Converting a van into a road trip palace


If you thought the notion of a road trip was cool – and, let’s face it, it is – then doing it in a unique, memorable set of wheels is even cooler.

Many people dream of driving down Route 66 in Mustang or old-school Cadillac, but since the days of giddily watching the exploits of the A-Team, we’ve always had a bit of a thing for vans.

Vans are really the ideal road trip vehicle. They’re spacious enough that you won’t feel cramped and you’ll be able to bring plenty of luggage with you. What’s more, they can hold more fuel so you won’t have to worry so much about running out in the middle of nowhere. And finally, if you want to save on accommodation, it can even be your travelling motel.

DIY conversion

If you have the DIY skills to put together your own camper by converting a van, here are some things you should consider. Every van is different in size, so it’s always important to plan accordingly.


A hard floor doesn’t make for the most homely experience. When fitting your van with a carpet, it’s always advised that you don’t glue or fit it down as it makes cleaning extremely difficult. Vans can get very dirty, so making sure you can remove carpeting to make cleaning that bit easier.


If you intend on sleeping in your van, having some form of ventilation is critical to a comfortable sleep. This can be done in a number of ways, either through fitting your own vents or cutting out windows to create natural light. It’s wise to consider how vulnerable your van will be if you fit these new vents, so make sure you don’t make it a car thief’s dream.


One of the most essential things during a road trip is a good cooler or fridge. If you have the space, fit a fridge if you can afford it as it will enable you to keep food and drink at safe temperatures much more consistently.


Fitting a sink is essential if you want to make your van an all in one road trip solution. They cost very little to buy (some as cheap as £5) and will allow you to wash plates, dishes and even yourself.


When on the road, you may not always be able to find a perfect camp spot, or maybe the weather just won’t allow for it. Either way, having a bed in the back can prove to be invaluable at times. The bed can also double up as a space for people to sit should it not be used.


If you intend on running electrical appliances such as a fridge, TV, lights etc. you will most definitely need a leisure battery to keep everything running. You may also want to consider a split charge relay to allow for charging and battery use when the van is moving or stationary.

Be sure to make sure your van is insured to be driven abroad and consider looking into cheap van insurance quotes if you don’t already have one. Building your own road tripping van can be a hugely satisfying activity, but it can be tough to insure so make sure you do it right!