Vanlife: Camper Conversion Weeks 1-2

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It has been a month since I left VANgo with Wanderful Wheels for my camper van conversion.  I dropped it off sooner than my slotted arrival time on the contract.  But I wanted to take advantage of the nice window of weather in Colorado.  Additionally, I had tentative travel plans to go to Hawaii, that I ultimately cancelled.

Anyway, Wanderful Wheels nicely picked up VANgo at the Durango Airport just a few weeks before the holidays.  With the holidays, there was a slight delay to the start the camper conversion, but we added extra time for the build based on contending with the holiday season.

So now that we have gotten into 2021, I have a two-week progress report.  Each time a get an update, I feel delighted that I’m one week closer to freedom!  Only two months to go on VANgo’s camper conversion.

During the first week of work, Wanderful Wheels added the insulation and the T-Vent windows. In my previous post, Van Life: Layout and Selections, I mentioned many of the items being used in VANgo. Now I have pictures to show!

Week 1


The insulation is Reflectix, Lucid foam board, and Havelock Wool. As shown in the picture, it covers the ceiling and the side walls.

reflextic insulation in van conversion

T-Vent Windows

The camper windows on the driver side and door side are CR Laurence T-Vent Windows. These will provide nice air flow in VANgo and also help with the giant blind spot when driving a cargo van without windows!

CL Laurence T-Vent window

Week 2

Over the second week, Wanderful Wheels made a lot of progress. The following week they installed the bunk windows, propane tank, heater, and headliner.

Bunk Windows

In keeping with consistency, we used the CR Laurence Half-Slider Bunk Windows. These will provide nice air flow over the bed at night. And of course the screens keep the bugs out!

Propane Tank

The 5.9 Gallon Vanagon propane tank will be used for the  Propex HS2800 Furnace heater, the Ramblewood Two Burner Gas Cooktop, and the Ecco Temp Tankless Water Heater for my outdoor shower. It is attached underneath VANgo.


The heater is situated under the passenger seat and aims toward the galley and back of the van. While I’m not much of a winter person, and hope I’m not in cold weather too much, I’m told this one is the best for altitude! So I’m ready to be toasty warm on my next adventure. They had to remove the seat to install it. I wonder if they be adding the swivel seat package while the seat is dislodged.


The  RB Components Headliner Shelf with custom wood trim that Wanderful Wheels is adding will be so handy for storage. I figured if I always had to open the bench or dig in the back of the van for everyday items, I’d likely be lazy and skip doing things like covering the windows at night. With the headliner, I will conveniently be able to store screens, window covers, and even my hiking pack and jacket which will definitely be go to items. I’m certain there will be much more up there as I move in and get a feel for my needs.

I’m a little nervous about being able to work all these things, but Wanderful Wheels will be giving me a lesson along with all the operating manuals. It will be exciting to try it all out. First stop…warmer weather! Arizona seems like a good choice in March. Perhaps I’ll revisit Prescott, Jerome, and Sedona to enjoy views like these.


My  Roambuilt Cargo Rack will be arriving next week, so they will be adding that along with the Dometic Penguin ii air conditioning. I’ll make another camper conversion post in a few weeks. Stay tuned! ETB

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Beth Bankhead

Former public finance professional turned award winning travel blogger and photographer sharing the earth's beauty one word and image at a time.

6 thoughts on “Vanlife: Camper Conversion Weeks 1-2

  1. We were just in Arizona for the past week. The heat will be good for the nights – it was cold in the desert. But we were hiking among cactus at 75 degrees during the day. Sedona was ridiculously crowded. Your van will be much easier to handle than an RV.

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