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 (71)

  • Peter Vdd's picture
    Peter Vdd (not verified)

    we referenced this site somuch when converting our Dodge Ram Van into our little honeymoon-mobile. We documented our process and listed out all the materials and gear we used on our new blog - http://www.buyitforvanlife.com Check us out! Thanks again, campervanlife, and keep on rollin'!

    Oct 28, 2016
  • Christine Burnside's picture

    I have seen the most perfect 02 reg fixed bed converted ex police camera van. Can any one please help me. I need £8000 to buy it. You probably won't believe this ( why would you). I have never asked for anything in my life. I have worked hard all my life and live a very modest one. However I have and still do to a lesser extent a need to escape every now and again. I am very very genuine and would be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding my request.
    Thank you so much for reading this post.
    Please send your questions to crsbrns@gmail.com

    Oct 24, 2016
  • Jason scriven's picture

    Hi there I'm looking to get a nice camper conversion to the above vehicle I've got a fixed bed and a l shaped corner sofa fitted along the the back of the seats and running down the o/s side I'm looking for a bit of cupboard space and sink cooker unit to accompany this have you any images of products you do to fit this request please I've not got any panelling on the bed or around the base of the seating area as of yet as I'm looking to get the units first so I can match the rest to this thanks in advance Jason scriven

    Oct 04, 2016
  • Darren's picture

    Hi there

    We don't sell materials, just give info on how to the conversion yourself.

    Oct 09, 2016
  • Nige Platt's picture

    Hi,
    just purchased an Iveco 6.5t Snapon vehicle, v5 says special mobile unit, now i am going to fit it out as a motorized caravan. when this is done and I have sent the photos of and the government is happy. My question is will it be able to go through the standard MOT or will it still need the VOSA to look at it?
    Regards Nige.

    Sep 04, 2016
  • Darren's picture

    Hi Nige

    I'm afraid I don't know. I'd recommend contacting VOSA

    Oct 09, 2016
  • Jon mcburney's picture

    Hi,I'm trying to find a man called Paul who converted my van into a camper 3 years ago .he had a work unit in a place on Charles street nr hempshaw ln offer ton Stockport.when I went to find him again,the place has been demolished and houses are being built.does anyone know Paul and where he has gone to,as I have another van I want doing. Thanks hope someone can help jon

    Jul 15, 2016
  • Kevin 's picture

    Hi, I want to convert my 2013 Camry into a 1-2 person sleeper. Is it possible? Has anyone heard of anyone doing this? Please let me know. Thanks!

    Kevinparker9013@gmail.com

    Feb 14, 2016
  • nina's picture

    Hi all
    I am at the start of a big life change, my plan is to move into a camper permanently in the UK when I am no longer needed in the family home with my children. I have spent periods of upto ten weeks in a small caravan when the children were younger and spent 6 yrs living in a mobile with no mains drainage or electric when the kids were from 5-14yrs. I hope that gives me a fair idea of what may be in store for me.
    I am still pondering on wether to go for a van and convert it with help where needed or to go for one already up and running. My plan is to continue to work and be based mainly in one area for the next few years.
    Any hints tips ideas or alerts to potential pitfalls would be great to receive.

    Sep 14, 2015
  • peter's picture

    The easiest and cheapest way to get a camper is to buy an ex ambulance,i brought a mercedes 310 d 1995 ex st johns ambulance with 48,000 miles not even run in for one these,sold the streacher and 2 chairs that were in it,brought 2 single beds a cooker electric cool box and job done,been all over also lived in it for 10 months in spain.

    Nov 06, 2014
  • AndrewT's picture

    Hi All.
    I've been keen to acquire my own camper for some time, but am unsure as to the best - i.e., most economically sensible - way to go about it. I'm competent enough at DIY, so kitting-out a van myself is a realistic option. My thinking at the moment is to buy the best, least-travelled van I can for my money and proceed with the conversion at leisure. You may, however, feel that it's relatively easy and just as cost-effective to pick up a quality conversion for a not-too-stupid price, (i.e., £10,000/13,000).
    Please advise!
    Thanks

    Oct 18, 2014
  • Darren's picture

    Hi Andrew

    The reality is that doing your own conversion takes a huge amount of time. It is very rewarding, and you can end up with a great conversion at a cheaper price. A DIY conversion will hold its value as well as a professional conversion though.

    I have done several DIY conversions, and have loved them. However, given that I was going on a big trip I would also consider buying a professional conversion to save time. Perhaps one that needed some updating or fixing if you have the skills, ad this can save money.

    Oct 18, 2014
  • AndrewT's picture

    Hi All.
    I've been keen to acquire my own camper for some time, but am unsure as to the best - i.e., most economically sensible - way to go about it. I'm competent enough at DIY, so kitting-out a van myself is a realistic option. My thinking at the moment is to buy the best, least-travelled van I can for my money and proceed with the conversion at leisure. You may, however, feel that it's relatively easy and just as cost-effective to pick up a quality conversion for a not-too-stupid price, (i.e., £10,000/13,000).
    Please advise!
    Thanks

    Oct 18, 2014
  • stephen's picture

    Hi everyone, just to say hi and that I hope to engage fully on here. I am converting my ford transit to a camper. Hi and I am Stephen.

    Sep 12, 2014
  • Kim's picture

    Hi all, we've just bought a Vivaro SWB campervan part converted. Does anyone know of a company near Scarbough North Yorkshire that does part conversions?

    Aug 27, 2014
  • john1975's picture

    Hello folks, ive just purchased a 51 plate swb low top transit, my plans are to have a bike storage area in back with room for upto 2 mtbs with tools and spares.
    The help i need most with is insulation..ive seen some firms selling aluminium faces wrap that acts as a water/moiture barrier, my question is would i need to have anything else like rookwool or celotex insulation between the metal of the van and the alu wrap? also whats the best wayn to insulate the floor and roof of the van as im planning trips to scotland etc etc. Many thanks for tha now john

    Aug 17, 2014
  • Darren's picture

    Hi John

    The aluminium faced wrap is a good insulator, but not as good as cellotex on large flat areas such as walls and ceilings.
    In fact a mixture of the two would be best, with the celotex next to the wood lining, then the wrap between the celotex and the van walls.
    This is obviously more expensive though. Either on their own is fine. Celotex is better, both is best.
    You can get bulk lots of celotex on ebay, and from companies selling second to save on the cost.
    Floor and roof is best done with celotex. For the floor make a wooden frame that will support the floor plywood, leave gaps for the celotex.

    Aug 18, 2014
  • Nobby's picture

    Hi all,
    Have owned a few campers before ranging from bay window vw's to the big ole motorhome. Currently converting an old transit swb low roof on a tight budget and loving it.

    Feb 22, 2014
  • Arthur Kennedy's picture

    Am looking for advice on what I need to do in relation to fitting battons on the floor sides and roof prior to putting in insulation and sheeting. Just not sure where to start. Anyone with experience to advise please.

    Jun 19, 2013
  • DrummerSi's picture

    Hi, I'm currently in the process of doing a fairly simple conversation to a Vauxhall combo and I rather wanted to put a leisure battery in the void under the loading bed behind the passenger seat just to power a little led lighting and hopefully a couple of cigarette lighter sockets in the back for charging phones and powering other such appliances. I was basically wondering if anybody could advise me as to whether I will need to add some ventilation within the void to vent the gases I've heard that are created when charging the battery, I'm absolutely clueless about it. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

    Cheers,
    Si

    May 17, 2013

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