Today was a big day for us! We got our empty Ram ProMaster cargo van converted into something that is going to make life on the road a lot more doable. Our solution? The Wayfarer Vans Plug-N-Play Camper Van Kit! (To learn more about why we chose this kit, head on over here.)
We spent the night in Colorado Springs because we had an appointment at 9am to meet with Ian, the owner of Wayfarer Vans. We found his space easy enough and a little before nine we pulled into his workshop and started unloading all of our stuff so he and his guys could begin the conversion!
The van conversion begins!
Step 1: Installing the floor
After we got all of our belongings removed, the first step to our camper van conversion was installing the floor.
Step 2: Attaching the insulation
After that it was installing the insulation, which uses magnets to keep it in place!
Step 3: Add the boxes
Once the floor and insulation pieces are in place, the next step is bringing in the boxes.
The first one that went in was the one behind the driver and passenger seats. Unlike other vans, ours came empty and without any seats in the back. It was basically a cargo van which was perfect because we didn’t have to remove anything in order to start our conversion.
Next up was the side box. We were so impressed with not only how quick the guys worked but how careful they were during the process. They also swept the interior several times and washed down the surfaces – we really appreciated their attention to cleanliness and detail.
After the side box was put in place, then the kitchen boxes were added! The design of these are so unique and one of our favorite features. You can open them from the inside by lifting up on the top as well as when standing outside with the doors open. Notice how they fold up on themselves?
After the boxes were installed, then they added the table! Check out the way it folds up when not in use as well as the way it stays in place when down.
Step 4: Install the table
Once the table was installed, we were done. The whole thing only took a little over an hour!
Step 5: Load your stuff back in and go!
Wayfarer Van Plug-N-Play Camper Van Kit Recap
The conversion kit has had a huge impact on our ability to live out of our van. Some of the biggest factors have been:
- the insulation has reduced noise while driving
- storage has been increased
- organization is now possible
- we now have a table for working and eating on
- there is a bed! (We use the Exped SIM Comfort Duo 7.5 mat to go with the bed and it is AWESOME.)
- the space is functional and feels good
Do you have a camper van? If so, how did you convert it? We’d love to hear your thoughts about life on the road so please leave your comments below!
You might also be interested in:
Our Review of the Wayfarer Conversion Kit and Ram Promaster City after 2.5 years in it.
Want to know more about the gear we use in van life? Check out our story on the Best Van Life Gear for Under $50 as well as our post on 9 Van Life Essentials!
Additional Camper Van Resources
25 thoughts on “Wayfarer Vans Plug-N-Play Camper Van Kit!”
Y’all are crazy! Where’s the bed?!?
Bahaha. It folds out of that big box to Caroline’s right. We’ll show you in just a few days!
You said you want feedback, so here goes. We bought a Promaster City SLT wagon (2018) a year ago May. It’s got second row seats (3) that fold down and then forward, stowable in either position. Your van actually had back seats when it came off the boat, but that’s a story for another day. We wanted a daily driver for my wife, who’s reluctant to drive a big van, but it needed at least one back seat for grandkids. This little van perfectly fills the camper daily driver roles. What’s nice about the wagon is that it has a factory foam/fabric headliner that covers the less-than-aesthetic steel roof ribs, carpet, which wipes out noise, and some plastic parts that cover the side posts around the doors. Those plastic parts almost finish the back of the van, but they also waste a lot of bed room, so I cut them down and used some and trashed some.
I started finishing by buying and installing $250 worth of 3M Thinsulate, carefully removed the rear headliner, carefully slid some insulation over the top of the front headliner and used a ruler to push it forward into the corners above the windshield. This is not for the faint of heart nor the clumsy. The side curtain airbags are located above the front headliner and must not be messed with at all. The insulation must not touch the airbags because that could cause
them not to deploy correctly. I next insulated the rear ceiling by cutting it to fit on the top of the uninstalled headliner, again avoiding the two sides where the rear side curtain airbags are hidden by the headliner. We reinstalled the headliner and insulation covering the rear ceiling. Thinsulate does not absorb water, so it’s good insulation for the roof of any van. I then used 3/8″ Styrofoam beads to insulate the walls and floor cavities of the van. The beads do not absorb water, so, any water that condenses in the walls drains just as it would, down through the drains at the bottom of the stock van. Our van is very quiet on the road as well as in the campground. It’s also cooler in sun and needs no heat for 3 season camping. Two bodies give off plenty of BTUs to heat that small space, even if they’re not British 😀.
