Beautiful Hand Converted Toyota 4×4 Van Conversion

This video is sponsored by RXBAR. For
25% off your first purchase go to Hey, my name is Alex Jackson and this is my little tiny home on wheels,
Norton. That’s short for El Norteño the northerner in Spanish. I am Canadian and
I’m down here in Baja. This is my little dog Willow and we like to travel
together. I’m minus my wife right now who’s off in Australia racing her bike. I have
been building vehicles since I was I think 17 or so. They’ve always been
Toyota. Started with a 87 Toyota 4Runner then it was an 88 pickup and then it was
a 96 Tacoma and then it was a 2013 Tacoma.
First it was a rooftop tent and then I bought like a little bowler which
to Americans is called a scamp. The two main things that I wanted for a
vehicle to live in was diesel and 4×4. I drove with my truck on the trailer,
dropped it off in Calgary, and then drove another like eight hours, picked up the
van, and drove it 12 hours back all in two days and then I had the van I’m like.
“okay, I’m gonna build this in a month and a half before I leave for my like going
south trip”, and got to work. A month and a half turned into this. It was
like eight hours a day seven days a week. This is my 98 Toyota Hiace.
It is a four-wheel-drive diesel, imported from Japan. This is my best answer to the
4×4 diesel question mark for vanlifing. I’ve got a little 2.8 liter
naturally aspirated diesel that gets me roughly about 24 miles per gallon, but I
don’t ever go over 60 miles an hour so roughly a hundred kilometers. I’ve
learned through the years that having exterior lighting is really really
paramount and super important so I mounted just a twenty inch light bar
down here. I also put side mounted lights up here and on the back so I can flick
those on when I’m looking off to the sides and when I’m backing up in
pitch dark. Because the van is quite small and I didn’t want to have a ton of
stuff on the inside I have this roof rack on top that I store a lot of my
tools, recovery gear, solar shower, solar panel. You’ll notice that because this is
imported from Japan it is a right-hand drive so I sit right here on top of the
motor. This is the motor right down here so far I’ve been loving this little van.
It’s gone everywhere I want it to. Points for reliability. One thing I did right
away on the van is I put BF Goodrich all-terrain KO2’s. I have this ARB
awning from a previous build of mine. Up until now I didn’t realize how much
of a lifesaver it is being able to like have shade wherever I go is really
really important. It’s like I don’t get heatstroke every day from standing out
in the Sun, yeah! One good thing if you don’t have a van big enough to have a
shower inside build yourself a cheap solar shower and it’s absolutely
fantastic especially when you’re dirt bagging the desert for like weeks on end
and you’re like covered in sand and grit and your hair just like *makes noise* and I can just
take an extension cord and go *bloop* right there and then my batteries are kept at
100% as long as it’s plugged into the wall. Welcome to the interior of my van. I wanted to be able to cook outside and
inside so I did the pull up kitchen thing. I got some 400-pound sliders and
they lock and I have my kitchen here. I bought a Primus stove. I got this stove
because it’s really really slim. It’s actually a two burner backpacking stove.
Here under a bunch of food I have my five pound propane canister just hooked
right into my stove. I can turn it off so it doesn’t leak or anything. I got my pantry
with all my food under here. I made a hatch so that when I’m on the inside of
the van I can just open it up and there’s my stove and I can cook inside
if it’s pouring rain outside and I don’t want to get out. I also made a little
hatch here so that I can get at my food. I have a fifty court ARB refrigerator in
there that runs on 12 volt. I have two AGM deep-cycle batteries under here
underneath my refrigerator hooked up into CTEK smart charger which
basically takes power from my starting battery and power from my solar and just
combines it and makes sure that my batteries are always kept properly
charged at 100%. I did all the wiring myself it was actually really easy. You just
basically have to make sure that everything is fused properly. I have a
thousand watt pure sine inverter in here for 120 volt power and then I also have
like that’s my like fuse block. It’s a Blue Sea fuse block and it just makes
everything really really clean. I have a really basic water system which is just
a jerrycan, but I had pretty much all the cabinetry finished and then I was like, “oh
shoot, where do I put the water?” so I modified this cabinet to store my water
so there’s just a big jerrycan in here that I can like pull out like this and
then I put it right beside my kitchen and fill up my pots and stuff like
that. I built this little shelf up here just to kind of hold odds and ends. I
