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Tips for Converting a Van to a Camper

Posted by Lauren Middleton on Aug 28th 2020

There has a been a recent trend in the United States of older and young adults restoring vans and converting them into small campers to travel in. With hotel prices on the rise, travelers are looking to save on lodging by camping out in converted vans instead. Going on long road trips is going to be popular after the pandemic is over and these vans make it easy with all of their conversion options. From gas stoves to entertainment systems, these vans can be your home away from home. We carry several different auto body parts for different brands of vans. That’s why our article this week will focus on tips for converting a van to a camper.

First you’ll have to choose the van you want to work with and plan out your budget. When choosing the van, you’ll want to take the following into consideration. How much space do you need inside the van? What is your level of mechanical ability? If you’re buying an older van; will you able to find the right parts? Some popular camper conversion vans are the Sprinter Van, Cargo Van, High Top Conversion, and VW Vanagon.

Next you’ll need to decide what amenities you want the van to have. Simplicity is obviously cheaper so if you have a smaller budget, a van with simple bed and desk would work well. If your budget is larger, you can add installations such as a food prep area, fold up dining table, small refrigerator, or even a stand up shower. A good thing about a converted van camper is that you can still cook meals and have access to plumbing if you park it at a campground. If you prefer to “rough it” a bit more, you can always pull over to a safe area and cook over a campfire or gas stove.

When you begin to work on your van, you should have some tools and equipment prepared to make the task easier. These include the following; jigsaw, drill, pencil, measuring tape, level, and cleaning products. You may need more tools so you’ll have to research what you need for specific projects. Once you have basic build for the van done, there are several other items you can purchase to make it more luxurious. Insulation can keep your van warm in cold or cooler in hot weather. Solar panels can provide a battery charging source for cellphones and laptops.