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Choosing a base vehicle to convert into a campervan or motorhome

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Making memories and experiencing the great outdoors on your travels means that choosing the right vehicle is vitally important. 

Before you choose your vehicle, you should plan out what your priorities are, because they can drastically change the type of base you should be looking for. You’ll need a one that matches your travelling style, budget and engineering skills. 

Getting your vehicle right means that you’ll most likely complete it quicker and keep the project to budget far easier. 

So, lets have a look at what you should be thinking about:  

Budget – think about how much you’re willing to invest. Don’t forget, you’ll have to budget for more than just your vehicle, think about the changes that you’ll need to make during the conversion and how those changes will impact on the cost of the project. 

Time – if you don’t have that much time to complete a full-on conversion, then maybe consider getting a vehicle that’s already part way there. This could be more expensive initially, but if you only wanted to add a few customised touches, this may be the best route for you. 

Space – how many of you will be off adventuring in the vehicle? If you’re looking at taking the whole family, you’ll probably need a bigger vehicle, if it’s just a couple of you, you can get away with a much smaller space for your travels.  

Lifestyle – if you want to include a full bathroom and kitchen into your campervan or motorhome, it is possible. You may need to downsize other items and compromise on space, however, this can usually be achieved with a few clever creative solutions.  

Different vans offer different advantages and disadvantages, you’ll need to figure out what your hard limits are when you’re compromising on features and specifications.  

Here are some great vehicle solutions to fit a variety of travellers, why not have a look to get some inspiration: 

A Van 

Sprinter vans such as the Mercedes Sprinter, Ford Transit or Iveco Daily are short or medium length panel vans that are a great choice for 1 – 3 people using the van. 

However, for longer trips you might want a high-top to give yourself a little bit more headroom.  

A benefit of having a shorter van, however, is being more suitable as an everyday commuter and usually more efficient on fuel running costs. 

If you’re converting a van for longer trips, then a panel van is worth considering. Not to mention parts are usually readily available and affordable because there are so many vans around.

Popular and spacious, there are plenty of types of vans for you to choose from that offer the perfect solution for your conversion project. 

A Minibus/ Bus 

Minibuses are a great alternative to the van, with windows already fitted you can get plenty of light into your travelling home. Not to mention, most minibuses are bigger than vans. If you don’t want loads of windows, then you can easily black any extras out.  

You’ll get plenty of seating with a minibus and any that you don’t want you could remove and sell to make back some money for your conversion.  

Alternatively, you can go for a full-sized bus that can offer maximum space and even the potential for a permanent home. Used buses aren’t usually that expensive to buy, but parts and fuel can be costly. 

So much room means you could have the option to build proper bedrooms as well as separate kitchen and living areas, giving your travels a touch of luxury.  

Whilst the internal size is a major positive, the external size can cause a few issues when it comes to using a bus as your motorhome on your travels.  

 Another important fact to remember is that in some countries and depending on when your driving license was issued, you may need to sit an extra test to be able to drive a bus. Make sure you check the law and your license before you go ahead and make a bus your base. 

 If you need any help picking out your accessories or parts for kitting out your van conversion, why not head to one of our retailers who can give provide you with expert advice and guidance. Tell them that Miriad sent you!