Engineer-Built Micro Camper Van Boasts an Ultra-Functional Interior With a Modular Design

Engineer-Built Micro Camper Van Boasts an Ultra-Functional Interior With a Modular Design
Engineer-Built Micro Camper Van Boasts an Ultra-Functional Interior With a Modular Design
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Photo: YouTube Screenshot / Jugaad It Yourself

Any bit of building experience helps when converting a van by yourself. So, when I saw that an engineer made this tiny home on wheels, my interest was piqued. She managed to create a clever living space that makes full use of the rig’s compact interior.

If you’d like to try out van life but don’t have an immense budget to work with, a micro camper van might be a suitable choice. They’re easy to drive, generally more fuel-efficient than most other types of rigs, and offer a decent comfort level, provided you come up with a proper setup.

Meet Kayla, who’s a graduate engineering student. She’s the owner and converter of this awesome conversion based on a Ford Transit Connect. She chose it because its size makes it feel just like a normal vehicle, and she didn’t want anything too overwhelming for the conversion, especially since she had only a couple of months to build everything.

This model, the Nissan NV200, and the Ram ProMaster City are the three popular platforms for micro camper van conversions. By the way, if you’re thinking of starting your own mobile home project and don’t know what base vehicle to choose, take a look at my article about the most reliable vans suitable for camper conversions.

Kayla wasn’t discouraged by the Transit Connect’s compact interior. Instead, she saw it as a challenge to come up with the best space-saving solution. Kayla shared that her mobile home’s “design theme” was based around a Murphy bed.

Engineer\-Built Micro Camper Van Boasts an Ultra\-Functional Interior With a Modular Design

Photo: YouTube Screenshot / Jugaad It Yourself

In case you’re unfamiliar with the term, a Murphy bed is a folding bed that’s pulled down from a closet-like structure and folded back up when not in use. It’s designed to save space.

Looking at the vehicle from the outside, you won’t be able to tell someone is living inside. It’s finished in light blue paint and doesn’t have any elements that give away the fact that it’s a camper van, such as a roof rack or solar panels. That makes it possible for Kayla to stealth camp and also makes her travels safer.

The Ford Transit Connect has two sliding doors, one on each side. However, only one serves as an entrance; the other is partly occupied by one of the couch’s benches. Furthermore, you can also step inside the vehicle from the rear.

Pop open the two rear doors, and you’ll discover a clean and cozy design. On the right, Kayla devised a surprisingly well-equipped kitchen. It might not look like much initially, as you’ll probably only see a large walnut countertop. However, underneath it, there’s a slide you can pull, revealing all the kitchen’s amenities.

Engineer\-Built Micro Camper Van Boasts an Ultra\-Functional Interior With a Modular Design

Photo: YouTube Screenshot / Jugaad It Yourself

Slide-outs are an amazing way of fitting as many features as possible inside a rig, with the only disadvantage (or advantage, depending on how you see it) being that you’ll have to pull them out to use them. That means you’ll have to use the features outside.

This slide-out is rated for 500 lb. (227 kg) and holds a two-burner camping stove, a small Iceco fridge, and a collapsible cutting board. Other notable kitchen features are an overhead spice rack, a magnetic rack, a shelf that serves as a pantry, and two drawers.

On the opposite side, you’ll find the couch/bedroom. Normally, in a camper van this small, you only get a seating spot (albeit a longer one) that’ll have to double as your bed. But Kayla came up with an ingenious solution.

Like in most other micro camper vans, the couch can be turned into a bed by pulling out a wooden frame and rearranging the cushions. However, Kayla also wanted to have office space to work from, so she devised the couch to be able to remove one of its top panels, essentially creating two benches. Moreover, each bench has two sizeable drawers underneath.

Engineer\-Built Micro Camper Van Boasts an Ultra\-Functional Interior With a Modular Design

Photo: YouTube Screenshot / Jugaad It Yourself

Then, she installed a table mount on the part of the floor between the two benches. To it, she can attach the very same top panel she removed, which serves as a table. It’s the perfect spot to eat or work on your laptop, and two people can comfortably use the table. Quite a clever solution, right?

Kayla fitted the rig’s portable power station inside the bench nearest the driver’s side sliding door. It’s a Paxcess 300 providing 288 Wh of power and 300 continuous watts, integrating USB ports and an AC outlet. To stay off-grid for longer, Kayla uses a foldable solar panel that she places on the vehicle’s hood.

Kayla doesn’t have to open the door to have proper ventilation inside her living space. Since this is a passenger version of the Ford Transit Connect, the vehicle came with two rear windows that can be popped out. What’s more, a Maxxair vent fan also helps cycle the air inside the car.

All in all, this tiny home on wheels packs quite a punch, considering its size. It’s versatile, very well thought out, and stealthy. I love the clever bed/table system and the multiple arrangements it enables you to set up.


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