Eco-Friendly Ford E250 Van to Camper Conversion

When we converted our Ford E250 Econoline Cargo Van we used Eco-Friendly material as much as possible within our budget. Our timeline was a bit tight as we had one month to build out the interior and convert the van into our new tiny home while working full time. We had to compromise with certain ideas due to limited time, a small budget plus limited availability of green building material in the area where we were living at at the time. Overall, we wanted to keep the build simple but practical.

This is what we used for the build:

Insulation

Natural Sheep Wool for the walls, doors and as filler in the ceiling. Thin Polyurethane foam board for the ceiling (not Eco-friendly, but since we have a short van we did not want to lose too much head space. Wool needs more space to do its magic).
We are pretty impressed with how well the Sheep Wool has been keeping us warm, even with temperatures as low as 38F.
For the floor insulation we used Traffic Master Underlayment as a thermal and moisture barrier (not Eco-Friendly, but we did not want to lose headroom and found this to be a quick option).
Wood Paneling, Kitchen Cabinet, Bed Frame and Storage:
We re-used wood that we already had from previous constructions as much as possible for the kitchen. We re-used the whole bed frame and wooden drawer which we previously built for our truck camper.
We did not find any recycled wood in the area and the palette wood we found had mold, so that was not an option. Therefore, we bought new pine wood panels for the wall and ceiling and wood for the closet. We used Eco Advance as a wood treatment.

Flooring

Linoleum aka Marmoleum, which is naturally sourced from linseed oil, pine rosin, wood flour, cork, limestone, organic pigments and jute backing spun from renewable plants. Note: Linoleum is not to be mistaken with Vinyl flooring which is made from PVC chips!
We bought both the Sheep Wool and Linoleum flooring from Eco-Building Products. We are not sponsored by them in any way but we love what they do and were very happy with their advice and service, so here’s their website.

Interior Lights

We used a simple LED light strip with a dimmer that draws little power but illuminates the whole van more than enough. We also use solar powered Luci Lights for inside and outdoors.

Refridgerator

Engel AC/DC Portable Tri-Voltage Fridge/Freezer – 43 Qt which is super energy efficient.

Ventilation

Maxx Air Fan Deluxe we love that the fan can run even if it rains due to its special hood.

Other Items

We are sustainably solar powered with a total of 300w solar panels.
Our sink is a re-used commercial steamer pan and we use a hand-pump for the faucet, a 5 gallon fresh-water tank and 5 gallon grey-water tank.
Our mattress is a non-toxic Eco-Mattress that we ordered from Walmart.
For a shower we use a simple solar shower.
We use organic cotton bed linens and sheets.
To cook we use a camping stove with re-fillable propane bottles.
We use stainless steel plates, cups and pots, a cast-iron skillet, bamboo ware, re-usable bags, glass jars for bulk-food storage, biodegradable soap, dishwashing liquid, and laundry detergent etc.
The Solar Install was done by Simpler Solar in Tallahassee.
The Installation of our Fan was done by Justice Kustomz in Tallahassee.

Of course we wish our Van was solar- or bio-fuel powered but both are definitely way out of our budget range.

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Our Gear used in this Video

Canon EOS Rebel SL2 DSLR
Rode VideoMic with Fuzzy Windjammer Kit
GoPro HERO5 Session
GoPro Accessories Kit
EVO Gimbal

Our Favorite Adventure, Vanlife and Full Time Travel Gear

Disclaimer: This site may contain affiliate links.

 

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Van Life Austin Texas

On our 10th month of full time travel we said goodbye to Tallahassee where we had been staying for a few months at an RV park due to working in the area. We bought a cargo van and finished the self-conversion, prepared for Vanlife and re-located the travel trailer to Ocala, Florida. We completed the van-build and were super excited to start Vanlife and take a few months off work to just travel. We made our way along the Florida Panhandle to Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana into Texas where we spent a little more than a week in Austin.

We love Austin for its fun vibes, the many outdoors and water activities, music and nightlife, yoga studios, farmers markets and many vegetarian and vegan restaurants.

Our Favorite Vegetarian and Vegan Friendly Restaurants in Austin

The Beer Plant
Counter Culture
Bouldin Creek Cafe
Veggie Heaven
Flower Child

Austin Farmers Markets

SFC Farmers Market Downtown, Saturdays
Texas Farmers Market at Mueller, Wednesdays and Sundays
Hope Farmers Market, Sundays

Our Favorite Austin Outdoors Activities

Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail
Barton Springs Municipal Pool
Lady Bird Lake and Colorado River paddle sports, multiple places rent kayaks and paddle boards:
Congress Kayaks
Live Love Paddle
Texas Rowing Center
Zilker Park Boat Rental

There are lots of hiking and running trails in outer areas.

Vanlife Austin

Since sleeping in your vehicle is illegal in the City of Austin, we won’t be recommending any overnight parking spots. That being said, stealth camping is practiced and street parking is available throughout the city. Multiple campgrounds and State Parks are available outside of the city and free camping can be found nearby via ioverlander.com, freecampsites.net, campendium.com and other apps.

Showers can be found at the municipal pool and at one of the many Planet Fitness gyms (membership required).

 

Our Gear used in this Video

Canon EOS Rebel SL2 DSLR Camera

Rode VideoMic with Fuzzy Windjammer Kit

GoPro HERO5 Session

Accessories Kit for GoPro

EVO Gimbal

Our Favorite Adventure, Vanlife and Full Time Travel Gear

 

Disclaimer: This site may contain affiliate links; which means that at no cost to you, we will earn a small commission for any purchase you make through our listed product links. Thank you!

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Full-Time Vegetarian RV Living and Camper Van Conversion

After searching for a van for four months we finally found one that was suitable for our budget and needs. We converted it all by ourselves on a campground where we were staying at in our travel trailer at the time in Tallahassee, Florida. Most of this month was spent working our remote jobs and in our off-time we worked on the van build, enjoyed vegetarian RV-living as well as regular workouts and running.

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Tallahassee Florida RV Life

During our 8th month of full-time travel we stayed at an RV park in Tallahassee due to a job-assignment in the area. We focused mainly on work as we were saving up money for our upcoming travel to the Southwest. The rest of our time was spent in the pool, on our bikes or in the kitchen! As much as we love living in our self-renovated travel trailer, we realized during the first 6 months of our nomad life, that we want to reduce our environmental footprint even more. We decided to sell our Chevy Tahoe and exchange it with a small van so we can leave the trailer in Florida where we can use it during the winter and the rest of the year we plan to travel in the van. Not having to tow a trailer translates into much better gas mileage and allows to travel more freely than when having to tow an RV. After a few months of searching, we finally found a small and affordable used cargo van that was strong enough to pull the trailer if needed.

 

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