First time van to live in

Home Forum topic Campervan Conversions First time van to live in

  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.
  1. Bom dia ViriatoPT! I loved
    Bom dia ViriatoPT! I loved Portugal, and spent many months in the Alentejo and Algarve. I also have a friend in Porto, and enjoyed a visit to Lisbon.

    The summer is definitely hot there. Good luck with the conversion and we’d love to see some pics 🙂


  2. Hey,
    Darren did you enjoyed

    Darren did you enjoyed Portugal ? =) We have a lot of tourists around here mainly from Northern Europe during the winter. I am Portuguese and I think Portugal is just to hot in the summer, when I’ll have my camper van I think I’ll go to Finland to pass the summer.
    When I start converting my van I’ll post some photos to share with all of you.


  3. Welcome elmofors
    I lived in

    Welcome elmofors

    I lived in my camper van for 9 months, and loved it. My vehicle was a converted small Mercedes Sprinter which I converted into a camper van. I spent almost all of my time free camping, with occasional visits to camp sites when in built up areas, and also in rural areas to refresh water supplies and empty toilets, etc.

    I travelled in France, Belgium, Spain and Portugal from September to June. I had no problems at all. I know free camping in these areas is more difficult during June, July and August as the police do not like too many people taking up car parks when there are lots of visitors to the beaches.

    My camper van looked like an ordinary van from the outside, and so did not attract much attention.

    But, If I were going to spend a lot of time living in a vehicle I would consider buying a motorhome as these are more comfortable. But a well converted camper van can be just as comfortable.

    For a long period of time I would suggest that you have a wash room, with a toilet and perhaps a simple shower. Toilets are easy to empty with occasional visits to campsites, but showers require a lot of water to be carried. You can generally let the waste water just run onto the ground, but you may have to collect the water if you intend to camp on hard surfaces such as car parks.

    As you intend to spend time in northern Europe I would suggest a heating system of some kind. There are special camper van/motorhome heaters that live outside of the vehicle, run on diesel, and pump heat into the vehicle. These take a bit of work to fit and make some noise with their diesel engine. A simpler option is to get a gas heater that sits on top of a gas bottle, but you need to have some sort of ventilation in the vehicle such as an open window, to allow the burnt gases to escape. You should also insulate the vehicle to ensure that the heat stays in and the cold stays out. Also thick curtains that fit the windows well will keep a lot of heat in.

    I would consider a high-top vehicle necessary, to allow standing all of the time in the vehicle. During bad weather, which could last several days, you need to be able to stand comfortably and move around.

    Having at least a small area where you can walk around is also good for stretching legs. Typical VW layouts, with the seating across the van is not good for living in a van, and is really only meant for weekend use.

    Expenses can be kept to a minimum with free camping, limited driving and buy stocking up at supermarkets. LPG is cheaper to buy in large quantities, so having large gas bottles means you can save money there.

    Electrical power is also a consideration. A vehicle for living in should have a good 12v electrical circuit. You would need 1 or maybe more leisure batteries. These should be charged when the engine is running, as this is the quickest way to charge them. Also consider solar panels which will provide a small amount of power during daylight hours. If you need lots of power, for a TV or laptop when consider having several leisure batteries. If you will be free camping away from other people you can get a generator to provide 240v electricity. Wind turbines, like those on yachts, can also provide reasonable levels of 12v electricity, but they can be expensive and need to be taken down from the roof every time you drive the vehicle.

    I hope this information helps you. 🙂

    Also check the article on living in a camper van.

  4. Hey, looks like we have the
    Hey, looks like we have the same idea =)
    Personally I’ll make my can very confortable, I’ll put a 2 persons bed in my van, a refrigerator and also a microwave. I would like to explore the north of Europe therefore i have seted up some fiber glass boards in the interior of the van. I’ll also cover the board with leather and sponge.
    I personnaly like the van of this youtube video .

    Greetings 😉