GREAT question! - and one that is potentially the biggest differentiator between VanLab kits and some of our competitors...
We use only USA produced A1 Grade 9-ply Birch. The best there is!
We source the strongest and most premium material to enable us to use 0.5" versus the thicker 0.75" ply which enables us to maximise strength but reduce weight load. If a kit with 0.75" is lightweight, then it means it's using poorer grade quality plywood.
Some useful reading here: https://www.bobvila.com/articles/plywood-sizes-and-types/
The record for assembling the woodwork is under 3 hours. Typically, it takes between 3-6 hours to build your first one. You will need x2 electric screwdrivers to put it together, these are NOT included.
To add the wiring, we would leave an additional day aside to do it. Take your time and enjoy your build!
Absolutely anyone can build this kit. All the holes are pre-drilled and the panels are pre-cut. All you need to do is follow the simple instructions in the manual provided and screw the panels together. The build is really enjoyable as you see your empty van transform into a camper!
We currently offer collection from our workshop in Woodland Hills, CA. We can also ship to anywhere in the US. Overseas shipping in not yet available.
If you want to charge anything (laptop, phones, cameras, speakers etc.) we suggest you run a leisure battery. Our wiring looms are designed to charge you leisure battery while you're driving.
However, your leisure battery can never discharge your van battery, so you’ll always be able to drive off!
There are many different types of portable toilets and Showers that work well with the kits: there are simple portable toilets that work well and we have designed space for them to slide in and out of all our kits so they are tucked out of site. There are also self composting options that cost well over a thousand dollars, so really that choice is yours.
We really like the Tetravans shower (see link here: https://www.tetravan.com/shop/p/the-tetravan-folding-shower-system) and we have designed the Sprinter and Transit kit to be compatible with this INTERIOR shower. It would be mounted to the front of the raised bed, in between the bench seat and the kitchen unit.
Sadly not at present, however we will happily provide dimensions and also some supplier recommendations. They are just too darn difficult to ship!.... :)
We create kits for the most popular models and are adding key designs regularly, if there isn't yours on the list then send us a note with a request and we'll get back to you if one is completed.
Yes you can! We have one of our Nissan NV200 kits on display from our Simi Valley, CA location.
We also have one of our Large kits installed in a Ford Transit Passenger van which you can rent on Outdoorsy
- link here - https://www.outdoorsy.com/rv-rental/portland_or/2018_ford_transit_235569-listing
The kit has no permanent fixings to your van chassis. This means you can drop it in and remove it for a weekend or longer trip. It is perfect for anyone wanting to use their existing van for camping trips without damaging anything on the vehicle!
But, the kit has been designed so that ANYONE can put it together, the same way you put other self assembly furniture together at home.
We are here for you though and do offer installation from our Simi Valley, CA location. The time taken to install for you will depend on workload but we recommend ordering your kit first and then booking your installation, usually within 2-3 weeks completion from order.
In addition we have some of our instruction videos and manuals which are enough to self-install and we are always available via email with any questions / concerns.
Although we use the most premium and hard wearing Baltic Birch available, you’ll still find several football, oval, or irregular shaped patches in either side of Baltic birch. Even the highest grade of Baltic birch allows for patches. While at first glance they might seem unsightly, they’re indeed correcting a worse problem that you wouldn’t like any better – such as knots or discoloration. Fortunately, patches are color matched, so they blend as best as they can to the surrounding areas.
You'll receive an email from us with tracking information about your kit.
Shortly before the arrival date, our delivery service will contact you to schedule a delivery appointment for your kit.
Some things to know:
Items will not be delivered without an appointment.
You must be at home to receive your kit.
Kits will be delivered to your home so please work with the delivery provider on the day to leave it in a suitable place.
Delivery appointments are available Monday through Friday 8am-5pm. Weekend delivery is not available.
Please make sure an adult 18 or older will be home during the delivery window. The delivery window may vary depending on your location. Usually there is a four-hour window, but sometimes it is greater.
Additional fees will be charged for missed appointments and last-minute changes to appointments.
You can contact us through our contact page! We will be happy to assist you.
We are afraid not, the kit is designed cleverly to work as one unit with every unit screwed into the flooring and built upwards.
Some brave customers have bought a kit and modified themselves, however we don't recommend this route if possible.