre capacity. (3-way fridges with LPG require professional installation / certification.) If travelling in a wide range of climates, look out for fridges with a Tropical rating, and a Winter setting. Approx $900 – $2000.

Read more:
Fridge types, & some tips and tricks >>>

   
Water
Water drum Water Storage Option 1
Portable Drum
– 25L water containers are suitable for installation in a cupboard under the sink. Use with manual sink pump. Approx $20. 

Underfloor water tank Water Storage Option 2
Underfloor water tank 
– Utilise the space under your van for fresh water and waste water storage. Use with electric water pump. Approx $100 – $400.

Water filler cap Water tank filler cap – An underfloor tank will need a filler port on the side of the van. Choose a lockable model. Approx $30.

Town water inlet Town water connection – Connect to town water when staying in a caravan park (or friends’ driveways). Approx $70

manual water pump Water Pump Option 1
Manual water pump
– For a basic installation, with a water storage drum installed inside the van. Approx $50.

Seaflo water pump Water Pump Option 2
Electric water pump – For use with an under-floor water storage tank. Approx $150

Plumbing fittings Plumbing fittings – Pipes, joiners, elbows, etc to connect taps, shower, hot water service, etc. 12mm semi-rigid plastic pipe and fittings are ideal for RV applications. (John Guest push-on fittings.)
   
Hot Water
Basic Hot Water heater

Hot Water Option 1
Portable Hot Water Heater – LPG – Requires a water tank/bucket to feed heater. Raises temperature of water to 30ºC above ambient temperature to max 50ºC. Water is heated with LPG, pump is run from a lithium battery.

Includes a water pump and shower head. (Use in conjunction with an ensuite tent.) Approx $300

See also: Kings LPG water heater / shower (with videos)


Duoetto How water Hot Water Option 2
Permanent Hot Water System – 12V/230V – Plumb in to your kitchen sink and shower. Electric only – no LPG connection required. Selectable thermostatically controlled temperature up to 70°C.  I expect a solid renewable 12V setup would be required to maintain a 12V power supply for daily water heating.  Approx $400

Truma hot water system

Hot Water Option 3
Permanent Hot Water System – LPG / 230V – For use with the shower cubicle above, and a kitchen sink. Diesel, LPG and dual 230V options available. Recent models include the option for a room air heater facility. An LPG/230V model requires professional installation/certification. Approx $900 – $2000.

Related reading:
LPG water heating at high altitudes >>>

   
Bathroom
Shower bag Shower Option 1
Basic, portable, external
– Gravity fed. Warm the header bag full of water in the sun, or fill from a fire-pot, and hang from a tree or roof rack. Available from most camping and department stores. Approx $10

Roadshower Shower Option 2
External, fixed
– Fit a water container to roof racks to store and heat water (solar). Can be made from materials and fittings readily available at the local plumbing supply store, though pressure equalization and other safety and performance issues should be considered. See: Road Shower

Instantaneous gas shower Shower Option 3
External, portable – Screw-on a gas canister to provide instantaneous hot water. Draws water from a bottle, jerry can or tank. Recent models include a built-in rechargeable lithium battery to power the pump, though the use of ‘disposable’ gas canisters to heat the water might be an ongoing issue. Approx $400

Shower cubicle

Shower Option 4
Bathroom unit
 (Internal, permanent) – Water supplied from onboard water tank and heater (see below). Can also accommodate a cassette toilet (see below). Custom designed (fibreglass) for Sprinters, Coasters, etc. Approx $1300.


Portable toilet Toilet Option 1
Portable toilet – Easily stored under a cupboard, or located in an external tent. Approx $200

Thetford toilet Toilet Option 2
Cassette toilet – Mounts in bathroom/shower cubicle, connected to main water tank for flushing. Waste cassette accessible from outside the van. Approx $600.

Composting toilet

Toilet Option 3
Composting toilet
– Waterless, odourless, fits in small spaces. No need to cut a hole in side of your van for cassette removal – though it does need a pressure vent. Up to 80 uses before emptying. Approx $1600.

Read a review >>>

   
Power and Lighting
LED Lights LED Lights – Reading lights, strip lights, dome lights – heaps to choose from at your local supplier. Some examples: CaravansPlus 

Batteries and Solar

Batteries and Solar – Probably the most important consideration for long term off-grid sustainability. Choose from a small (25Ah) portable lithium power pack to keep a small fridge cool overnight, all the way through to multiple AGM or Lithium batteries (200 Ah+) with solar panel recharging.

Read more about 12V Power >>>

   
Heating
Thermometer

Heating options – Important consideration for cold-weather excursions. Choose from LPG, Diesel, or mains power. Anything from $15 – $2000!

See also:

   
Screens & Vents
Insect screens in rear door

Insect screens are particularly useful in some environments. Screens are available for rear doors and sliding side doors, made to the specific dimensions of different van manufacturers and models. Read more >>>

Window vent Slip-in window vents provide the option for ventilation in inclement conditions or overnight when it is not practical to leave a door or window open. More info >>>

 

See also:

 

DIY Fit-out | What size van?Draw a floor planCabinet materials | Fittings | 12V power