There are so many amazing custom van ideas out there, so today we’re here to bring you a bit of inspiration for your future camper conversion.
Van life travel is one of the best ways to see the world. You get to explore new places without sacrificing the comforts of home. Living in a tiny house, however, it can be difficult to prioritise what to include in your conversion, like a real-life version of Tetris.
So, to help you get over this hump, we’re presenting some layout ideas to make the most of your space and adventures.
Inspiring Custom Vans Ideas and Layouts
Learning from other vandwellers about their builds is a great way to make decisions about your layout. After all, there are so many van lifers out there to learn from. The community can be an amazing resource! Just remember to add your own personal touch to really make the space yours.
Today we’re going to show you thirty of our favourite campervan conversions, all with a unique flair.
1. Goose and Ellen
We love a good pop top camper here at Van Clan. They’re compact when driving but spacious enough to stand up when parked, so you have the best of both worlds. Goose and Ellen (@gooseandellen) have combined their vintage pop top van with some excellent custom van ideas to create a home that is perfect for them.
There’s a lot to love about this small space, from the natural light flooding into the beautifully crafted wooden cabinetry and comfortable sofa/ bed area. This compact camper van would make a great base for any road trip.
2. El Kapitan, The Piano Van
When living the van life full time, you have to make a few sacrifices as concessions to space constraints. But there will always be a few essentials that will need to come along for the ride, too.
For one vanlifer, their piano fell into this category. It is definitely one of the more original custom van ideas we’ve seen, and contributes to a truly unique tiny home.
The Piano Van, by El Kapitan, features a full kitchen, bench seat that converts into a double bed, toilet and outdoor shower, as well the centrepiece piano. This van proves that there is always a way to squeeze all of your essentials into a small space, using good design.
3. The Ugly Truckling
If you want to travel in a van, but are not too keen on living the oh so Instagram-able sprinter van life, try throwing away the custom van ideas rule book and building your own camper, just like @the_ugly_truckling.
This stunning truck build is full of gorgeous detailing, such as the circular window, the intricate shingling and the handmade backdoor, complete with a decking area. While the inside isn’t finished yet, we’re so excited to see how it turns out; if it’s anything like the exterior, the result will be dreamy!
4. Pat The Van
We know a lot of vans have showers inside, but how about a bath tub? That’s exactly what @patthevan have done, creating a miniature sit down shower/bathtub, hidden inside a bench seat.
This is one of the crazier custom van ideas, but having the space to have a good wash means you can stay off the grid for longer while keeping clean. What’s more, nothing can replace the relaxation of a nice warm soak after a hard day adventuring!
Compared to a regular shower room, this set up actually saves precious space and allows the van to remain open plan. We also love the bright white and wooden interior of this campervan.
@Vansteading is one of our favourite Mercedes Sprinter conversions and deserves a spot on our list of custom van ideas. This build is so creative and unlike any other that we have seen; it definitely stands out from the crowd. We love the feature piece of curved shelving around the bed, which has drawn inspiration from old school sheep wagons.
Not only is it beautifully crafted, but it’s also practical, allowing for plenty of storage space. This shelving isn’t the only thing we like about this build; there is attention to detail throughout making this a wonderful home on wheels.
6. This Moving House
If you’re travelling with children, it can be hard to create a layout that allows everyone some privacy, while still allowing for a communal area. @thismovinghouse have had one of the more brilliant custom van ideas in creating separate pods for each bed.
This great layout still allows enough room for a spacious kitchen and dining area, with swivel seats in the front making enough room to seat four. We love this van conversion and think it would be the perfect way to travel with a spouse, heir, and spare.
7. Vincent Vanlife
Now I may be a bit biased with the next conversion, as @vincentvanlife is my full-time travelling home, but I think it has some great custom van ideas. The open plan layout allows plenty of space to move around, use the kitchen and even do some yoga, with enough room to roll out a mat.
Having the fridge hidden away in a tall cupboard leaves plenty of storage space in the under-counter cabinetry for food and other van life essentials. It gives us an extra wall for our extensive spice rack, too! Living in Vincent makes travelling in a van a dream come true.
8. Always The Road
We love the open-plan layout that @alwaystheroad have gone with, as well as the bright and cheerful colour scheme, with orange curtains and blue seats.
The bench seats at the back convert into one huge double bed, making the most of the space both day and night. The recline on the seats makes them look more comfortable than most standard bench seats, which is good news if you’re on the road full time. The overhead cabinetry is also a great use of space, giving plenty of storage for everything you need for life on the road.
With so many fantastic camper conversions out there, it can be challenging to have genuinely original custom van ideas. This, however, clearly isn’t something that @roadspirit have struggled with as their colourful curved kitchen is unlike anything we’ve seen in any other van so far.
