All the tools you need for a Van Conversion
last updated: Dec 15, 2021
OK, because I had these huge bits of reclaimed mahogany I used a few extra tools, but if I didn’t these were pretty much all the tools I needed.
In total they cost you about £200/$250! But… firstly these are super useful tools and can be used for an DIY project throughout your life!
Either way, if you don’t need them afterward you can always sell them on eBay. I mean, if they cost you $250, and you sell them all for $180, then you have rented them all for a few months for only $70. Cheap rental!
With tools it is worth going by the old saying ‘buy good, buy once’.
I have had the older model of the following Bosch drill and Jig saw and they have lasted 8 years and going strong – they are good value.
UK: Bosch PSB 750 RCE Hammer Drill
USA: Bosch 1006VSR 3/8-Inch Keyless Chuck Drill
These drill bit sets seem to have most things you need at a good price (except maybe a large hole cutter – for heater vent).
UK: Makita 98C263 Drilling and Driving Accessory Kit, 101 pc.
USA: Hitachi 799962 Drill And Drive Bit Set, 120-Piece
Jig Saw Blades
UK: Bosch T Shank Jigsaw Blade Set, 8 Pieces
USA: Bosch T5002 10-Piece Assorted T-Shank Jig Saw Blade Set
I could not find the cordless drill I have, but if you are going to do you van in full days I really recommend getting two batteries. Its so frustrating to have to stop work because of a flat battery!
The following drills come with two batteries and should do the job pretty well!
UK: Hitachi DV18DGL/JF 18V Li-ion Cordless Combi Drill with 2 x 2.5Ah Batteries
USA: Bosch DDB181-02 18-Volt Lithium-Ion 1/2-Inch Compact Tough Drill/Driver Kit with 2 Batteries, Charger and Contractor Bag
OK, you probably don’t need this, but I seriously recommend you get one. I would not do it without!
It is ten times easier to use than the tube on the non-gun tubes and about ten times less messy! Just remember to get some cleaner – when you are finished – and will disconnect the foam canister for good – clean it out else it will be ruined.
Other Hand Tools
(UK links here – but it is easy enough to find these tools)
- Tennon Saw (mostly for sawing cladding ends neatly – jig saw can lift grain)
- Hack Saw
- Metal file
- Mole Grips (not essential)
- Needle Nose pliers (to hold the tiny nails for cladding clips)
- Socket Set (mostly to take fixings off the van)
- Allen Key Set
- Right angle.. for example:
- Tape measure (5m)
- Hand Clamps – clamps like these things are super handy:
5 X SPRING CLAMP 160MM CLIPS EXTRA STRONG LARGE TOOLS PLASTIC JAW DIY HEAVY DUTY
- Bar Clamps – also great for holding things while you screw the other end!
CON:P B25665 Bar Clamp Set (4 Pieces)
- Wire strippers
- Small screw driver (for electronics)
- Surform (removing/shaping wood quickly)
- Work light.. for working at night! This portable LED one should work well..
BEEWAY® 20W LED Rechargeable Portable Work Flood Light Emergency Spotlight Daylight White 6000K – 200W EQV
- Heavy Duty Extension – 20m should do depending on where you work:
4 Way 20M Extension Cable Reel, 13Amp 230V-240V Heavy duty
- Center punch (to help you drill holes in the right places on shiny/sloping metal work)
- Staple Gun (various uses)
- Permanent marker – marking on metal
- Pencil – marking on wood
I am sure there are a few I have missed – but mostly it seems about right.
Disclosure; the links are Amazon affiliate so I get a few dollars if you use them.. and that would be nice 🙂
Get the Van Conversion Guide:
Build your own adventure
The guide anyone can use to convert a van into a camper! With over $350 worth of savings inside
Do you want to live vanlife at zero cost?
Nate Murphy knows how to buy vans, convert them quickly and efficiently - use them for years - and then sell them for a profit. This can make vanlife not just free, but profitable!
He has successfully done this for years and he teaches his friends and students to do exactly the same. It is not obvious, but anyone can do it if they have the knowledge!
Join Nate at his free online training (running today) and he will teach you exactly how he does this!
The Van Conversion Guide (14th Edition)
The guide anyone can use to convert a van into a camper! This best-selling guide, now in its 14th Edition, has been used by thousands of people to transform a van into a camper.
- 150+ page eBook
- Helps you convert any kind of van
- Diagrams for all the main systems
- FREE mini-course - 28 video tutorials