wanted to maximize the storage so I built like all these cubbies pretty much
anywhere I could. I have kind of like pots, cups and stuff, extra comforter down
here. His-and-hers cubby. This is the bedding cubby and then we have this
little cubby down here that we put important documents or we can hide our
laptops and it’s kind of hard to see. I have a little control panel here of like
USB ports and then if I turn it on I can check the voltage of my battery.
Next is the coffee corner as we like to call it so I have this little fold down desk, but then we keep all of our coffee in here. I also have these
little Christmas light things up here that when you turn them on you get like
this really nice warm light that is great for just like you know reading
lights or setting the mood. We have a pull-out desk right here, right in the
wall, and this is great if you’re having coffee in the morning. My wife
uses this a lot she loves this little like a little nook. Next thing is the bed.
Of course I need to sleep in the van so I made it so that it folds out. So all I
need to do is move this. Also before I do this our clothing
is accessible underneath our bed so I have two drawers that you can access
from the back but you can also get to clothes underneath the bed. All I do now
is boom. I have these here, these here and then throw the pillows back there and there you go. Got like a I think the
bed is 6.5 f feet long by like 3.75 feet wide so it’s actually
like it’s a bigger bed than we need. We kind of determined that we could
probably do 6 foot by 3 foot and be like perfectly comfortable. All I need to do
is just go like this. There you go. You got a bench. I am a heavy
machinery operator on my father-in-law’s farm in Alberta so we have a large-scale
grain farm with a bison component as well. Basically for five months, six
months of the year I bust my ass in the sense that I sit in a cab for like
you know maybe average 15 hours a day but it can get up to 24 hours a day.
Crops got to go in when its got to go in. When it’s got to come off it’s got to come
off and so I just worked really really long hours in a tractor for six months, five
to six months of the year. I really like photographing I guess environments but
more so like how a vehicle component interacts with environments. I love
taking pictures of my vehicles like out in the middle of nowhere and I think I
would like to display through my photography that there’s a great big
world out there that you can go and explore really really easily if you just
kind of spend a bit of money, get into a vehicle, and just hit the road. I think
that people need to get out into the great big outdoors and
experience it for themselves instead of watching it on the screen. I hope you
enjoyed this week’s episode. If you did be sure to LIKE, comment and subscribe. If
you want to follow my adventures on Instagram you can find me @roaming_northamerica or @AJCMedia. Peace! Have a great week. RXBARs sent me a bunch of bars to taste-test and they’re giving you 25%
off your first purchase if you use the link in the description down below or if
you go to and use code Dylan at checkout
you will get 25% off your first purchase. RXBAR has 11 different flavors. I’ve
got 6 of them right here to taste. First up Coconut Chocolate. RXBARs.
They’re gluten free. They’re soy free. They’re dairy free. They
don’t have any added sugar, I really like that. They don’t have preservatives nor
do they have artificial colors or artificial flavors so they’re pretty
much like everything that you would want in a bar. Here we go. Three egg whites, six
almonds, four cashews and two dates. And no BS. Chewy, coco-nutty and a little sweet.
I like that one. Did I mention that they don’t have fillers either? So that’s
another thing. Peanut Butter. Tastes like peanut butter. Peanut Butter Chocolate. Ooh
this is gooey gluey. Egg whites for proteins. This is the accessible protein for your body to digest. Dates to bind them and nuts for texture. Next up we
got Blueberry. All that’s in here is real food and it tastes pretty great. Okay.
This is now the winner out of those four Blueberry’s the best in my opinion which
is correct. They’re great for all sorts of occasions.
You could you know toss it in your bag whenever you’re going on your next plane
flight, if you’re going to gym, if you’re going for a walk or if you’re gonna go eat at
the office. There’s Chocolate Sea Salt. I like the salt, I’ll take a
second bite. Last up is Mixed Berry. Mixed Berry mmm…
fruity and delicious. It’s a tight race between Blueberry and Mixed Berry.
Blueberry’s my favorite. If I were to recommended a flavor I’d recommend
Blueberry. Go to or use the link in the
description down below. Use code Dylan D-Y-L-A-N at your checkout to get
25% off your first purchase. I’m gonna go ahead and eat the rest of these and I
hope you have a great day! Thanks for watching.

