We have all seen them: customized conversion vans, sleeked out like a double-decker limo, or a beastly 4-wheel drive rock crawler with ladders and racks and lots of bed-liner, pioneered by high-spirited pilgrims on the road chasing the next horizon. And you wonder: how do they do it? What do they put inside those mobile domiciles to make them function as home for weeks, even months at a time?
And that is what we are here to discuss now. These novel but increasingly common "conversion vans", as they call them, are far more involved than what you can find at the local auto dealership. There is so much more; it is what the van enthusiast puts into the conversion van interior that makes the traveling adventures, enjoyable adventures.
Any conversion van interior demands certain things to make it comfortable, convenient, and cool. Very cool! If you are thinking of building out your own custom van conversion, you will need a few things for sure.
These are the main components:
1. Wall panels - a basic model van's metal walls are nothing you'd want to look at for long. Enter the wall panel kit. This is a selection of panels (in various woods, such as Alder, Maple, Ash, or Oak) or laminate MDF, which are designed and cut PRECISELY, within 1mm (which means they are almost laser accurate). They fit perfectly into each depression, each contour, following every arc with extreme precision, so they appear like they came that way from the factory.
Once outfitted with panels, your van feels like a little piece of home.
2. Ceilings - a ceiling kit makes the van ceiling look downright stunning, nicely finished, with slatted boards running horizontally and embellished with LED lights. Other components can be added too, such as skylights and fans, all of which contribute to comfort and beauty and functionality.
3. Subfloor panels - wood flooring panels add an elegant touch to the conversion van interior. Finely finished wood paneling which feels sturdy to walk on and is pleasing to look at.
4. Overhead storage - storage is a must for a conversion van interior, and you can find spacious overhead cabinets that are specially designed for that. Soft closing hinged doors with push button latches and pneumatic door stays keep your things locked up and secure while you travel.
5. Other cabinets - storage is crucial to any road trip, and van enthusiasts find all kinds of places to put things! One such place is the wheel well box, a very useful cabinet which fits right over the wheels on either side. Another is the bench seat ottoman, which serves as a storage box, seat, or even a footrest.
6. Vanity with sink - what's a recreational van without a vanity and sink? Any serious road warrior will have need of a sink for cleaning, making breakfast, washing your face, what have you. Well, the vanities designed for conversion vans leave nothing out, and they can fit a truly beautiful kitchen galley into these vans, complete with built-in refrigerators.
7. Bed - there are multiple ways people sleep in their vans. Some go with a roof rack on the top, and fall asleep star gazing! Others opt to keep indoors (a great choice when it's rainy) and make use of a bed permanently in place or one which folds down, like a Murphy bed. However one decides to do it, there are dozens of options for van beds.
For all the mechanical apparatus, such as battery banks, solar components, plumbing and electrical, ladders, window cut outs, fans and AC, or any other part of a complete van conversion, we have another blog post on that :-)
Your conversion van interior design and components will be the key to creating the adventure on the road you want. Most importantly, go with an outfit who has a solid reputation, good reviews, and high-quality products. Unfortunately, there are quite a few companies out there which make inferior stuff, not what you want to put into your prized van.
So do your research, and ONLY go with quality! Even if you pay a little more, you will be glad you did.
Is it time to get you conversion van interior going? If it is, let Serg Supply help. We convert vans from wheels up to rooftop, and would be more than happy to consult you on your van conversion. Whether it's a Sprinter, ProMaster, or Transit, we have the components to equip your van with everything, ready for your adventures down the road.