Categories: Our Hacks | Aesthetic | Body | Conversion | Electrical | Engine | Extended | Flooring | Food Truck | Interior | Mechanical


I just installed the interior LED upgrade kit from Van Cafe and it is fantastic. These new LEDs use 90% less energy, but provide amazing light. The new bright white light is so much better than my old interior festoon bulbs, and I can clearly see the entire interior of my Vanagon during the day or night if the lights are on. Unfortunately my camera cannot adequately capture how great the improvement really is. The picture above doesn’t do it justice, but trust me, they are awesome!

The kit was easy to install and makes a big difference. The new bulbs are just slightly larger in some cases so you have to squeeze them in there. It’s really not a big deal at all and well worth it. I bought the kid for $30 and the improvement in the map light is almost worth the entire kit. I can finally see in my glove box! I would highly recommend this upgrade to every Vanagon owner. Your eyes and your battery will thank you.

If you’re looking for an upgrade kit you can get one from Van Cafe or GoWesty. I order from both companies on a regular basis and both are fantastic!


Anyone who owns a Vanagon knows the lighting situation isn’t ideal. I have a fluorescent light, but sometimes you need more discreet lighting options. Sylvania makes the DoT-it LED lights that are magnetic, and can be place almost anywhere.

I use these lights for indirect lighting when I’m in some kind of stealth situation. They provide enough light to get around, but cannot be seen from the outside of the van with my 5% tint. If I draw the drapes, there is no way anyone could see the light in the van, yet I can see perfectly well. Read the rest of this entry to see examples of how we use these lights.


We’ve been carrying our EVDO data card with us so we can get online in the van, but that didn’t seem like a Vanagon Hack, so we decided to get a more permanent WiFi solution in the Vanagon. As you can see in the video, we wired the outlet to the stereo for on/off capabilities.

More pictures after the jump…


We decided to put a few cup holders around the front area of the Vanagon. We ordered them from GoWesty, and put some in beside the shifter, and on the side of the passenger’s seat. Now we can carry drinks for everyone in the van.

Around the shifter

Around the shifter

Below the passenger's seat

Below the passenger's seat

Our Mods, Fixes, Hacks


We’ve been looking for new wheels for the Vanagon for quite awhile now. Why do we want new wheels? It’s all about the ride. Some people want nice looks, but we want a nice ride. The stock wheels come with reinforced sidewalls which makes the ride quite rough. We think we can get a larger rim, with a shorter tire and it will actually feel better because the sidewalls won’t be quite as stiff. We’d also like slightly wider tires for better handling.


Feb 13, 2007 | Category: @Our Hacks, Body


This hack was a lot of fun. I saw another vanagon that had one of these and I just HAD to have it. I ordered this bottle opener from a company called Homebrewers Outpost and we were in business. We painted it, and then installed it.

I get so many comments about this little hack and it works great!


Probably the coolest hack we’ve tried is the green lights over the AC controls. All Vanagon owners know there are no lights for the AC controls. We got some LEDs from Radio Shack and my brother somehow managed to wire them in.

We removed the controls from the dash, drilled some holes and inserted the LEDs. The picture isn’t so good but believe me, it works very well.

Now when we drive at night the A/C controls are illumniated and it looks like it should’ve always been that way.

I tried to take a better picture without the flash that would show the illuminated lights, but it didn’t really work. Sorry.

UPDATE: Here is a better picture…


Because I want to use my laptop in my vanagon, we picked up an accessory plug and installed it next to the table in the back. Perfect!

First we drilled the hole and fished the wires

First we drilled the hole and fished the wires

Final Result

Final Result



Feb 13, 2007 | Category: @Our Hacks, Accessories, Interior

I bought a center console from Wal-Mart which appears to be the same one that GoWesty sells for $100. I paid $39 or so. I popped it in the van but it wasn’t very stable…so we added some weight to the bottom.




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