Van conversions seem to be on the rise lately. This Chevy cargo van has been retrofitted by Zach Both and his father. For Zach, who is a film-maker, the van provides him with the freedom to travel from one location to another at the drop of a hat.
The project had to meet two main requirements: to create a home on the road, and to function as a workspace for his film-making. I think it’s fair to say the van exceeds on both levels. It has one of the best finishes I’ve seen to date – it’s features a minimal, calming interior composed of warm wood, greys fabrics and white walls.
The wood on the roof and cabinets was sourced from a 19th century church in Cleveland, Ohio. Several of the windows are covered with a chalkboard finish, blacking out the windows and providing privacy. If it gets too warm or dark, they can still be opened.
The rear of the van is occupied by a futon bed that can be repositioned to create a sofa. The cabinets provide a surface on which Zach can work from. They also create space to house his kitchen, which is composed of a two-burner cooktop and a small refrigerator.
To power his home on wheels, solar panels have been mounted on the roof. They generate enough electricity to power his fridge, mobile wifi, laptop, and a home theatre. From Zach: “Filmmaking by nature is a nomadic pursuit. It’s a constant migration to and from different locations based on what the storytelling requires.”
“with this van, I now have complete freedom to write a script surrounded by mountains, direct a shoot in a remote desert town and then collaborate with an editor or composer in Los Angeles — all within the same month. That would be impossible any other way.”
For more cozy van conversions check out this Volkswagen T6 that’s been transformed into a sophisticated camper. Or, Happier Camper’s HC1, a retro travel trailer with style. See all campers.
Photos: Zach Both
If this is a true home on wheels, something is missing. What provision is there for a toilet and washing? We are shown the two-burner cooktop. There is a fridge. Is there a sink? The owner is a go-anywhere film-maker. If he were to go where there are flying insects, the screenless windows would make the interior unlivable.
Perhaps I am not seeing something.
Otherwise, it looks good
Hi Michael – by most definitions, the only requirement for creating a home is for it to be where you live. There’s no mention of a toilet, washing, or even a sink :P. I do understand what you’re getting at though.
or… as a singer (Paul Young) once sang “anywhere I lay my hat, that’s my home.”
Gotta love hipsters: idolatry engenders imitation…which is the sincerest form of flattery. Mr. Both couldn’t come up with his own vehicle, but followed the same van road of Alex Honnold, the rock climber.
I like the “curated” strip wood, the use of which reminds me of boat interiors. But even an outhouse looks good when photographed in Big Sur.
I definitely like this one the best but do have a question. Where is the outhouse or shower facilities if needed? Could you use solar panels on top to cut costs for gas or where you might be out in a remote site?
The toilet question was one I posed in my earlier post, and Niall answered it saying there is no mention of one. If you examine the photos you’ll see there is no room. So, it’s off to the outhouse in the woods!
To be fair, I think it would be expecting much to have a shower installed in a Chevy van. Solar panels can be fitted. It depends on how hi-tech one is prepared to go. Sometimes, the simpler the better.