10 Best DIY Camper Conversions to Inspire Your Next Build

One of the best things about van life is always having your home with you. There is nothing like travelling in a van that has everything you could possibly need; wherever you are you have your bed, kitchen and chilling space. But there’s something else aside from the essentials that turn a van into a tiny home, and that something is unique to everyone. Often you can’t find that homely touch in a factory-built camper van, so the best way to make your van your very own tiny house is to complete your own camper conversion. If you build a campervan yourself, then you can add all of the details that make a house a home and completely customise the interior of your van to suit your style. Plus, there are so many amazing van life ideas out there online, from Van Life Instagram accounts to vanlife blogs, you’ll never be short of inspiring DIY camper conversions to inspire your own build. 

If you’re thinking of delving into the world of DIY camper conversions and completing your own conversion, then it is a good idea to gain as much inspiration as possible. There are so many amazing conversions out there that you can pull ideas from to inspire your own layout and make living the van life a little bit easier. If you find yourself endlessly scrolling through Instagram looking at tiny homes and different vandwellers DIY conversions, then read on, as we’ve made a shortlist of ten of the best DIY camper conversions to help to inspire your van build!

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1. Always The Road

If you’re familiar with Instagram and the van life movement, then the chances are that you’ve heard of @alwaystheroad already. And there’s a reason for this; they have one of the most stunning DIY camper conversions out there. But even better than that is the way Pete and Tay (and Snoop the dog!) make living in a van and travelling the world seem like an achievable goal- if they can do it why can’t you? 

Pete and Tay’s van, Sonder, started life as a pretty battered looking airport shuttle bu,s but with a lot of time, effort, and love, they turned it into their home on wheels. We love the simple layout that they have chosen for the interior of their van; it makes the most of the limited space while still allowing for space to move around. Two bench seats run along either side of the back of the van to make an area for chilling and working with the table in between, and then for sleeping once they have been converted to form the enormous double bed. But unlike many bench seats within van conversions, these ones actually look comfortable with a slight recline, meaning you don’t have to sit completely upright all the time. A galley kitchen and plenty of storage can be found at the front of the van, along with a bright splash of colour in the form of the sun patterned curtain separating the living area form the cab.

The layout of Pete and Tay’s van is simplistic and well thought through, but what really makes this conversion stand out is the homely touches throughout, from the brightly striped curtains to the warm wooden interior. The interior colours are warm and brighter than many would dare to use in such a small space, but they really work and make this one of the homeliest camper conversions around.

2. Curly Cally

Second on our list of the best DIY Camper Conversions is @curlycally. Callum Matthews’ is a photographer travelling Australia in his recently completed van conversion and his Instagram (and tiny home) is so dreamy. If you’re on the fence about whether or not to give alternative living a go, then scroll through his amazing photos and be inspired to take the leap into vanlife and travel. 

Callum’s van looks like something straight out of an interior design magazine. The colours are muted and fresh with soft wooden tones and white cabinetry making the space feel larger than it is. This space is tranquil and relaxing, the perfect place to watch the world go by from. The layout of this van features a comfortable double bed at the rear of the van, with an ever changing view out of the vans back doors; an L-shaped kitchen running along the side and bulkhead walls and plenty of overhead and under-bed storage. This design allows for everything you could possibly need for a vanlifer on the road, while still having plenty of space to move around when using the kitchen. 

The wooden and white theme running throughout the van is accented by plot plants and a beautiful patterened bed throw, bringing colour and life into this home. We’re also in love with the leather handles used throughout the conversion that are both functional and very stylish. As DIY Camper Conversions go this is one of the best we’ve seen.

3. Vincent Vanlife

Up next on our list of the best DIY Camper Conversions is @vincentvanlife who have managed to fit a classic country kitchen into their home on wheels. Rose and Seb, along with their van Vincent, have been living the vanlife for almost two years and previously shared their UK Van Life Hardest Bits with us. They have now left the UK behind them to search for warmer climates and new experiences across Europe!

Their van features a raised double bed in the back of the camper, allowing for plenty of storage below which is accessible from both inside their van and from outside for all the gear needed for an epic vanlife adventure. Next to the bed area is a cupboard for storage that separates the bed from the rest of the van, creating a little sleeping nook and the illusion of a separate room. Beyond this is an L-shaped kitchen and seating area, featuring a baby Belfast sink and a wooden dresser straight out of a country kitchen. We love this kitchen; it adds so much character to the van and makes it feel unique. The dark wooden tones in the kitchen are offset by the white wall behind it, and we love the way the kitchen area has been painted white while the sleeping space remains the pine colour of the wooden cladding, added to the feeling of two separate spaces within the van. 

