The Dirt Doctors

The Basics of Building a Mobile Home

Back in the early times, our ancestors practiced a nomadic way of living — moving to and from destinations, always on the lookout for a better environment. When the tribes finally settled into permanent homes to take up agriculture — a more secure way of acquiring food — it paved the way for the founding of civilizations.

Fast forward to today, it seems like the traveler blood in our veins hasn’t completely dissipated. All over the Internet, you’ll encounter accounts and testimonies of people who call themselves “van dwellers,” living on the road to explore the beauty of the unknown.

For instance, web writer Lizz Corrigan wrote about Briana and Keith Madia, a couple who turned a van into a mobile home, in which they enjoyed multiple adventures camping and driving from Salt Lake City to the desert regions of southern Utah. Such amazing stories inspire others to simply take off and leave their constrained life for a more exciting one.

However, as idyllic as van life sounds, proper preparation is needed to ensure that your journey will be safe and the hassles will be minimized. If you wish to start living the dream life, whether for just a few weeks or for the long term, here’s a guideline of van conversion to help you jumpstart your venture.

Building a Mobile Home

First and foremost, you’ll need a van. There are many options in the market for varying space requirements, design preferences, and lifestyle needs. One popular choice in Salt Lake City is the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van, which is available for sale or rent in a range of shapes and sizes. It’s also easily customizable, making it a good bet for people who wish to have more elaborate interiors made.

Now, to stay comfortable while living on wheels, you have to analyze the requirements of your lifestyle and decide which parts to prioritize. Here are some tips for several common areas:


One word: Sustenance. You can’t survive without proper food, so instead of making frequent stops to convenience stores and restaurants, it’s best to have a furnished kitchen in your home van. Not to mention, it’s also cost-effective and healthier to make your own meals.

Some must-have items are a portable refrigerator, a portable cooking stove, a water jug with filtration, and a built-in sink with a piping system. Moreover, you’ll need an adequate storage area, like cabinetry or shelving for your food supplies.

Sleeping Area

Mother and daughter on a bedIn addition to food, sleep is also vital for your health. Have enough mattresses installed, or to maximize space, you can have a bed that can be converted into a dining table. A proper heating and air conditioning system is also important for your comfort and well-being.


You can skip this part if you don’t intend to work on the road. However, this is not an option for many, so if you want to get some work done properly, an office will be beneficial for you. Purchase a cellular signal booster, multi-device charging station, and other electronic items that you deem necessary. Also, it’s good to shop around for office furniture, like a desk and chair that won’t take up too much space.


It can be expensive to have a fully furnished bathroom in your mobile home, but it surely is more convenient. However, you also have the option to opt instead for a portable shower, which you can set up outside when you’re camping out. Choose a solar-powered one as it is more energy-efficient than its counterparts.

Van life is indeed dreamy, but the inconveniences can quickly drown out the excitement. In line with that, planning diligently for a perfectly livable home van can help you make the most out of nomadic living.

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