Ross Lukeman’s Cargo Van Conversion Course

  • Anyone interested in alternative home building projects may know Ross Lukeman of Alternative Homes Today. Ross worked for years as an architect, but recently quit his job to run his online business. His home is new as well. Ross recently converted and will be moving into a Chevy cargo van and is offering a course on how to convert your own van for full-time living.


“Converting and living in a cargo van was my way of finally making some big changes in my life,” Ross said. “I wanted to pursue more meaningful work on a full-time basis and I wanted more than two weeks of vacation a year. I didn’t feel like I was in control of my life, and after finally paying off all of my school loans and credit cards, I realized I was at a fork in the road.”


Ross realized that the van dwelling life was a viable option for him with its lower expenses. He took a few months to convert a 2014 Chevy Express 2500 Extended van into a tiny house with a twin bed, an office with a wall-mounted computer, water tanks, a sink and a cooktop. The roof has 200 watts of flexible solar panels connected to a 300 watt inverter. He plans to shower with his nationally accepted pass for 24-Hour Fitness, at National and state parks and truck stops. He has an emergency camping toilet stored under the bed.


The van, originally used by a rental company in Colorado, cost $22,500. So far, Ross has spent another $3,600 converting the van into his tiny home. Larger expenses included the electrical components, a backup camera and window tinting.


“I spared no expense, but don’t want people feeling like they have to put “everything” into their own conversion,” Ross said. “The videos will be there though, and they can omit what they’re not interested in adding. I would say a range to convert a van should be $1,500 to $5,000, depending on their budget.”

Ross’s Cargo Van Conversion Course ($197) will be available September 15, 2015 and will include 12+ chapters of high-definition, professionally shot videos showing his complete step-by-step conversion. Once a week, a new video chapter will be released along with guides and material lists. Everything will be available online so registered students can go at their own pace. There will also be live calls with Ross and a Facebook group so students can get their specific questions answered. Anyone interested in the course can sign up before the launch to be added to the email list.

Photos courtesy of Ross Lukeman


By Christina Nellemann for the [Tiny House Blog]

Katie and Toby’s Ford Transit Van Conversion

by Katie Probert

As a solution to the expensive accommodation in the Alps, my boyfriend Toby and I bought a knackered old Ford Transit on ebay for £900, to convert into a home on wheels. Our plans were to quickly convert it into a cosy shelter, with a bed, basic kitchen facilities and lots of insulation. We estimated two weeks’ work. In our excitement we didn’t realise that the engine was shot…until we got the thing home and it was too late. We checked her into the garage for a brand new engine. We didn’t get her back until seven weeks later.

the van

Whilst we waited for our van to come back from the garage, we started sketching out possible layouts and trying to find out as much information about van conversions as possible. This was before we knew about the tiny house movement, or any of the DIY blogs that I read now. I had zero building experience, and neither of us had ever attempted such a project before. Armed with our new bible, the Haynes Motorcaravan Manual, we embarked on an adventure of trial and error, that would end up taking us 18 months to complete. Continue reading

Drive Nacho Drive

Is anyone else stuck in the winter blues and getting the Road Trip Itch? Scratch that itch by taking a look at the blog, Drive Nacho Drive. Nacho is a 1984 2.1 liter Volkswagen Vanagon being driven around the world by Brad and Sheena. They quit their jobs at the end of 2011 and have been living out of Nacho as they discover adventure, food, culture and emergency roadside Volkswagen maintenance.


What popped out of this blog was the great step-by-step breakdown as to how the couple adapted Nacho for around-the-world travel. They cover everything from how they added in a hot and cold water infrastructure for drinking and showering, a solar electric system, custom cabinets, custom bumpers, locking storage boxes and the little details to turn Nacho into a plush tiny house on wheels. Continue reading

Lives in a Van

The sad news these days seems to be centered on people losing their homes and maybe having to live in their car, truck or RV. Dave Thorsrud has been living out of his van for over a year, but he is doing it in an effort to live a simpler life.

His website, Lives in a Van, chronicles his year of living richly on the road in his Pleasure Way van. He writes:


“Ironically, I left the full time job to travel in a van because I wanted to maximize possibilities. With a full-time job, a house mortgage, a car payment and various other debts, my only option when the alarm shrieked was to go to work. This was true during the week and frequently true on the weekends. So I craved choices. I needed to know that if an opportunity for a once-in-a-lifetime experience came my way, then I could grab hold with both hands and embrace the new path.”


In order to find his more authentic life, he quit his job, sold all his belongings in five days and packed anything left into his van. During his search, he has traveled across the U.S. and parts of Mexico, met interesting people and has documented it with prose and excellent photography.

Dave lists the best aspects of living in a van as having no daily commute, the overall cost of living is low, all laundry can be done in one load, and every day is a new adventure. He also lists his rules of the road, which can be a metaphor for any simpler life:


  • Avoid drive-thru value meals at all costs.
  • Take photos of everything.
  • Sing along to whatever is on the radio–even talk radio.
  • Exercise whenever possible.
  • Take care of the vehicle.
  • Meet people–especially strange people.
  • Drive slower.
  • Never hesitate to take an exit, get sidetracked or get lost.
  • Take the backroads when possible.
  • Take notes, write daily, find the inspiration.


By Christina Nellemann

Photos by Matador Travel. Schematic by Lives in a Van

If you enjoyed this post, subscribe to our feed