A couple weeks ago, I purchased a 1998 white Astro van for the purpose of converting the van into a camper van. These small cargo vans can be fairly inexpensive but strong vehicles for their age. My used Astro van is the perfect candidate for a van to camper conversion. The engine only has 104,000 miles which is pretty low for a 17 year old van. Wow! That’s just a little over 6,000 miles driven per year. Awesome!
In a previous post, from back in Oct of 2013, I was trying to decide between a Class B RV, a Full Size Van and a minivan. Well, the minivan prevailed. If you missed it, check out my Living in a Camper post which happens to be the most popular post on this site.
My van was an ex-phone company commercial van which was taken care of with regular maintenance along with all the other fleet vehicles. Looking at the carfax report, this van actually served the area where I grew up. It showed locations of repair work, maintenance and registrations at places I’m familiar with. I’m happy to take over the reins of this Astro work van and turn it into my cargo van camper conversion.
Van to Camper Conversion – Step 1 – Interior Demo
After doing a little maintenance check up work, it was time to do a some demo work in the cargo area of the van. In order to build a camper, I needed to remove the phone companies shelving and partition. The shelving was a no-brainer. It had to go, but the partition could come in handy for safety and security. I opted to go ahead and remove the partition because I hope to convert the passenger seat into a swivel seat which will turn around to the back and give me more interior room in the van.
Here is a video of the cargo area demo:
I started on this demo project at about 2 pm on Thursday and planned to take the weekend to complete the project. To my surprise, I was able to finish the whole demo project by about 6:30 pm as it was getting dark. I first removed the Astro van shelving which was bolted to the van to anchor bolts in some areas and also screwed into nuts in other areas.
A look at the shelving from the back:
Here is a look at the partition:
Here is what the van looked like after the shelving was removed:
This last picture is the van with everything removed in the cargo area except for some loose cabling and flooring.
Now that all the big items are removed from the cargo area, I will focus on the excess wiring situation and removal of the flooring which appears to be riveted to the van. I then want to do a thorough cleaning of the cargo area and get measurements of the future living area.
So far so good on this van to camper conversion. I have a whole lot more to do, but I’m excited to get to work.
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