How to convert a van into a camper van

This comprehensive and FREE guide walks you through every aspect of your DIY camper van build – from choosing a van, to solar, insulation, …

What is the easiest van to convert into a camper?


The Sprinter Van is by far the most popular van for camper van conversions. Sprinter vans are durable, versatile, and most are built as cargo vans so their interiors are highly customizable.

What size van is best for camper conversion?

Large vans With long-wheel bases and higher head height, larger vans offer an ideal solution for your campervan adventures. Mercedes-Benz Sprinter – The ultimate large van for campervan conversions, the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is one of the largest vans for conversion.

What are the steps to converting a van?

The Ultimate Van Conversion Checklist

  1. Start a Budget. You likely have no idea how much your van conversion will cost, at this point. …
  2. Figure out what type of travel you want to do. …
  3. Get inspired! …
  4. Evaluate your needs by making ‘Must-Have’ and ‘Nice-to-have’ lists. …
  5. Choose your van.

How much does it cost to convert a van into a campervan UK?

On average, it costs between £1,000 and £5,000 to convert a small campervan. In comparison, it costs between £2,000 and £10,000 to convert a large campervan.

Is it cheaper to buy a van and convert it to a camper?

Is it cheaper to convert a campervan than buy one? The answer is, yes. DIY conversions can save you a lot of money, and you can simply convert the van to whatever standards your budget allows. You’ll save loads on labour costs by converting your own van too.

Is converting van to camper legal?

Is it legal to convert a van into a campervan? Before undertaking the task of investing hours into transforming your soon-to-be beloved campervan, you want to know if it’s going to be legally passed as such. In short, yes, you absolutely can convert your van into a campervan.

How much does it cost to transform van to camper?

If you’re going to do it properly, he says, it could take about Rs 14-16 lakh (Rs 8-10 lakh for a 14-seat used Traveller and Rs 5-6 lakh to convert it with all the bells and whistles of cooking area and toilet and everything).

Is it difficult to convert a van to a camper?

Building a camper van is not too tricky however it can take a little time. Doing so is more affordable than purchasing another van. You can either go with no frills or decide on the most delightful enhancements around. Some people who like to travel like an approach that strikes the perfect harmony between the two.

Do you have to tell the DVLA if you convert a van to a camper?


Since rules changed in October 2019, there is no legal requirement to register a van as a campervan: a conversion can still be DVLA-registered as a panel van or similar, and a conversion van can legally be used as a campervan as long as it’s properly insured.

What is the first thing to do when converting a van?


The first real step in any DIY campervan conversion is stripping out the current interior of the van and giving it a good clean. How long this takes will depend on the type of van you’ve bought and whether you discover any problems along the way.

How much should I budget for a van conversion?

A professional van conversion typically starts right around $30,000 for a minimal interior build. That does not include the price of the van. Typically, a professional van conversion company will charge $100,000+ plus for their campervan buildouts.

How long does it take to convert a van to a camper?

A DIY van conversion can take anywhere from 3 weeks to 3 years, depending on your experience, the tools available, your competing commitments and your vision for the build. In this article we will take a look at several van to campervan conversion owners and ask them how long their builds took.

Can you convert a van yourself?

Converting a van can be an exciting DIY project – and doing it yourself can save you money, too. But there are certain tasks that you should enlist professionals for – namely the electricity and gas installation.

Is it legal to convert a van into a camper UK?

DVLA will only consider changing the body type to motor caravan (motorhome) if the vehicle meets the following three requirements: The body type shown on your V5C registration certificate (log book) is one of those shown in the list below. Motor caravan external permanent features. Motor caravan internal features.

Can you live permanently in a van?

There is no law stating that you cannot live in a motorhome, camper, or converted van full time. My personal opinion still remains that most people don’t believe that anyone would want to live in a van, and that the ones that do either love it or pretend that us vanlifers don’t exist.

Can you live in a camper van permanently?


Can you live in a motorhome all year round? Of course, you can, if you want. However, bear in mind that in the winter, when it’s off-season for many campsites and caravan parks, finding overnight parking facilities isn’t automatically assured.

Do you save money living in a campervan?

It depends on your lifestyle, but living in a van full time can be a clever way to save on rent and bills. Of course, there are other van life costs to consider – insurance, breakdown cover and fuel will be some of your major expenses.

