How To Transform Your Van Into A Campervan

November 16, 2017 at 2:46 PM

Whether you are simply looking for an easy way to get away for the weekend without needing a hotel, or if you are joining the increasing number of van-dwellers, there are many ways you can transform a standard van into a fully-functioning mini home on wheels with help from Wales' best used van supermarket - Capels Van Centre.

The beauty of anything DIY is, you can make it as basic or as complicated as you like. You can do it on a shoestring, or throw a considerable amount of cash at it. A lot of course, will depend on your DIY skills. The most basic of campervans might be an old panel van with double mattress thrown in the back. Add a box for pots, pans, plates and cutlery. Squeeze in a case containing clean underwear and change of clothing. Buy a tarpaulin to string across the back doors, use a small butane gas camping stove for cooking - and you’re good to go.

However, if you want to go a little further than that, before you look at any used vans for your van conversion, read the DVLA and insurance requirements for DIY campervans. Once you have an idea of what’s expected, you can begin to look at how you intend to fit-out and use your campervan conversion. The following is a rough list depending on how far you want to take the conversion. For instance, you may choose to rely on campsite facilities. Use bottled water, a butane camping stove, and wash yourselves and crockery in a plastic wash-up bowl.

  • How often will your DIY campervan be used
  • How many do you intend to safely carry in it
  • How far do you intend to travel
  • Double bed or single bunks
  • Kitchen fittings, sink, cooker and fridge
  • Dining area, storage, windows
  • Water tank, electric, gas, plumbing
  • Type of awning (if any)


Taking the above into account, you now have an idea of the size of the used vans you need to be looking at, and the prices they’re fetching. It’s also a great time to start picking a few brains. The camping fraternity is a close-knit friendly bunch. If you know someone who has his own DIY campervan, they’ll usually be more than pleased to explain the process and what the snags were. Alternatively, join the growing number of forums related to campervan conversions and van-living. Ask if you can view photos and designs to get an idea of different layouts, and the type of conversion. All of this will give you an idea of what will be required to undertake your campervan conversion, what you can live without, and provide a more accurate assessment of what it’s going to cost.

Buy a conversion kit – or totally DIY

There is a wealth of motorhome conversion kits available on the market, with varying options available. Just like your home’s kitchen or bedroom, you can buy ‘flat-pack’ conversions which you fit yourself. Capels Van Centre offers quality campervan conversion kits which include hobs, sink, fridge/freezer, counters, cupboards, rock'n'roll bed, leisure battery, and even finishing touches like curtains for your home-from-home. Capels can even take the hassle out of your campervan conversion by installing your conversion kit - or we can highly recommend a few businesses to carry out the work if you're not local.

Finally, don’t forget to give your van’s exterior a little tlc, and make your campervan conversion the one that turns heads. Capels Van Centre also offers various body styling accessories for your campervan conversion including alloy wheels, spoilers, and tinted windows.

Feeling overwhelmed by just the thought of converting your van into a campervan? Take a look at Capels Van Centre's campervan stock.

How to: Transform your van into a campervan


Category: The ''Expert Advice''

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