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Conversion costs are all over the place so to help those who are planning and want some perspective I want to post up my costs. An earlier cost sheet is in my build thread. I have a 136 campervan, no under-van tanks but I do have sink, fresh and gray water, it’s fully insulated, porta pottee, solar, batteries, Espar diesel heater, awning, covers for all windows, convertible bed/couch, dinette, galley, overhead cabinets, two added awning windows, swivels on lowered bases, Fantastic powered vent, etc. It is a fully capable camper and we use it for trips from a few days to a month at a time. I did all the work with a bit ‘O help. It took me about 40-6 hour days- 250 hours to complete. I picked a simple system for building cabinets and had a couple of things already like the porta potte, two jugs, and one sheet of 3/4 plywood. I have kept adding the costs as additions and improvements have been made.
In the signature below are links to my build thread and a link to the pictures which are now missing from the thread.
 

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Hey I kept track of it so I wanted you to know what it was. Notice I thought it would be $500! I based that on home building construction where 10% is eaten up on stuff you never expected! Anyone else have records willing to post?
I promise not to flame anyone who is on the other end of the spectrum say $15,000+-. It would be interesting to see what a big electrical system with Lithium, big sine wave, lots of 120V and an A/C unit, tanks, shower etc. sort of a class B.
I was motivated to do this as many here have planned to spend $10,000 and I can see how easy that would be to do.
Lastly the labor is an important consideration. I spent nothing there but not all of us have the skills or time to do that. Notice that without the Espar and swivel/lowered seats I could easily have done this for $3500 which is near the bottom for a campervan I believe. KOV, being cheaper than I probably did his for near that.
 

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I know I’m more than that, but I can only estimate roughly. I started with good intention keeping receipts, but soon realized it was hopeless for the same reason I question your calculations to the penny. Maybe if I were starting and stopping at zero, but the reality is:

* Materials used that were left over from previous projects that might or might not have been otherwise used in another project, and whose purchase price is long forgotten.

For example, I use a piece of wood or ply or hardware that was lying around the shop. I don’t even remember where I got it, much less how much I paid. Maybe it’s fair to say it’s "free" if otherwise that piece would never be used, but what if later for another project I have to buy again because I used this one in the van?

* Materials bought for this project that are left over and that may or may not be used in future projects.

For example, I need only one X for the van, but X comes only in packages of three. If the other two are eventually used, I should count 1/3 of the package cost toward the van. If the other two are going to gather dust in the shop til I or my heirs dispose of them, I should count the whole package cost toward the van. Problem: I have no way of knowing which is correct. Then there are those ply ceiling and wall panels, each of which required a hair more than half a sheet…

So I say, to heck with it. Spend what you feel comfortable with, given your personal financial condition. Just try to get good value for what you spend.

As I told MrNomer when I found this van, "Put the pencil away. This van is not for saving money. It is for enjoying life."
 

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I decided to keep the bills in a little box and total them up someday... needed a bigger box, plus I don't have paper bills for Amazon and eBay


My guestimate is about $7500


Don't have:

-no solar, no shower, no heater


Have:

-all around glass (not in original van), basement, custom made couch/bed cushions, cellular shades all around, 4' x 6' train layout, 2 minute foldup 8' round screen house, portapotti, flag & flagpole, ham radio and antennas, second radio for the back, pocket doors, lotsa lighting (no disco ball, yet!), blackstone griddle, Engel fridge ... all included in my estimate.


The total was about $35K less than the 24' Class A RV we almost bought.... too much plumbing & stuff!



RD, I didn't see build refreshments "expenses" included!


.
 

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Which brings up another variable. Do you count only the stuff permanently attached to the van, or do you add in the stuff bought only for the van? And what about the stuff bought for the van that ends up being used without the van? (Sous vide rump roast is amazing.)

Rough numbers for what is in the van:

Four max-size Motion windows $2,000 with shipping
Webasto $1,000
300W solar with controller and wiring $600
200Ah Trojan AGM $500
Charger and pure sine inverter $500
Other electrical stuff: $400
Thinsulate and other insulation: $650
Drawer slides $350
Engel MT45 Fridge and extra baskets $1,000
Ply: $400
Marmoleum: $100
Sportscraft swivels: $500

That's about $8,000, but I know the actual total spent is more than that because there is a lot of stuff bought but not used or used then replaced—like this is the 4th inverter. Which is why I caution not to scrimp unless you have to.
 

