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Overland Camper Builds of Your Dreams

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The allure of the open road, the freedom to explore new places at your own pace, and the comfort of a home on wheels – these are just a few reasons why many people dream of building their own camper van. Creating a personalized camper van allows you to customize every aspect to suit your needs, preferences, and lifestyle. Whether you’re planning weekend getaways or extended road trips, building your dream camper van can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience. Here are some great examples of some dream camper van builds.

In this video, Bondi Treasure Hunter shows how they built the van of their dreams including Hot Shower, Oven, Fridge, Toilet, Solar Panel, Sunroof and Diesel Heater so they can live in it year round.

Van lifers Scarlet & Seth demonstrate their inspiring van life build including how they built, installed and painted their own cabinetry to make their van feel more like home. 

Divine On The Road has lived full time on the road for the last six years and she does it in style and with her two dogs. In the above video, she shows how she tricked out her luxury 4×4 van with lots of secret storage compartments and space for 40 gallons of water.

Milo Meloy has an inspiring DIY van build named Brunswick. This DIY conversion 2018 RAM Promaster 1500 took about 10 months to complete. The 136” van features a fixed bed, a bathroom, an electric oven, a dog room, an electric oven and a convert desk. “As a traveling photographer, this van has been perfect for getting me where I need to go & keeping me out in nature longer,” Meloy, who lives with her 85lb Australian Shepherd, writes.

The above video shows how to build a dream van for a cyclist.

Vanvistas has an inspiring video about building out a 2014 L2H3 self-built Vauxhall Movano camper van. The whole build took around 12 months alongside full time work and came in at less than £5k, pretty inspiring when some of these vans can cost six figures. Watch the process in the above video!

DIY Hacks to Build Your Own Dream Van

If these videos have inspired you and you’d like to build your own van life, we’ve put together some guidance on building your own. Creating your dream van doesn’t have to break the bank or require professional help. With a bit of creativity, resourcefulness, and some handy do-it-yourself hacks, you can transform an ordinary van into your ideal mobile living space. Whether you’re planning weekend getaways or embarking on a long-term adventure, these DIY hacks will help you build a van that’s tailored to your lifestyle and ready for the road ahead.

Define Your Needs

Before you start building, it’s essential to define your needs and priorities. Consider how many people will be traveling with you, the amenities you require, and the type of terrain you’ll be exploring. This will help you determine the size, layout, and features of your camper van.

Set a Budget

While these DIY vans may seem affordable, costs can quickly escalate and you can quickly get into six figures if you have big dreams and  you are not careful about spending. Establishing a budget early on will guide your design choices and prevent overspending. Factor in costs for the van itself, materials, labor, and any additional features or upgrades you want to include. Research prices for vans and materials to get an accurate estimate of your total expenses.

Choose the Right Van

Selecting the right van is a crucial step in building your dream camper. Consider factors such as size, fuel efficiency, reliability, and ease of maintenance. Popular choices for camper van conversions include Mercedes Sprinter, Ford Transit, and Ram ProMaster, but there are many other options available depending on your preferences and budget.

Design the Layout

Create a detailed floor plan that includes sleeping arrangements, kitchen space, storage solutions, and a bathroom if desired. Keep in mind the importance of maximizing space while maintaining functionality and comfort. Use online design tools or consult with a professional to visualize your layout and make adjustments as needed.

Things to consider when converting a van

Insulation and Flooring: Proper insulation is essential for maintaining a comfortable interior temperature and reducing noise. Choose insulation materials that are suitable for campervan conversions, such as closed-cell foam or mineral wool. Once insulated, install durable and easy-to-clean flooring options like vinyl, laminate, or hardwood.

Electrical System: Design an electrical system that meets your power needs for lighting, appliances, and devices. Consider installing a solar panel system to generate renewable energy and reduce reliance on external power sources. Include a battery bank to store energy for use when the sun isn’t shining.

Plumbing and Kitchen: If you plan to have a kitchen and bathroom in your camper van, you’ll need to install plumbing systems for water supply and waste disposal. Choose compact appliances and fixtures designed for RVs to save space and conserve water. Consider installing a freshwater tank, gray water tank, and a portable toilet or composting toilet to make your campervan self-contained.

Personalize your camper van with interior finishes that reflect your style and personality. Choose materials and colors that create a warm and inviting atmosphere, such as wood paneling, upholstered cushions, and decorative accents. Incorporate smart storage solutions like overhead cabinets, under-bed storage, and fold-down tables to maximize space and keep your belongings organized.

Final Touches

Ensure your camper van is equipped with essential safety features such as smoke detectors, carbon monoxide alarms, and a fire extinguisher. Install secure locks on doors and windows to deter theft and unauthorized access. Consider adding a GPS tracking system and a security camera for added peace of mind.

Before hitting the road, thoroughly test all systems and components to ensure they are functioning correctly. Conduct a safety inspection to check for any potential hazards or issues that need addressing. Make necessary adjustments and repairs before embarking on your first adventure.

Once your dream camper van is complete and road-ready, it’s time to embark on your next adventure. Whether you’re exploring national parks, visiting friends and family, or simply enjoying the freedom of the open road, your custom-built camper van will provide comfort, convenience, and endless opportunities for adventure.

Building the camper van of your dreams is a rewarding experience that allows you to create a personalized space tailored to your lifestyle and travel aspirations. With careful planning, thoughtful design, and quality craftsmanship, you can transform a standard van into a comfortable and functional home on wheels. Follow this guide to get started on your camper van conversion journey and enjoy the freedom and flexibility that comes with life on the road. Happy travels!