Are you thinking of converting a van into a campervan? Whether you’re using it for weekend getaways or living out of your van full-time, it’s an exciting yet daunting idea. And it takes bravery and commitment to see it through.
If you’re considering converting a van and you’re wondering what the benefits are, look no further. We’ve got 17 benefits of converting a van into a campervan. Here’s the list:
1. Converting is cheaper than buying a motorhome
Motorhomes and purpose-built campervans don’t come cheap, with a new one setting you back at least £50,000. Of course, you can pick an older model up for cheaper if you shop around. The question you should ask yourself is do you want something ready-made? Or do you want something you can put your stamp on?
Our conversions start at £21,999 (not including the van), meaning you’ve already saved yourself 20-30k – which is a lot of money! It all depends on whether you want to pay for convenience and a quick sale at a premium, or save money by contributing to the conversion and waiting a little longer to get your van.
2. You can choose the size of your van
The great thing about vans is that they come in all shapes and sizes, from the small Citroen Berlingo to the large Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. And this means you can choose a van that best suits your lifestyle. If you’re a solo camper, you probably don’t need the space a Mercedes Sprinter offers, but if you’re living out of your van full-time you might like the extra space.
For example, if we look at the Sprinter there are so many different options to choose from, including:
- Three wheelbases
- Three transmission layouts
- Seven load volumes
- Three load heights
- Four load lengths
- Four van door height
You’ll need to do your research into the van, its dimensions and how it translates into a conversion. Use your converter as a sounding board and ask people on forums and Facebook groups to get more information.
3. You can roam wherever you choose!
The beauty of having a campervan is you can travel wherever you want, hitch up and enjoy the scenery. There’s nothing quite like packing up your van and driving off into the sunset knowing you’ve always got somewhere to rest your head and enjoy your travels.
There are so many beautiful spots in the UK, but if you’re more adventurous you can take ferries over to mainland Europe or Ireland.
4. You have a valuable asset
The price you can sell your vehicle for depends on many factors, such as the make and model, mileage, age of the vehicle and its overall condition. But if you look after your van and ensure you keep its service history and MOT up-to-date, there’s no reason why you won’t be able to get some cash for it – perfect for your next conversion! Vans often hold their value better than cars, too.
5. You can adapt the van to suit your lifestyle
Every van owner has a unique lifestyle that they want their van to serve. Some people want a comfortable seating area where they can soak in the view, others need storage for outdoor activities or their family belongings, and some people just need somewhere to rest their heads at the end of a long hike.
Whatever purpose you need your van to serve, converting a van means you’re more likely to achieve your goals. You can work with your converter to get a layout that’s tailored to your needs, and you won’t have to compromise too much to get your dream campervan.
You can also build the van to serve multiple purposes, like taking the kids to school on a weekday, going to work in your van and then using it to get away for the weekend.
6. You can personalise the van to your taste
One of the main benefits of converting a van is the ability to personalise it so it reflects your style. Whether you’re into something more contemporary, something more shabby chic or you’re into your nautical décor – using a converter means you can stamp your style on your van and create something unique.
If you’ve ever decorated your house, you’ll remember the feeling of accomplishment and comfort at creating an environment that’s an extension of yourself – and it’s the same with your campervan.
7. You can make the van your home
Many people convert a van to make it their home. It offers a more unconventional way of life that has many benefits. Firstly, it’s cheaper to convert a van than it is to pay a mortgage electricity, gas and other bills. A van also gives you the freedom to move location, so many people that work remotely can get the best of both worlds, as long as there’s an internet connection nearby.
There’s also the benefit to the environment as you’re forced to live with less. We accumulate so much stuff we don’t need throughout our lives, and living out of campervan forces you to decide what matters to you. You’ll also meet like-minded people on your journey, so there’s the social element of living in an RV. And one more thing, no annoying neighbours!