The triangular paintwork on the drawers below the bed really makes this space stand out and is echoed again on the wall of the kitchen. But this isn’t the only art in the van- the walls inside feature many different pieces both made by Rose and Seb and pictures that they have purchased on their adventures, really making this van feel like a home. Vincent has definitely earned his spot on this list of top DIY Camper Conversions. 

4. Kunu The Bus

If you’re looking for inspiration for a bigger vehicle then @kunuthebus, next on our list of the best DIY Camper Conversions, is one for you. Kunu, owned by Ash and Hayden, is a beautifully converted Nissan Civilian that was a minibus in its former life. Ash and Hayden are now travelling Australia in their bus, taking in the views from their panoramic windows. 

The extra space within a bus, compared to that of a van, allows for more possibilities when it comes to the design of the layout, and Ash and Hayden have certainly made the most of this. One of our favourite features inside Kunu the bus is the gorgeous hanging chair where you can relax and listen to records on their vinyl player- true luxury! In fact, there is so much space inside their bus that Ash and Hayden even have a ping pong table, which is perfect for a game on rainy days! On top of these fun features Kunu the bus also has space for a large double bed, sofa, kitchen (complete with a huge fridge/freezer!) and plenty of storage. 

This is one of the most stylish DIY Camper Conversions on our list and the interior just oozes cool. The white colour base of the conversion allows plenty of light to flood the space and the wooden floor, leather cupboard handles and dusty brown sofa cushions adds a bohemian feel to the bus. Hanging plants, patterned cushions and macrame door curtain add to this incredible concoction, making this camper conversion unique and fashionable. 

5. Our Home On Wheels

Next on our list of the best DIY Camper Conversions are Jace and Giddi from @ourhomeonwheels. This pair have been living the van life on and off for years and have lived in several self-converted vans. With the arrival of baby Juniper you’d think the pair would crave more space. Instead, they have downsized to a MWB Sprinter Van that the three of them currently call home. 

With plenty of experience of off grid living and vanlife, this outdoorsy pair have minimised what they need in their life and have maximised the space within their van through clever design. The interior boasts a double bed at the rear of their van and a small Murphy bed at the front that folds down for their daughter to sleep on. Cleverly, the Murphy bed is hidden in the day and looks like a drawer unit when in the up position, allowing it to blend into the kitchen unit in the day time. This allows the interior flow and is a good way to sleep three in such a small space. Aside from the two beds, this tiny home also has a kitchen space, seating area, composting toilet under the bed and a garage storage area at the back. 

We love the colour scheme chosen throughout the van, the deep teal cupboards stand out against the white of the walls an bed and make the interior stand out. A splash of colour can completly change the feel of a van, and in this case it brings life top the interior of this small space. This is the smallest of the DIY Camper Conversions on our list but perfectly designed for this young family and is worth taking inspiration from if you plan on travelling with kids in tow. 

6. Van Dog Traveller

Next on our list of the best DIY Camper Conversions is another long term vanlifer- Mike Hudson aka @vandogtraveller, who has been living and travelling out of his van for the last three years. His incredible pictures from life across Europe make it easy to how incredible vanlife can be and his van build is just as inspiring. Mike completed his DIY conversion in just five months and turned his rusty old van into a cosy home. 

This rustic camper van feels warm and homely thanks to the wood cladding adorning the walls. The wood gives this van the feel of a cabin in the woods; it’s hard to believe that it’s actually a campervan. This home has a comfy sofa-come-bed that sleeps one, or can be extended for two; a kitchen runs along the wall opposite the bed, and a camper shower and toilet unit can be found at the back of the van. Positioned on the wall of the bathroom unit is a flip-down table which is perfect for working or eating.

On top of all of the van life essentials to turn a van into a home on wheels, this van also features a full studio sound system, perfect for partying into the night with new friends. This compact van is the perfect adventure companion and would quickly make anywhere in the world feel like home. 

7. Van On A Mission

Next on our list of the best DIY Camper Conversions is @vanonamission_ who have recently started their European travels in their beautifully converted Ford Transit Camper. This is an inspiring conversion, with every inch of space well thought out and carefully planned. By giving areas double uses, this pair have managed to make the most of the space in the van and have created a beautiful rolling home. 

