There is nothing we love more, here at Van Clan than DIY camper van conversions, they are all so unique to their owner and make beautiful tiny homes to see the world from. As living the van life grows in popularity, so many van life influencers and vanlife blogs are sharing their off grid home with us. Today we are going to be looking at ten of our favourite campervan conversions to give you some van life ideas and inspire your future build.
Travelling in a van can be expensive, especially buying the camper itself, but doing a DIY camper conversion is a great way to cut this initial purchase cost. By creating an affordable camper, you can save more money for your road trip adventure. You can also incorporate all of your vanlife essentials into the design if you build your own camper, and leave anything out that you feel is a waste of space, which is excellent if you are converting a compact camper van. So, without further ado, let’s check out our top ten DIY camper van conversions.
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1. Vincent Vanlife
First, on our list of the best DIY camper van conversions is @vincentvanlife. I may be a little biased considering I’m currently sitting in this camper (my off grid home) writing this article, and that I built it from scratch, but I do think it’s a beautiful conversion. We like to think of our rolling home as a log cabin on wheels, thanks to the wood cladding that makes up the walls and ceiling. We added to this warm feeling by opting for a country cottage style kitchen, with lots more wood and a large spice rack.
Along with the kitchen, we also have room for a static double bed, which is the comfiest I have ever slept in, a seat that hides a shoe rack and diesel heater, a toilet, a solar electricity system, heaps more storage and a ‘garage’ under the bed. The garage area is accessed via the back doors and holds bulky items such as a blow-up paddleboard, pair of ladders and boxes for storing items that aren’t used every day. We have been living in a van for over two years, and I wouldn’t change a thing about it, I’m so happy with how our conversion turned out and the off grid adventure it allows us to have every day.
2. Off The Grid With
Moving on from my love affair with my own tiny home and onto van number two on our list of the best DIY camper van conversions we have @offthegridwith. Sandra, form @offthegridwith, lives the Sprinter Van Life in her DIY camper that she converted in just 30 days! This goes to show that you don’t need heaps of time to complete your van build and get on the road. We love the balance between the use of white and wood in Sandra’s van. The white brightens the interior space, making it feel larger than it is while the wood gives the camper a homely feel.
The layout inside Sandra’s van is a bit different with a long sofa that runs along one side of the van, followed by the kitchen area. This sofa converts into a full-size double bed at night, meaning it doesn’t take up so much floor space in the day. Opposite the couch sits a large table, perfect for studying or working at, beyond is a cupboard hiding the toilet. Overhead storage runs along the entire of one side of the van, allowing plenty of space for carrying everything you need on board with you. This is an excellent conversion, perfect for van life travel.
3. Fite Travels
Up next on our list of the top ten DIY camper conversions we have this gorgeous family van by @fitetravels. This conversion is one of the best DIY ford campers we have seen, the thought that has gone into the layout makes this small space work for the whole family. Designing a Camper Van for two is pretty simple, but once you need to make room for the kids, things can get a little tight, but with the raised single bed in this van, space is no problem. We love the addition of sparkling star lights on the ceiling above the beds, making this area feel warm and cosy. It’s that sort of personal touch that you wouldn’t get in a shop-bought camper.
A third small bed is also hidden in this van for a baby; it folds down from the sidewall, so it doesn’t take up too much space when not in use. Opposite this is a functional kitchen that also doubles as a desk and plenty of overhead storage. An extra passenger chair sits behind the chairs in the cab area to accommodate and extra little one. Finally, out the back is a cool pull out deck, making a lounging space, perfect for watching the sunset.
4. Big Little Life
At number four on our list of the best DIY camper vans, we have an awesome DIY bus conversion by @big_little_life_. Inside, this bus doesn’t look like an RV, but an apartment straight out of a home decor magazine. It’s interior is elegant, bold and spacious, and I’m just a little bit jealous. The carefully selected colours in this interior make the space pop, with earthy oranges and reds working with the dusty green in the kitchen. All these colours could be too much if it weren’t for the white walls, neutral wooden floor and natural light flooding in through the many windows.
A large living room encompasses much of the campers space with room to relax and entertain with friends and family, moving on is a galley kitchen with a full-sized oven and hob unit, fridge, sink and plenty of storage and preparation space. Opposite the kitchen is a private bathroom, creating a part wall for the bedroom at the back of the bus. We love this house on wheels, and it is great inspiration for anyone looking to convert a larger RV.
We’re halfway through our list of the top ten DIY camper van conversions and at number five we have @vansteading. This magnificent build is an amazing piece of work, and the finished result is a stunning home and one of the most original Mercedes Sprinter conversions that we have ever seen. The curved shelving around the bed is a fantastic feature that is not only practical, allowing space to store clothes and other essentials but also looks pretty cool! At the back, light floods through two circular windows in the doors, brightening the bed area up.
