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This Guy Built a Deluxe, Bamboo-Filled Camper Van Without Any Prior Experience

Doing a DIY conversion can be challenging even for those who are handy with tools and have appropriate expertise. So, you can imagine that for someone who doesn't have any experience building stuff, it sounds nearly impossible. However, today, I'm covering an eye-catching DIY build made by someone without experience.
This Guy Built a Stunning, Bamboo-Filled Camper Van Without Any Prior Experience 33 photos
Photo: YouTube Screenshot / Tiny Home Tours
This Guy Built a Stunning, Bamboo-Filled Camper Van Without Any Prior ExperienceThis Guy Built a Stunning, Bamboo-Filled Camper Van Without Any Prior ExperienceThis Guy Built a Stunning, Bamboo-Filled Camper Van Without Any Prior ExperienceThis Guy Built a Stunning, Bamboo-Filled Camper Van Without Any Prior ExperienceThis Guy Built a Stunning, Bamboo-Filled Camper Van Without Any Prior ExperienceThis Guy Built a Stunning, Bamboo-Filled Camper Van Without Any Prior ExperienceThis Guy Built a Stunning, Bamboo-Filled Camper Van Without Any Prior ExperienceThis Guy Built a Stunning, Bamboo-Filled Camper Van Without Any Prior ExperienceThis Guy Built a Stunning, Bamboo-Filled Camper Van Without Any Prior ExperienceThis Guy Built a Stunning, Bamboo-Filled Camper Van Without Any Prior ExperienceThis Guy Built a Stunning, Bamboo-Filled Camper Van Without Any Prior ExperienceThis Guy Built a Stunning, Bamboo-Filled Camper Van Without Any Prior ExperienceThis Guy Built a Stunning, Bamboo-Filled Camper Van Without Any Prior ExperienceThis Guy Built a Stunning, Bamboo-Filled Camper Van Without Any Prior ExperienceThis Guy Built a Stunning, Bamboo-Filled Camper Van Without Any Prior ExperienceThis Guy Built a Stunning, Bamboo-Filled Camper Van Without Any Prior ExperienceThis Guy Built a Stunning, Bamboo-Filled Camper Van Without Any Prior ExperienceThis Guy Built a Stunning, Bamboo-Filled Camper Van Without Any Prior ExperienceThis Guy Built a Stunning, Bamboo-Filled Camper Van Without Any Prior ExperienceThis Guy Built a Stunning, Bamboo-Filled Camper Van Without Any Prior ExperienceThis Guy Built a Stunning, Bamboo-Filled Camper Van Without Any Prior ExperienceThis Guy Built a Stunning, Bamboo-Filled Camper Van Without Any Prior ExperienceThis Guy Built a Stunning, Bamboo-Filled Camper Van Without Any Prior ExperienceThis Guy Built a Stunning, Bamboo-Filled Camper Van Without Any Prior ExperienceThis Guy Built a Stunning, Bamboo-Filled Camper Van Without Any Prior ExperienceThis Guy Built a Stunning, Bamboo-Filled Camper Van Without Any Prior ExperienceThis Guy Built a Stunning, Bamboo-Filled Camper Van Without Any Prior ExperienceThis Guy Built a Stunning, Bamboo-Filled Camper Van Without Any Prior ExperienceThis Guy Built a Stunning, Bamboo-Filled Camper Van Without Any Prior ExperienceThis Guy Built a Stunning, Bamboo-Filled Camper Van Without Any Prior ExperienceThis Guy Built a Stunning, Bamboo-Filled Camper Van Without Any Prior ExperienceThis Guy Built a Stunning, Bamboo-Filled Camper Van Without Any Prior Experience
If you're looking to start van life affordably, making a DIY conversion is probably your best bet. However, many people are hesitant to start because they don't have any relevant skills. Luckily, nowadays, we have Google, YouTube, and so many other places we can find all the information we need.

Take this camper van build as an example – it was converted by its owner, Anton Maroun. Anton is a music teacher turned van builder. As he said, he couldn't even hang a picture on a wall just a few years ago before starting the conversion. After being inspired by multiple friends starting their own conversions, he decided to give it a shot.

Typically, when we hear about a first-time DIY conversion, we don't really have high expectations – however, this unit looks fantastic, almost like a specialized company converted it.

Anton fittingly named his converted 2021 Ram ProMaster 3500 Extended "The Bamboo Bungalow." On the outside, it looks like your run-of-the-mill van with few accessories: a roof rack holding walkable 480 W solar panels. But once you step inside, you'll discover Anton's craftsmanship – I bet you wouldn't have believed this was his first time converting a van if I hadn't mentioned it.

This Guy Built a Stunning, Bamboo\-Filled Camper Van Without Any Prior Experience
Photo: YouTube Screenshot / Tiny Home Tours
As its name suggests, this rig's interior is finished all around in wood paired with various black touches. What's more, it boasts a slatted bamboo ceiling with a black backer board and vinyl plank flooring. Anton chose an open layout, meaning there isn't any dividing wall between the living space and the driver's cabin.