Do van Conversions hold their value?

The question of whether campervans hold their value largely depends on the actions of the owner. A well-maintained campervan with a few mods might even sell for a higher price than it was bought for. It is worth noting that buying and selling a used campervan will almost always result in a smaller loss than a new one.

How do I reclassify my van to my camper?

How to submit your application to the DVLA

  1. To submit your campervan reclassification to the DVLA, you must submit a completed ‘motor caravan’ conversion checklist and a V5C showing one of the required body types. …
  2. For full details on what to include and where to send the information, you can check the DVLA website.

Do you have to declare a van conversion?

If you’ve had your campervan converted to go away on holiday, chances are you’ve added pop-top, seats, windows, kitchen fittings, insulation, power supplies, gas systems the list goes on. All these things are classed as modifications and so must be declared with your insurer.

Is it cheaper to insure a van or a campervan?

Primarily, camper vans tend to be cheaper to insure because of how they’re used. People usually drive their campers very safely because they’re a big investment. They also usually drive their campers from their driveway to a campsite, stay static for a few weeks, then drive home.

How much does a DIY camper van cost?


A typical modern campervan conversion usually costs between $5,000-$15,000 dollars. This is usually enough to build a comfortable DIY campervan with basic home-like comforts.

How much does it cost to insulate a van?

How much does it cost to insulate your van? You should be able to fully insulate your van with Havelock Wool sheep’s wool insulation for about $300 to $600 (including shipping), depending on the size of your van.

Is it cheaper to live in a converted van?

Generally it is cheaper to live in a campervan, but it just depends on how you spend your money. If you like to cook your own meals, are in an area where you can camp for free and don’t drive 200 miles each day, it will most likely be cheaper to live in a campervan.

Do I need to insurance my van as a campervan?

No, you can’t drive a campervan on your car insurance. Your insurance needs to be appropriate for the vehicle you drive, and a campervan isn’t the same as a car. Even if you have a converted campervan, then you need to get campervan insurance, rather than relying on your car insurance.

Do campervans pay road tax?

Also known as Vehicle Excise Duty (VED), road tax is a government-required tax on all vehicles, motorhomes included.

How old does a campervan have to be to be tax exempt?

40 years ago

‎Classic campervans If your motorhome or campervan was built or first registered more than 40 years ago, you are exempt from paying road tax. You still have to ‘tax’ your motorhome or campervan even though you don’t have to pay by applying for vehicle tax exemption.

What is the difference between a conversion van and a campervan?


What Are the Main Differences? In a very general sense, the main difference between a Class B motorhome and a conversion van is that a conversion van has a wider range of uses, depending on what it was originally converted for.

What do you use to insulate a van?


PIR insulation is an excellent choice because it is lightweight, moisture resistant, affordable, non-toxic and fire resistant. Foam boards come in a range of thicknesses and are excellent choices for insulating the ceiling and floor of a van conversion.

What vans are best for conversions?

Overall, the Promaster is a great base for your van conversion. We love converting them, just like we love converting the Sprinter vans and Transit vans. A Promaster van conversion is a great option for you if you’re looking to keep it simple, affordable, yet functional and don’t need a 4×4 or AWD option.

How do van lifers make money?


There are lots of options for van lifers to make money on the road that don’t involve computers or digital work. If you’re creative, you may want to consider making art or other physical products and selling them online (check out Etsy) and in-person while traveling in your van.

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Tony Conover

Tony Conover, owner of Conover Racing & Restorations, Inc., has been in the car restoration business since 1977. His love of the Ford Mustang and Shelby, along with his vast knowledge of the history of these cars, led him to focus on Ford's classic muscle cars since 1977, with particular focus on Shelby Mustangs, and he believes that he has probably restored more R-models than any other restoration shop in the country. He fondly remembers the overwhelming originality of 5R531, which retained all of its original sheet metal, a far cry from many of the exhaustively raced and frequently damaged examples that have passed through his care over the years. Following Mr. Conover’s exacting year-long restoration, the car was bought in September 1990 by Buddy Belzer, of Rapid City, South Dakota, and soon after, it embarked on a successful exhibition run. Presented at the SAAC-18 meet at Watkins Glen in July 1993, 5R531 drove away with the 3rd place Popular Vote in the R-model class.

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