Converting a Mercury Villager Minivan into a camper is serious business. While the floor space of a minivan does not allow for all of the conventions of a traditional camper, a surprising amount of space is available once the seats are removed. Most minivan to camper conversions can be completed without professional customization; however, some luxuries will be sacrificed due to lack of space.
My Mini Camper Conversion
The My Mini Camper Conversion website offers free downloadable instruction guide for a Toyota Sienna camper conversion. The 31 page guide provides pictures, measurements and detailed construction guides. One of the goals of this guide is to make all of the necessary modifications without drilling holes or altering the vehicle, so the author uses longer bolts to achieve the necessary stability for the storage area. This conversion requires a high mechanical aptitude. The measurements are precise. While there are no mentions of portable potties or inside bathing, the plans are complete and free although a donation is requested if the plans are deemed helpful. The total cost for the bill of materials is under $200, but construction of the necessary parts seems to be labor intensive as hand sanding and painting are suggested.
The Easy Camp Conversion
The Easy Camp Corporation offers pictures of the conversion of a 1999 Mercury Villager into a full-service camper complete with a portable potty, bathing assembly and dashboard mounted removable shelves. In addition to the pictures, the site offers step-by-step assembly plans and kits for most of the items shown in the pictures. If they do not offer the item, they provide tips on where the item can be purchased. Using an electric grill on the dashboard shelves is suggested since there is no space for an inside stove. This conversion is moderately technical in nature, but appears to be doable by the average consumer with some mechanical ability. It also supplies a list of compatible minivans that can be used for this conversion.
Sade's Gipsie Caravan Conversion
Sade's Gipsie Caravan shows the conversion of a Plymouth Voyager into a camper. The website notes that the minivan used has an extended bed, which allows for extra space inside the minivan; however, an introductory note specifies that it is likely the conversion can be accomplished for smaller minivans as well. This nine-step conversion requires the use of plywood as a bed platform. Although not technically difficult, this conversion seems a bit on the eclectic side. Written for those who choose to spend as little as possible on the minivan to camper conversion, this article provides the basic steps required to make the conversion using minimal funds, and one step even suggests that the bed cushion can be made of found materials--simply disinfect the materials before use. This is a bare bones, makeshift gypsy-style conversion.