This unique cabinetry stands out from the crowd and makes this camper a colourful and happy space. The curved design is also space-saving, allowing for a large worktop while saving floor space compared to a traditional straight kitchen.
10. Happy Home Bodies
While school bus conversions aren’t strictly vans, they do crossover into vanlife world, and we love this build from @happyhomebodies. Why not use it for inspiration for some custom van ideas? By extending the height of their school bus, this couple have created a spacious home, inside a small footprint.
This beautiful bus has enough room for a full kitchen, bathroom and a bedroom (with a door!) which is a luxury compared to most small campers. Travelling in this would create a little slice of decadence when living a life on the road.
11. Camper Vibe
Something as small as the chosen colours in your camper van can be one of the custom van ideas to make your home shine. We love the deep turquoise colour seen throughout the living space in @camper_vibe’s van.
This colour makes the interior pop against the neutral wooden tones and whites used elsewhere, creating a vibrant and fun area. We also love the oven in the kitchen, adding an extra means to create yummy food on the go.
Keeping warm while living in a van is one of the custom van ideas that is worth some thought, as it’s no fun if you’re always going to be cold. While traditional heaters are great, they can be expensive and tricky to install, which is why some people opt for a wood-burner. And @dimileau have done just that.
We love their small wood-burner and the corrugated metal behind it. While this metal is a safety precaution, we think it looks brilliant and turns the wood-burner into a feature as well as a functional component of the camper. This van would undoubtedly be a toasty home on the road.
13. Fite Travels
Up next we have an excellent custom van idea for any parents out there: a bunk bed for your little one! This bunk bed by @fitetravels allows their little girl her own space to call home and stretch out. It also enables the parents to a bit more privacy, to boot.
The bunk bed is a great way to provide extra sleeping space without taking up any floor space, leaving more room for a living area. The star-like lights on the ceiling are a cute addition to make living the van life even more exciting.
14. Some Drifters
This beautifully crafted bus by @somedrifters includes some stunning custom van ideas. We love the warm neutral tones running throughout the interior and the slight vintage vibes that match the age of the bus.
With a real sofa, rugs, plants and a wood-burning stove with stone surround, this bus feels more like a full-blown house than a home on wheels. It would be the perfect home base to explore the world from.
15. Home Sweet Van
The choice between having a static bed taking up space in the day time, or having a convertible seating area to bed is a big one. Both have their pros and cons, but what if you could have it all at once?
Welcome to @homesweetvan who have one of the best custom van ideas, a double bed that raises to the ceiling, at the press of a button to reveal a seating space below. This smart design means that you don’t need to assemble your bed every evening, and can still have plenty of space to chill out in the day, perfect!
16. Our Venturing Van
Just because a van is small doesn’t mean it can’t be mighty, just like our next van with some great custom van ideas.
One great feature @our_venturing_van uses to make the most of the space they do have is a portable cooktop. This means that when the weather is good, they can cook outside on their slide-out work surface. However, if the weather isn’t so good, they can always cook inside.
We also love the wood finish in this van, making it feel homely, even if it is compact.
17. Lauren Gardenbelle
From small to big, next we have another great bus conversion by @laurengardenbelle. This beautiful skoolie has everything needed for a wonderful life on the road, including a bedroom, bathroom, full kitchen, living space and a wood burner.
The bus also features a roof deck, meaning this off grid home also comes with a ‘garden’, giving you even more space to hang out and enjoy the sun.
18. Ollie Smither
Surfing and vanlife often go hand in hand, as being able to go on an off grid adventure means you can chase the surf without worrying about a place to stay. However, storing your surfboard in a camper van can be more of a problem.
We love @olliesmither’s solution to the question: Storing your surfboard on the ceiling of your van is one of the better custom van ideas out there. This means that your board is not taking up any floor space or storage that could be used for other items. It also means that it is securely locked inside the van at all times, allowing for some peace of mind.
Tiny home and board in tow, all that’s left to do is to head to the ocean.
19. Glampervan US
Plywood is often thought of as a cheap material, but when used well, it can look stylish. When applying your own custom van ideas to your build, you’re free to break the mould and create something truly unique.
@Glamervan.us have created a beautiful finish with plywood that looks sleek as well as being functional. We love that the plywood runs throughout the whole van, giving it a uniformed feel and connecting the different spaces.
20. Brina Explores
A camper is your vessel to the outdoors. But if you’re going to be spending the majority of your time outside, then maybe micro campers would be ideal for you. That was certainly the conclusion @brina.explores arrived at for their tiny home.