8. Vans tend to have good mileage
While we can’t speak for every van, as vans do have problems like other motor vehicles – vans do tend to have good mileage. Let’s remember that vans are the workhorse of society. They need to be able to travel short, medium, and long distances often bearing heavy loads and carrying specialist equipment.
There’s a reason vans are used by public services like the NHS for their ambulances, they’re reliable and customisable. It’s common to find vans with over 150,000 miles on the clock that still perform well, so you know that when you’re buying a van to convert, you’re getting something that has longevity.
9. There are plenty of converters in the UK
Van conversions are becoming more popular as people seek to live simpler lives, holiday in different ways and avoid the large costs of motorhomes. As a result, there are plenty of campervan converters all over the UK, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to find one within a reachable distance.
Living in a digital age allows you to reach out further as well, with many converters offering UK-wide services where you can communicate over a video call, email, or messaging services. Some converters will deliver to source a van for you, meaning you won’t have to travel to drop the van off.
You can use the Quirky Campers directory to find a reputable converter. And of course, Bhode Vans is on there.
10. Cater to individual requirements
Just because you have a physical disability or you aren’t as mobile as you once were, it doesn’t mean you can’t convert a van. While it may be more difficult to find a converter who can work with your needs, it isn’t impossible. Converters will know van dimensions and their customisable capabilities, so if you need a van that has a low access level, they should be able to recommend a van for you.
11. Have as much creative control as you desire
When converting your van, you can have as little or as much creative control as you need. Many converters will offer different packages. At Bhode Vans we have two signature builds called Bhode One and Bhode Two, where we standardise parts of the process to reduce time and cost while giving you creative freedom with the décor and interior finishes. We also offer support with DIY conversions and complete creative control to people who want something bespoke.
12. Rent your van out to make extra cash
Providing your van meets the DVLA requirements and you have the correct insurance in place, you could use your van to make a little extra cash on the side when you aren’t using it. With people looking to take alternative holidays, especially since COVID hit, campervan rental is a quirky holiday that gives people a chance to connect to nature and a simpler way of life. Who knows, you might even convert a few people on the way!
You can also use the Quirky Camper site to register your van for rentals.
13. Create deeper bonds with your family
We all remember those trips in the car to various holiday destinations around the UK. “Mum, she’s on my side of the car” for three hours straight. But they were also very rewarding, and fun. I think most of us would love to go back to those times. A campervan lets you relive it all again! Except it’s like being on a permanent holiday because the journey is a part of it. If you have a dog, you can take it with you in your campervan as well, which saves booking any kennels or pestering family members before you leave.
14. You have everything you need to survive on the road
If you get a full conversion, you’ll have all the amenities you need to survive on the road. Such as a toilet, kitchen and sleeping area. Reducing your dependence on third parties means you don’t have to worry about finding somewhere to stay as much, and you can often find a secluded spot and sleep there (just be careful not to break any laws in the process).
15. A conversion van is more like driving a car than a motorhome
To put it simply, motorhomes aren’t built for driving urban driving, they’re long-distance vehicles that travel on motorways to various holiday destinations. As a result, they can feel quite clunky and can be difficult to drive even if you have experience. On the other hand, even large vans are designed for busy city driving and compact roads, meaning you can jump in a van much like a car, so it’s a convenient way of getting around.
16. Great fuel mileage
While a van won’t have as good fuel mileage as most cars, it will have better mileage than a motorhome. It’s smaller, lighter, and more compact – and because they’re often used for business purposes low fuel mileage is a priority for business owners. While it’s not going to save you thousands, it’ll bring down the price of your trip, and you can save some cash.
17. Easy to access maintenance and repairs
If you have a motorhome, you’ll need to find a specialist who can service or repair your vehicle. However, with vans, there will be plenty of mechanics in or close to your area that can service and repair vans. Making repairs and servicing more accessible means you won’t have to worry as much about keeping your van in top condition and can spend more time driving it.
Ready to build your dream campervan?
If you’re convinced you want to convert a van into a campervan, we can help get you started. All you need to do is fill out the form below and we’ll be in touch to discuss your project.