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:
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.
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.
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.
Engel AC/DC Portable Tri-Voltage Fridge/Freezer – 43 Qt which is super energy efficient.
Maxx Air Fan Deluxe we love that the fan can run even if it rains due to its special hood.
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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