How to build a DIY box truck camper?

In this blog post, we will answer the question: “How to build a DIY box truck camper?” We will discuss the steps to build a DIY box truck camper successfully. We will talk about the basic requirements and essentials for this project. We will also discuss various factors, including an independent power source, plumbing, and electrical systems.

How to build a DIY box truck camper?

To build a DIY box truck camper, you need to follow the steps described below.

  • Obtain a box truck
  • Measure the box
  • Create a plan
  • Cut the doors and windows
  • Insulate the roof, walls, and floor
  • Build a bed
  • Build a kitchen
  • Install solar panels
  • Fix the electrical and plumbing
  • Complete the finishing touches

Obtain a box truck

  • First, you will need to obtain a box truck. There are plenty of options when it comes to purchasing a box truck. Purchasing a used box truck is one of the best options. Check online for used box trucks in and around your area. Check the vehicle’s condition, including the crucial components like the engine, filters, transmission, etc.
  • Check the overall condition of the box truck, including the interiors and the exteriors. Ensure there is not much damage, and try negotiating as much as possible.

Measure the box

  • The next step is to measure the interiors of the box truck. Before measuring the interiors, eliminate all the unwanted stuff, if there is any. The box truck should be empty.  Measure the length, width, and height and note down the dimensions since it will be useful.
  • After getting the measurements, it is important to clean the camper’s interior and exterior. Get rid of all the rust, grime, dirt, and other components, if there are any.

Create a plan

  • Create a plan for the DIY box truck camper based on the dimensions. It is also important to keep all your preference in place. Stick to the basics and the essentials, and make a list of all the important things that you will require while camping.
  • Make a note of all the requirements and design a layout based on what you need. Draw a rough sketch and create a layout based on the dimensions. Keep enough space for the bed, kitchen area, shelves, and other storage options.

Cut the doors and windows

  • Next, you need to cut the doors and windows for the box truck camper. Another option is to keep the same doors and cut out two windows on either side. Ensure to cut the windows to the right proportion.
  • Add frames to the windows with wooden beams or install a sliding window. Adding glass windows that can open outwards is yet another option.

Insulate the roof, walls, and floor

  • The most important step is to insulate the roof, walls, and floor. This is essential, especially if you are camping out during winter. There are multiple insulation options, like foam boards and sheep’s wool. Add the insulation on the surface and seal it off with plywood.
  • The easiest way to do this step is using 2-by-4s and plywood sheets. Cut around five vertical and five horizontal wooden beams based on the floor dimensions. Fix them to the floor with the help of adhesive and fill the space with the insulation material you choose.
  • Add sheets of plywood on top of these beams and use screws to secure them. Repeat the same process for the roof and the floor.  

Build a bed

  • Camping in a DIY box truck camper is incomplete without a bed. It is essential to have a bed installed, and the best way is to build a wooden bed frame. Based on the measurements, you can easily build a bed with the help of 2 by 4s and plywood.
  • Use the space under the bed for storage. Cut the 2 by 4s according to the length, width, and height, and create a frame in the shape of a box. Add plywood over the frame along with hinges to access the space under. 
  • Add a mattress according to the dimensions of the bed platform. You can also get a customized mattress. Add a couple of cushions and pillows to make it more comfortable.  

Build a kitchen

  • A small kitchen is required to prep your day-to-day meals while camping. It is easy to build a kitchen by using wood and a couple of other accessories. Use 2 by 4s and plywood to build a kitchen counter. Make provision for shelves under the kitchen counter.
  • Be sure to consider the weight and balance of the camper while installing the cabinetry. Try to keep it as light as possible. Install a portable camping stove along with a sink. Keep the sink small and attach it to a water pump connected to the freshwater tank.
  • Add a 25-gallon freshwater tank and a 25-gallon greywater tank. Store the tanks under the kitchen table or near the sink for easy connectivity. You can also install a portable RV dinette in the box truck camper if there is enough space.

Install solar panels

  • The DIY box truck camper will need an independent source of power. The best way to get independent power is by installing solar panels. Solar panels are easy to install and there are plenty of options that are available online.
  • For a DIY box truck camper, it is important to have solar panels with a minimum of 400 watts. Purchase a solar panel kit with all the accessories, including the battery, inverter, etc. Follow the instructions in the manual to install these panels. Flexible solar panels are also one of the best options to consider.

Fix the electrical and plumbing

  • The next step is to fix the electrical and plumbing systems. Make sure to run the wires along the roof or walls of the camper while connecting the lights and appliances. Install a portable fridge inside the camper to store and keep all your food. If there is enough space, consider installing a microwave.
  • Adding LED lights is one of the other options to consider. Install the lighting fixtures as per your requirement. Be sure to fix some plug points in the kitchen area to connect all your required appliances.
  • Connect the sink to the freshwater tank for the water source and connect the outlet to the greywater tank. Make sure to use the right size tube to get the connections in place.
  • Test the electrical and plumbing systems before taking the DIY box camper out on a trip.

Complete the finishing touches

  • Finally, it’s time to complete the finishing touches. Paint or stain the interior roof and walls of the DIY box camper. It is always good to stain the wood since it will give the camper a rich appearance.
  • Feel free to decorate the camper by customizing it according to your liking. Add curtains or blinds for the windows and some decorative lights for the interiors.
  • Make sure to give your camper a good paint job for the exterior. Experiment with various colours to bring out the best appearance.

Those were some basic steps to build a DIY box truck camper successfully. The most important part of this project is the planning process. Make sure to plan the entire project before starting the work and make a note of all the materials that will be required for this project. Contact a professional if you cannot do this project on your own.


In this blog post, we have answered the question: “How to build a DIY box truck camper?” We have discussed the steps to build a DIY box truck camper successfully. We have talked about the basic requirements and essentials for this project. We have also touched upon various factors, including an independent power source, plumbing, and electrical systems.


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