Campervan Design: The Order Of Operations

It’s Saturday morning; the kids have woken us up before the sun has risen, the coffee is on board and insisting we do something with all this energy.

It’s time to work on the van!

But before we can begin we need to decide what gets worked on today. Our planning sessions often go like this:

Me: “Okay, today we’re going to run wire for the lights. I’m psyched! Feel the power!”

Mrs. HOTL: “Wait, before we do the lights, don’t we need to have the ceiling put in? We need to put a coat of poly on the ceiling panels.”

Me: “Oh yeah, but before the ceiling can go in we need to put up the cabinets. Let’s measure and cut the new panels.”

Mrs: “Yes, but before we can install the cabinets we need to run wires for the lights…..”

Both: “ARRRGH!”

In building a campervan, you will find quickly that you need a game plan, an order of operations to follow in order to move forward with your build. Many times we have found ourselves wishing we could have all of the elements floating around the inside, held in place by magic or telekinesis so that they could be fit together all at once and at the same time.

Alas, our latent mystical powers have not manifested yet, so we have been subjected to countless circular conversations, many days stutter-starting five building stages at once, and more than a few wasted hours spent trying to decide what step to attack next.

You do not have this kind of time to waste when your build days are limited to either the length of the afternoon nap or the attention span of your seven year old on the latest library book. Every second counts!

Enter the order of operations.

Now, if we were engineer types (or maybe just a little bit smarter) we would have figured all of this out ahead of time. Since we are not, we had to work things out the hard way and think our way through each step. Our gift to you today is the order in which we constructed our van, from soup to nuts so that you do not have to waste your time trying to decide. Each step will eventually be linked to the relevant post to create a handy reference journey of our build out.

Home On The Loose Order Of Operations:

Initial Cleaning and Deconstruction.

Flooring and Insulation

Kid’s Seats

Vent Fan

Solar Panels

Wall and Ceiling Insulation


Electrical Systems

Overhead Cabinets

Ceiling and Wall Panels