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Camper van home builder furniture and layout examples

Below you will find many example and ideas from other camper van and motor homes. Hopefully these will give you some good ideas also.

Example camper van interiors

A VW T4 with a stylish black interior

The kitchen area

The seat

The bed

A spacious VW style conversion in wood

A big van with a small removable kitchen area

A good example of a conversion for motorcross or other applications where you want the vehicle for storage as well as living. The van has been nicely lined and windowed.

High quality kitchen area

Seating behind the driving area

Nice use of space, allows one to comfortably look out the side door. Separates the living and kitchen area. With a similar design seat belts could be fitted.

VW style interior in rich wood

A great example of the classic VW layout. Lovely wood.

Small seating area

Two small seats making good use of a small area. Good extra seating for children, or small primary seating area if you are limited for space.

Van with large seating area

Lots of seats in this van. The seat on the left is dual purpose. The back changes direction, so people can face forward when driving, and face backwards when parked.

The seats folded down into the bed.

The back of the same van, showing the kitchen separated from the seating area.

Very well made kitchen

A great kitchen area. Notice the rounded corners.

Spacious kitchen area

At the back of the van. Lots of light.

Kitchen at the side, seating at the back

Nice VW style interior

Well made kitchen area

Nice VW interior

The bed down in a VW transporter camper van. Notice the sloping roof sides, something to consider in a VW.

VW style interior, with access from both sides

This van has sliding doors on both sides. The interior allows access from both sides. Means a smaller kitchen area though. Great paint job on the outside!

Traditional camper van interior

A traditional layout, used by many professional conversions. Nice space and airy. Only a single forward facing seat in the back though.

Mazda Bongo conversion

A Mazda Bongo is an MPV, but with the interior removed, a nice camper van conversion can be fitted.

A professional Fiat Scudo conversion

car derived vans are small, but this great conversion shows how space can be maximised.

Example removable camper van interiors

By having a self-contained kitchen area, that lifts in and out of a vehicle, you can turn a van, MPV or even an estate car into a weekend or day camper van.

Professional removable kitchen

Lovely example of a removable kitchen. Probably from a Mazda Bongo. Fridge has front access, making very good use of space.

Very basic removable kitchen, in the rear of the van

Perfect for taking in and out at the weekends, leaving a normal functioning MPV, minibus or van.

Simple removable kitchen

Probably made from an existing piece of furniture. A good example of how little money is required to make a livable space. The sink has been fitted, the tanks are probably underneath.

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Comments (140)

  • Graziela Casetta's picture

    This comment has been moved here.

    Jul 11, 2008
  • Anonymous's picture

    Would love to hear from anyone who has converted a mercedes sprinter 311 into a 4 bith camper. We are interested in layout tips and also advice around the best electrical system to use (how to rig up an electrical zig unit?).Many thanks for any help you can give!

    Apr 21, 2009
  • Anonymous's picture

    hello all

    i own a 17 seater for tansit lwb and i want to convert it to a 5 berth camper for the family.

    i am a diy novice and should be able to carry out most of the work myself

    i need help with things like getting a higher roof electrics plumbing and layout
    any help would be appreiciated

    thanks

    Jun 05, 2009
  • steffen's picture

    hi all,

    i plan to convert a sprinter 3/10 extralong i believe its 4.1 meter long in the loading area,1.75 wide and 1.80 meter high, here comes the thing i would like to take the camper on a 6 month + trip around europe ,so there be a few things i would like to add to it rather then the standard and like to build the inside more like house .
    i would like to make the bed accross rather then long with about 1,5 meter i know i am tall but i can cope with 1.75 in lenth on the bed ,so i would like a shower 500x500 a tall cabinet a kitchen of about 1 meter and a corner seating behind the driver if possible so i can make a spare bed for others to sleep.space for a surfboard would be great .if we could fit a frezzer 450x600 deep somewhere would be great,a lot ask for i know buti want to build it myself,i say i would be medium level in DIY .
    i will do the covertion myself with the help of friends of cause.
    so any layout plans simple to follow would be great,it only needs to be a scatch as i prob would need to re arrange to suit me,i have a scatch on paper but not sure how it would look in the flesh so to speak.
    i will document all my work and try to do a blog for free to all to watch me make misstakes,if there is a good fanbase i will continue bloging when i am on my trip.
    so thanks to all in advance.......

    steffen

    steffen.krosch@hotmail.com

    Jun 28, 2009
  • Anonymous's picture

    This comment has been moved here.

    Jul 05, 2009
  • Louis's picture

    Hi all,

    I am about to convert a Nissan interstar into a campervan.
    There will be no panelling work done, as the vehicle already has stock panelling. Can i fix the overhead storage units into the stock paneling or do i have to fit new paneling for more strength? The rest of the shopfitting is a breeze, i am just concerned about the durability of the fixings into all the existing panels.

    Regards
    louis from South Africa

    Jul 20, 2009
  • Darren's picture

    Hi Louis

    It depends on how strong your panelling is, how it is attached to the van, and how much weight you intend to hang off it.

    My van had 9mm ply lining the van. This was screwed directly to the metal struts of the van frame. This made is very strong.

    From this 9mm ply wood I could hang heavy cupboards.

    9mm is heavy though, and next time I might use 6mm ply, to save weight. With 6mm ply I would hang less weight from it, but you can still hang a fairly heavy cupboard from it.

    You need to use your judgement to determine what is too-much weight.

    Jul 20, 2009
  • Louis's picture

    Thanks Darren,

    I will probably have to replace the existing panelling then as it is only 3 mm hardboard with carpet cladding.

    Maybe you can help me with the name of the basin/burner unit i am lloking for. Its the one with both in the same unit. Basin & Burner together. It is quite a mission to get all the correct fittings sitting on this side of the world.

    My e-mail address is to follow.
    fswoodworks@vodamail.co.za

    I thank you once again for all your help and will send you some pics once the conversion starts.

