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Tuesday, December 7, 2021

DIY Campervan Conversions, Camper Parts, & More: Frequently Asked Questions

Whether you are hitting the open road with your own campervan or RV, the excitement and thrill you feel are unequivocal. The feeling of your foot on the pedal, your life being pulled along with you, the open road unfolding and changing before you with every passing moment, and even the sun warming your face through the windshield is indescribable.

Almost every moment on the road can be romanticized, as road tripping is a truly enlivening experience, but this is especially true when you intend on doing so forever in your very own, self-designed campervan.

The trend of building your own campervan has exploded in recent years as more people are working remotely and the desire for exploration and travel has skyrocketed. Since the emergence of COVID and applicable restrictions, a lot has changed on both the national and international levels, including the explosion of #VanLife.

If you are curious about if or how you can indulge in such a unique, exciting, and rewarding lifestyle, you have come to the right place. In this blog post, we’ll dive into the most commonly asked questions about repurposing your own campervan, from costs to camper parts.

Is it cheaper to build your own campervan?
If you were to put all the work into converting a van into a campervan yourself, you would indeed save money. Not only will you end up with a new mobile abode that is particularly catered to your needs and preferences, but you will also accomplish this at the fraction of the cost of buying a completed and brand-new campervan.

This is because you can save money on hourly wages, but also save by using cheaper gadgets, appliances, and other RV parts (second-hand items on eBay or even scrap yard camper parts!).

How much does it cost to convert a campervan?

As you might have already imagined, the cost to convert your own campervan can fluctuate in price. This is because of a wide variety of reasons, such as the size of your van, if you are including a bathroom/running water or not, electrical capabilities, accessories, and other such parts.

However, the average price range for doing so is $5,000 to $15,000. One of the largest expenditures included in this figure is electrical related, which, depending on what you get done, can cost anywhere between $1,500 to $4,000. These costs include providing electricity for items such as a refrigerator, blenders, chargers for laptops and other electronics, televisions, etc.

You will also use a good deal of wood for various design features, like the bed frame, kitchen counter and cabinets, bench for the sofa, and other such areas. Therefore, the wood will be quite a large price as well, but this will depend on how much you will use and which species of wood you opt for.

There are plenty of other items that you’ll need to purchase, which can add up, such as solar panels (ideal for electricity), vents, insulation, an awning, decorations, bedding, mattress, mosquito nets, batteries, propane, and so much more.

What are the steps to convert a campervan?

While you have a lot of freedom in your own DIY camper project, it’s imperative that you follow the appropriate steps when doing so. In doing so, you’ll have your new home-on-wheels set up just right and you’ll save yourself from headaches and unforeseen expenditures in the future.

Here are the steps you should take:

Step 1. Strip and Clean: strip the interior of the van, but be careful to not rip out something you may need, want, or could reuse in the future for something else.

Step 2. Ventilation and Windows: plan and cut holes for windows and/or skylights. Also add in ventilation, especially for the kitchen and bathroom.

Step 3. Roof: convert a low roof to an elevating or pop-up option.

Step 4. Insulation: reduce condensation, improve airflow, and achieve optimal temperature, especially heating, inside by insulating your van with foam, foil insulation, and/or home insulation.

Step 5. Gas and Electricity: this is the most important step and should be taken seriously. If you aren’t sure how to install your gas and electric setups, have a professional handle this particular step. Any small missteps could be disastrous.

Step 6. Water and Plumbing: install plumbing in accordance with what you need, such as for a toilet, shower, and/or a sink. Cold-water set-ups are much easier than non, which typically won’t suffice for showers and toilets. You also will need to install something to collect wastewater. When installing a tank for this, make sure you have carefully calculated your anticipated water usage to get the right size.

Step 7. Let There Be Lights: install LED lights and other lighting options so you can live an even more comfortable life in your van, day or night.

Step 8. Furnishings: install your bed, sofa, and other such fixed furnishings.

Step 9. Kitchen: install your refrigerator, stove, sink, and other fixtures.

Step 10. Storage spaces: make plenty of compartments and areas for storage, like behind doors, under the bed and sofa, etc.

Step 11. Extras: and now for the most exciting part: decorations and other fun extras to make for enjoyable, comfortable, and cozy living!

How long does it take to convert your own campervan?
As you might have already imagined, the answer to this question is the dreaded “it depends.” It can take anywhere from three weeks to three years. It all depends on what you’re looking to accomplish, what your budget is, and your personal timelines.
What are the best vans for DIY conversion?

One of the most important steps in the entire process is one of the first moves you make: purchasing your base van. Here is a brief list of some of the most popular and dependable base vans for DIY conversions:

●Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
●RAM ProMaster
●Ford Transit
●Chevy Express Cargo Van
●Renault Trafic

Where can I buy the best camper parts?
Now that you are preparing for your new and exciting DIY lifestyle project, you’ll need the best parts available. That’s where we come in at RVupgrades. We have plenty of camper parts, RV accessories, and RV supplies, including replacement parts and much more available for you to choose from to make your transportable home functional, comfortable, and livable!

Give our customer service team a call at 866-332-7881 with any questions you may have regarding your RV camper, travel trailer, or the conversion process in general. Welcome to the beginning of your #VanLife!

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