This van may be small, but they have combined many custom van ideas to make the space work for them. Notably, this includes a slide-out kitchen at the back of the van that conserves interior space for a comfortable bed and seating area.
21. Susi Cruzz
The solo female van community is a growing one. And, we love seeing the custom van ideas and conversions that these amazing women complete, including this super cute home on wheels by @susicruzz.
We love the backsplash colour (the space behind the kitchen counter) of baby pink tiles, which match the exterior of the van. Wooden walls, a comfortable bed, soft lighting and attention to detail make this camper look like a cosy place to call home.
22. The Travelling Makers
Converting a van can sometimes be tricky as many campers have slightly curved walls. However, when you’re working with custom van ideas, you can choose a van that is completely straight to make life easier.
One such van is the Luton box van like this one that @thetravellingmakers converted into a stunning and practical home.
The shape of this van also allows you to have a loft bed, leaving the floor area as an open plan living space. One other feature we love in this camper is the 3-d geometric pattern painted onto the floor, which gives a cool, eye-catching finish.
23. Since We Woke Up
Up next on our list of custom van ideas is this open plan bus by @sincewewokeup. This bus is full of quirky and unique touches, such as the world map on the kitchen wall, books and decorative items on the shelves in the living room and cushions and throws on the sofa.
It can be easy to forget to add these homely touches when converting your own tiny home and thinking about practicalities of life on the road. But it’s these details that make a house your own.
24. Slow n Steady Living
Matt and Steph of @slownsteadyliving have lived in several tiny homes, so they knew what they wanted when it came to their latest van build. The result is absolutely stunning, and we love the use of neutral colours, wood finishes and white throughout the build. One of the best custom van ideas in this build is the ‘sunroom’.
Their van is big enough to have split into two separate spaces: the main living and sleeping area, and the sunroom. The front of the van is separated from the rear with a curtain, and features the driving cab, plus a seating area and table for eating and working.
Creating this separate space means no heat is lost from the main living areas through the windshield. It also allows a second space to work from, which is great if you’re a digital nomad.
25. Boho Vans
Vanlife is all about creating more time to do the things you enjoy and allowing you some freedom from the daily grind.
This camper from @bohovans has one of the whackiest custom van ideas that we’ve seen so far, with the inclusion of a retractable foosball table. While this is a fun feature, the rest of the van is also beautifully crafted and a great space to live in on the road.
26. The Avocado Tribe
Next up we have some more custom van ideas for those travelling with their kids, from @theavocadotribe. This is an excellent bus layout, designed to maximise the floor space and allow space for growing children to have their own beds.
The first kids’ bed at the base of the main double bed folds into a bench seat that can be used during the day. The second bed folds back into the wall, leaving the floor clear to allow space for using the kitchen efficiently and playing.
Having bare floor space in a tiny home is so underrated, it is great to be able to move around unobstructed, even if it’s only a few paces.
27. Dolce Sole Camper
Living the van life means you can chase the sun for a (nearly) never-ending summer. With the sun comes more and more al fresco meals, and this fantastic pull out table and benches in at @dolcesolecamper’s van makes eating outside even more accessible.
This table is one of the more ingenious custom van ideas we’ve seen, but would be simple to construct. We love that when not in use, the table blends in with the rest of the storage drawers.
28. Noma The Happy Van
I’m in love with the bright whites running throughout @nomathehappyvan; it makes the interior pop and feel bright, spacious and clean. The use of different colours and tones can change the feel of a camper van, and it is essential to consider when thinking about your custom van ideas.
The bench seat also works well at the base of the comfortable double bed, providing extra storage, a place to relax, plus a handy step up to the bed.
29. Three Vanlifers
The design of this camper van by @three_vanlifers allows plenty of space to relax and entertain guests with its U-shaped sofa, with a table in the centre. The bulkhead kitchen has reduced the amount of floor space taken up by cabinetry to allow for the seating area and a fixed double bed in a relatively small camper.
These are great custom van ideas, that somehow makes the van feel as though there is more in it than should be possible! What a beautiful home to take on the road.
30. Our Home On Wheels
We love this self-built camper van and think it combines many great custom van ideas. This van by @ourhomeonwheels, has plenty of windows to allow natural light to stream into the van and brighten up the interior, making it feel spacious. The white walls and ceiling elevate this sense further.
We also love the table running along one side of the van, giving a view outside when working or eating and allowing for extra worktop space when preparing meals so you can appreciate each new location even if you need to be inside. This tiny home would be an excellent base for any adventure.
Hopefully, this list has inspired you and given you some inspiration for your next custom van build, and makes you want to hit the road. Planning your own camper van conversion?