    Regards
    Louis

    Jul 21, 2009
  • Darren's picture

    If you can find the metal struts underneath the existing hardwood, you can screw the cupboards directly into the metal, using self tapping screws. This will prevent you having to remove the existing wood.

    Sorry, I'm not sure about the basin/burner unit you are after.

    Jul 22, 2009
  • Lisablessed's picture

    Hi Louis, Lisa here. I myself am having a problem with overhead storage units. My storage cabinets on one side of my class b rv van fell down and almost hit me in head. I am trying to determine how exactly to put it back up. The bottom is still hanging it is everything else that fell. If it was a house I would have a better idea of what to do. I am not clueless of what to do I am just not sure. The answers you seem to have gotten seem to be hitting on the right direction. Have you progressed with your cabinet situation.... Note also I have seen a few conversions online that showed what they did to prepare the walls to hang cabinets. I am going to review my emails to see if I can find the info.

    Aug 04, 2009
  • Lisablessed's picture

    I am having a problem with overhead storage units. My storage cabinets on one side of my class b rv van fell down. I am trying to determine how exactly to put it back up. The bottom is still hanging it is everything else that fell. If it was a house I would have a better idea of what to do. I am not clueless of what to do I am just not sure. Any ideas?

    Aug 04, 2009
  • Darren's picture

    So the bottom of the cupboard is still fixed to the wall, but the sides and front have fallen away?
    How is every held together? Screws or glue?

    Aug 05, 2009
  • Louis's picture

    Hi Lisa,

    Sorry for the late reply. I actually just ripped out the hardboard ceiling that was in the van. Then saw where all the steel trusses are. Took 9mm interior ply and screwed the sucker on to that. I now have a very strong platform to work from. I havnt actually started putting the overhead units in, but the beds and bottom units are almost complete.

    Working on it full time has become a problem as we are entering high season on construction front here. I will try and post some pics today.

    Cheers

    Aug 07, 2009
  • vilguy's picture

    Ive just got my hands on a ldv400 high top walkthrough for pennies. Its been previously converted as a sort of motorbike carrying camper. Its been split into a living area and a workshop. Ive purchased it to go racing in next year with my bikes, abroad and in the uk. Im going to strip all the existing interior out and start fresh as the wood used in the conversion is far too heavy. Theres even some 3" x 3" in there!!!!

    The workshop/garage is presently big enough to drive a smart car into the back of! so is being reduced by half so i can still carry 2 enduro bikes and a load of tools/spares etc. A double bed will then be installed, a fold down bed at the front, full kitchen, shower etc.

    Ive got a bet on with some mates, if i can finish it before next march they will pay for all the fuel and ferries etc for the 4 of us to go to the french alps snowboarding. And we are going to live in the camper for a week. Cheap snowboarding holiday!!! I think id best make sure it has the best insulation and a decent heater!

    A veg oil conversion will help bring down the fuel costs. I need to carefully lay out the interior. Im going to model it in 3d at work before commencing any works as i dont want to have to rip out something i have already done to fit more wiring etc. Ive become a bit anal about things as ive gotten a little older (26! lol) and no longer accept any bodging. Everything has to be done perfectly. So the interiors going get the best i can get :)

    Best thing about the van - the electric opening side door. Press a button and SWWOOSSSHHH it opens via an electric motor.

    Ill hopefully be keeping a blog. I purchased the van from a local trail riders club and they are all keen to see my new project take shape. :)

    Paul

    Aug 07, 2009
  • Louis's picture

    Shouldnt take you more than 6 weeks. But your van sounds very cool! Would love to see some pics when you get to it.
    Goodluck!

    Aug 07, 2009
  • Darren's picture

    Good stuff Paul.

    Please keep us up to date.
    If you sign up as a member on his website you can keep a blog, and I am just adding a photo gallery for members also.

    Cheers

    Aug 10, 2009
  • Anonymous's picture

    When converting a van to a camper van what is the best type of insulation to use

    Aug 07, 2009
  • Darren's picture

    Most people like to use rock wool. It's the sort of stuff we put in out lofts to insulate the house.
    It's cheap, easy to get at DIY stores, and easy to shape into the walls.
    Be sure to attach it to the van walls, as it will slip down otherwise.

    Aug 10, 2009
  • david1's picture

    hi, ive converted a citroen relay van myself and was also puzzled by the whole engineers report thing. i did some googleing and found that to change your van from a panelvan to a motor caravan(dvla terminology) you must have the following fitted permanently in your van:seats and table,
    sleeping accommodation which may be converted from the seats,
    cooking facilities, and
    storage facilities.

    once you have these you can take pictures and send them to the dvla along with your log book(you must list the changes on the log book) and then the dvla will change it over for you. they say they may need to send an inspector out to check the van but apparently they never do! now for insureance, when you come to insureing your self converted campervan your likely to need an engineers report(also there are not many companies who will insure self converted vans). one insurance company i came across have an engineers report form that you can download from their website. this is just a form that has the same list of requirements as the dvla on. you take this to any m.o.t station with your van of course, and they then check that your van has a bed, storage, cooking facilities etc and tick them off and sign the form and stamp it and then hit you with a bill for 50 quid. then you ave to send this form to the insurance company before they will insure you. hope this helps. ive posted a couple of helpfull links below.

    http://www.caravanwise.co.uk/motor-quote/diy-camper-van.html

    Oct 01, 2009
  • Stuart Parker's picture

    Best wishes to all that have or are planning van conversions.I have a SWB Transit with Windows/Gas heating/12VDC etc etc.My wife and I love touring the Western Islands.Just recently we were turned away from the OBAN campsite as my beloved Transit was considered "by them" to be a commercial vehicle.They didnt have a problem at the preceding Easter.There were no issues elsewhere.I now phone and ask at those "crucial" campsites.

