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When you convert a van, you’ll spend countless hours researching how to do almost everything. Unless you are an experienced van builder you’ll find yourself lost trying to find the perfect product or tool to complete each task. Whether it’s prepping the van for conversion or working on the final details, you’ll need a little help along the way. I spent a ton of time looking up things and seeking information on the internet in an attempt to understand exactly what was needed.

Things like plumbing, electrical, layout questions, and the best products to use is something that will be a constant need to know.

I have written many posts about my van conversion and hope they can help you make some of the difficult decisions and answer some of the questions you have along the way. The list below is something that I created along the way as a way to document exactly what I used during my conversion. It doesn’t include every single thing I used but it does include the main items. Hopefully it will be of help to you as you battle your way through your van conversion.

Disclosure: This site is owned and operated by Dan Collins. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Some of the links in the article below may be affiliate links. This means that I may earn a small commission if you click on them and make a purchase.

Tools For Converting a Van

You’ll need a lot of tools along the way but some will become staples along the way. These tools will vary depending on your needs but here is what I used.

Dewalt drill and driver

Drill & Driver Set

You’ll need a good drill if you plan to tackle a van conversion. A drill and impact driver were my two most used tools. The DeWalt set that I used was excellent and handled the job like a champ.

Miter saw cutting a plank

Circular Saw / Miter Saw

You’ll need some type of saw to cut boards to length. I used a combination of a circular saw and a miter saw during my conversion. These will allow you to get a straight, clean cut.

Dewalt nail gun

Brad Nail Gun

I used a brad nailer to attach trim, cabinet facings as well as other miscellaneous items. It helps to have a powerful and convenient tool like the DeWalt one.

Using rivet nut tool

Rivet Nuts & Tool

I used rivet nuts throughout the van to bolt different things to. This tool worked great for seating the rivet nuts tightly, giving me a nice, strong connection.

Kreg pocket hole jig

Pocket Hole Jig

Pocket holes are genius and this Kreg jig is a great little guide to help you drill the perfect holes. I used pocket holes all throughout my van.

Kreg Pocket Hole Jig

Using staple gun on wood

Staple Gun

A staple gun will come in handy for a lot of different tasks. I mainly used mine for stapling wires that run along wooden areas where a staple would suffice.


Maxxair fan on roof of van

Maxxair 5100k

I chose to go with the simplest Maxxair fan with only a few manual buttons on it. It has been more than enough.

Maxxair 5100k

Dicor lap sealant

Dicor Lap Sealant

You’ll want to use some good sealant when installing the fan on your roof. Dicor products have always been great for me.

Dicor Self-Leveling Lap Sealant

Sliding window

Half Slider Window

This half slider window from CR Laurence is perfect for allowing some additional airflow into your van.


Noico sound deadening

Noico Sound Deadener

Start with this sound deadening material if you want a quiet ride. This has been a huge help at reducing road noise.

Noico Sound Deadener

Thinsulate insulation close up

Thinsulate Insulation

This insulation is easy to install and does a great job of insulating. It also has some sound reducing capabilities as well.

3M Thinsulate Insulation Roll

GAF polyiso insulation

Polyiso Foam Board Insulation

This type of insulation has its use in a van conversion. I used it as an additional layer of insulation in some areas.

Reflectix in window

Reflective Insulation

This reflective material will create a radiant barrier that will reflect heat. It’s great for window coverings and other areas were you have enough space to use it.

Reflective Insulation


Recessed lights for camper van

Acegoo LED Lights

I chose these to use as my lights in the ceiling throughout the living area. They are bright and attractive and use very little electricity.

Acegoo LED Lights

Red and black 14-gauge wire

14 AWG Wire

The wire I used to wire most of my 12 volt accessories.

14 Gauge Primary Wire

Light switch with dimmer control

Light Switches With Dimmer

Simple light switches I used for two of my light circuits.

12 Volt DC Dimmer Switch

Plain light switch

On/Off Light Switches

Simple light switch without a dimmer for my shower area.

Wire split loom with wire running through it

Split Wire Loom Tubing

A van has some sharp areas that can damage a wire over time. This protecting tubing will help to avoid potential problems.

Fuse block with 12v wiring

Fuse block & Fuses

You’ll probably need a fuse block for all your 12-volt accessories. I connected this directly to my Goal Zero Yeti 1400.

Shore power plug close up

Shore Power Plug

This plug is easy to install and makes adding a shore power option to your van a simple task.

Noco 15Amp AC Port Plug

USB port with device plugged in

USB Charging Ports

These 12V ports are handy to have throughout the van so you always have a place to charge your devices.


