My Rig

Born and put into action as a telephone utility vehicle in 1998, “The Beast” as I like to call my rig, was well taken care of with regular fleet service/maintenance. I purchased this 1998 Chevy Astro Cargo Van with 104,000 miles on February 6th, 2015 for the purpose of converting it into a mini-camper van.

Day After Purchase

1998 Astro Van - Passenger Side

1998 Astro Van - Back View

1998 Astro Van - with Partition

1998 Astro Cargo Van - Shelving

Demo Work and Clean Up

I removed the Shelving, Partition and Ladder Rack to be sold later:

Removed shelving from Astro Van

Astro van shelving removal

partition removal

Astro cargo van partition removal

I then went on to remove the floor mat and rivets, cleaned up the wiring mess and prepared the van for the start of the build.

Camper Van Conversion Build

First, we installed a Fantastic Fan:

Fan install

Fantastic Fan Install Completed

Then, we moved on to insulation for the floor, walls and ceiling:

Insulation in van

Insulation placed in van

wall insulation

1st Layer of Wall Insulation

Ceiling R-Max Foam Board Insulation

Ceiling R-Max Foam Board Insulation

Next, I added ceiling and wall planks to give it a nice wood finish:

ceiling wall planks

Adding ceiling and wall planks

We then began installing a vinyl flooring with a wood look:

vinyl floor install

Vinyl floor install under way

Now that the flooring was complete, it was time to build and install the Sofa/Pullout Bed:

Van Sofa Bed

Sofa Bed in Sofa Mode

Sofa Bed with Cushion

Sofa Bed with Cushions

The most AWESOME addition to the build was the Power Center Box which controls the Shore Power, Batteries, Battery Charger and the Solar Panels. We put all the electrical equipment in this small area to make it easy to manage and to use the space wisely.

Van Power Center

Astro Van Power Center

Inside the Van Power Center

Inside the Van Power Center

The power center was cool, but nothing beats getting FREE electricity! We next built an aluminum roof rack and installed three 100-watt solar panels.

Stealth solar roof rack

Stealth solar roof rack

Hidden by the roof rack frame are three 100-watt solar panels.

solar roof rack set up

solar roof rack set up

Upcoming Build Plans for My Rig: “The Beast”

Up next on the Astro van camper build will be:

  • Build Storage above Power Center
  • Build a work area/kitchen in the back of the van

This has been updated as of Dec 11th 2016. As you can see, I still have a little more work to do to on the van build.

Stay tuned for more on this page as well as more on my YouTube Channel and Facebook Page.