    Regards
    Stuart Parker

    Sep 20, 2009
  • Dean's picture

    Hi mate, i hope you dont mind me asking but who did your conversion for you and how much was it. I have recently bought a transit van LX 57lpate and am looking for ideas to do it up.

    Thanks
    Dean

    Sep 28, 2009
  • Stuart's picture

    Hello
    Did most of my conversion myself,used thinsulate for insulation cos its fire resistant,installed a 110 amp/hour leisure battery,windows from a company in Castleford.Used marine ply for bedding / furniture and am now trying to organise a swivel for a single passenger seat(seems hard to organise)Van conversion is like painting the Sydney harbour bridge,there is no end ,you just keep doing it,Best wishes.
    Stuart

    Sep 30, 2009
  • gman's picture

    hi there.
    just noticed you used a swb tranny.
    im doing the same.mine is swb semi hi top.
    im looking for ideas as to the layout.
    double bed.worktops.etc
    any help would be great.
    thanks..

    Oct 14, 2009
  • Heather's picture

    Hi i was just wondering on the layout of your SWB transit, my boyfriend and I have just bought one and we were just wondering how to do the bed...do you have any pictures of yours you can put up here??

    May 31, 2011
  • Anonymous's picture

    How would a fridge or the gas stove work?
    Would the gass bottle be safe if left in the van. how would we get the fridge to work constantly?
    excuse the cluelessness but i am really keen to convert a van to a camper this summer I just dont know how

    Sep 21, 2009
  • Darren's picture

    Gas bottles are fine left in the van. They need to be stored upright, and securely.
    The gas bottle has a regulator on the top, which has a tap, to cut-off the gas supply.
    The stove or fridge can be attached to the regulator. You can attached both at the same time with a splitter.
    A typical camper/caravan fridge has 3 power sources.
    1. 240 v - when attached to the mains at a campsite
    2. Gas - for when camping remotely (free camping)
    3. 12 v - when driving. This uses the vehicles 12 v power supply. The gas must be turned off when travelling.

    Sep 23, 2009
  • Adrian's picture

    Got a LWB Transit T350 for conversion but because rear wheel drive roof is actually lower than a SWB semi high.
    No problem I thought just buy a glass fibre roof. Only problem is I cant find anyone who makes them. Any ideas or do i have to buy standard SWB stuff and fabricate?

    Help

    Oct 07, 2009
  • Anonymous's picture

    Hi,All

    Iv'e just baught a 1997 VW T4 Transporter which is going to be used for fishing trips.there is no windows on the side panels or back doors, so would this be classed as a camper van, holding two carp beds and a cooker.
    Thanks,

    Oct 25, 2009
  • Anonymous's picture

    At present my VW van is lined but no insulation.Im going to strip it all out and renew the lining. Would polystyrene be a good insulation to use as im on a budget.

    Oct 31, 2009
  • Darren's picture

    I've never used polystyrene myself so can't give personal experience. I know many peope have used it, and found traces of it when I converted my Sprinter.

    Polystyrene will provide some kind of insulation, and is cheap and easy to fit. I think you can find better materials, but it should work fine.

    Nov 01, 2009
  • LaPoste's picture

    Several people have recommended Thinsulate for my van, as it's very effective for its thickness, and also acts as sound damping. Only problem is, I can't find anywhere that sells it! Any ideas?
    Thanks,
    Adam

    Nov 06, 2009
  • Darren's picture

    Wow, it's very difficult to find to buy.
    Thinsulate is a brand sold by 3M. Therefore it's a brand name, rather than a product. I suspect there are cheaper and more available versions of the same product. But what are they called.

    I noticed thinsulate is used by boat builders. Maybe call some boat builders or parts suppliers and see what they say. There may be cheaper products they can recommend.

    Nov 06, 2009
  • Kitesurf Phil's picture

    I found this supplier of Airtec Insulation while browsing. They seem to be a fair bit cheaper than Screwfix. Good old price comparison sites.

    BTW, I am kicking around ideas at the moment for a van conversion of my own. Originally I was looking at mini-buses and ambulances but from reading through your informative site I have settled on the idea of a LWB HiTop Merc Sprinter or a similar sized Iveco Daily.

    Regards

    Phil

    Nov 20, 2010
  • markandstevie's picture

    I believe that you mean Thinsulex now known as TLX made by Web Dynamics, www.webdynamics.co.uk, these materials are used mostly in the building industry, there are now many different makers of similar products with the big boys like Rockwool and Kingspan also getting in on the act, they work on air trapping and reflection, they all really need clear air gaps to metal as they can sweat. Can mask mobile phone signals as they are aluminium foil, they are best sealed with good quality duct tape as air leakage is the biggest loss of heat. I am a Building Inspector so see lots of this stuff, if you consider polystyrene it is about half as good as the Celotex or PUR foam insulations and make sure its fire resistant.

    Jan 25, 2012
  • Ron's picture

    Polystyrene, great insulator but it squeeks like mad, i tried it and had to take it out again.

    Dec 04, 2009
  • Anonymous's picture

    i found thinsulate easy to get hold of, i bought it from a canal boat supplier,whatever you use check it out for its ability to "not burn"
    On an earlier van when I was broke I used "space blanket" loft insulation cut to size and resealed it with gaffer tape.
    Merry Xmas to all Camper Van people....

    Dec 09, 2009
  • Anonymous's picture

    A great product used in house building is Thinsulex - this is a multi layered foil insulation with very good thermal properties for a relativley small thickness. Can get it in rolls from any good builders merchant.

    Jan 03, 2010
  • Nuala's picture

    This comment has been moved here.

    Nov 20, 2009
  • Dave's picture

    This comment has been moved here.