One caveat, we do have insulated fabric window blinds to minimise heat transfer through all the windows. They make it a stealth van as well with no light loss. They are faced with the same upholstery fabric as I used on the walls, so they’re aesthetic as well. The walls are finished with carpet half way up and upholstery fabric on top. The bed covers most of the carpet, so its mostly for noise abatement. I replaced the stock van plastic bins on the sides with thin bins, just wide enough for eyeglasses, kindle/tablet, cell phones, and wristwatches. Card decks also fit.
The bed is a 4’x4′ Baltic birch (1/2″) box just high enough for a high-end cooler to fit in a bin under the mattress. It has a front section attached with a piano hinge that folds over the folded flat rear seats. When seats are used, the front
bed platform folds over the bed rear section totally out of the way. I added cleats to the walls at bed height to support a bin cover, making the bed 59″ wide and 80″ long, essentially a queen sized bed. I am 6′-6″ tall, so I need some space. My wife is 5′-5″. The bins turn the space around the wheel wells into great space for socks, underwear, dirty clothes, etc., and you get a full width bed, an improvement over the Wayfarer bed, which isn’t long enough, either.
The electrical system is minimal, even though I worked as an Electrical Engineer. I installed a 6″ round ceiling vent fan, my wife’s favorite feature,
and one that doesn’t come with Wayfarer kits. We have 6 tilt/swivel LED reading lamps, so you can get comfortable to read anywhere. The juice comes from a 9 amp-hour battery, charged by a controller from the alternator or a solar panel. The battery fits in front of the wheel well in one of the bins.
The fan and lights draw little power, so the battery is good enough.
So, compared to Wayfarer kits, I have a fully finished van, the walls won’t come down when brushed against. There are no holes around the ceiling where kids can loose toys, and you don’t have to look at the bones of the van. Mine’s soft and aesthetic, soothing after a long day driving, climbing, hiking, biking, or, if I must use foul language, working.😀
The bed houses drawers in back for a nice 2 burner camp stove with pots and pans underneath, and a clever but simple sink for washing dishes. Above the gravity-fed sink is space for 5 gallons of easily carried water containers, one for hot, if you want. The right side of the bed (behind the small van door) houses a 4′ long bin, accessible from front or rear, for luggage and or gear. The cooler goes under the bed in front of the stove and water storage. My only remodel has been to remove the single part of the split rear seat (easily replaced), to add a drawer set for food and utensils. The drawer box is on slides so it can move forward to align with the side door to open all the way. It slides back out of the way when traveling.
I either remove the rest of the rear seat for a second cooler and gear for longer trips, or just fit the extra cooler behind the folded seat. A big drawer could be made to match the other side if one didn’t want a rear seat. That’s what is so great about these little vans is that they are so adaptable, and yet, when I had to park at the hospital underground, it still fit. And 30 mpg (hwy) makes it a good daily driver. The bed weighs about 50 lbs. I put it in and out many times easily by myself.
I like the idea behind Wayfarer, but I like a higher level of finish, and some of the ideas I used to solve some problems with the kits. I am told a van shop could replicate my design for $8000. That seems about right to me, and worth it.
I have pictures if you’d like to see them. Let me know how to upload them if you like.
Warren, here, back again with one more explanation. The bed box in my van is bolted to the stock van tie-downs. The coolers and food box are all strapped down. I have seen a van in a ditch with all the belongings, luggage, and some furniture against the front seats, probably on top of the occupants at one time. It’s important to tie everything down. Just imagine your van on its nose before you pull away from the curb. Then, strap down that cooler to a tie-down before you drive.