Freedom, flexibility, and low touring costs are key among the un-quantifiable reasons for loving campervans. Their popularity has grown immensely because they eliminate the need for towing and offer more security for you and your belongings.
Compared to tents, they guarantee better protection from external elements. Nonetheless, campervans can prove unpractical if the design and features are not suitable to your needs. Choosing the right vehicle is paramount to the success of your venture. Ensure that the classic van picked features the desired height, layout, and size. The van’s engine size should be sufficient to pull your laden campervan.
Also to consider while planning for your campervan conversion is your budgetary figure. You should outline all the gadgets and facilities you would want in your campervan in order of priority before construction works begin. By doing so, you will easily confine yourself to the allocated budget and still achieve your goals.
It is essential that you acquire the necessary tools, most of which can be bought either online or from your nearest hardware store. We assume that you possess some basic DIY knowledge and can spare enough time to complete your conversion on schedule.
Assuming that your classic van is no different from most, then you are likely to encounter rusty spots. Replacing rusty panels is the only sure way to get permanently rid of rust. Unfortunately, this method can be expensive so you may opt for the next best thing – removing as much rust as possible and then using filler to repair the body work. Deal with any dents or body damage at this point. Or if you can’t, try a Netbet promo code.
Depending on the overall state of the bodywork, you might may opt either for a full or partial respray. Repainting can be an expensive affair but there are great products in the market, such as Rustoleum, that will do as fine a job as costlier ones.
If you are converting a panel van – or require additional windows to suit your design – then you will have to cut holes into the side of your van. The two most popular window designs are bonded and acrylic. Bonded or fitted windows are single-glazed in that the glass pane is glued (bonded) directly to the hole cut into the panel.
To prevent condensation on bonded windows, they are covered with window insulation mats. Acrylic windows are a more expensive option that feature a built-in fly screen and blind. Their opening mechanism prevents condensation and increases ventilation. It is important to treat the cut edges for rust and to file down any sharp surfaces before fitting in the window.
A good ventilation system eliminates pollutants and water vapour and supplies sufficient fresh air into your new campervan. The most popular ventilation components are the louvered wall vent, the pop-up roof vent, the extractor roof vent, and the wind-powered roof vent. Ideally, heat from cooking is expelled through the roof vents or the sunroof whike clean air will come in through the lower-placed vents.
It is important to consider the type of ventilation before cutting a hole into the panel so as to prevent unnecessary heat loss or leaks. Although most builders usually consider the waste water system during the final stages, it it more practical to have it fitted in the earlier stages. A good waste system will negate unpleasant odours resultant to blockages and ensure that there is sufficient storage for waste water.
Your creativity and resourcefulness will be tested at this point. Most people get carried away, but it is advisable that you restrict yourself to the budget. It is most likely that your classic van’s interior may need much work, especially in the cabin area.
Depending on the extent of impairment, you may decide to either fix certain portions or revamp the whole cabin/front. Faux leather can be used on the door cards and the dash – if necessary. Any holes or spaces in the floor should be welded shut before laying a new plywood floor. Several materials such as natural sheep wool, rock wool, and armaflex can be used to insulate your campervan. Use waterproof plywood (against humidity and all kinds of liquid spills) for covers and flexible, soft carpeting to cover it all.
Your elaborate design plan – hoping that you made one – should guide you in laying out the floor layout. The straightforward method is to make a sketch on the floor plywood to ensure that every component goes to where it is supposed to be.
Use slightly thicker panels for side plywood covers to make it easy to install furniture at a later stage. Use a sealant or glue with a large temperature span and remember that certain metals do not mix without rusting or breaking apart. It is advisable that you begin covering the interior from ceiling to floor. You can use laminate flooring as a cheaper alternative to carpeting.
You might find it more convenient to run the wires and hoses under the insulation and plywood covers – of course guided by your elaborate design. To make work easier, you should place or measure out the spaces to be occupied by appliances before building and fitting cupboards and other furniture.
Basic campervans may only require a gas hob and a sink, but a toilet, heating, microwave, and a refrigerator can largely increase the comfort of your motorhome. Due to the limited space, you will not have the luxury of building separate areas for sitting and sleeping. Your only choice is to create a sleeping area that can serve as a sitting area. Foam can be expensive so you may go for second-hand caravan cushions and re-style them to your liking.
The electrical system is defined by factors such as types of appliance, vehicle size, and cost of installation. It is highly recommended to solicit assistance from an electrical expert if you are a novice builder as illegal connections may cause serious harm or fatality in the future. You will need a battery charger/converter unit, a secondary battery, a battery separator, an external hookup, a control panel and cables. Although generators are sometimes used for charging the batteries, a solar system is more cost-effective in the long run.
Deep-cycle batteries are more expensive but will give you more value compared to full-to-drain cycle batteries. Extreme caution should be exercised when fitting the heating system. Both butane and propane are volatile liquid petroleum gases and should be handled with utmost care. Please ensure that there are no leakages whatsoever. Some builders use diesel heaters and compressor coolers which are safer as they do not require gases but consume a lot of power.
An adequate water supply system is crucial to your day-to-day touring. There are various water storage components including portable external units, fixed internal tanks, and moveable internal storage. If you so desire, you can include water pumps to your water supply system. We recommend submersible pumps for smaller campervans and diaphragms for more advanced systems.
Most campervan builders use either a micro switch or a pressure-sensitive switch to operate the pumps. A surge damper and water purifier are additional components that can contribute to better results. A conventional campervan will have a simple cold water system, but you may choose to install a heating system. What is left now is to decorate your campervan to make it homier then set off to discover the roads less trodden.