    Nov 24, 2009
  • Treeny's picture

    Hi

    I am in the process of converting my Mercedes Sprinter LWB and am struggling to find swivel seats? I have found bases but is there such a place where you could buy the seat as well? Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

    Cheers

    Nov 25, 2009
  • robert wagstaff 's picture

    peugeot 806/fiat ulyseees,citroen.same model.
    good seats ,all electic,and if you look quite a few of the early ones 1995/99 has captains seats

    Feb 06, 2010
  • frank's picture

    hi when i converted my sprinter i used swivel seats out of a ford galexy bolts stait in but put the seats in opposit sids ajuster to the rear so the arm rests are in the middle cost me 20 each from the breakers

    Mar 11, 2010
  • Dougie's picture

    Any ideas where to get one or anyone who supplies and fits ???
    Also seeking same for old shape Skudo, type vans or indeed a fibreglass high top for any of the above.
    Havent yet decided which base van to use but it will be in those size ranges and models or derivatives off.
    I will want a semi ne wmodel henc enot going for T4 or T5 as far to expensive a choice i can buy an 05 plate traffic for the price of a zillion k'ed T4 or T5 kinda makes sense don't it
    ALL help links or such like appriciated
    Del

    Nov 28, 2009
  • hoss's picture

    bought a t35 renault hightop, an ex ambulance allready stripped out, anybody got an idea where i can find info on zig units, wiring layouts etc, im not sure where to start and could do with a basic wiringplan, any help would be great, cheers, hoss

    Dec 16, 2009
  • Anonymous's picture

    Hi, can anyone please help me. My mum has a 20 year old Mitsubishi van given to her, she has put a bed in it and she wants me (her daughter) to lining the inside of it for her so she can travel australia. It was a work/tool van and has lots of small holes and scratches. It has windows either side with 2 sliding doors. I don't have much money and don't know how to help her. I considered covering it with contact, putty and thick paint, lino or carpet. I have no idea how to do it or what to do, can anyone help!!! I am desperate.

    Jan 17, 2010
  • Anonymous's picture

    Hi, can anyone please help me. My mum has a 20 year old Mitsubishi van given to her, she has put a bed in it and she wants me (her daughter) to lining the inside of it for her so she can travel australia. It was a work/tool van and has lots of small holes and scratches. It has windows either side with 2 sliding doors. I don't have much money and don't know how to help her. I considered covering it with contact, putty and thick paint, lino or carpet. I have no idea how to do it or what to do, can anyone help!!! I am desperate.

    Jan 17, 2010
  • Darren's picture

    Hi. Are you asking what is the best way to line the inside?
    If so plywood is generally the best idea. Using thin plywood, maybe 6mm or 5mm you can bend it gently to match the curves of the van.
    You can see plywood being fitted to vans in these pictures:
    http://www.campervanlife.com/galleries/1/3156/3191

    Once the walls are lined you can add carpet, paint, etc.

    Jan 18, 2010
  • Anonymous's picture

    Hi, thank you so much for your help. My mum has 2 windows in the van that open with security screens, would you have any ideas how could I do the plywood finish around them? Also around the doors? Thank you

    Jan 21, 2010
  • sarah's picture

    Am currently looking for a bay window vw pre tax that would seat two adults and four children would need full size rock and roll bed and pop top not sure what the seat belt situation would be or even if this set up exists does anybody know?

    Jan 19, 2010
  • robert wagstaff 's picture

    youll struggle to get one with full size rock and roll bed.
    some danburys have cooker unit just in side side loading door.
    buddy seat behind drivers seat.
    you could take out rear cupboard to widen bed.
    pop top two roll out hamock style bunks.
    not cheap.6k plus for good one

    Feb 06, 2010
  • Anonymous's picture

    Hi
    I want to make my own vinyl covered door cards. Any idea where I might find some info. I can source vinyl and it will be cheaper than getting them done myself

    Jan 24, 2010
  • Darren's picture

    Do you mean front cab doors or rear van doors?
    The rear doors are easy to do, as they are flat. Simply measure the car area. Cut a piece of plywood to the right size. I used 6mm plywood.
    Round the corners if necessary. Glue the vinyl to the plywood. Once dry carefully cut the excess of the plywood.
    Screw the plywood to the door.

    You can see the rear door card i made here
    http://www.campervanlife.com/galleries/1/3156/3184

    Jan 25, 2010
  • Anonymous's picture

    Hi
    All 9 panels for a T2 in two colour vinyl. I wanted to know
    How they got the lines in the vinyl.(Poss heat pressed?) I've seen a few companies at the VW shows
    And they are quite expensive.

    Jan 25, 2010
  • DEADSFO's picture

    using existing door cards as templates cut ply 3mm will be ok and will bend to the door
    ,glue 3/4mm polyurathane (B&Q)to the ply ,cut 2/3mm wide grooves into the polyurathane to the pattern you want ,glue on your pvc covering then using a piece of wood or plastic the approx width of the grooves you have cut in the polyurathane rub the the wood or plastic up and down the grooves forcing the pvc into the grooves.
    you can ,using fine sand paper put a slight radius on the edge of the grooves you cut into the polyurathane,it gives it a nice look and a hair dryer can be used to 'soften' up the pvc covering to make it easier to 'stretch 'it into the grooves.

    Jan 27, 2013
  • DEADSFO's picture

    sorry polystyrene not polyurathane,buy it in panels or rolls

    Jan 27, 2013
  • Anonymous's picture

    Hi,

    i want to buy a swb T5 with a/c, 6 speed manual. with a 2.5 tdi. tailgate, windows.
    engine with fsh, and below 100k miles.

    will i be better off 1.buying a second hand camper conversion.
    which seem to be very pricey.

    or

    2.buying the van and giving it to a company to fit it out with all equipment??cooker, hobs, bed, captain swivel chairs, etc..
    i also want a pop top roof fitted with double bed..

    or

    3. a diy bodge? which will always be unfinished,

    so i dont really want to opt for 3.

    thanks dave

    Feb 09, 2010
  • Darren's picture

    Hi Dave

    It depends on how much time and money you want to spend.
    Option 1 is the quickest but most expensive way to get a campervan.
    Option 2 gives you more control over how the finished van will be. But do all the sums first, as it could cost you more than option 1.
    Option 3 will take a lot longer, but will save you a lot of money. If you are handy at DIY you could compromise. Have someone fit the pop-top roof for you, then slowly do the conversion yourself. There's no reason a DIY conversion should be bad. You can buy complete DIY kits already made, then just fit it yourself.

