How to build a camper bus?

In this blog post, we will answer the question: “How to build a camper bus?” We will discuss the steps to build a camper bus from scratch and discuss the essentials required for this project. We will discuss the required permit and electrical and plumbing systems. At the end of this post, you will learn to build a camper bus on your own.

How to build a camper bus?

To build a camper bus, you must follow the steps described below.

  • Acquire a suitable bus
  • Get the required permission
  • Create a plan
  • Remove the unwanted stuff
  • Insulate the walls, ceiling, and roof
  • Fix the electrical and plumbing systems
  • Build the partitions
  • Add the furniture
  • Install the appliances
  • Complete the interiors
  • Customize the camper bus
  • Add safety features

Acquire a suitable bus

  • To start this project, you must acquire a suitable bus. There are plenty of options for getting a bus for a camper. Most people purchase a used bus and alter it based on their requirements. The other option is to purchase a camper bus and make the necessary modifications.
  • Considering that you plan on building a camper bus, the best option is to find a used bus that can be converted into a camper. Check for a bus that is spacious and fits your requirement. It is also essential to check the other crucial components of the bus, including the engine, tires, air filter, etc.
  • Select an easy bus to work on and ensure the overall exterior is strong. Make sure the bus is powerful enough and functioning.

Get the required permit  

  • Next, you must get the required permit to build a camper bus. Contact the local zoning department to ensure you can work on this project.
  • In some cases, you might be required to contact the Department of Motor Vehicles. The DMV provides specific permits to build a camper bus. They also provide the requirements, vehicle classification, registration, guidance, compliance and safety standards. Ensure to stick to the regulations provided by the DMV.
  • The zoning laws for building a camper bus can vary according to the place or State. Ensure to get the right permit for this project.

Create a plan

  • Once you have the permit in place, you can create a plan. Create a plan based on the layout of the bus. Measure the layout and develop a floor plan for the camper bus. The plan must include the bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, and living area.
  • Determine the requirements for the camper bus, including the amenities, layout, and storage options. It is essential to create a detailed floor plan. Consider the space needed for the sleeping quarters, kitchen, living area, and storage space.
  • Make sure to look into the weight distribution and balance. Try to use lightweight material for the entire construction.
  • Next, creating a plan for the electrical and plumbing systems is important. Remember to consider the appliances and amenities for the camper bus.

Remove the unwanted stuff

  • Now that you have the plan, you can remove the unwanted stuff in the camper bus. Remove the existing seats and other fixtures that will not be used. The best way to go about this step is by removing everything on the inside. Leave the roof, walls, and floor of the bus.
  • Get rid of any dirt, debris and rust. Clean the bus thoroughly and check for any modifications if required. Get rid of the dents and other objects that are not needed.

Insulate the walls, ceiling, and roof

  • Ensure to insulate the walls, ceiling, and floor. Insulation improves the thermal efficiency of the camper and makes it perfect for camping during winter. Use foam boards or sheep’s wool to insulate the walls, ceiling, and roof.  Add climate control systems like heaters and air conditioners for proper temperature control.

Fix the electrical and plumbing systems

  • The electrical and plumbing systems need to be planned properly. Install the switches, outlets, wiring, and power supply source. Adding solar panels is one of the best options since they are a great power source for off-grid camping.
  • Install solar panels on the roof of the camper bus and run the wiring to an inverter and battery. Add the required switches to the appropriate places to install the appliances. Cover the electric lines with the appropriate material. Add enough lights inside the camper bus to ensure they are bright enough.
  • Install freshwater, greywater, and blackwater tanks in the camper bus. The freshwater tank must be connected to the kitchen sink, and the outlet should be connected to the greywater tank. Likewise, the toilet and shower must be connected to the black water tank.
  • Install the pipes to the right systems and ensure they are all connected properly. Install the sink, toilet, and shower along with the required faucets.

Build the partitions

  • You will be required to build the structural framework of the camper bus. Assemble the walls with the help of wood as per the layout design. You can use plywood or medium-density fiberboard for the partitions. Vinyl panelling is also one of the other options that are used. Use lightweight and durable materials.
  • First, build the bedroom and toilet partition. The kitchen area can be connected to the living room. Attach doors and windows for the bedroom and the bathroom. Install a skylight and ventilation for the bathroom. Ensure that the partitions are secured to the camper bus’s floor and roof.
  • Build a countertop for the kitchen based on your preferred measurements. Keep enough space for the stove and propane cans.

Install the appliances

  • Once the partitions are in place, you can install the required appliances. Install a refrigerator, microwave, kitchen sink, and all the bathroom fixtures. Make a list of all the required appliances and ensure you install them accordingly.

Add the furniture

  • Build wardrobes for the bedroom and storage shelves for the kitchen. Add drawers below the kitchen countertop to store all the utensils. Ensure that there are enough storage compartments inside the camper bus.
  • Build a bed with the help of wood inside the bedroom and add a mattress to the platform. It is also important to build a seating area and a dining table. Use lightweight wood to build the furniture. Try to maximize the space by building multi-functional furniture.

Complete the interiors

  • Next, you must complete the interiors of the camper bus. Install vinyl or laminate for the floor and add wallpaper or paint for the interior surfaces. You can also choose to paint the interiors and the furniture as required.
  • Make sure to double-check the interiors and add the required fixtures. Customize and personalize the camper based on your preference. Add curtains or blinds and decorate the camper with your personal touch. Add upholstery to create a cozy and comfortable space.

Customize the camper bus

  • Customize the camper bus by adding extra features such as outdoor awnings and lights. It is important to make the camper as comfortable as possible. Paint the camper bus with your desired color on the outside.

Add safety features

  • Finally, it is crucial to comply with the safety and compliance of the camper bus. Ensure there are safety regulations like proper ventilation, fire extinguishers, carbon monoxide detectors, smoke detectors, etc.

Test the camper bus

  • After the camper bus is ready, send it for an inspection to ensure it complies with the safety standards and is roadworthy. Test all the systems, including the electrical appliances, plumbing systems, and solar panels and ensure they function correctly and are safe to use. You can also hire an expert to ensure all components function properly.

Those were the basic steps to build a camper bus. If you are not confident with your skills, contact a professional or experienced person to work on specific tasks. Building a camper bus requires skill, and it is a time-consuming project. Ensure to wear safety gear while working on this process.


In this blog post, we have answered the question: “How to build a camper bus?” We discussed the steps to build a camper bus from scratch and discussed the essentials required for this project. We have also discussed the required permit, electrical and plumbing systems.

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