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Ready to hit the road? Your guide to: How to build a campervan

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Are you ready to pack it all in and hit the road? Well, we wouldn’t recommend doing it without a plan, but we can definitely help you to think through everything you’ll need to build your very own campervan! First things first, a van is a pretty crucial part to your new campervan project. It doesn’t all start and end there though, after the van you still need to plan your design and customise it to give you the bespoke home on wheels you’ve been dreaming of. 

Our guide will help you to choose your van, plan your design ideas and remind you of all the little things you might forget to include but are would definitely regret if you didn’t have… insulation is definitely key to having a warm, homey campervan! 

So, get ready, get set and take a look at what you need to do to get out on the road. 

Where to start? Get the biggest factor to your project… a van. If you’re unsure which van may be right for you, then here are a few things that you should be thinking about as you look out for your dream van: 

Budget: how much can you afford when you need to stretch your budget over not just the van but all the parts and accessories, you’ll need to complete the whole conversion. 

Space: how many people do you need to fit inside your caravan? Is it just you, you and a partner, or you and your whole family? Will you be taking along pets? These all take up space and need extra space for sleeping and seating areas. 

Time: how much work do you want to put into this project? Do you have the time to do the full van conversion yourself and do you have the experience and knowledge to safely complete the project? 

Now you’ve got a good scope on what your priorities are, you can get a van that’s best for you, then we can move onto how you should plan your layout and design for your conversion. 

Planning your conversion is a great way to get excited about your new project, but don’t forget you’ll be working with small spaces so will need some creative solutions to fit in your home comforts.  

Here are some important areas to consider when planning out your campervan space: 

Sleeping: how many people are you wanting to sleep in your campervan? You’ll need bedding areas for everyone, maybe get a bit creative in creating a multipurpose area. Also, if you’re over 6 foot you may need to consider how your bed can be placed to maximise legroom. 

Storage: if you’re struggling to streamline your packing then you might need a little extra storage space putting into your campervan. But watch out, you may have to compromise on missing out on something else. 

Lighting: keep your living space bright and open with either windows or natural light. Some vans could come with windows already installed, but it you wanted to put them in yourself you need to plan where to put them so that your furniture and storage also has a place! 

Seating: whether you need space for reading or board games with the family, a place to sit at a table in your campervan is a great idea. Fold out table that don’t constantly taking up space are a great idea, plus you’ll also be able to eat inside when it’s raining. 

Weight: Another important factor that you should consider when planning out your campervan design is keeping the weight evenly distributed. 

Insulation: A large factor in campervan conversions. A lot of people tend to go for Rigid Foam Board Insulation, it’s low-cost, readily available and effective. However, while it’s great for those with a tight budget and deadline, if it’s installed incorrectly it can cause condensation between the inner wall and outer shell of your van, creating rust spots and damp.

An alternative insulation that cuts out the risk from issues such as condensation is Sheep’s Wool. Due to its natural moisture management capabilities it instinctively controls condensation, not to mention it’s environmentally friendly. So once installed, you won’t have to worry about it again. 

Working with a campervan converter 

The most popular option for van owners is to ask a professional campervan conversion business create their project for them. 

There are many van converters throughout the UK, many of which have years of experience of knowing what works, and what doesn’t when converting campervans. 

The outcome is usually a high-quality, bespoke conversion that is tailored specifically for the needs of you and your family. 

Leaving you with more time to plan your travels.  

Choosing parts for your conversion: 

Converting a van yourself is an adventure of its own.  

It’s really important to not jump headfirst into a campervan conversion project, without a robust plan.

There are no shortcuts for a quality conversion, so make sure you’re using the best standard of materials you can afford. 

Make your campervan somewhere you want to live in while you’re out on your adventures, it’s important that your conversion is comfortable and bespoke to your needs and travel plans. 

Make sure you do your research on the parts you want, before you buy, just because something seems good value, doesn’t mean it’ll be best in the long run. 

 On your way: 

Now you’re all set up and ready to get out into the great outdoors, give your new campervan a test run over a weekend to see how everything is measuring up. It’s completely natural to get a few teething problems, but you’ll have those fixed in no time and ready to be out hitting the road.  

If you need any help picking out the right parts and accessories for your van conversion then why not head to one of our retailers or campervan convertors who can give you expert advice there and then. Tell them that Miriad sent you!