100 thoughts on “Beautiful Hand Converted Toyota 4×4 Van Conversion

  1. Not sure when HiAce became Hiache but great build all the same, we had 3 HiAces and a LiteAce when I was a child, happy memories.

  2. Wow, I am loving the design on the inside outside kitchen. I've been looking at the options and that was very unique.

  3. Too tiny and no bathroom,,not my cupa tea,,Id like to get hybrid ev van or truck like this and turn that into rv

  4. I thought this guy was trying to be smart when he said Hi-Ace as High-ah-chee. Its almost as cringe-worthy as someone saying Yose-Mite park or Moe-Jave desert.

  5. The only bad thing about everything Toyota 4×4 is that its expensive, and rare….except where ISIS operates apparantly they almost seem to be sponsored by Toyota since they have like a million Hilux haha. They are hard to find!

  6. i see you toyota diesel 4×4 and raise you a dodge chinook 18+ rv with 4×4 conversion and 6bt cummins 😀

  7. H'mm well done for your skill. However, it seems to be a complete overkill. It's added so much extra weight to your fuel consumption. It's taken up a lot of space. The idea of van life I thought was to spend time outdoors not indoors. You have made your van crowded and complex when a few lift out plastic crates would have easily achieved the same purpose for little cost. And who the heck is that awful gay boy partner of yours giving a pigish presentation at the end of the vid? This really put me off my lunch.

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  9. Hi, great video and outstanding setting. You should post a video how did you design that van sofa bed. Keep rocking.

  10. We can all agree that buying an old van and doing it up is far better than buying a new van and going it up, they just don’t make them like they used to.

  11. Very, very impressive! Perhaps consider customizing and selling these vans in place of heavy equipment operating someday. Mega talent! On a side note, my friend introduced me to #pinzgauer after he purchased one as a family camping vehicle to move the beauty of his resident Colorado.

  12. I'm Canadian to eh. Port Alberni, Vancouver Islander. I have a 95 Delica. I subbed to you please sub to me. Thanks and cool channel, thumbs up eh.

  13. A 2.8 is not little it's classed has a mid to hi in the UK and Europe it's just the American way of using 4L to 7L engines which for the life of me I don't understand….I'm looking at a Toyota Hiace long wheel based vehicle to convert and go full time….thanks for the upload…nice van

  14. Love the van – simple and functional – all you need 🙂 PSE explain or show vid of that portable shower – how does it work?

  15. Wow, this is a realy cool and clever van, the bed pulley/hoist (sorry dont know the right english word, im from germany) at around 8:50 is genius 😀

  16. My only holdback is that I would still need an income to support myself! Can you point me in the right direction in remote work that I can either learn or do for income?

  17. This is one of the best small van conversions I've seen. I just imported a 2000 Delica to Vancouver Canada, and looking at converting now. What kind of racks are those, custom? And what did you do with the back door section? Is it just for cargo? I see a lot of people do their stove/cooking in the back section (cos its under cover), but with an awning I tihnk the side like yours is way better!

  18. If you guys want a left hand steering 4×4 diesel van get it from the Philippines, you guys can find Toyota's, Mitsubishi, and Nissan. And the most popular here is the Mitsubishi Delica 4×4 van. Others just use any ordinary diesel van here and convert it to 4×4 and its very cheap to do it here, part are cheap and labor as well. We get original parts from japan.

  19. …….best van tour…….actually panning the environment so viewers get a picture of designed living space……..not lovin' the tedious exams of drawers/wires/buttons, etc…….in most other 'tours'……..go with God…….. o/

  20. This is my favorite design of all of the van builds I've seen. I'm gunna be using this for inspiration when I start to map out my own. So fire.

  21. At the end of your video your wife wasn’t quite how I imagined her/him. Nice build though, the van I mean…

  22. nice use of slatwork and cutouts to enhance airflow and you're just cute as a bug in the way you describe things.

  23. I've always loved Hiaces (or as this guy says, a Hi-achee haha), but I really wish they would make them 4wd. Love the diesel models too, however, duel tanks would be great for actually getting around Australia and getting off the beaten track. Hoping to fit out another one soon! Great job man!

  24. I have the Hiace Commuter(High roof). It's a diesel 2.8 litre. They are commonly used here in Australia as taxis(airport shuttles &wheelchair access) . It's done over a million kilometres! Best vans ever. Judging by the fact you called it a hi-archy I'm guessing these aren't common in the US/Canada?? They are certainly common everywhere else

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