    Feb 09, 2010
  • Jay Adamson's picture

    I have a ford transit 190 Long wheel base (LWB) Hi-cube, its very long and high and runs very very well (cd player, immobiliser, mul-t-lock,air con,twin wheel with a 2.5 lit diesel and it is an MK5 2000 smiley.

    I was thinking of converting it into a campavan and because it has a high top, putting a double bed up there (you could fold it up at day so you can stand and some ladders leading up to it (maybe even a pop top on a high cube roof! downstairs it should have a kitchen, a shower and toilet, and sofa (but must convert into a bed though), windows, a 32'' telly)
    would this work? as it is a very big van and has that extra panel in the middle. And the idea of a pop top on the hi cube roof so you can push the double bed higer and out of the hi cube roof and into the pop top in camping holidays?

    So far i can stand up in it and i am 5 foot 7 but the things im worring about are that it might slow down as at the mo its top speed on a flat empty is 85, on a slight uphill 80 and very high hill (like the m62 sometimes) 75-70 on an empty load, on a very heavy load it does 60mph on a uphill, 75 on a flat and 80 on a downhill, i am also thinking of putting twin rear wheels, will this make it able to withstand the load (i am worrying that it may take too much space)

    Is this a good idea?
    Can i build it on my own?
    Or do i have to give it to a company to build it and how much would it cost?

    Thank you!

    Feb 18, 2010
  • Darren's picture

    Hi Jay

    You can do all of the things you say. The only limits are our skills, time and money.
    You can put a suspended bed in a high-top, but this really works best in a extra-high-top, as there isn't much room once the bed in fitted for standing underneath.
    a 32" telly weighs a lot and will certainly slow your vehicle down. They also use a lot of power and you'll most likely want a 240v mains hookup to use it. Or a massive leisure battery bank.

    If you keep everything lightweight you won't need to change the wheels or loose much speed. To keep the weight down ensure you use light woods (6mm plywood instead of 9 or 12mm MDF for example).

    There is no reason you can't do this conversion on your own. Do you have some DIY experience?

    A conversion company would charge thousands to this sort of conversion, but their standards are very high.

    Feb 22, 2010
  • Jay!'s picture

    i have a hi cube on a ford transit which is pretty high, i can stand in it with plenty of soace (30-60 cm)left, what i was thinking of is having a woodboard attached to the roof with some hydraulic suspenders so you can pull it down for bed time, and sticking an inflatble airbed to it so it would lay flat on the roof until i press inflate, would this work, and if id installed a pop top and push it up then push the woodboard up further so i could stand in camping holidays.

    my van is very high, i dont think you can get any panel vans higher than this as it is a Hi-cube

    check 4 urself, W362 DHF

    Thanks :)

    Feb 25, 2010
  • Darren's picture

    You could make this work Jay. Almost anything is possible. With 60cms of headroom I think you could make it so that you wouldn't have to inflate it each time, just leave it inflated.

    Feb 26, 2010
  • steve's picture
    steve (not verified)

    i want to put a plywood interior in my vw t4 where can i get template of interior from. cheers

    Mar 26, 2010
  • Anonymous's picture

    i know my dad got templates for a vw in geremany but this was late 70s

    Jun 28, 2010
  • Goodbuy Girls's picture
    Goodbuy Girls (not verified)

    We want to convert a van for a tour but be able to sell goods out of the back, so a 1/4 of the van would be a store, this is also where meet and greet and merch will be too, cuz yea we sell clothes but we're musicians too....why not?, hit us up if you ever heard of anything like that!

    Apr 07, 2010
  • chris's picture

    Hi, I am looking at turning my ldv lwb high roof into a camper. I have an old caravan and am planning on just taking everything out of it and putting it all in the van. Would this work? Any help would help. Thanks

    Apr 11, 2010
  • Darren's picture

    Hi. THis will work . A lot of people do this. However, you should concentrate on keeping the components such as the water heater, battery, battery charger, taps, pipes, water tanks, etc. The furniture is likely to be glued into the caravan, and very difficult to get out and re-attach to the van.
    You should think about making new furniture in the van, and installing all of the caravan parts.

    Good luck

    Apr 12, 2010
  • marion's picture

    Hi we are in the process of buying the above veicle,with the idea of partial convertion ,i would be interested in any ideas you may have.One worry i cant stop thinking about some camp sites only seem to like manufactures conversions on there premises,also i worry about the size of the veicle and any hight restrictions.How easy is it to find parking when on holiday in a large veicle

    Aug 15, 2010
  • Darren's picture

    I've got a Mercedes Sprinter of a very similar size and rarely have any problems parking it.
    In a typical car park you can park in a standard space. I tend to park on the edge of the car park when it's less busy, and always aim for a space that has a overhang at the rear. The reverse into the space so the back of the van overhangs the parking space. The van fits neatly into the space then.
    Street parking can be more difficult as the spaces are often car sized.

    As long as your conversion has some side windows and is neat and tidy you won't have any problems getting onto campsites.
    Some campsites don't let commercial looking vehicles on. But with windows yours will look like a camper.