The first area you'll be in once you enter is the kitchen. It's split into two parts and features a bunch of counter space via a black countertop and a black stainless steel sink with an extendable faucet and a filtered water faucet.

Anton came up with a simple yet clever solution for the sink's plumbing system. It's made up of a 7-gallon (26-liter) greywater tank, but here's the catch - Anton created a diverting system by installing a valve- whenever he uses biodegradable soap, he drains the water directly under the vehicle. However, if he uses normal soap or other substances that are harmful to the environment, he turns the valve, and the water from the sink ends up in the greywater tank, which he then dumps in designated sites.

Other notable kitchen features are various drawers and cabinets (including two overhead ones with gas struts) for storage, a huge flip-up countertop extension, and a dual-burner induction stove with a Dometic fridge underneath.

This Guy Built a Stunning, Bamboo\-Filled Camper Van Without Any Prior Experience
Photo: YouTube Screenshot / Tiny Home Tours
You'll discover the rig's control panel integrated into the kitchen wall. It comprises four outlets, two USB plugs, an inverter controller, a remote for a Maxxair fan, switches for the water pump, a Webasto heater, and lights, and a water timer switch for the electric water heater.

You'll find a spacious hanging closet with drawers underneath by the kitchen. Inside, Anton holds a Zero Breeze portable A/C unit.

At first glance, you might think this camper van doesn't have a bathroom. Well, it does, only it's hidden. A Laveo dry-flush toilet is held in a massive drawer under the closet, and a shower pan, covered by a mat, is just by the entrance. You can hang a curtain on hooks in the ceiling, and you're good to go to shower.

The lounge/bedroom area occupies the rest of the space inside this camper van. You'll notice two very long benches, a swivel table, and two windows, one on each side. Moreover, the LED strips integrated into the ceiling and under the benches are a beautiful touch that helps set a relaxing mood.

This Guy Built a Stunning, Bamboo\-Filled Camper Van Without Any Prior Experience
Photo: YouTube Screenshot / Tiny Home Tours
Anton explained that eight people can be comfortably accommodated in the lounge. Furthermore, he can sleep two guests on the benches.

Underneath the bench on the passenger side, you'll discover the electrical system. It comprises an inverter, a DC-DC charger, which allows the system to charge while driving, and lithium batteries. Unfortunately, Anton didn't share the battery capacity. On the opposite side, Anton housed a 30-gallon (114-liter) freshwater tank and an electric water heater.

What looks like the ceiling above the lounge area is, in fact, an elevator bed mounted on a HappiJac system, which can be raised and lowered at the touch of a button. It has a queen-sized mattress. However, if you lower it all the way down, the sleeping space becomes king-size, as the mattress's backrest cushions provide additional room.

There are two significant advantages to this setup: you get a lot more room underneath, and you don't need to set up the bed every time you want to go to sleep, like in other camper vans. In fact, you don't even have to make the bed – just raise it out of sight.

This Guy Built a Stunning, Bamboo\-Filled Camper Van Without Any Prior Experience
Photo: YouTube Screenshot / Tiny Home Tours
Above, Anton fitted a skylight – it can be opened, and it's large enough for a person to go through to the roof. That's in case Anton doesn't want to go outside and use the side ladder. Moreover, the skylight comes with a bug screen and a black-out shade.

Open the two rear doors, and you'll find the water fill for the freshwater tank and an outdoor shower on the left side. On the right, Anton installed a distribution panel for the electrical system.

You're probably eager to know how much the rig cost to build. If you're familiar with camper van builds, you know that costs can quickly add up, especially if you opt for high-quality components. For instance, Anton paid $5,000-$6,000 (€4,643-€5,572) just for the bamboo, and the roof rack cost a whopping $5,000.

So, we have around $11,000 (€10,215) so far, which is about as much as this skoolie cost. However, Anton managed to keep costs to a minimum, spending a total of $30,000 (€27,858) for the conversion, which is quite good considering the premium look and feel of the interior. However, that doesn't include the price of the van.

This Guy Built a Stunning, Bamboo\-Filled Camper Van Without Any Prior Experience
Photo: YouTube Screenshot / Tiny Home Tours
All in all, I'm taken aback by how cool this rig is, considering that it's Anton's first build. As I mentioned earlier, what makes it even more impressive is that he doesn't have any background in building stuff – in fact, he's a music teacher. This proves that with some determination, creativity, help from friends, and, of course, some money set aside, you can create an excellent tiny home on wheels even if you don't have any relevant experience.

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About the author: Mircea Mazuru
Mircea Mazuru profile photo

Starting out with a motorcycle permit just because he could get one two years earlier than a driver's license, Mircea keeps his passion for bikes (motor or no motor) alive to this day. His lifelong dream is to build his own custom camper van.
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