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Hi,
Our conversion is a 136 WB, high roof, with lots of windows, insulation and paneling, plumbed water and tanks, solar, ...


Details on cost, weight and labor for each part here: https://www.buildagreenrv.com/our-conversion/our-promaster-conversion-weight-of-conversion/

$6038, 1034 lbs and 185 hours labor.

It would be nice to see how little one could spend and still have an effective conversion -- I think about $2500 could get you a pretty nice but basic conversion. No the electric fridge (use icebox), without solar, simple electric system with no AC, jug based water system, no furnace (mr. Buddy heater for extremes). Combine this with a good used PM and you might be in business for less than $20K.

Gary
 

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My List of Products and Expenses

Here is my list. I sorted it by date and it doesn't include the $9,500 we will spend when we add the Sportmobile Penthouse (Pop Top).
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The slotting router bit adds another category- tools bought for just this project. MsNomer failed to mention that issue. I added them in but I didn’t need many.
Thanks for the input on your costs Dennis,
 

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Wow,
You all did this for a lot less than we did. I'm at 10 k and still have to install the roof rack, awning and bike rack. I'm pretty sure we'll be at 15k when all is said and done.



Here's a rough breakdown:


Flooring, van rug, 3/4" ply, Linoleum and aluminum angle for edges... 1,100
Installed hide a bed and captains chair in back 4,000
OEM Tow hitch and wiring harness 600
OEM seat frame and arm rest for passenger seat 500
ABS for lower wall panels 160
wood and galvanized pipes for framing, interior siding, bed and cabinets 900
Running Boards 675
Mattress and bedding 525
Insulation ( car insulation, thinsulate and adhesive) 750

Electrical, Battery, converter/charger, light fixtures,

scirocco fan, power inlet, dog leg, misc parts 720


I was assured by RD that I would not be flamed because of the amount I spent ;). But in my defense of the insulation costs, we were just at the grand canyon, it snowed, 22 degrees and we were toasty!


Also my costs are higher because.. California! Amiright?
 

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...It would be nice to see how little one could spend and still have an effective conversion -- I think about $2500 could get you a pretty nice but basic conversion. No the electric fridge (use icebox), without solar, simple electric system with no AC, jug based water system, no furnace (mr. Buddy heater for extremes)...
I'm roughly at $2.2k, I have the basics, 12v and 120v outlets, toilet, shower, I can heat up to 3 gals for shower, parking heater, 120v frig, no plumbing, butane/propane capable stove, coffee maker, microwave, 200w solar, roof fan, swivels, thermal curtains, but no A/C yet.

Fitting out a van for 1 person should be cheaper than a 2+ person van.

Not a fancy looking build by any means :)
 

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I'm at roughly $8k and that doesn't include the rooftop AC. A friend had an AC on an old pop-up camper that he gave me.

Sent from my Pixel XL using Tapatalk

I have an AC in my old pop up camper. Not sure my wife would let me install it though. Since we work at a summer camp all of our trips are during the cooler weather anyway.
 

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I'm roughly at $2.2k, I have the basics, 12v and 120v outlets, toilet, shower, I can heat up to 3 gals for shower, CUT....... :)
There is NO WAY Ms RD is letting me shower with 3 Gals!
 

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I have an AC in my old pop up camper. Not sure my wife would let me install it though. Since we work at a summer camp all of our trips are during the cooler weather anyway.
No way I would have it up there if I didn't live in the Southeast. Have to have it here or we can't do much May through the end of September.

Sent from my Pixel XL using Tapatalk
 

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No way I would have it up there if I didn't live in the Southeast. Have to have it here or we can't do much May through the end of September.
Truer words were never spoken. Some things about my childhood are best forgotten. Mississippi's sweltering summer heat is one of them.
 

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From Shiny's build thread a couple weeks ago:
Conversion (materials only), so far: $18,600 CAD (incl tax) ~= $14,000 USD
The only big item left to purchase is a queen mattress.
Our goal was to create a fully-functional RV similar to commercial Class-B's, but reflecting our needs and priorities.
5x100Ah AGM, 4x100W solar, 2000W inverter-charger, battery monitor
Isotemp hotwater heater, 12v Novakool fridge
porta-potti, shower stall
fresh and grey tanks with level monitor
birch plywood cabinets/walls/floor, poly-iso insulation
no propane or A/C, but space reserved for a parking heater
plus lots of miscellaneous items and a couple special tools (rivnut, pocket screw)
 
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