    Aug 24, 2010
  • sam's picture

    Hello!
    was wondering if anyone had ever converted a nissan vanette into a camper?
    I have just put rock wool behind the ply on the walls i have also layed insulation down on the floor and put ply over the top. any design ideas would be helpfull. chears sam

    Apr 21, 2010
  • sam's picture

    chears

    Apr 22, 2010
  • John's picture

    Did you find any one who had converted one as I am interested in convertimg my one

    Aug 15, 2010
  • derek 1918's picture

    last year i converted my nissan serena to a weekender for fishing the conversion is easy but you need to check things like sink length cooker size fride to fit everything in i had to make all my own units but an alternative would be to buy wall units .i cheap solution is a caraven breakers good quality and cheap for the cooker combo sink and bed mattresses fridge ect.i still have not found any high top to fit

    Dec 27, 2010
  • derikkotze's picture

    Hi, My name is Derik and I live in New Zealand. I LOVE NZ and what it has to offer. We also LOVE camping and were looking for a camper for ages now and could not find one that is affordable for us and then I had this idea :)...

    We own a Nissan Serena 2002 2.0L petrol and I would LOVE to convert it into a camper. I've seen some on the internet but struggle to get some good ideas and a floorplan. I would appreciate ANY help and ideas!

    I am new to this, but also VERY excited to try this :)

    Can you maybe help me with some ideas, pictures etc. please?

    Thanks and I am looking forward to hear from you.

    Blessings.
    Derik

    Oct 12, 2013
  • Sue Blackwell's picture

    Devon converted Nissan Vanettes, much in the same style as the VWs now, with the storage & kitchen area down one side & a three quarter bed. I had one in 1990s, so it's a while ago. The new style vanette is around now so I'm sure someone will be converting it.

    Aug 24, 2013
  • martin's picture

    I want to do a home build on a large merc vario and have seen fully completed, very professional examples for sale (££pricey££). They utilise the same box on the back, I believe its made in France but I have been unable to find a manufacturer. Its the one significant lump I'd like to buy in complete.
    Firstly what is the terminology for the living area so I can search for it and secondly any manufacturers who sell the box. I want an over the cab sleeper type layout, if this helps!!! any advice much appreciated. Martin

    May 06, 2010
  • Darren's picture

    Hi Martin

    Can you post a link to a picture of a van with the box?

    May 07, 2010
  • swappers's picture

    As far as I know no panel van currently has a pull down bed over the front seats, however I feel sure with a little thought it can be done....so if I can find a manufacturer of the current beds so I can get an idea of how they work, gona give it a go....

    Do you know any panel van that does have a pull down bed? or a manufacturer of the beds?

    Thanks

    Aug 03, 2010
  • Anonymous's picture

    Martins of Exeter had one. It was foreign maybe American, but they may be able to help you.

    Jun 11, 2011
  • Anonymous's picture

    I would like to raise the roof so that I can stand. I would like to raise it approx. a foot and a half, keeping the sky light. What is the cheapest and safest idea?

    Aug 29, 2010
  • Darren's picture

    The best way is to buy a fiberglass roof for your van. You don't say what type of van you have.
    Fitting the fiberglass roof generally means cutting the top of the metal roof off, and then glueing the fiberglass part on.
    It's not a straightforward job.

    Aug 31, 2010
  • Dee's picture

    Where can I find a specialist to replace the roof on my talbot express autosleeper?. I would like to add height to it and ideally have it slightly overcab, as the fold down top bed is cramped and takes up alot of space within the van.
    Thanks

    Sep 13, 2010
  • Frank Boase's picture

    I'm travelling in Australia,and have seen entire caravans sucked off their chassis's by vicules going the other way,so l would be careful about just glueing a new roof on.

    Dec 29, 2010
  • Mazz's picture

    Can anyone help me - I have just bought a 1998 fiat ducato, it was an old ambulance, with a view to transform it to something I can stay in as well as using it at community events as storage for and distribution of craft type workshops - not much to ask ehh? And to top that it's only got a drivers seat. Does have Tax and MOT though.
    Can anybody help me in where/how do I start!

    Aug 29, 2010
  • alan's picture

    I would strongly recommend joinin gthe SBMCC ( internet forum) great for beginers and a good crowd generally, only 15 quid to join and with the members discounts on suppliers you can soon get that back and more.

    Nov 29, 2010
  • voodoojunkgirl's picture

    I'd second this! Found the forum and help invaluable whilst we were converting!!

    Dec 17, 2011
  • Anonymous's picture

    camoer is 5.7 meters long i thinking can i put 5.3 meter caravan onto the bedford chassie

    Sep 26, 2010
  • Tony DA's picture

    Each time we put our bed down in our VW T4 Trident Autosleeper the top bolt on the nearside catches the covered panel and tears the panel cover. Nothing appears bent and all screws and bolts are secure. Has anyone come across a similar problem or have any sugestions?

    Oct 16, 2010
  • Kerry 's picture

    Hello there. I am about to become the proud owner of a 1976 T2 VW van, and I was wondering if anyone could point me in the right direction for somebody to convert the back seats to a comfortable living area. As much as I would love a custom job, in reality it will have to be for a reasonable amount, and I have no idea of the sort of price I am looking at. Any advice, suggestions or ideas on any areas of campervanning will be gratefully received, as I am completely new to it all. Thanks xx

    Oct 27, 2010
  • Anonymous's picture

    can a honda odeysssey be convert to a campervan

    Nov 22, 2010
  • Darren's picture

    No reason why not. You'll have to carefully consider what top put in and where to put it, as getting in and out via the side doors might be difficult.

    Nov 22, 2010
  • Les Stott's picture

    Hello Everyone, I am trying to comvert my Daughters LDV pilot ! I am ok with the units but i am stuck on the rear seat as to how it will unfold into the bed at night. I am looking at the VW style fitting i would like to know how to make the seat so it will unfold into a bed. Help!.

    Jan 09, 2011
  • Anonymous's picture

    Unless you spend 2k+ your rear rock'n'roll bed/seats are not to be sat on when the bus is moving. Not crash tested etc...the seat belts are but the 'cheap' rock 'n' roll beds that you find in VW's etc are not safe - no matter what anyone says. You need to spend some cash and buy a crash tested seat.

