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Van Conversion Ideas

Your Conversion Van Build - Why It Makes Good Sense to Use a Professional


Your Conversion Van Build - Why It Makes Good Sense to Use a Professional


Your conversion van build is possibly something you've been thinking about for a long time. You've researched it for many months. Even years. Now you know you are ready: there's some cash saved up, you've perused dozens of layouts and plans, you've talked to some people who've done it.... you're set to go.

But hold up. Not so fast. There's just a little more to it than simply backing your Sprinter, Transit, or ProMaster into the garage and turning on the lights. 

In a good way, and in a bad way, van conversions are a lot of work. Anyone out there who says they are simple and quick is either dishonest, or just ignorant. Possibly both. Because converting a van into something you are proud of is a long, sometimes difficult process with a million surprises (not the fun kind). This isn't a task for the faint of heart. 

But how do we know? Well, we've done lots of them. We've dug into junky old utility vans and hot-off-the-assembly-line new ones, and everything in between. We've worked with all the variances in the different models. We've solved old issues and run into new ones. We know through experience the only way to achieve a quality conversion van build is to take time, get the right parts, and follow a detailed plan. 

The happy part about all of this is the end result! Once you've gone through the pain to get everything perfect, you will have a valuable and useful vehicle that can double as a home. And you'll be the envy of many.

All this to say, going with a professional is a very wise plan on two different levels. Let me explain. 

The first level is parts and components. For a full conversion van build you will need specially-made interior components: vanity cabinets, flooring, ceilings, wall panels, and storage boxes. You will likewise need specially-made mechanical components, such as water pumps, batteries, electrical wiring, water tanks, lighting, solar panels, racks, etc. Some conversion van companies supply most if not all of these. But most companies either provide the custom-made interior components, such as Serg Supply, or various mechanical parts, such as Batterborn or Shop Solar Kits. There are also quite a few detailed plans you can purchase which will provide a clear guide to what components you will need.

The upside of DIY is you get to be a big part of the entire conversion, and the end result is truly a part of you. The downside is you are buried up to your eyebrows in work for weeks, if not months. And the work is challenging. 

The second level is a full-blown custom conversion by others. These are the companies which take on the complete process, from empty shell to ready-to-go camper van. This route has pros and cons as well. You don't have to really do anything but tell them what you want, because these outfits know exactly how the conversion all comes together. The downside is, well, they are pricey. As in $50K to $150K pricey. Wow.

I'd say this: if you are skilled with your hands, don't mind some grease and cuts, and have some secure space to create the magic, by all means do it yourself. You'll be glad you did! 

However, if the above is not you, a professional conversion van build is the better option. You'll pay a good chunk of change to see the project complete, but the finished van will be stunning, and you'll know everything was done properly.


By RS Kniep
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