Inside this van you will find an L-shaped, comfortable sofa unit that converts (in just 30 seconds!) to a double bed. Diagonally opposite is an L-shaped kitchen area. These two L shaped units fit together perfectly and still allow plenty of space for moving between both. One of our favourite features of this vans interior is the flip down table that also acts as the door for the pantry. This table gives space to work or eat on, while sitting on the bench seats without taking up any storage space at all- plus it looks great, adding a splash of wood to the otherwise blue cabinetry. 

On top of being well thought out, the build of this van is skilfully executed, everything is perfectly made which gives the van a smart feel. This is a beautifully built van and would be the perfect place to have as a base for your travels- I know I wouldn’t get bored of viewing the changing landscapes out of the kitchen window!

8. 6 Reasons Why Travel Blog

Next on our list of the best DIY Camper Conversions is another family affair with @6reasonswhy_travelblog. Cam, Em and toddler Flynn are currently living life on the road in Van Life Australia and are proving that travel can be done with a baby on board. This build has used every inch of space inside the van to be able to fit in everything a family needs to live on the road but still manages to not look cramped thanks to the organised interior. 

This van features a large bed at the rear of the van with a cot hanging for the ceiling for baby Flynn to sleep comfortably in, a great solution to sleeping a baby in a camper. A large seating area at the front of the living space with a retractable table allows plenty of space for eating and playing as a family.  A perfectly formed kitchen area with a sink and stovetop runs along one wall while cupboards line the opposite wall. The combination of pale, darker and white wood brings this conversion to life and separates each area from the next. 

This inspiring family prove that vanlife is possible even with a growing family and that it is possible to take the plunge into an alternative lifestyle while raising a child. Their beautiful conversion serves as a perfect home for an adventurous life exploring Australia. 

9. Wild Drive Life

We’re coming to the end of our list of their best DIY Camper Conversions and we thought it wouldn’t be right to not include a classic American school bus conversion. So, next up on our list is this epic school bus conversion from Meag and Ben, @wilddrivelife. This bus has ditched its school bus yellow and has been transformed into a beautiful sky blue home- eye catching and stylish.

Moving onto the interior, it’s clear to see how much attention to detail has gone into this conversion; this space really looks like a proper home! Light floods into the interior of the bus through the original windows and makes the bus look spacious a and warm. Rustic wood accents amongst the white ceiling and cupboards add to this feeling of warmth and, for cold nights, there is a wood burner on hand to heat up this tiny home. The abundance of space inside a school bus means that this conversion has everything a home has; a double bed, a large sofa, woodburner, table and chairs and a large kitchen area. Inside the bus the layout flows smoothly from one area to another, each element working alongside the next. 

We love the bohemian feel of this big blue bus, the mix of materials and colours bring character into this home and really bring it to life. This would be the perfect place to snuggle up for a cosy night in front of the fire before exploring a new place the next day.

10. Beanies and Bikinis

Last, but not least on our list of the best DIY Camper Conversions is this eyecatching sprinter van conversion by @_beaniesandbikinis. Nikki Bee is an amazing photographer who is currently travelling America, solo, in her beautiful home on wheels. She has everything she could possibly need for her adventure, plus a little slice of comfort to return to after a long day of exploring. 

Without a doubt, our favourite area of Nikki’s van is the kitchen, the design of which really stands out. The wooden countertop with its raw edge draws your eye as it appears to glisten under its varnish. On the wall beside the kitchen is a beautiful wooden feature wall with circles of wood showing off their natural colours and patterns. This wall seems to bring nature into the van, highlighting the connection between vanlife and the outdoors. All this wood is nicely balanced by the white tiles and cabinetry in the rest of the kitchen and below the double bed at the back of the van. 

Aside from the kitchen and bed this DIY conversion also features a bench seat and pull out table, perfect for enjoying a home cooked meal. This really is a stunning van conversion, with everything you could possibly need for an adventure presented in an incredibly stylish way.

Final Thoughts…

Hopefully, this list of the best DIY Camper Conversions has inspired you to take the plunge and start your own build. If you want to complete your own conversion but don’t know where to start then check out our How To Build A Camper Ebook for a step by step guide on how to build your dream home on wheels. Let us know what you think of these DIY camper conversions by joining the Van Clan on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

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