- Grace Aquino and her husband Marlon converted a 2017 Ram Promaster Cargo Van into a tiny home on wheels.
- They DIY furnished the van for less than $US1,000 with IKEA furniture.
- The van has a couch that can fold out into a bed, desk, storage units, refrigerator, and a kitchen.
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Grace and Marlon Aquino converted a 2017 Ram Promaster Cargo Van into a tiny home on wheels, furnishing the van with IKEA furniture for less than $US1,000.
Grace documented the creation of the van - which she and her husband named “Flippie” - on her blog, The Sweet Savoury Life.
The duo has lived full-time in the van since April. Prior to adopting the #VanLife, the couple was sleeping on Marlon’s parents’ couch and living out of their backpacks for over a year.
They initially moved into Flippie with just their backpacks and two gaming chairs that reclined into a bed, living in their van part-time in the middle of winter without any added insulation.
“When we bought her, our immediate thought was to hire professionals to build it for us knowing how little experience we have in building anything!” Grace Aquino wrote in her blog. “We called a few companies who builds camper vans and realised just how expensive it is. So we’re down to doing it ourselves as our only practical choice!”
The couple chose to furnish the van with IKEA pieces because of the company’s easy-to-build, lightweight furniture choices. In total, the couple spent $US992.84 furnishing the van build, not including items such as the fridge, power bank station, ottoman, drawer, and additional accessories.
Keep scrolling to see how they did it:
The wheelbase is 136 inches and the interior is 60 square feet.
There is a low roof, although Aquino claims her and her husband Marlon can both comfortably stand in it.
Unlike most Promasters, Flippie has a glass side window.
It took the Aquinos several months to figure out the floor plan.
The couple made styrofoam insulation with a foil liner from Home Depot. They choose styrofoam because it was easy to cut and adhere to the van’s walls.
They didn’t want to use any wood for the flooring, so the couple purchased a Home Depot roll of underlayment to cover the floor, taping the sides to keep it in place. They then placed exercise floor mat puzzles purchased from Walmart on top.
The van has a rear kitchen, bed, desk, and storage units such as overhead cabinets and drawers. Aquino claims a desk is considered a luxury for those living the #VanLife.
Having a kitchen in the back of the van allows Aquino, a pastry chef, to open the two back doors while cooking to aerate the van.
A NEMO Helio Pressure Shower provides water to the kitchen faucet.
The bed can be easily converted into a couch. Its location at the front of the van means it has the best views through the side and back doors, according to Aquino.
The walls were covered with IKEA pegboards that were screwed into the pre-installed wooden panels that came with the van.
Using IKEA furniture means the couple can easily take everything apart to change the layout and furnishings, according to Aquino.
Because much of IKEA’s furniture isn’t heavy or made of wood, Flippie’s weight is light, she continued. And it’s easy to purchase replacements if anything breaks.
They picked mostly plastic or metal furniture because the moving van could easily break heavy wooden cabinets, she claimed.
Walking around the IKEA showroom gave them inspiration, and the return policy allowed them to play around with purchases.
A $US700 Eco Power Station, pictured below in the lower right corner, provides energy to charge their phones and laptops.
“It turned out that Flippie is a continuous work in progress!” Aquino said in her blog. “It evolves with us as we navigate through this new nomadic lifestyle. And quite frankly, Flippie’s versatility is my favourite part of her!”
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