How to Convert a Van Into a Camper Van

How to Convert a Van Into a Camper Van
A camper van is a more compact version of a recreational vehicle. These types of campers are manufactured and sold commercially. But if you already own a regular van, such as a Ford Econoline or Chevy Express, you can convert yours into a simplified camper van.


Difficulty: Challenging

Things You’ll Need:
  • Carpeting
  • Bolts, fasteners and brackets
  • Wood
  • Power tools
  • Sleeping bag
  • Foam cushions
  • Tables
  • Camping stove with propane canister
  • Stainless steel bowl
  • TV
  • Stereo
  • Deep cycle batteries
  • Collapsible chairs
Step 1
Disconnect and remove the middle and rear seats from the van, unless the back seats will fold back into a bed and you want to keep them. Cover up the holes the seats were connected to by gluing or fastening down carpet strips.
Step 2
Put a mattress in the van or make your own bed using a sleeping bag on top of foam cushions.
Step 3
Install a "kitchen" near either the side or rear door of the van. Bolt a table to the wall of the van with brackets and attach side panels to the legs with plywood. Put a camping stove on the table and store propane canisters under the table.
Step 4
Build a "sink" in the "kitchen" by cutting a hole in a small table and placing a stainless steel bowl in the hole. Store water jugs under the table for your sink, which you can dispose of simply by lifting the bowl out of the hole.
Step 5
Add entertainment devices, like a portable TV or a stereo boom box, to your camper. With some extra work, you can mount RV-style cabinets onto a side window and store a flat screen TV there.
Step 6
Store a card table and collapsible chairs in your van to use outside when your camper is parked.
Step 7
Include power sources for all your electrical devices. Connect two or three deep cycle batteries to power inverters and install boxes in the van to hold the batteries, making sure there is access to the inverters' sockets.

Tips & Warnings

Secure all loose objects while driving the camper van. This is especially true of the jugs and canisters. Use the propane stove only when the van's doors are open or only use it outside.

Article Written By Chris Moore

Chris Moore has been contributing to eHow since 2007 and is a member of the DFW Writers' Workshop. He received a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Texas-Arlington.

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