Goal Zero Yeti 1400

Goal Zero Yeti 1400

My solar powered generator that provides electrical power throughout my van. I’ve been super happy with it.

Flexible solar panels on roof of van

Renogy 100 Watt Solar Panels

Flexible solar panels that I have mounted to the roof. They are easy to install and have done the job well.

Branch connectors for solar panels

Branch Connectors

These connectors allow you to connect multiple solar panels together.

Waterproof coax cable glands

Coaxial Waterproof Adapters

I used these to pass my solar wires through the rear backup camera so there would be no leaks.

Waterproof Cable Glands


16-gallon water tank

16 Gallon Freshwater Tank

I use this for my main supply of freshwater. It supplies my kitchen sink and shower.

16-Gallon Water Tank

Water jugs under sink

5 Gallon Jugs

These 5-gallon jugs are used for my gray water and also one is used for my drinking water and can be refilled no matter where I go.

PEX plumbing pipe


This is a great way to plumb your system. PEX is easy to work with, affordable, and leak proof if done right.

Water pump in van

Water Pump

The Shurflo Revolution water pump has been great for my water supply needs. It’s a tried and true model that is common in RVs.

Water pump silencer hose

Water Pump Silencer Kit

I’m not sure if this does much but anything that is suppose to reduce noise is worth trying.

Water heater in camper van

Bosch Water Heater

I use a 2.5-gallon electric water heater. It’s perfect for this size of a system as long as you are connected to shore power.

Water fill valve

Water Fill Valve

I don’t have to remove my water tank to refill it. This water fill valve allows me to fill the tank with a water hose that can be connected to any spigot.


Kitchen faucet

Kitchen Faucet

I chose a simple faucet with a pull out sprayer. It’s nothing fancy but does the job.

Kitchen sink

Kitchen Sink

I wanted a dark sink so chose this model. It could stand to be a bit deeper but it’s good enough for van living.

Sink drain

Sink Drain

This drain is ideal for RVs since it takes up little space and does the job of a normal P-trap. It’s easy to install and remove for cleaning.

Dometic fridge opened up

Dometic CFX75DZW Fridge/Freezer

I chose a combo fridge/freezer and so glad I did! This combo is great for storing enough food and drinks for a week or more.

Camping stove on countertop

Camp Stove

I have a basic camp stove in my van that I use for all my cooking. It’s easy to use and I can take it outside when needed.


Shower pan

Shower Pan

This shower pan is small but is good enough for a shower while on the road.

Hepvo waterless valve underneath shower pan

Hepvo Waterless Valve

This waterless valve does the job of a P-trap in an area with less room. It works perfectly in a conversion van application.

Shower faucet handle

Shower Faucet

It’s plastic but overall good quality and lightweight. It looks great and I haven’t had any issues with it. It matches the kitchen faucet I have.

Shower wand

Shower Spray Wand

Wand that goes with the faucet and allows you to make the most of your shower. It has an on/off switch so that you can stop the water flow as needed.

FRP close up

FRP (Fiberglass Reinforced Panels)

FRP is an affordable way to add shower walls. It’s easy to find at a home improvement store and easy to install.

Shower floor liner

Floor Liner

I installed a liner below my shower pan to catch any water that might leak over time. Nothing has leaked but I’d rather be safe than sorry.

Thetford Porta Potti 565e in camper van

Thetford 565e Toilet

This is the ultimate throne for a small van. It feels like a full-sized toilet with many high-end features.

Shower rod and curtain

Shower Curtain & Rod

I used a shower curtain because it’s more flexible and creates more room. Combined with this extendable shower rod, it creates plenty of elbow room.


Running boards

Running Boards

The step up to a Promaster is a little high so adding running boards helps. These are tricky to install but well worth it in the end.

Aftermarket backup camera on Promaster van

Backup Camera

My Promaster didn’t come with a backup camera so I added one. This one is designed to fit perfectly and it has worked well.

Tire cover on van tire

Tire Covers

I keep my tires covered up at all times when not in use. These tire covers keep the sun and other weather conditions from doing so much damage over time.

Nebula projector

Anker NEBULA Capsule Max Projector

Having a projector in your van or RV is a great way to enjoy entertainment when you need it and put it up when you are finished. I use my Nebula Max projector to watch the occasional movie.

Mattress rolled up in box

Full Size Mattress

I chose a memory foam mattress for my van and it is very comfortable.

Knob Kreg jig

Cabinet Hardware Jig

Adding door knobs to cabinets is a breeze with this Kreg jig. You can be sure all of them are exactly the same.