Campervan Conversions Guide: Our Top Advice
Is there any other vehicle that opens up the road like the campervan does? Every A-road becomes the start of an adventure; every scenic viewpoint the backdrop for lunch.
Campervans represent freedom and, whether you’re throwing your surfboard on the roof and heading for the Atlantic rollers of Cornwall or hitting Scotland’s North Coast 500, your campervan will become your travelling companion. But how do you get yours?
Convert or buy ready-made?
It is a fair question. You have to consider what it is that you want from your van and how you plan to use it.
Buying a new – or even second-hand – campervan will be expensive. It’s investment, but buying ready-made means that your campervan will be fully equipped with everything that the manufacturer thinks you will need.
That’s quite a contrast to the individual spirit of adventure that makes you crave a campervan in the first place. A conversion lets you tailor and tweak your van to suit your needs and you and your family’s sense of style and identity.
CIY – Convert It Yourself?
It is possible, but you may also want to reach out to an expert in VW van conversions. There’s a lot to consider, over and above your interior colour scheme. It’s important to consider the engineering of your vehicle and an experienced conversion company know how to get the most out of every single mm of space on offer.
Top tips for converting a campervan
Know your limits
In most cases, transforming your vehicle into a campervan won’t involve the DVLA – probably. Creating a campervan from another vehicle doesn’t require a change of vehicle designation, but it’s important to know what’s what.
To avoid changing designation, don’t touch the structural design of your chassis, engine or cab. Even if you don’t change these areas, the DVLA has a strict set of requirements that you must meet if you want to re-register as a campervan. Re-registering your vehicle as a campervan with the DVLA can open doors to reduced vehicle insurance and higher speed limits on UK roads, but regulations are complicated and vague. This is definitely something to talk to an expert about.
When converting a campervan, it’s important to remember that your van will give you everything that you need. It’s like a little home. And, while it’s tempting to focus on engine performance or the type of materials, you’re going to use to make the most of your space, you’ve got to know what you’re doing in terms of fitting. Campervans use gas and/or electricity and water. Installation in such a small area will need expert attention.
The finish line
One of the most important elements of a successful campervan is that everything has its place – and that everything fits in its place. Drawers that close flush; drop down tables that drop only when they’re mean to; beds that are comfortable enough to drift off easily. It’s one thing making a campervan that looks great, but making sure that everything works in harmony is critical.