Van Conversion or Buy an RV: Which One is Right for You?

Van Conversion or Buy an RV

A campervan, also known as a camper van or motorhome, is a vehicle designed for travelers who want to combine transportation and living space during their journeys. It typically includes a bed, kitchenette, and bathroom, among other amenities, offering a comfortable and convenient way to hit the road for extended periods. Many campervans are custom-made or converted from used vans, while others are bought brand new as ready-made campervans. They come in many sizes and shapes and are often used for holidays, road trips, and outdoor adventures. Overall, a campervan can offer a unique and efficient way of living on the go. But, Should you do a van conversion or buy an RV?

What are the benefits of buying a campervan versus converting one?

When planning for road-tripping and traveling, many people are opting for the freedom and convenience of living in a campervan. However, the big question is whether it is cheaper to convert a van or buy a pre-made RV (Recreational Vehicle). Here are some benefits of buying a pre-made campervan versus converting one yourself:

First, pre-made campervans are a more affordable option in terms of upfront costs. While converting a van can be cheaper in theory, the expenses quickly add up with the cost of materials, conversion process, and professional conversion services. Meanwhile, pre-made campervans are built to be functional and livable from the start, saving you both time and money.

Second, campervan conversions offer more living space and vertical height than travel trailers, making them a more comfortable option for extended trips. With a pre-made campervan, you also get tons of storage space and basic amenities such as a kitchen sink, water tank, and pantry items. You can even opt for additional features like a wooden kitchen counter and a water pump without the hassle of construction and installation.

Ready-Made Campervan Options

Ready-made campervans are an excellent option for those who want to hit the road without the hassle of converting a van. With these campervans, you can immediately enjoy the freedom of a road trip in a functional and livable space. There are various models available from different manufacturers, each with unique features that fit the needs of different travelers.

The campervan can come equipped with basic amenities such as a kitchen sink, water tank, and pantry items, while others have additional features such as a comfortable bed, a mini-fridge, and a solar panel. Not only are they functional and convenient, but they are also beautifully designed with attention to detail. With ready-made campervans, you can hit the road with style and comfort at an affordable price.

Pros and Cons of Buying a Ready-Made Campervan

Buying a ready-made campervan can be a great option for those who want to embark on a road trip and enjoy the freedom of living on the road. The pros of buying a ready-made campervan are that they are readily available and can be an affordable option for those who do not have the time or expertise to build their own. There are many different types of camper vans available for purchase, ranging from affordable models to high-end, luxurious options.

However, one of the cons of buying a ready-made campervan is that it may not be customizable to specific needs. Some people may have specific requirements regarding the living space, water pump, kitchen, or storage areas of their campervan. Ready-made campervans may not offer these customizations or may come at an extra cost decided by the manufacturer. Moreover, there is a possibility that the campervan might not meet the head height, weight, or other individual needs.

In conclusion, buying a ready-made campervan can be an affordable option for those looking to hit the open road without the time or expertise to build their own. However, these vehicles may not be customizable and may not meet specific needs. Hence, it is essential to weigh the pros and cons before making a decision and remember to research thoroughly into any additional costs that could come with the van.

Cost Comparison: Ready-Made vs Custom Conversion

When hitting the road in a campervan, there are two options: a ready-made campervan or a custom conversion. Making the right choice depends on individual needs and budget.

A professional campervan conversion cost can be anywhere between $10,000 to over $100,000. The average cost for a complete professional conversion is around $40,000. Alternatively, DIY conversions cost between $1,000 to $30,000, depending on the type and scope of the conversion. However, it is important to note that DIY conversions require a great deal of time and effort.

Ready-made campervans offer an affordable option that can save both time and money in the long run. They come fully equipped with all the amenities needed for a comfortable road trip. Some noteworthy features of ready-made campervans include a fully functional kitchen sink, a water tank, tons of storage space, a pantry, and even a water container.

Custom conversions allow for more personalized living spaces and specialized requirements. They offer greater flexibility in the layout, design, and functionality of the campervan. However, the extra design features come at extra cost, which can range from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars.

In conclusion, choosing between a ready-made campervan and a custom conversion depends on budget, time, and personal preferences. While ready-made campervans offer convenience and affordability, custom conversions provide greater flexibility and personalization.

