Vans are commercial vehicles that you would normally associate with tradesmen, but they also have a number of other uses too, not just for industry but for leisure also. For example, many people take ordinary vans and convert them into self-contained camper vans, which are great for those who wish to take to the open roads and then park at a scenic and safe caravan park for the night (or for a few nights).
There are many benefits to having a caravan; it’s a much nicer place to sleep in than a tent, your vehicle is your home so you can go wherever you want, whenever you want, without having to pack up loads of stuff, and let’s face it; they are just cool!
If you are considering getting your own camper van, you might have noticed that they are rather expensive, even used, so an alternative that many people opt for which saves them a small fortune is to just buy a used van and convert it into a camper-van themselves. Here is a handy guide that shows you what you need in order to complete this conversion.
Planning your Conversion
Assuming you have already been to a dealer that sells used vans and bought the van of your choice, the first thing you need to do is plan your camper van conversion. Here are some things that you should consider as part of the planning process:
- Storage Space
You should ensure that you can access everything within your camper van as easily as possible, and also provide enough space for all of the people that are traveling with you. For sleeping purposes, most camper vans have fold-out beds known as “rock and roll beds” which are three-piece units.
OK, so the first thing everyone will probably think of is a kettle, but many camper vans have a whole host of appliances incorporated within their design, such as fridges, microwaves, ovens, toasters and grilles.
Everyone that travels in a camper van will require storage space for food, drink, cutlery and plates, cups, clothes, toiletries, in fact, many things that you will have at home. As you are working within a confined space, you might sometimes have to be a bit creative about storage locations, so make good use of areas such as overhead or underneath seats (as long as it is safe to do so).
Tools and Skills Required
DIY camper van conversions are extremely involved and require a number of skills that most experienced DIYers will have, and a number of power tools such as drills, saws, and drivers, as well as a number of hand tools for doing intricate work such as electrical wiring.
However, if you are not comfortable with doing the bulk of the work yourself, there are plenty of companies that offer camper van conversion services – although it is worth bearing in mind that they are not cheap!
You can expect to pay on average a minimum of £8,000 for a professional camper van conversion, so you can see that it is worthwhile doing it yourself as the bulk of conversion prices are labor costs.