‘The Old Girl’ is a 2001 Toyota Hiace with a bunch of quirks!
After months of research, we found the Hiace to be the most reliable second hand van on the market. As we were buying an old van, we were told Hiaces were easy to get parts for and cheaper to fix then other vans. But what really sealed the deal for us was the length of the van, which allowed us some extra space inside. After a trip out to the Western Suburbs of Melbourne and a visit to old mate Samsur, we became owners of our very own van!
Now the real work began, hours and hours of YouTube tutorials, brainstorming, drawing, measuring layouts, and finally the build! Building a van from scratch was a daunting project. We spent many late nights slaving and hacking away to finish the van. We went through a roller coaster of highs and lows, we built, failed and restarted many times! But in the end, we could not be more stoked with the outcome.
Van cost: $5500
Van service: $1000
Van build: $2800
When we were setting out our plans for the van build, we set a goal to do the build as cheap as possible. We hunted through Gumtree and online to find recycled materials to use. Pretty much all the wood you see in our van was free and all our insulation cost only $25! We spent a fair chunk of our van build money on electrical and appliances, e.g second battery, fridge, and head unit. The $2800 included everything in our van from camping equipment to pillows.
Check out the photos below of our before, during and after shots. Hit us up with any questions!