The thought of transforming a regular van into a mobile home is a little scary, but it’s not as daunting as it sounds. In fact, there are several ways your van can be converted into a camper, as long as you understand what you are getting yourself into. With the right tools, imagination, and propensity for hard work, you can turn your run-of-the-mill van into something spectacular. This post will cover some of the most important things you need to consider before embarking on this momentous journey.
Why Embark On This Project?
Why would you want to turn your van into a campervan? There are many reasons why people opt to do so. One of the most important is that it offers a more convenient and practical solution for road trips and camping. With the ever-growing popularity of camping, a converted van can be used as a more cost-effective substitution for campers while still giving the luxury of living in a van while still enjoying all that camping has to offer. You might be wondering how much it costs to buy one and what kind of maintenance it requires. The cost of converting your van into a campervan depends on what type you get, but you should set aside a few thousand dollars to get a high-quality conversion. Some of the main benefits of owning your very own campervan include:
- Freedom to travel wherever and whenever you want
- No accommodation is required at your various destinations
- Cost-efficient (see the last point)
- You can spend quality time with your family
- You can bring your pets along on holiday with you!
Decide On The Decor
Before you can even begin to think about turning in your reciprocating saw for the first time, you should carefully choose the style you wish to decorate it in. Due to cost and space constraints, you should get this step right the first time. Therefore, you should spend some time planning out the decor, including the overall style you want it to end up in. You can go for rustic or modern, whatever suits your taste, but the main point is that you choose something that you will be happy with.
Set A Budget
These kinds of projects have a habit of going well over budget very quickly. If you want to avoid this, you should set a budget early on. Assigning too little will only cause stress later on in the project if you cannot afford to finish it. Therefore, you should be sensible and allocate as much as you can afford. If you are worried about the cost, you can always set up a monthly budget allocated to a specific task. For example, you could say that you will focus on stripping it out this month, which you estimate will cost x amount. Then the next month might be installing a roof-mounted ventilation system which will cost x amount and so on. This way will take longer to finish, but you won’t have so many money worries.
Get A Comfy Bed
You should never forget the “camper” part of your campervan project and always remember that you will possibly be spending a considerable amount of time sleeping in your van. Therefore, you must assign an adequate amount of space for a comfortable bed (or beds if you have children). Your main concern will be which mattress size to go for, as space will be at a premium. However, you shouldn’t skimp, and you should always choose the largest size you can within your budget. After all, if your mattress is too small, you won’t enjoy taking your campervan out on adventures, which will defeat the project’s entire purpose!
Ensure Your Power Supply Is Sufficient
It is critical to get the electric system right from the start since it impacts your vehicle’s enjoyment. Managing the supply and consumption of electricity is a fundamental aspect of living in a van. Onboard 12v leisure batteries power the campervan’s electrical system. In addition to charging the batteries while driving, solar panels can be plugged into the system, or the main power source can be connected. Whatever you decide, you must ensure enough electricity to power the things that make it fun. For example, if you are in a hot country, you might want to use an air conditioning unit. Conversely, if traveling in a cold country, a heater may be required. To be safe, you should bring along a small diesel generator that will be more efficient than powering everything from the van engine.
Make It Feel Like A Home From Home
While you will be putting a lot of your efforts into actually completing the van, you should keep in mind the things that make life pleasurable. This means making it cozy and ensuring that you have all the modern conveniences installed. For example, you will need a shower with warm water and a decent kitchen. The kitchen is a critical point to consider, so you should take your time on it. If it is unusable, you will waste space that you could have used for something else. Fortunately, there are lots of great small kitchen ideas floating about on the web.
Ensure Lots Of Storage Space
Space will be tight; there are no two ways about it. Nonetheless, with intelligent planning, you can use the empty nooks and crannies to utilize as storage. Additionally, you can make liberal use of overhead storage lockers and even use the space underneath your bed. In order to make the best use of the area, you can use proximity storage. In essence, this means using the space that is near the thing you will use it for. For example, you could store your bedding and clothing underneath your bed and kitchen utensils in the kitchen area.
Install Sufficient Lighting
The final point to consider is to get your lighting right. This includes interior and exterior lighting to get full use of the area. You should use energy-saving bulbs and different temperatures for different areas. Inside will require softer and warmer lighting, while the outside of your van will need cooler but brighter lighting.
If you plan to transform your van into a camper, it is essential to start planning for this project early. If you have a tight budget, you can still have fun and comfy van with a bit of creativity. Hopefully, you will have learned some valuable tips that will help you on your journey!