Budget campervan conversions

Want to do a camper van conversion but don’t have a big budget?

Campervan conversions don’t have to cost big money.  We’ve probably all seen conversions that have cost thousands of pounds or dollars, but we don’t all want that.

It’s quite possible to make a functioning camper van with little, and sometimes, zero money.

Read on and I’ll show you several ways to make a campervan from a van with just £50, or even less.


Ok, before we get started you need to have some basics for this £50 campervan to work.

  • You need a van, preferable empty
  • You need some tools
  • Some DIY or engineering experience is helpfull, but not essential
  • You need some imagination

The Van

You obviosuly need a van for the campervan conversion.  For a shoestring conversion I would recommend a panel van, such as a Mercedes Sprinter, Ford Transit, Fiat Ducato, etc.  VW Transporters are also good, but they have less internal room, and room is good for a budget conversion.

The van can be standard inside, but if it is lined it helps.

See the guide to buying a van for help and information.

Van 1 – The Sofa Bed Van

The Sofa Bed Van is my favorutie, becuase it’s easy, quick, cheap, and you can easily remove the contents to leave an empty van again.  Perfect for those who use a work van for occasional camping.

Sitting and Sleeping

In case you haven’t guessed yet, this conversion uses a sofa bed for seating and sleeping.  Sofa beds can easily be found at a a local recylcers or reclamation yard you should be able to find one for around £20.




You need somewhere to sit!  Camping chairs are great as you can move these outside to enjoy the sunshine, and also use them in the back of the van to sit at night time.  You can get the new canvas folding type for around £5 at supermarkets.  Chances are you already have some.

However, my preferred choice is to get a sofa bed.

The great thing about a sofa bed is that 2 or 3 people can sit on it during the day, and 2 people can sleep in the bed at night time, it’s comfy to sleep on, and comfy to sleep on.  It folds away during the day, leaving plenty of room in the van.


If you’ve gone for the sofa bed option,



Item Cost
Sofa Bed £20


  1. It cost me around £1,000 to
    It cost me around £1,000 to convert the camper van, from a dirty empty shell. This includes some new parts for the van, sound system, foam, lining the van, insulation, tools, parts and materials.

    When I do my next van I expect it cost less. It is very possible to have a nice camper for a few hundred pounds. You’ve just go to be inventive.


  2. Conversion budget
    Hi there, I travel a lot with work and am considering buying a van and converting it to make life on the road a little easier. I’ve seen the photos of your conversion and am impressed. I was wondering what roughly what it cost you to complete (not counting the cost of the van), as I will have precious little funds to play with.


  3. Here you go…..
    Hi Steve

    I have just put together a guide for you


  4. i need an idiots guide to cutting windows
    please help i am cutting windows soon i need tips


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