This 20-Foot Long Van’s Packed with Smart Small-Space Ideas (and a Drop-Down Projector Screen!)
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I was pretty proud of myself for decorating my house for Halloween 2020 despite everything happening in the world right now, but Deanna and James have me (and probably many other people) beat with their quarantine project: Turning a 2015 Dodge Ram Promaster into an utterly STUNNING home-on-wheels.
I’ve shared many #vanlife tours on Apartment Therapy before, and this one stands out for many reasons. It’s not only gorgeous aesthetically, but it’s loaded with little luxuries that make it one of the most comfortable vans I’ve seen. It’s definitely a van for homebodies, which we’ve all (had to) become in 2020.
Their van meets basic needs with an air conditioner and portable heater, full-size hot water shower, a toilet, running water, a cooktop for homecooked meals, a queen-sized bed, and even an ice maker and espresso machine.
But their home-away-from-home goes beyond just the basics, and is filled with card games, board games, a built-in corn hole board, and a 50″ roll-down projector screen for super cozy movie nights. They’ve got everything running off of solar power, so the van can actually go off-grid if needed.
Convenience was also an important part of their van build, so there are dimmers on all the lights and they can use a remote to control them. For privacy, magnetic and insulated window covers and wrap-around curtains conceal windows at night to create a cozy little cocoon.
Being an incredibly small space, it’s of course full of smart small spaces ideas and products, too. A built-in platform under the dining benches hides a long drawer for storage. The seating benches hold a ton of stuff. Kitchen drawers contain both utensils and clothes. And a narrow storage cubby above the driving cab stores their bedding during the day. My favorite space-spacing element in the entire home is their Nautilus shower door, though. It rolls up into itself, taking up hardly any room. Best of all it has a built-in squeegee that cleans and dries it when you close it!
In addition to this being a highly functional, convenient, and private home-on-wheels, it’s also just really lovely looking. “Even though we’d be on the road we still wanted this van to feel comfortable, homey, and inspiring for us, especially when we’d pull up to a location and open the back doors and have a cup of coffee—we wanted the inside to feel peaceful and comfy as well,” explains Deanna.
Like many other vanlifers, they DIYed a ton of elements in the space, which allowed them to customize every inch, and resulted in some unique features and a one-of-a-kind interior style. “One of our favorite elements in the van is our arched caned cabinet doors,” says Deanna. “We routed out the shape and then took our soaked cane and stapled it in.”
“We had a lot of fun building this together and even though it was a lot of hard work it was totally worth all the adventures we’re able to take,” explains Deanna. You can see all of their progress videos of renovating this van on Deanna’s Instagram and TikTok accounts, and their YouTube channel. They share more of the resources they used to build their van on Amazon. And those curious about #vanlife are also in luck: They occasionally rent their van on Outdoorsy.
- Projector — KODAK Luma 150 Pocket Projector
- Project screen — Graywind Motorized Roller Shades
- Curtains — Chanasya 2-Panel Two Color Tone Textured Heavy Curtains
- Curtain track — VRSS Flexible Bendable Straight Curved Curtain Track
- Curtain hardware — Pack of 30 Stainless Steel Clips
- Swivel table — Lagun USA
- Tabletop finish — Stained Concrete Interior Film Self-Adhesive Peel-Stick Wallpaper
Thanks Deanna and James!