While vehicle sales plummeted in the US during 2020, van sales approached all-time highs. That’s because increasing numbers of US remote workers took to embracing the van life as a safe way to work and travel.

Are you keen to enjoy life on the open road, or hassle-free vacations? Find out more about the basics as well as some van conversion ideas, here.

1. Buy or Build?

Most motorhome manufacturers use established motor vehicle brands as the base for their constructions, so why shouldn’t you? When you build your own motorhome, you can customize it to your exact needs and have a lot of fun in the process.

Yet, it’s important to remember that building an RV takes time and skill, so make sure you research exactly what’s involved before you commit. The world’s full of half-completed projects that ended up being beyond the scope of their originators. 

If you’ve got your heart set on creating your own RV from the basics, your first decision is to find the ideal van.

2. The Best Van Build Options

Ideally, you want to choose a van that’s large enough to accommodate your needs, but still small enough for everyday driving. Some of the most popular options for van conversions include:

  • Mercedes Sprinter
  • VW Bus
  • Ford Transit
  • Renault Trafic

While size counts, you should also bear ongoing maintenance and servicing costs for your chosen vehicle. 

3. Van Conversion Ideas From the Pros

The best place to seek ideas for your van build is at your nearest RV dealer. Here you’ll find out how established brands like Winnebago have mastered maximizing van interiors over the years.

Check out these Sprinter RV options to inspire your sprinter van conversion. 

You can also chat with the dealer about which aspects work best for their clients. You might even find a used van build that already suits your needs. 

4. Planning Your Layout

Once you’ve decided on your van, plan your layout, so you know exactly what you need before you get started. There are two main uses for van conversions:

  • Living and working full time
  • Vacationing for weekends or longer

Take time figuring out how best to configure your campervan for comfort and convenience.

5. Making Your Bed

A bed is one of the largest and most space-sapping features in any van conversion. You can choose from several space-saving conversion van bed ideas when it comes to this vital component. 

There are:

  • Beds that fold up into the roof
  • Beds that convert into seating 
  • Fixed beds with storage underneath

Fixed beds offer convenience in that you don’t need to set them up every day, while fold-away beds offer more space-saving options.

Making the Most of the Van Life

Designing your own RV creates a sense of satisfaction and achievement. Yet, this is a time-consuming and costly exercise. So if you’re considering this major project, it pays to take a look at what’s available off the shelf first.

Have these van conversion ideas inspired you to explore the wonders of an RV lifestyle? Check out our travel section for more information on the world’s most exciting destinations. 

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By SARAH

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