PB Plumber's Small, Plywood-Upfit Plumbing Van

Seasoned and functional build


USED FOR Plumbing Heating
MODEL Vauxhall Vivaro Sportive
BODY Mid-Size Cargo Van


Floor storage
Ceiling storage
Roof storage
Wired electric
Stand inside?

See more of GV Booth Plumbing and Heating


Add a sacrificial plywood layer to your floor. more »
Create toolkits for specific jobs. more »
Make cutouts in cheap plastic bins. more »



GV Booth Plumbing and Heating

Loughborough United Kingdom

Peter is uses his Vauxhall Vivaro Sportive for plumbing and gas engineering in his family's multi-generational plumbing and heating business in the UK.

Peter's got lots of great plumbing content on his Youtube channel. He's also designed a tool bag in concert with Velocity Pro Gear that you can see here.

Plywood Shelves and Platform

The foundation of this plumbing van's organization is plywood shelving. Unlike most plywood shelving we've seen, the side racking is not DIY - it's a commercial product from MK Ply Lining. They make racking for several different makes and models of vans in the UK.

Peter used some inexpensive plastic bins to store some materials on the shelves. While many folks will pull out their bins to see what's inside and make it easier to grab things, he cuts out the front of the bins. Simple, easy-access storage bins!

The shelves mostly hold inventory, while tools are mostly on the floor in tool bags.

He uses Festool mini-organizers for small parts.

Peter made a platform on the floor that spans the van's plywood shelves. While many platforms or floor drawer units have pull out drawers, he instead left short storage cubbies at the rear of the van that hold Stanley FatMax organizers.

Storing Long Materials Inside

One of the cool features of this Vauxhall van model is the hatch in the bulkhead on the passenger side. It can be opened up to take 3 meter lengths of material, which will protrude onto the floor of the cab.

Since his platform frame prevents long materials from being stored through the hatch, Peter cut a hole in the framing for access. He simply removes any storage containers in the way and slides in the material. Very simple and inexpensive!

There is no hatch on the driver side, but he cut another hole to still be able to store offcuts of material and long tools that otherwise don't have a tidy place to go.

PB Plumber's Small, Plywood-Upfit  Plumbing Van
PB Plumber's Small, Plywood-Upfit Plumbing Van Image from PBPlumber

A Little Extra Tool Theft Protection

Many UK tradespeople talk a lot about theft problems and have various solutions. Peter secures power tools and other expensive items inside a locked steel toolbox that bolts to the plywood platform in the van. This won't stop thieves, but it will slow them down once they've gotten in.

On Board Power

Peter has probably the simplest and cleanest battery charging system we've seen, enabled by the van's power plug at the back. It's a 12 volt plug right at the passenger rear cargo door. He was able to simply plug in a small inverter that powers his Makita and flashlight battery chargers.

Bringing Power on the Job

Peter uses a Festool PowerHub to have a clean, grid-connected power supply. It comes with an extension cord, four external outlets, and one internal outlet. Festool only sells these as 230V although you could convert it to 120V.

The power unit is sandwiched between:

  1. One Festool organizer with a Makita charger and bits.
  2. One Festool organizer with bits and accessories.

One of the benefits to a setup like this is that your power splitting and power tool accessories can all be in one place and won't be spread and snaked around the customer's floor.

If you work inside people's homes and businesses a lot, this is a pretty clean solution for a mobile power tool center.

Clean It Up

Peter clearly knows how important a clean jobsite is: Wipes and a battery-powered vacuum cleaner are mounted right at the back of the van and are easy to grab.

Some companies focus extensively on cleanliness in their marketing since they know that having a stranger in your home can be a big deal for some customers. By showing a commitment to leaving the job clean, you signal to customers that you know their fears and that they don't need to worry.

Small Ladders

Peter has two ladders in the van, a short stepladder and a platform.

The platform is a Youngman Odd Job Work Platform with a two-step height. While some tradespeople carry a lightweight, thin two-step ladder, this does give a larger standing platform in an only slightly bulkier package.

See More:

Check out more of Peter's videos:

Get work trucks and tips in your mailbox.

Your time is precious. We write about organization, tools, and techniques that make tradespeople work faster and more efficiently. Subscribe to get our articles and tips in your inbox.

We will not spam you.