DIY Van Conversion

Planning to convert a van and hit the open road for an adventure? Doing a DIY van conversion can be a cost-effective way to achieve your dream campervan. With some basic tools and skills, you can take any type of van and convert it into a livable space that meets your specific needs. DIY van conversions allow you to create a personalized living space that reflects your style and preferences. Plus, it’s a great way to save money on upfront costs while creating a unique and functional home on wheels. But, before you start the conversion process, there are several things to consider to ensure a successful project. From choosing the right van to installing key elements like a kitchen and water system, there are a few crucial steps to follow to make your DIY van conversion a success.

Pros and Cons of Converting Your Own Van

Converting your own van into a campervan has its advantages and disadvantages. The main advantage is the cost. DIY campervan conversions are cheaper than buying a ready-made camper. You can save on the upfront cost and cut down the living and travel expenses. You control the budget and can allocate costs towards the most important stuff like the kitchen sink, water container, water pump, and livable space.

However, the limited space is one of the main drawbacks of self-build conversions. You will need to prioritize the necessary items and figure out how to maximize the use of the space that you have. Living in a van may also impact your travel style. It may not be suitable for those who prefer luxury and comfort. There are also some technical aspects of the conversion process like installing a water tank, electrical connection, and ventilation that require some DIY skills or professional assistance.

Cost Comparison: DIY vs Professional Conversion

Converting a van to a campervan can be a cost-effective way to have a comfortable living space during a road trip. However, deciding whether to DIY or hire a professional conversion company can be challenging.

DIY conversion generally costs less than hiring a professional conversion company. You have more control over the design and can save on labor costs. However, it requires time and skills, and mistakes can be costly. A basic DIY conversion can cost around $1,000 to $3,000, while a more advanced one, including amenities like a kitchen and shower, can range from $10,000 to $30,000.

On the other hand, a professional conversion offers expertise and can save time. Professionals can efficiently manage the technical aspects, and you can have access to high-quality materials and designs. A professional conversion cost ranges from $20,000 to $100,000 or more. The cost depends on factors such as labor, materials, technician skill level, and customization options.

The advantages of a professional conversion are a high-quality finish, more comfort, and a warranty. However, it is more expensive upfront, and you may need to wait for the conversion before starting the road trip. With DIY, you have control over the cost and design, and a greater sense of accomplishment, but risk problems due to errors, such as leaks.

Both options have their advantages and disadvantages and ultimately depend on personal preference and budget.

Professional Conversion Companies

Professional conversion companies such as offer expertise and skills in transforming your van into a fully functional campervan. They take care of technical aspects like wiring, plumbing, and insulation and use high-quality materials and designs.

While the cost of a professional conversion is higher than a DIY conversion, it offers a range of customization options and a higher-quality finish. You can expect more comfort and luxury, which makes it worth the investment.

Professional conversion companies have experience in creating livable space, including an efficient kitchen, tons of storage, and a water pump system. They can increase vertical space and provide a pantry, water tank, and water container, depending on your needs.

The process of the conversion includes consultation and design, stripping the van, insulation, installation of the essential features, and a final finish. A professional conversion is an excellent option if you want to save time and effort in creating a beautiful campervan.

What to Look for in a Professional Conversion Company

In order to turn a van into a campervan, some people prefer to hire a professional conversion company to do the job. But with so many options out there, it can be challenging to find the right one. Below are some key factors to consider when choosing a professional van conversion company.

Reviews: Look for reviews of the company online to get an idea of past customers’ experiences. This can give you insight into the quality of work, customer service, and overall satisfaction.

Cost: Of course, the cost is another essential factor. Determine what your budget is and compare prices among different conversion companies. Keep in mind that the cheapest option may not always be the best quality.

Experience: Find out how long the company has been in business and what kind of conversions they specialize in. It’s important to choose a company with experience in the type of conversion you want to ensure the job is done correctly.

Quality of work: Check out photos of previous conversions to get an idea of the quality of work the company produces. You can also ask for references to speak with past customers and get their take on the quality of work.

Customer service: Finally, don’t overlook the importance of good customer service. Choose a company that communicates clearly with you about the process and is responsive to any questions or concerns you may have.

By keeping these factors in mind, you can find a professional van conversion company that meets your needs and produces high-quality work within your budget.