    Mar 29, 2011
  • Anonymous's picture

    Be very wary of suppliers claims that their seats are crash tested. They will be, but ONLY on the specific model van tested, usually VW so check if the test has been done on your make/model of van. If fitting these seats in other models van the crash or more likely, pull test isn't worth the paper it's written on. There are some very good quality beds on the market which although not crash tested, are known to have passed the German TUV test, a very stringent single vehicle test. Check with the manufacturers who can usually supply references from customers who have put their vans through this test. These beds retail for approximately £600, are perfectly legal and safe.

    Apr 23, 2012
  • mandas yellow perril's picture

    Hi I have an LDV pilot 200 series 1995 part conversion, I would like to change the layout slightly, if you managed to do your conversion I would love to see some pics as it might give me an idea of different layouts.

    Jun 07, 2012
  • Ballymascratchet's picture
    Ballymascratchet (not verified)

    Hi folks, really enjoyed reading this site with loads of info. I am new to camper van life and interested in buying a van to sleep 4 and convert. Looking at auction in Dublin and have looked at a few Citroen relays- some dodgy with loads of mechanical problems. Also got a mechanic to check them out and he says to stay away. they seem to be popular vans to convert with regard to the stand over height and step is lower than normal however recommendation from a local mechanics to stay away from Renault, Citroen and Peugeot has left me with the more expensive Ford Transits or VW LT. Can any one on this site give me a bit of direction re what van is the best for my meager budget of 3000K? Cheers in advance.

    Feb 08, 2011
  • Darren's picture

    Hi

    In my opinion, the French vans are not the best ones to get.
    I personally like Germans vans, VW and Mercedes. Ford Transits are also popular and have servered to be good vans over the years. The seem to suffer with rust though.

    The Fiat Ducato is popular with campervans and motorhomes. Mainly for the low roof height and parking brake which is on the drivers right hand side.

    All vans, like cars, have problems. Some more than others.

    What sort of year are you hoping to buy for £3,000?

    Feb 08, 2011
  • Mike NY's picture

    Here in the USA, the domestic companies such as Ford and Chevy make large vans but with terrible gas mileage and none of them are as tall as the optional roof as found on the Mercedes Sprinter. However, they can get serviced anywhere, if you ever drove across Texas or Kansas or Montana, that becomes important. Ford will be coming out with a new one soon and it is based on the European model, hopefully it will get better gas mileage and look better. I am looking for a used Sprinter but wonder if it would be better to just buy one brand new and keep it for my descendants. Ha. This is a great site, easy to use and some of the ideas are great. Ingenuity still exists, and when I look at the handiwork, it's obvious. Mike.

    Oct 03, 2012
  • coomcamperconverts's picture

    listen to your local grease monkey. stay away. citroen , puegeot fiat all the same all rubbish .great when they are new heart ache when they are old.renault it should be made illegal for individuals to sell this make of vehicle.god made sh.te renault made it move.in fact most front wheel drive vans will break your heart they are just not up to the job.(with the exception of vw) a good vw lt would be good but i would have my doubts that you will find anything half decent for three grand euro.transits unless its and old one i would run rather than walk away .ask your local mechanic about the cost of replacing the ever troublesome two mass flywheel,clutches ,and starters not to mention wheel bearings(you be sprinting away)
    save yourself a whole load of heart ache a buy an mercedes , the older models 308 310 410 so on are an absolute pleasure to drive and a virtually unbreakable. you get a good return on fuel to ( i have a 1989 308d converted 8 years ago compared to a friend s 2008 t350 transit it runs on fresh air) .you should be able to find one ,a good one within your budget. if you want more modern look at sprinters .not to my liking but 99.9 precent of transport companies in europe can't be wrong.(one would hope not anyway) .at least try it i reckon once you drive a 308 or similar model you won't look back.remember if you by a donkey its never goin to be a race horse no matter how much you throw at it .also there is no sight more depressing than a camper van broken down a few miles from a ferry port.
    best of luck

    Feb 12, 2011
  • Anonymous's picture

    you are no mechanic, my oeugeot 1980 j 9 runs like a champ and has surfdall over , v w my ass,

    Mar 27, 2011
  • Toni's picture

    I have driven my two LT31 vans for the past 15 years without breaking down an it always starts first time. There is tons of space an character in these vans. I am selling mine this month as I've had to buy a New merc for work reasons. Therefore a great LT31 up for a grab for little money. 07811 131618. they also have a great space in the front and large shelf above the front seats.

    Mar 19, 2011
  • Davef's picture

    Hi Tony
    Did you sell the van.... sorry only seen the post now?

    Dave

    Jun 01, 2011
  • Aaron Moat's picture

    Hi There, I have just brought a T4 VW transporter short wheelbace van. Ever since i hoped into my dads VW van i fell in love with them. I have fitted a high roof from a trasit with a litle work, Can anyone tell me where to start with first?
    Thankyou

    Mar 30, 2011
  • Aaron's picture

    this is my first time on this page so hello to everyone. I am a us citizen that has traveled to australia and have become addicted to traveling. i want to go back home and go cross country. I have about a $4000 U.S budget to buy a van and fix it up. I really would like a older van like a vw 1960-1975 or ford. It doesnt matter if it will be cheaper to do a conversion or just fix one up thats already converted. I just want something that will get me around and would prefer to roll in style. any suggestions, much appreciated

    Apr 02, 2011
  • Darren's picture

    Hi Aaron

    Great to hear that you have the traveling bug.
    The big differences between buying an already converted camper, or buying a van and fitting it out to become a camperare:

    Already converted
    --------------
    All ready to go, no time required to convert
    Already fitted items will be old and may not work well

    Empty van and convert
    -----------------
    You need time and skills to do the conversion.
    The finished camper will be custom made to your requirements
    Everything will be new and fresh

    If you have the and skills I would convert my own camper. If you want to get on the road ASAP get a pre-converted vehicle.
    I would also suggest getting as big a vehicle as you can manage.
    Having lots of space inside the camper is important.

