ARTICLE : How We Built Our Toyota Hiace Campervan [part 2]


To continue with where we left off with our Van Build 2.0 of Mama Bear our Toyota Hiace 2.5 Diesel – there was water coming into our van through these brand new sliding windows that were installed by the seller of this van. These are not the original windows that came with our Toyota Hiace and the reason is because it was originally a government registered panel van. In order for us to be able to own it under a personal use vehicle – the seller had to install windows.

We did go through the motions of not sealing these windows off but that would mean creating a small drainage in the walls of our camper which is currently filled with insulation that is difficult to remove. Should we create this drainage, we might have water seep into the wall panels and that would be a big headache in future.

We don’t want to have to go through future leaks ANYWHERE so we’ve decided to just use sealant and permanently shut our windows. We have three roof vents and front windows that can properly ventilate our van’s interior so sealing shut these windows won’t impact us too much.


NEXT UP – window shades by a company based in Kajang. Seeing as Mama Bear is so rare here in Malaysia we had to custom make our window shades and Rene managed to convince them to use ours as a mold for selling shades for Toyotas like ours abroad. These shades allow us to wind our windows down during rain. This cost us RM200.


When we first started #Vanlife three years ago, we bought ourselves a Goal Zero Boulder 90 watt solar panel and a Goal Zero Yeti 400 (33AH AGM Battery System). We travelled and shot Season 1 and 2 with this set up and found ourselves struggling because our power usage was way over what the Yeti 400 could provide. We desperately needed an upgrade but couldn’t afford to change to a bigger Goal Zero so a supporter of our channel named Gengesh provided us with a 75AH Deep Cycle AGM Battery System.

We still find our Goal Zero very useful and we have a good spot to place our little Yeti 400. The Boulder 90 watt Solar Panel is going to go onto our custom roof rack made by the boys at RMS Multi Trading and Services in Kajang.

The Goal Zero Boulder is a very heavy, high quality piece of glass so we’ve custom made a metal frame to securely lock it in place. The boys at RMS designed a small awning extension which helps us cover our roof vent fan. This is great because now our Goal Zero Solar Panel can now serve two purposes – one to charge a battery and two – it acts as a rain cover. We get to use our vent fan during rainy days. Proper ventilation inside a metal box is key important if you’re concerned about condensation and mold.


Ok, finally we get to the interior “FUN” bit. From our previous Van Build experience, we bring back the use of this VitalBand Bitumen Flashing Tape. This is a great for sound dampening vibrations. We bought it from a factory in Rawang called Vtech. They sell a wide range of products that we use for our van build. The window sealant and silicone gap fillers are also from Vtech. This tape is waterproof and extremely sticky. It’s heavy too so we don’t plaster the entire van with this stuff. Weight is very important for us to monitor in our build because we plan on travelling very long distances – every kg saved in weight is saved in RM (money) for fuel.


You can buy this from Shopee. Van Build supplies are so easy to find now compared to when we were building our first DIY Campervan back in 2017. Almost everything we use is ordered online from two platforms Lazada and Shopee. It’s Malaysia’s version of Amazon. Saves us time and money driving from shop to shop looking for stuff.

The heat insulation we bought has a sticky back to it and is really easy to lay down. It’s around 10mm thick so it is a good cushion for our subfloor wood to sit on. The wall panels of our van came with insulation and we are keeping it as it is.

So now, we are ready for our subfloor install. NEXT UP – CARPENTRY!!


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