It's never been easier to build your own camper van. With the reduced cost and increased availability of parts, tools and used vehicles you too can make your own dream camper van, at a fraction of the cost of buying a professional conversion. Our comprehensive guide helps you through every stage, from planning, buying an empty van, sourcing parts, choosing layouts , fitting furniture and the legal paperwork required.

More and more people are converting their own camper vans. With the reduced costs of second hand vehicles, especially panel vans, and the increased availability of the parts required, it has never been easier.

Building your own camper van can be a hugely rewarding project. It can also be a lot cheaper than buying a camper van. If you build your own camper van you can also have a vehicle that exactly meets your needs, especially useful if you are using your vehicles for sports, such as motorcross or surfing.

If you are a competent DIY enthusiast, then you should have few problems building you own camper van. You can expect to build a good looking vehicle. See the list of self built camper vans.

You can even aim for a professional looking conversion. If you have limited DIY skills, then you should not be put off. Very little is required to make a liveable vehicle. Building a basic camper van just takes a little money and time. See the list of self built camper vans for ideas and inspiration.

Comments (66)

  • SHAUN's picture

    This comment has been moved here.

    Nov 17, 2008
  • Anonymous's picture

    Hello to you all
    i am a new member looking for help and Ideas
    to convert a resenly bought 1998 transit
    any one with basic ideas r out line plan it only needs to sleep two and i would like a toilet cooker and shower
    so please could any one help me

    thank you


    Mar 22, 2010
  • Darren's picture

    Hello and welcome. What size is your vehicle. Short, Medium or Long wheelbase. Also what height is it. Regular or high-top?

    Mar 23, 2010
  • Dan's picture


    I am part way through converting a Mercedes 814, it is seperated into two halves. The back half has back opening doors but no windows.
    Do you think the dvla will have a problem with the beds being in the back half with no windows?

    Apr 21, 2010
  • Darren's picture

    I dont think there will be a problem. Lots of people have done this and had their vehicle re-registered as a camper.
    The DVLA are generally looking for at least 1 side window, but they don't stipulate where the side window should be, or what type.

    Apr 22, 2010
  • Dan's picture

    Thanks for help, I'm also looking at fitting a 3 way fridge running on gas when stationary and 12v when moving. Would you think it safe to put it a kitchen cupboard if ventilation holes were made?

    What alternatives can you think of?

    Apr 27, 2010
  • Darren's picture

    You need to be careful when fitting a gas fridge. You need to allow cool air to the bottom, and hot air to escape from the top. Hence the 2 vents (upper and lower) you see on the side of campervans. More importantly you need to allow the burnt gas to escape, as it's toxic. Most campervans have the exhaust built into the upper vent. See this guide

    A 12v compressor fridge doesn't require exhaust vents, but runs only on 12 volts (or mains at a campsite). They are more expensive (£400+ new) but cool to a lower temperature.

    The cheap 12v cool boxes use lots of power and are really unsuitable for long term camping.

    Apr 27, 2010
  • sharonsj's picture

    I bought a 1990 Ford F-150 caravan that came with a solar conversion. In fact, the entire top of the van is this solar add-on. Inside is a large panel with a lighted list.
    However, the van came without any instructions or paperwork or even a name of a company that made the solar add-on. Does anyone have any suggestions on where I can go for info?

    May 13, 2010
  • Fran's picture

    Yesterday I took delivery of a professionally converted campervan from a well known firm of converters. When I got it home I found the passenger seat several inches higher than the example I was shown when I placed my order when I made a point of sitting in all the seats to check comfort, visibility, etc. My head now touches the roof of the vehicle and I am a very short person.
    Is there a minimum health and safety rule about headroom in vehicles?

    I am very disappointed and the firm concerned is not prepared to talk to me about it.

    What would you advise me to do?

    May 19, 2010
  • Darren's picture

    Hi Fran

    Sorry to hear of your problem. The company won't speak to you about it? This is very bad. What have they said?

    May 20, 2010


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