Converting A Van To A Campervan

Last Updated on February 6, 2024

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By having a campervan conversion, you can enjoy the great outdoors in a more personal fashion. Unlike the old conversion vans of the 60s and 70s, you can convert one yourself so it has more than just a bed and fantastic sound system.

What are the limitations on converting a van to a campervan?

Realistically the only limitation is the imagination of the person designing the campervan conversion and the size of the van chosen for the project

For the most room, there are extended body vans and for additional headspace, many have elevated roofs. 

Do not forget the doors. The side and back doors can also be used in unique ways to make more room with a little creative thinking.

How do I create more space?

Most campervans have a bed in the back. There are 2 general approaches to this. You can have a couch convert to a bed which removes the possibility of using the space under the bed as a storage area. You can also have a fixed bed in the back with large drawers that can be pulled out the back when the rear doors are open. 

The drawers that pull out can be for storage alone or it can be kitchen countertop. A 1 or 2 burner stove can be inserted into the top with the other part used as food preparation space. For added stability, legs should be fitted to the end of the drawer when it is extended.

The area outside the side opening can also be utilized efficiently. The simplest way to expand this section is with an awning. Just like many large motorhomes that have an awning on a rod that rolls up when not in use. This can be the length of the doors or from the front to the back. It is your choice. 

How do I power the accessories?

The ways of the past still work as a generator, but there is a more efficient and quieter path that can be utilized. Solar panels being made today are very efficient and can generate the power you need to run a fridge, your sound system and even have outlets for charging cell phones and laptops. 

The best and safest place to install the solar panels is on the roof. To make sure you have power all night, two 100 watt panels is suggested. 


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Can I have running water?

All that is needed to have running water is a freshwater tank and a water pump. What has to be remembered is that the tank requires space so a 20 to 40-gallon tank would be enough to wash dishes and with a flexible shower head attached to a hose you can have an outside shower. 

Since many campgrounds do not permit the disposal of any fluids on the ground, a wastewater tank should also be installed. There are some tanks available that can be installed under the van’s body. As a driver, you must remember the tanks are down there when traveling off-road.

The campervan conversions have come a long way since the days of the VW microbus. With solar panels, you can enjoy electricity and with proper planning even running water. This makes it more comfortable when you are out in the middle of nowhere enjoying Mother Nature.

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