Ford Transit as a Base Vehicle for Conversion

Ford Transit is a popular choice as a base vehicle for a camper van conversion due to its versatility, ample interior space, and fuel efficiency. With the ability to customize the design to fit your needs and preferences, a Ford Transit conversion can provide a comfort-laden home on wheels for your next road trip adventure. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the Ford Transit and why it’s a great option for those considering a DIY or professional campervan conversion. From the types of Ford Transit vans available to the conversion process and costs, we’ll cover all the essential details in making your dream camper van a reality.

Advantages of the Ford Transit for Campervan Conversions

The Ford Transit Custom is a popular choice for converting into a comfortable living space on wheels. Due to the popularity of the Ford Transit in the UK, it’s easy to find spare parts and conversion companies that specialize in transforming this van into a campervan.

One of the biggest advantages of converting a Ford Transit is its fuel efficiency. The efficient diesel engines can save you money on long road trips compared to larger RVs or trailers. Additionally, the driving experience is smooth and easily maneuverable due to its relatively compact size and advanced driver assistance feature.

When it comes to interior features, the Ford Transit offers plenty of space to create a comfortable living area, with a high roof and ample vertical space for standing up. The options for a self-build conversion are endless and can be tailored to your specific needs and budget. From a basic kitchen with a sink and counter space to a luxurious livable space with tons of storage and even a water tank.

Overall, the Ford Transit is a popular option for campervan conversions because of its fuel efficiency, comfortable living space, and popularity among conversion companies. With a little DIY know-how or the assistance of a professional conversion, the Ford Transit can transform into a beautiful camper at an affordable price.

Ram Promaster as an Alternate Base Vehicle for Conversions

Ram Promaster is becoming increasingly popular as an alternate base vehicle for campervan conversions. With its boxy shape and front-wheel-drive system, this van provides more living space and better fuel efficiency than many other types of vans. It is also a more affordable option compared to ready-made campervans. In this article, we will explore the benefits and drawbacks of using a Ram Promaster for conversion and provide tips on how to convert one into a campervan.

Advantages of the Ram Promaster for Campervan Conversions

The RAM Promaster is a great base vehicle for campervan conversions due to its numerous advantages. One of the main selling points of the Promaster is its wide body, which provides ample living space in the van. This makes it easier to create a comfortable and livable space inside the van, which is essential for those embarking on long road trips.

The Promaster also offers front-wheel drive, which makes it more fuel-efficient compared to its rear-wheel-drive counterparts. The front-wheel drive also allows the van to have a lower step-in height, making it easier to get in and out of the vehicle. This is especially useful for individuals with mobility issues or older travelers.

Additionally, the Promaster is available in varying lengths and roof heights, which is ideal for those who want to customize their campervan conversions according to their specific needs. This versatility enables the Promaster to accommodate different living space layouts and additional features, such as a kitchen sink, a basic kitchen, and tons of storage space.

In summary, the RAM Promaster is an excellent option for those seeking an affordable and dependable base vehicle for their campervan conversions. Its wide body, front-wheel drive, and varying lengths make it an ideal choice for travel enthusiasts who are looking for a perfect balance between comfort and functionality while on the road.


In conclusion, whether you decide to go with a van conversion or buy an RV, both options offer unique benefits and drawbacks. It ultimately comes down to your personal preferences and needs. Take the time to weigh your options and consider what type of travel lifestyle you envision for yourself. No matter what you choose, the freedom and adventure of life on the road awaits!


Can both a converted van and an RV be used all year round?

Absolutely, both a converted van and an RV can be used throughout the year. However, it’s crucial to consider factors such as insulation and heating for colder months, especially if you plan to live in or travel with your vehicle full-time. This might be a more significant consideration for DIY van conversions as RVs are typically designed with all-season use in mind.

What is the impact of a Conversion VAN or an RV on the environment?

Both van conversions and RVs have environmental impacts, primarily through fuel consumption and emissions. Generally, vans are more fuel-efficient than larger RVs, producing fewer greenhouse gas emissions per mile. However, the environmental footprint ultimately depends on factors such as the frequency and length of trips, the vehicle’s fuel efficiency, and how well-maintained the vehicle is.

How does the driving experience differ between a converted van and an RV?

A converted van generally provides a more car-like driving experience, as they are smaller and more maneuverable than most RVs. This makes it easier to navigate through cities, park, and access areas that may be restricted to larger vehicles. Conversely, RVs, especially larger models, require more driving skill due to their size, but they often offer a higher vantage point and more living space.

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