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Discuss the cabin from the headliner to the carpeting of your Astro or Safari van. Topics include door panels, and seat belts or the dash and carpet, trim, and seats. Talk about your center console, seats, door handles, upholstery, steering wheels or any other item in the cab of your van.
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Camperized Astro/Safari - Share your pictures

April 16th 2013, 6:25pm


I am looking at Camperizing my Astro soon, and will certainly share pictures, but if you have done it already - post your pictures here so we can check out your great job.

This will also help other members like me to decided how should I approach it :)



Re: Camperized Astro/Safari - Share your pictures

April 17th 2013, 7:13pm

As I still don't have my own camperized Astro, I will post what I have found on Internet, as great examples...

Looking on doing something similar that will still allow to seat 5 people if required.


From Dylan Hoen's Homepage: Camperized Chevy Astro Van http://www.hoen.ca/things_i_have_built/camperized_van/

Re: Camperized Astro/Safari - Share your pictures

April 17th 2013, 7:55pm

Thanks for posting the pictures. I will be building a camper interior in my 2005 Astro, and it really helps to see what other people have done.

I am thinking I want the bed lower, so that someone could sit on the edge of the bed and not hit their head on the ceiling. This would mean that the top of the mattress would be at an elevation above the floor very close to the same as the front seats. Of course this reduces the storage space underneath the bed. I don't think the bed needs to be quite as large as shown in your pictures. I was thinking a "full" sized bed would be fine, and would leave some space for cabinets from floor to ceiling. All comments and ideas are welcome. I haven't started building yet.

Re: Camperized Astro/Safari - Share your pictures

April 19th 2013, 10:45pm

Some other pictures of camperized Astro/Safari from Internet, can't remember source.




Re: Camperized Astro/Safari - Share your pictures

April 20th 2013, 12:49am

if i were to camperize mine, it would be something like this.


Re: Camperized Astro/Safari - Share your pictures

April 21st 2013, 7:46am

Jasen wrote:if i were to camperize mine, it would be something like this.


That is one sweet built if you are looking at adding full moon roof that would be very cool (I think) :)

Re: Camperized Astro/Safari - Share your pictures

April 22nd 2013, 11:16pm

That is a serious dream catcher on the ceiling!

Re: Camperized Astro/Safari - Share your pictures

April 24th 2013, 5:53am

I had a build thread going but I haven't updated it for quite a while.

Here's some in-action pictures from last year in Wyoming;
In bed mode:

I can roll back the bedding and with the bed platform partly extended it's a cooking counter.

I've got two deep cycle batteries good for 250 amp/hours and a 1500 watt pure sine wave inverter, which also powers my fridge, almost visible at the far right. My power system runs the fridge, 12v lights, ceiling vent fan, charges laptop and cameras, and occasionally runs Mr coffee. In moderate weather the batteries will go for 3 days and stay in the sweet zone above 50% charge. Batteries recharge from the van's alternator when I'm driving.

Early morning on the road, brewing a pot of coffee:

I've got privacy curtains, but I only like to use them in public camp areas, or stealth camping. Here you can see the fridge on the left.

New addition for this year is a Thetford portable/cassette toilet.
My setup is not pretty, but it's super-functional. By design, I can pull off anywhere and I am set up without even having to get out of the van. Everything i need is accessible from inside, which is really nice when stealth camping. In 2011 and 2012 I've covered 12,000 miles camping over 60 days, almost entirely dry-camping in the National Forests. This June I'm leaving on a 6,000 mile lap of Northern California and the PNW.

2012, Huron National Forest in Michigan:
huron nf.JPG

Re: Camperized Astro/Safari - Share your pictures

May 6th 2013, 6:33am

These are some pictures of what the previous owner gave to me when i bought the van in 07.

They are window inserts that block out the sun completely... they are a little old now and slightly stained because I was not able to take care of them while away when my brother had my van for 3 years. But they still work wonderfully although one of these days I will probably recover them as they are starting to show there 16 years...

Duh, the rear of the van.. There is one piece of the carpeting in the back the PO glued down(why I don't know)
The other piece he decided to put on a backer board.
Close up of the backer board material. Plus this is also what the window shades are made of.

Window Shades
Curtain - I plan on remaking this curtain for a little more light blockage effects, probably sew some krynolin in to the top of above the bar and make that like 3" to take the gap away. Plus use a less translucent material.

Re: Camperized Astro/Safari - Share your pictures

May 6th 2013, 6:17pm

I like the Windows shade idea. Have to think about creating something similar :)

Re: Camperized Astro/Safari - Share your pictures

May 7th 2013, 12:35am

Eventually I am going to recover these ones, I will have to make a whole new back one, I think he made it out of cardboard or something, it is really flimsy not at all as firm as the side window ones. So it has some folds in it now. But that shouldn't be to hard to do.
I just need to find a nice neutral gray color.

Re: Camperized Astro/Safari - Share your pictures

May 12th 2013, 4:01pm

Hmmm the perfect place to post some recent pictures of my van interior.

Originally I wanted to keep my rear most seat in the van at all times, so I decided to build a fold out platform off of the seat. As soon as I finished building it I thought it was stupid and took it out within the next couple of days.


I settled on just using a cot bungeed down to the seat mounts on the floor. Lightweight, comfortable and easily removed. Plus underneath makes for excellent storage. My new LED lights are pretty cool too.


