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15 cool campervan conversion ideas for life on the road

From swivel seats to a pop up TV, our van to camper conversion ideas will create a fabulous home on wheels.

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If you’re eager to spend more time holidaying on the road, why not consider a campervan conversion?

Whether it’s a day trip to the beach or a fortnight exploring a foreign country, converting a standard van to a beautifully furnished camper might be the answer.

With a bedroom, bathroom and living hub all in one compact space, just behind the driver’s cab, it’s a fabulous way to travel and see the world. No booking hotels, stop off where you please and travel in style – we’re in.

We’ve all seen TV programmes with amazing before and after campervan conversions – but where to start?

camper van conversion ideas main shot

Campervan conversion ideas

Be inspired by our campervan conversion ideas and get the van of your dreams.

We recommend using the expertise of a mechanic, carpenter, electrician or professional designer/fitter who is experienced in converting a van to a camper van.

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Here are 15 van to camper conversion tips from DIY decorating to slotting in more storage in a small van space.

1. Channel a boho mood

camper van conversion ideas

Decorate your van with warm fabrics and bold patterns for a life-on-the-road, boho look.

Reupholstering shabby bench seating can make a world of difference to how your van will look.

Skinny hallway rugs work well in a camper van. Layer your bed and seating with piles of wool blankets and snug cushions that can double up for outdoors or draped around your shoulders should the temperature dip.

2. Raise your bed

camper van conversion ideas

Create more storage by raising the rear bed of your campervan.

It gives you the option to customise storage underneath. Choose boxes or crates to stash smaller belongings or slide in bulky items like surfboards and bikes.

Be inspired by our space saving bedroom ideas and learn how to get creative with tiny rooms.

3. Let light in with porthole windows

porthole window for camper van conversion ideas

Circular, porthole windows are one of the cutest ways to bring natural light into your camper van.

You might not have the wall space for a large window opening, so installing a couple of porthole windows will add a quirky, retro look to the interior.

4. Pick a colour

pastel coloured interior in campervan

Campervan interiors can be calm, rustic or boho – it just depends on what sort of look you want from your home on wheels.

Choosing a pastel shade like this soft mint green will inject just the right amount of retro cool into your van conversion. Sky blue, lilac and sunny yellow will also create the happiest of moods on the road.

5. Store gas bottles safely

storing gas bottles in a camper van

Never leave your camper van’s gas tank on when not in use. Make sure you turn off the taps after cooking and safely store extra bottles in a locked storage panel.

6. Sneak in a screen for movie night

movie night idea for a camper van conversion

While you might want a total digital detox on the road, some nights it’s great to kick back and bunker down with a good film in your camper van.

Many campers will have a small TV screen mounted on the wall on an extendable arm that can be angled as you wish. Other ingenious ideas include a pop-up TV that can be hidden or elevated as required.

Otherwise, simply screen off with a small curtain. Sit back, relax and don’t forget the popcorn!

7. Stretch out with an extendable rear terrace

extending the back of your camper van

For an easy way to add extra space, try an extendable rear terrace in your campervan conversion.

This simple, slide-out terrace is the perfect spot for relaxing outdoors. Perch here for an alfresco morning coffee or set up your stove and cook up a breakfast of eggs and bacon.

The most serene viewpoint for watching a starry sky too.

8. Build in double bunk beds

build in bunks at the back of your van

Campervan conversion ideas for a family will need more beds. Pull-down beds are a great idea, but you will need a larger space.

Consider adding a double bunk at the back of the van with a removable ladder to reach the top bunk.

It’s also such a great spot for flinging open the doors and taking in the fabulous views as soon as you wake up.

9. Embrace outdoor showering

outdoor solar shower in camper van conversion

Indoor showers might be the ultimate luxury for van to camper conversion ideas. However, many van fans swear by an outdoor shower for a quick freshen-up under the elements. It also creates a lot less mess.

Simply fix a solar shower to the side of the van using a suction cup. If it’s a little gloomy overhead or you’re camping out of the summer season, attach a shower hose to a kitchen tap and feed through a window. Time to get scrubbing in the great outdoors.

10. Create extra room with swivel seats

create more space in a camper with swivel seats

Carving out extra space is a top priority for campervan conversion ideas. That’s why swivel seats in the cab zone are such a clever option.

Installing front seats that swivel round to the face the other end of the van gives them a dual purpose. They can be utilised for other functions such as dining chairs or an ad hoc desk space if you need to catch up on some work on the go.

11. Think about camper van cladding

camper van surface ideas

Make a statement in the interior of your van by choosing the right type of cladding for your needs.

From rustic timber planks to fancy, patterned panelling ideas, these surfaces are not only for decorative purposes. Seek out robust, easy-to-clean materials that can withstand varying temperatures and daily knocks and bangs.

12. Kit out your kitchen

galley kitchen in camper van conversion ideas

Campervan kitchens generally have an efficient, galley-style layout, with kitchen units installed along one or two sides.

Max out extra storage opportunities with hanging racks, sliding wall cupboards and lift-up bench seats with space underneath for stashing bedding and towels.

13. Luxe out with a full bathroom

compact bathroom in camper van conversion ideas

If you do have the room, a fully equipped compact bathroom is a real luxury in a campervan.

Invest in small basins, built-in storage, a wall-hung loo and big mirrors to create the illusion of more space in your bathroom.

Look out for an eco-friendly composting toilet for a greener way to kit out your bathroom.

14. Go for a vintage look

camper van conversion ideas

We adore this pretty, peaceful campervan interior. The rustic wool blankets, strings of twinkly lights, simple calico curtains and dried flowers create a modern fairytale mood that’s just perfect for life on the road.

15. Don’t forget outdoor furniture

retro outdoor furniture for camper van conversion

If the weather is good, you’ll want to sit outdoors, BBQ and dine alfresco when you stop off.

Invest in a couple of pretty fold-up garden chairs, a mini table, weatherproof cushions and an outdoor rug.

You’ll never want to come home!


What are the key elements of a campervan conversion?

Now you’ve decided to convert your van into a camper, work out what key elements you want to include. What you plan to include in your van to camper conversion will, of course, depend on available space and how you plan to use it. The typical elements that most people include are a kitchen, toilet, living space and bed.

These can be as basic or as luxurious as your taste and budget dictates. Have fun!

How do you plan to use your campervan?

Ask yourself a few questions before you set about converting your van. How you plan to use your campervan will influence campervan conversion ideas.

  • Are you planning to live in the van full-time – or use it for a long work sabbatical?
  • Is the van for weekend trips away only?
  • Does your van need to withstand extreme weather conditions?
  • Are you taking your van into the wild so need off-grid contingencies?

These decisions will help you decide camper van layout, storage needs, water and power supplies plus how comfortable you need the interior to be.

camper van conversion ideas

What is your van to camper conversion budget?

Like any household conversion project, this can often be impossible to stick to. But having some sort of figure in mind is an effective way to hone your design choices.

Check out our cost guide for a rough idea of how much converting a van into a living space will set you back.

How many people will be travelling in your campervan?

Are you planning a solo trip or do you need a space for two? If you have bigger family outings in mind, you’ll need to factor in more beds. And will you be taking your beloved pooch along for the ride?

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