upgrades to the toyota camper van conversion (vol. 2)

It was a busy winter filled with camping and fishing, just the way I like it. While going on these adventures I was able to continually add to a list of modifications I would like to perform on the van. There’s so much joy in using something and making tweaks to better suit your needs. The only constant is change, it’s cliche but it’s true. Let me not get stuck on how the way things are now but what they can become. Below is an incomplete list of modifications I’ve done on the van since the last update.

Went here:

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random free camping in the forest.

Got rained on. My ARB awning was stolen so my solution was to grab what wood
I had and attach it the racks. It protects the inside of the van from light showers. If it’s heavy sideways rain, it’s not going to work as well. Total cost $0

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Since you’ve been following so close attention, you may have noticed the new cargo rack on the top. It’s the one offered at harbor freight. I think it’s around 50 bucks. It’s pretty useful although it does make this van that much of a kite in the wind. I took off sticker and painted the wind deflector all black.

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Oh, well, will you look at that. I just gave away another modification. LED lights in the front now. No longer does it feel like an oil lantern in front of my van. I can now equally blind the other drivers who happen to enter my path. Jokes aside, the wires needed modification and my mechanic removed some of the working LEDs when the lights are in low. He said you would likely get pulled over if you kept all of the LEDs working on lo beam.

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Added this sick sticker, added at least 10HP. Contact Aaron Morrell.
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Got this console from my mechanic for free. Came through in the clutch, thanks Gustavo!

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Back up light installed. I drilled a hole in the side of the solar panel rail and ran the wires to a switch under the hatch. Below is a video of the light in action.

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switch for reverse light. will consider moving this switch up to the dash.

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Side light for the porch. Bought these lights off amazon for less than 20. They’re pretty bright and contain six LEDs.

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here’s the switch for the porch light.

My Lagun table mount, those things cost a fortune but I’ve seen some blemished ones on eBay at a discount. The table top I made out of sanded 3/4″ plywood. Came out real nice with two coats of stain and two sprays of marine varnish.

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surface is now covered by plexiglass.

I covered the folding table in the back of the van with plexiglass that was leftover from a project. This table typically gets covered when cooking multiple meals. The plexiglass make it really easy to wipe. Be careful when installing the plexiglass, it cracks easily. I used screws to hold it in. I drilled pilot holes and went until firm but not overly tight.

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phone holder for my toyota van.

I held off because I didn’t want anything on the vinyl or the window but I finally added a phone holder. Cheap one off eBay for six bucks. It holds well, I just hope it doesn’t ruin the vinyl.

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usb outlets installed on my 1985 toyota van.

USB ports installed behind the couch. If running usb ports from 12v, you need to have a converter that converts the power to 5v.

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painted toyota van step.

Painted the step and installed the metal frame.

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LED light bar in the back of the van under the shelf.

I removed the old bright white light and replaced it with two warm white led bars. Having one below the shelf and above really helps when cooking. A lot of the light was blocked with only one light on the roof.

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light bar in the back on top.

TO BE CONTINUED…

I want to write a short post about my new layout for sleeping and lounging.

3 thoughts on “upgrades to the toyota camper van conversion (vol. 2)”

  1. How does this van workout for camping? Is it too small or are you happy with how it is and the space you have?

    Let me know as I really like your setup.

    1. For camping, 2 week road trips, just great but it’s not a van to live in. I’m happy with the space. The one thing you have to keep in mind is where the engine is and it requires the seats to lift back and you need clearance for that which reduces your build options. I like it, everyone has had a great time if they’ve gone camping with me. Comfortable. I’m 6’ 2” and I can lay out with my current design. Let me know if you have any other questions! Thanks for the comment.

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