The living area in this conversion has a seating area, situated at the foot of the bed, and a kitchen. We love the spice storage in the kitchen, the jars hanging below the shelving looks great, and it is also space-saving. White kitchen cabinets break up all the wood in the van and make the interior look bright and spacious; they also allow for plenty of storage space. This van is a work of art and shows that you can break away from the norm and create a unique van, perfect for adventuring.
6. Salty The Bus
At number six on our list of the top ten DIY camper van conversions, we have this bus conversion by @saltythebus. Salty is a relatively small bus, meaning it would still be easy to drive, which is one of the great benefits of small campers, but is large enough to have some space to spread out inside. This van looks super spacious, and the light flooding in through all the windows heightens this feeling. Having this many windows in your tiny house lets the outside in and allows you to enjoy the ever-changing view.
This bus conversion features a raised double bed, with storage below, a kitchen running along one wall and a large bench seat on the other. One of the best things about having a larger camper is the ability to create a big kitchen, and to have space for an oven! However, if this kitchen still isn’t enough for you, then check out the slide-out outdoor BBQ! The BBQ is such a cool feature, making outdoor cooking and entertaining a breeze.
Up next on our list of the top ten best DIY camper van conversions we have this pink beauty by @susicruzz. This cute VW camper is as lovely outside as it is on the inside, looking like a sweet with two-tone baby pink and white colouring. Inside, Susi has created the perfect home for travel in a van with everything needed for life on the road.
This van is a beautiful haven with a cosy bed at the back, that looks so comfortable and perfect for falling into after a long day of exploring. Beyond the bed is a small kitchen with a sink and a one-ring removable hob. The baby pink splashback is a great feature that complements the exterior colour of the van and is reminiscent of classic VW builds with matching interior and exterior. Opposite the kitchen is a log burner, such an excellent way to keep your van warm and dry in the winter! This is a beautiful DIY camper conversion.
8. Nafrada Van
At number eight on our list of the ten best camper van conversions we have @nafradavan, another VW build. This clean conversion shows how easy it can be to utilise a smaller space, making enough room for all the essentials for an epic road trip. The crate storage bedside the bed is a nice added touch; it is functional and looks super cool and rustic. More storage can be found on the other side of the bed and under the kitchen countertops.
A lot of floor space is saved in this VW camper by creating a fold-out bed instead of a static one. This allows you to have a comfortable seating area in the day, as well as more floor space to move around in as you use the kitchen. Having a fold-out bed also means you do not need to compromise on the size of the bed when unfolded, allowing for a huge, comfortable bed. The kitchen has everything needed to cook up a tasty feast and looks good with the wooden countertops complementing the white walls and ceiling.
9. Ramble and Revive
We’re coming to the end of our list of the best DIY camper vans, and up next at number nine we have @rambleandrevive. Ramble and Revive’s conversion is another brilliant build if you are looking for some inspiration on how to squeeze in the kids. Clever bunk beds running along one side of this sprinter van conversion create space for two kids to have their own little pod. Bunk beds are a brilliant idea for older children, and they allow a bit more space to stretch out, as well as an area they can call their own.
Behind the bunk beds is a double bed, with storage underneath. A beautiful wooden countertop running along the whole of one side of the van creates plenty of storage below, as well as overhead storage units. A sink unit sits in front of the kid’s bunks, making use of every last inch in this conversion. Finally, two extra passenger seats sit behind the adult’s chairs in the cab, creating space for the children to travel safely when on the road.
10. The Ugly Truckling
Last but not least, on our list of the top ten DIY camper can conversions we have something a bit different, @the_ugly_truckling. The Ugly Trucking is a handmade tiny home built on a truck bed, and it is stunning. This little cabin is a work of art with a fantastic exterior; we love the circular window and the shingles that follow its outline, drawing your eye and creating a crazy shape. The mix of straight and curved lines makes this truck feel more like a natural form that has evolved over many years than a (wo)man-made object.
Another unique feature is the door into the house truck. The curved wooden door with wobbly windows reminds me of the entrance to a hobbit-hole, and it fits so well with the rest of the exterior build. The inside of this tiny home isn’t finished yet, but already you can tell it’s going to look brilliant, if the outside can look this good then I’m excited to see what the inside will look like when it’s complete!
Although this list could go on forever, we have come to the end of our top ten DIY camper van conversions. Hopefully, you have gained some ideas from these amazing campers and have been inspired to get creating and to add a unique touch to your build. If you want to make your own tiny home on wheels but don’t know how to build a campervan, then check out our e-book for a step by step guide. For more content from the Van Clan team, follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter