With the ‘staycation’ becoming more and more popular in the UK, many holidaymakers are choosing to opt for a more DIY approach in the form of a camper conversion.
Summer is well on its way, so now is a great time to investigate a van conversion and whether it could be the next adventurous project for you.
Of course, your first step will be finding the right vehicle for your van conversion, however, it can be tricky if you are not well-versed in the different types of vans on the market. That’s why we have put together our guide to some popular vans for a camper conversion to help make your dream a reality.
Things You Need To Consider Ahead Of Your Van Conversion
Without a doubt, a van conversion is a big decision and there are several things you may wish to consider before making your investment.
It’s good to be realistic with what your dream camper van would include and what would suit your needs. For example, would you like to live in your van conversion, or use it for road trips and holidays? Will you need storage space for sports equipment?
Once you’ve decided on your budget, take some time to consider how much ongoing maintenance your van may require and the costs associated.
If you decide to purchase a new van, mileage won’t be a concern. However, with a used van, the lower the mileage the better.
What To Look For In A Used Van
Once you’ve considered your budget and what type of van you want for your conversion, it’s time to shop around for the perfect van.
If you choose to shop online, remember to take a look at the van in person. This will allow you to fully evaluate it for any issues that are currently present or could appear over time. Remember to check:
- Tyre condition and tread depth,
- Rust – especially under the van and wheel arches,
- Electric components,
- Air conditioning,
- Locks – do the doors and windows shut properly?
If the van is in good condition, don’t forget to take it for a test drive. Check the brakes, listen out for any strange noises, especially from the engine, and use this time to understand if you like driving the van. If you’re looking at large vans to convert, this is the time to check how you feel about driving a bigger vehicle. If you don’t feel comfortable, it may not be the right van for you. Smaller vans can also be used for a camper van conversion.
Most Popular Vans For A Camper Conversion
Small vans are perfect for a camper conversion that comfortably sleeps two people. Maybe you’re planning the occasional adventure, and looking for a sensible, everyday vehicle to convert into a cosy and comfortable space.
Remember, small vans do come with the limitation of lower roof heights, however, they do make wonderful van conversions.
Some great small vans that work well for conversions include:
A smaller van which is a common sight on campsites across the UK and beyond is the Citroen Berlingo. An affordable option for many, with plenty of how-to guides online when it comes to converting them, this van has great handling and good fuel efficiency.
The Caddy may be compact, but it is a popular choice for camper conversions. They’re easy to drive and are typically more affordable to buy and convert. Less space and a low roof mean less budget is needed to convert one, too. With enough space for a fixed bed and some storage, you’ll have all the necessities of home.
Ford Transit Connect
The Ford Transit Connect is a great choice for a camper van conversion. In fact, it is often known as the mini camper amongst fans of campervan conversions. A Ford Transit van will also come with many safety features and will be very fuel-efficient for those long journeys you have ahead. It’s a smaller version of the popular Ford Transit custom, so is a good option if you’re exploring various load lengths to find which suits you best.
There are various medium vans on the market perfect for campervan conversions. With a medium van, you’ll still have to be mindful of your space, however, you’ll be able to fit more in and give yourself a little more room to relax. Some of the best medium vans for a campervan conversion include:
If we had to name the most popular van chosen for camper van conversions it would have to be the VW Transporter. The Volkswagen transporter comes in many different wheel-bases and with so many transporter models available, you can truly choose the best van for your needs.
VW Transporters will also typically hold their value well, which makes it a positive investment in the long run, especially if you are planning a van conversion.
The VW transporter is also so popular thanks to its reliability, with the van commonly featuring in the FN50 reliability survey, and its diesel engine is often praised for being very fuel efficient.
The Vauxhall Vivaro is economical and has lots of safety features, making it a great van for a camper conversion. With enough space for storage, it’s a good van for those not used to driving large vans, but still need ample space.
The Renault Trafic is known for its stylish design, reliable engine and great van conversion potential. It’s a good medium-sized van for families, friends and solo travellers alike.
Large vans are great if you are looking for lots of room, for example, if you wish to go down the van life route. They’re big enough for lots of storage and even a shower and toilet if you so wish.
Some of the most popular larger vans for campervan conversions include:
Renault Master ZE
The Renault Master panel van is an electric van gaining popularity in the van conversion community. Fully electric models may not seem like the best vans for a camper, however, they’re great for the environment and a lot can be achieved with them, thanks to ample interior space. Solar panels are a great choice to help keep your range topped up.
The Fiat Ducato is a popular choice amongst van lifers for their versatility and sturdiness. Complete with a wide rear track and low chassis, the Fiat Ducato is a good larger van if you want extra space and a comfortable ride, especially if you’re looking to live in your van full time.
Mercedes Benz Sprinter
Known amongst many as the ‘ultimate’ van conversion, the Mercedes Benz Sprinter is a good van for a camper van conversion. It is a large van with a practical load area, which means that you’ll have enough room for a fixed double bed, storage space and decent cooking space. If you want a camper conversion that fits the whole family, the Mercedes Sprinter is a good base vehicle.
Keeping Your Camper Conversion Safe
Whether you’re looking at medium vans, large panel vans or even a small van for the odd adventure here and there, ensuring that you are properly covered with the right insurance policy is vital.
Our team here at Advance Insurance are well-versed in all forms of campervan conversions, and we’d love to discuss your plans further to ensure that you have the right specialist van conversion insurance policy in place, should something happen to your van.
Speak to us today for more information on the policies we can provide.