In progress. Definitely needs a passenger seat swivel base. Also need to figure out a good way to build a small kitchenette on the rear passenger side too. The one pictured above with the sink looks pretty good.


Re: Camperized Astro/Safari - Share your pictures

May 13th 2013, 7:03am

@Philly758 Looks good -Wouldn't work for me as there are two of us (me&wife).

What kind of LED light did u used?

Re: Camperized Astro/Safari - Share your pictures

May 13th 2013, 10:06pm

My van in its minimalist "base camp" camper format using mostly my backpacking equipment and an inflatable air mattress. When sleeping inside the van, I like the inflatable mattress as it takes up little space when deflated, sets up in a few minutes and is one of the more comfortable options. The rest of my gear is all backpacking type stuff - sleeping bags (35° and -5°), backpacks, water filter/portable water storage, MSR stove, etc. I would like to add some window coverings for privacy when stealth camping.


Going a little less minimalist but still camping style, my van with Camping Lab rooftop tent which mounts to roof rack folds out, pops open and supported by the aluminum ladder on the overhang side. I added four additional crossbars to the rack in order to help better distribute the load of the tent.

I love this thing with a decently fast setup time, it's up and out of the way, 3" foam mattress, great ventilation with protection from bugs and a rain fly to keep things dry it's very nice to sleep in.


I originally wanted a smaller rtt that when set up, opens out over the rear hatch so I would have the passenger side free for a full length awning but this larger one came up for a great deal and so went with it and it's great to have the extra room for one - two people. When I do add an awning to the passenger side, I'll rotate the tent to open over the driver's side. This will give me more room to lounge and cook under the awning with easy access to the van.

With the van growing in height, I need to add a ladder extension to make the climb a bit less vertical. I usually place a folding aluminum work platform in front of the ladder for an extra step at the bottom and use another one under the overhang as a platform for cooking, eating, etc. Adding a changing room enclosure to the area beneath the overhang would be great to have for use a shower room as well.


I'll be modifying the cover to roll up out the way as there isn't enough room to keep it stuffed between the tent and roof. I'll either add some rope rings and velcro straps to the overhang or make the cover detachable. Another reason to have it open over the driver's side, the cover hanging down wouldn't affect anything.


Lighting is the next hurdle, I'll be installing some led light strips inside the tent and on the overhang for some additional night lighting. I'll try to remember to get some interior shots as well.


The tent is down right now for modification and a few small repairs. I also picked up two older vintage Coleman stoves, one three burner and a two burner, both Coleman fuel/white gas. The three burner is from the mid-60's and the two burner from early 70's. I bought them from the original owner and we both were excited they are going to see some use again!


They both do work but before I take them out for use, I'm going to rebuild them and also try out a propane conversion kit to see how I like that. I can always keep that on hand and have multiple fuel options when traveling.



Re: Camperized Astro/Safari - Share your pictures

May 13th 2013, 11:52pm


Would like to see some pix of how that rooftop tent erects if you have any. How difficult is it to set up?

Re: Camperized Astro/Safari - Share your pictures

May 14th 2013, 12:05am

Once I get it back on the van, I'll take some more photos and of the interior. If I just want to open to crawl inside and sleep it's a matter of minutes. A little bit more time to install rain fly and window prop rods but still less than ten minutes.

This quick video helps show how it pivots over using the ladder lift:
Last edited by Corsemoto on May 14th 2013, 1:18am, edited 1 time in total.

Re: Camperized Astro/Safari - Share your pictures

May 14th 2013, 1:00am

that camping lab tent is pretty sweet... How much did you end up paying for it? if you don't mind me asking? I think I read on here you bought it on craigslist in florida? I tried to look up their site, but their USA site doesn't seem to be working.

Re: Camperized Astro/Safari - Share your pictures

May 14th 2013, 1:35am

It was a sweet enough deal for me to drive down to the treasure coast and pick up. ;) As a bonus, I met a really nice fellow adventure traveler and got to spend some quality time driving up and down the coast wandering around on the beach and in the ocean.

That size rtt retails for around $1200 shipped, there are more expensive and less expensive brands out there and I'm happy with it so far. As for Camping Lab US, not sure what is going on, they never replied to my inquiries about a changing room or ladder extension so I figure I will have to adapt something from another brand or make something.

A few interior photos I found from a smaller version:



Re: Camperized Astro/Safari - Share your pictures

May 14th 2013, 3:04am

Yeah, thats the prices I was seeing on them too... How does it hold up in windy situations? Does it have a lot of bounce when your climbing aroud up there on top of the truck?
They do look very tempting, maybe when I get an extra 1200 dollars in my pocket I will pick one up, I just spent 1200 on my lift...

Re: Camperized Astro/Safari - Share your pictures

May 14th 2013, 3:16am

It is stable and doesn't move at all, I don't know if the two factory crossbars would be enough to support it with two people inside. I wanted to keep it as low profile on the roof as possible so I didn't pursue any aftermarket rack or cargo basket options and stayed with factory rack and added crossbars. Eventually, I'll ditch the factory rack and build a custom full rack for mounting rtt, accessories and a few auxiliary lights front and rear.

It fine in the wind, I'll either stake the ladder in place sometimes or attach a tie down strap to something heavy to weight it down as a precaution but it doesn't really ever move or lift on the overhang side.

There is a bit of a hit to mpg and can be noticeable when driving with a crosswind but I suppose I have gotten used to it by now.
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