We have been living in and out of our Ford E250 Econoline Cargo Van for the last 1 1/2 years and have done two long road-trips with the van so far. The first one from Florida to California and back and the second one from Florida to Maine and back. We love our van which is a 2011 model that came in good shape. We are still happy with the build and functionality of it and are already looking forward to our next trip!
When we converted the van we had only a few weeks to build it with limited resources and budget, all while working full time. The goal was to keep it as simple as possible while using Eco-Friendly material as much as possible and within our budget.
This is what we used for the build: *Note: we are not sponsored by any of the suppliers and we paid for all the appliances and materials.
Natural Sheep Wool for the walls, doors and as a filler in the ceiling. 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 we bought new untreated pine wood panels for the wall and ceiling. After our first road trip we decided to re-built the kitchen part as the setup was not very practical. For the second kitchen build we used reclaimed wood that we found at The Repurpose Project in Gainesville.
We used Eco Advance as a wood treatment.
We decided to use 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. We bought both the Sheep Wool and Linoleum flooring from Eco-Building Products. We have been very happy with the Linoleum and found it to be super easy to care for while being durable. There are no scratches after 1 1/2 years of vanlife despite countless times of pulling and pushing things across the floor.
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 indoors and outdoors
Engel AC/DC Portable Tri-Voltage Fridge/Freezer – 43 Qt (super energy efficient)
We decided to go with the Maxx Air Fan Deluxe which is a great option as it can run even when it rains. The Installation of our Fan was done by Justice Kustomz in Tallahassee.
We are sustainably solar powered with a total of 300w solar panels. The Solar Install was done by Simpler Solar in Tallahassee.
Other Items we use in our Van
Our sink is a 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. For a shower we use a simple outdoor 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 metal straws and coffee cups, glass jars for bulk-food storage, biodegradable soap and dishwashing liquid, biodegradable garbage bags and laundry detergent etc.
We bring re-usable fabric bags when grocery shopping and small reusable bags for veggies and fruits etc.
Our Favorite Eco-Friendly Vanlife and Full Time Travel Gear: https://wander.green/20-eco-friendly-van-life-gift-ideas/
Check out our 20 Favorite Eco-Friendly Vanlife Gifts: https://wander.green/20-eco-friendly-van-life-gift-ideas/
Our Favorite Dry Camping and Boondocking Gear: https://wander.green/dry-camping-gear-checklist
We are Eliane and Damian, two outdoor enthusiasts who became digital nomads and travel full time while working remotely and on location. We live and travel in our self-converted cargo van, sometimes we stay in our travel trailer, in a tent, in Airbnbs or Hotel rooms. We strive to live eco-friendly as possible and love to share our experience, journey and knowledge with you.
Wander Green – Eco Friendly Living, Travel, Technology and Food
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