Garages and Work Spaces For Vehicle Conversion

Van Living Forum

Help Support Van Living Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


Sep 14, 2020
Reaction score
This thread is for those of us who don't have a garage or work space to work on a conversion or finish one.
It seems the only places to post wanted ads for work spaces online are this forum, brand or type-specific vehicle forums, local subs on Reddit, Craigslist and Facebook but not everyone uses some of those.

From my experience in the Northeast USA specifically southern NY most places will not rent short term, they want commercial businesses long term for 1 year leases or longer at high rents.
This locks out a lot of people, not just vehicle converters (car, van, truck, bus, rv, etc) , as I've talked with a wide range of people - motorcyclists, artists, woodworkers, hobbyists, etc who are all looking for affordable short or long term work/community spaces.

So just as there is a big demand for parking spaces with amenities for vehicle living, the same is true for work spaces.
I've driven by many abandoned and unused for sale/rent buildings pre and post covid as I am a truck driver who travels the NE region and it's too bad that most of them seem to be owned by people who just want to make the most money instead of getting creative and meeting the needs of people. These are complex issues for sure but the spaces and demand exist but the specific conditions or willingness seem to be lacking.

Some people have suggested making a temporary business and getting commercial insurance to rent a professional garage but all that is very expensive. The main reason/excuse I have heard from real estate and landlords is liability, they don't want to rent to non-pros in case the place is trashed or something else happens. The other side to this problem is you'll see some cheap garages but they are in poor condition whose owners just want to use them for storage. If you do eventually find a somewhat decent garage it may still be missing utilities/amenities and have other problems and the landlord may not work with you about fixing basic things and ask you to leave before you're done. This has been my experience.

If you have any ideas or solutions for this problem please discuss here as I've spent over 2 years researching, talking, etc and still can't find a place or people willing to create a community space in a larger building complex.

You can read more details about this subject here, and I've posted wanted ads (1, 2, 3) for my individual situation as I am still looking for a garage to finish my van. If I have any updates I'll post them.

Thanks for reading and "good luck."
Do a search on Google for do it yourself garages. These are fully equipped shops that allow you to use their shop and equipment and charge a hourly fee
I use a shop often in Rhode Island called Gearhead DIY Garage
Charge is 25 an hour

Latest posts