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What You Need To Know When Converting A Van For Camping

Sailun Tires

As #vanlife is taking over the internet, the idea of living in a converted van is gaining huge traction. However, many people give up on that idea when they realize how much work has to go into the process. 

Thankfully for you, you’ve found this article. Which is going to take you through everything you need to know when converting a van for camping. You’re about to discover it’s not as difficult as you first thought. 

There’s a lot to cover today, so. Let’s jump straight into it…

Set yourself a budget 

All successful projects start with a strict budget. You don’t want to get halfway through the project and run out of money. If you don’t know where to start with creating this budget, try researching how much other people’s conversions cost – here is an example – and check out this guide on saving for big projects

Set yourself a time frame 

The S.M.A.R.T goals system tells us that giving a project a deadline increases the chance of it being completed. Concrete or external deadlines work best. Why not plan a van holiday, this gives you a deadline by which your van has to be complete or you can’t go.

If you’re a little tight on time and don’t have time to see the project out fully, then you can also go the route of finding custom van builders and see if they have something that suits your needs.

Make a list of your requirements 

The next step is to make a list of everything you want and need in your van. You may have already done this when putting together your budget. 

The main benefit of converting your own van is that you are in control of the final product. You can create a van that will exactly suit your needs. 

It’s best to have an idea about what kind of trips you want to be taking before doing this step. If you want to visit mainly campsites then you probably won’t need a shower or a toilet. However, if you want to do wild camping, or park up on beaches then you will need these facilities. 

As standard, you will want a bed, table, chairs, a cooking area, ventilation, gas, electricity, and insulation in your van.  

What size van do you want? 

The next question you need to ask is, what size van do I want? You also need to think about what sized van you will need to fit all your requirements in. 

Going for a smaller van will save you money, but you will not be able to keep much in your van. There are clever storage methods to make the most out of this space. But until we invent the pocket dimension you will struggle to fit more than a bed and a cooking space in a small van. 

Whilst offering you more space, bigger vans do come at a greater cost. 

Insulate your van 

This is a no brainer. It gets cold at night, unless you insulate your van you will get really cold too and risk getting ill. You should consider soundproofing your van as you insulate it. You’ll be thanking us for that tip next time you’re sleeping soundly at a busy campsite. 

Don’t forget ventilation 

Getting the ventilation and insulation ratio right can be tricky but it is possible. A custom van building company will be able to help you with this issue. 

Many popular vans for conversion come with the ventilation pre-built into the van. Then you simply have to build your insulation around this. Otherwise, you will have to start from scratch.  

Install gas and electricity 

You will need to have gas and electricity systems installed in the van. A key thing to work out is how you plan to top these up whilst you are out on the road. 

Please hire a professional to install these systems for you. There are many things you can do yourself when covering a van. However, this task is dangerous and if done wrong things will only get more dangerous. 

Install water storage 

You may not need to install any water storage if you are planning to camp exclusively at campsites. However, if you’re interested in the #vanlife then a water storage system will be essential. 

You will need somewhere to store fresh water and somewhere to store the wastewater too. 

Decorate and install the furniture 

Now, we’ve got the fun bit. It’s time to make your van feel like a home. This is the bit where most people exceed their budget so think carefully about what you need, and what you can go without. 

You’ll have no trouble finding pre-build van furniture online, or if you’re handy with a saw you may be able to build your own. 


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