    Apr 04, 2011
  • Anonymous's picture

    can i buy a small kitchen unit already to mount hokk and use?? where do they excess?

    Jun 02, 2011
  • Ann's picture

    Hi if your still looking for a kitchen for your camper I have 2 units with cooker,sink,fridge I also have seating , toilete, beds and units available

    May 02, 2012
  • tony morris's picture

    Hi darren, My enquiry earlier may have been to late,Ijust noticed the date of posting.In any case Iwould appreciate any info you could give me as to where I can get good used rear conversion units for my bongo 97 self build.Thanks in advance TONY

    Aug 18, 2012
  • Darren's picture

    Hi Tony

    The only place I can think of are eBay:
    http://bit.ly/MGB9wE

    and your local classifieds, such as a newspaper/

    They are very expensive considering what they are.
    I would personally make one. This could be done for £100 if you source a used sink and stove.

    A local carpenter could probably make one for £200 - £300.

    Aug 20, 2012
  • Anonymous's picture

    i have a lwb mercedes sprinter ex police van with windows and would like to convert it to a motorhome

    Jan 18, 2013
  • Anonymous's picture

    hi there
    i have y reg lwb transit which i hardly use and someone mentioned buying a conversion kit making it into camper van where do you start and how much do you spend

    Jul 23, 2011
  • Anonymous's picture
    Anonymous (not verified)

    Hi all our units are custom built per vehicle. we may specialise in VW but can build units to suit any vehicle on the market, and at prices to suit all budgets.
    give us a call on 07765351202 and see what we can do for you.

    Jul 26, 2011
  • Kevin Gardner's picture

    dear Sir
    I am the owner of a ten year old 7.5 ton removal van !! would love to know costs etc to convert to a camper ?? ps its large !
    regards Kevin

    Feb 06, 2012
  • Darren's picture

    The cost is something you choose.
    To have a nice interior though you would probably need to spend £2,000 to have hot water, seating, shower, toilet, beds.
    If you are good at salvaging materials and used caravan parts you could for it for £1,000.

    If it's the sort of truck I think it is, I would probably want to spend £4,000 to ensure a really great job was done, and the space was maximised.

    Feb 06, 2012
  • rod whirity's picture

    hi i,m looking for a kitchen unit,i took one out of an old caravan and although the goods are useable the wooden unit looks quite dated,could you give me a price for a new unit? cheers rod

    Jul 02, 2013
  • malcolmsmill's picture

    the legal guff says it must have a 6ft bed -- NO PROBLEM

    however is there any guidance / requirement for bed width?

    obviously 1ft wide is silly but a double bed is too restrictive and the wife might want to join me!!!!!!!!!! with MY waist at 4ft (yes 48inches) plus the wife, I would worry about the springs.

    seriously, is there any requirement for double or would a single bed surfice?

    Oct 06, 2011
  • Darren's picture

    No. There is no requirement for width.
    The inspectors dont necessarily get their tape measures out and measure the beds.
    They just look to make sure everything is as they would expect.
    Single, double, king size beds are fine. Even a 5' 10" long bed is normally fine.

    Oct 07, 2011
  • TERESA SLEVIN's picture

    Hi I bought a Mazda Bongo last year with a rear conversion. Tried several ways of getting bed comfortable to no avail.(I have to use seats with all the lumps and bumps). Do you know if there is a kit available to build a single bed along side wall of van with storage underneath. Any suggestions would be helpful as I am new to the campervan club and lack of sleep is the only down side.

    Feb 28, 2012
  • Bill's picture

    Hi Teresa,
    If you look on e-bay you can get a "rock and roll" bed which folds away after use.

    Mar 21, 2012
  • Anonymous's picture

    lets bongo on down yeah

    Apr 14, 2012
  • Margaret's picture
    Margaret (not verified)

    It truly irritates me when individuals declare that Volkswagens are
    generally overpriced, yet nearly everyone with one is pleased
    as can be. I always think Volkswagens will be for the auto sector,
    that Apple is to the computer marketplace…at the end it simply isn't about what it costs any longer

    Apr 18, 2013
  • Rob's picture

    By comparing VW to apple computers you are comparing apples to lemons. Price does not matter if you are only interested in snob value. Give me an IVECO any day. VW are the dearest company for spare parts this side of Aston Martin and god knows you are going to need them.

    Nov 07, 2013
  • Gothic Kate's picture
    Gothic Kate (not verified)

    Hi,

    We are just about to buy a Fiat Doblo 1.9 Multijet Dynamic 5Dr with a view to converting it to a compact campervan in the future.

    Can anyone suggest where we could get a suitable removable conversion, to include at least a removable kitchen, double bed and portable toilet, all of which can be removed easily if necessary, as occasionally we have to pick up adult children and grandchild etc. from railway stations or airports and if we do a permanent conversion the vehicle will only have two seats so we wouldn't be able to use it as an occasional people carrier?

    Does anyone make or supply ready–made removable conversions that would fit a Fiat Doblo?

    Aug 14, 2013
  • chris123's picture

    hi email me and I will send you pics of what I did to my doblo I think the website is amdro conversions worth a look thanks chris

    Aug 15, 2013
  • Anonymous's picture

    HI,
    I am looking to buy a campervan, but would like some feedback on what works best, a front or rear kitchen, thanks

    Oct 12, 2013
  • Sherrie's picture

    I have just barely discovered this forum, but thought I'd share my opinion here. I put a rear kitchen in my van so the layout could accomodate a double wide bed. It is probably not as convenient as a kitchen on the side near the front, but works for us. Our van is just a small chevy astro.

    Dec 03, 2013

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