How to build a homemade campervan?

In this blog post, we will answer the question: “How to build a homemade campervan?” We will describe the steps to build a homemade campervan along with all the required materials. We will cover the basics and the essentials. We have also talked about the insulation, flooring, kitchenette, and more.

How to build a homemade campervan?

To build a homemade campervan, you need to follow the steps described below.

  • Purchase a used van
  • Clean the interiors
  • Measure the van
  • Design a layout
  • Insulate the van
  • Fix the flooring
  • Build a bed with storage options
  • Build cabinets
  • Build the kitchenette
  • Build the toilet
  • Install the power
  • Add freshwater tanks

Purchase a used van

  • To build a homemade campervan, you will first need to purchase a van. The best option is to purchase a used van since you might be able to find a cheap one.
  • There are plenty of options on Craiglist and other second-hand used van websites. You can also find used campervans online. However, all you need is a van with enough space to convert it into a camper. 
  • Set a budget aside for the van and consider the size that you plan on buying. It is good to opt for a van with four-wheel drive.
  • Check the mileage, registration, manufacturing year, engine, body, and tires. Make sure that all these parts are functioning properly and be sure to take the van for a test drive.

Clean the interiors

  • Once you bring the van home, it’s time to start working on the project. The first step will be to clean the interiors of the van. Make sure to fix any damaged parts and remove everything that is inside the van.
  • Remove all dirt, debris, dents, and rust if there are any. Use sandpaper for the inside and make the surface smooth.

Measure the van

  • In the next step, you need to get the exact measurements of the van. Measure the width, length, height, and all possible corners of the campervan. Mark the spots that you are unable to measure.
  • Look for all movable parts in the van and double-check if you need them. Write down the measurements so you do not forget. The measurements are important to help you design a layout.

Design a layout

  • Based on the measurements, you can start designing a layout for your homemade campervan. Make sure you plan everything right and consider all the essentials. Make a list of things that you want inside the van.
  • Keep it simple and try to make the best use of the space that you have. Make a note if you plan on cooking inside or if you plan on installing a bathroom. Understand the storage space, size of the bed, size of the kitchen, bathroom, etc.
  • Plan out the electric outputs and electric wires with their locations. Consider the type of power that you want to use for your homemade campervan. Note down the materials and everything that you will need for this project.
  • Take enough time to design the layout and start drawing the layout by using the measurements. Having a layout in place will make it easy to build a homemade campervan.

Insulate the van

  • Insulation is a necessity if you are planning on camping outdoors or during winter. Be sure to insulate your campervan walls and roof if necessary. For the flooring, you can install thick carpet throughout to keep you warm.
  • There are multiple options when it comes to insulating a campervan. You can use foam boards, fiberglass, wood, rock wool, sheep wool, bubble foil, and more.
  • Cover up the insulation with plywood or wooden planks. Cut them according to the shape and make sure that they fit correctly on the walls. Paint the walls after insulation to give your camper a rich appearance.

Fix the flooring

  • In the flooring is already good for your campervan, you can leave it the way it is by just adding some carpet. If you have a bad floor on the camper, you can fix some plywood at the bottom to make it new. Rip out the flooring and add and build a new floor if it is too damaged.
  • You can either place a carpet on the floor or add vinyl over the plywood. Another option is to simply paint the floor color of your choice.

Build a bed with storage options

  • A campervan requires a bed and it is important to build a bed with storage options. Use the space under to bed to add drawers to store all your bed linen and clothes.
  • Build a bed that is just enough to accommodate two people. You can build a huge one if you have enough space. It all depends on your requirements and what you want to have inside the homemade campervan.
  • Use wooden reapers to build the frame and use plywood as the base and secure it. Purchase a mattress or get a custom-made one that will match your bed perfectly. Add some cushions and pillows to make it more comfortable.

Build cabinets

  • You will need enough storage options inside the homemade campervan. Cabinets are the key to storing all your camping gear, food, and all other camping essentials.
  • Build a couple of bedside cabinets and make use of the space on top of the kitchen area. You will need cabinets in your kitchen to store all your kitchen utensils. Use plywood and beams along with sliding doors for these cabinets for more space.

Build the kitchenette

  • A kitchenette is required if you plan on cooking and having your meals inside the campervan. You will need space for a small sink, kitchen counter, fridge, stove, etc.
  • Use a portable stove to save more space. A portable stove will also be useful to cook outdoors. You can build a small table with wood or use a portable table with portable chairs. You can store these tables while not in use.
  • Connect the kitchen sink to the greywater tank and use an external shower to save on space. Install the grey water and black water tank nearby and make sure to get the connections right.

Build the toilet

  • If you plan on having a toilet, it’s recommended that you use a cassette toilet. A cassette toilet is compact and it does not take up too much space. Connect the cassette toilet to the black water tank.
  • With the help of plywood, build a small cabin around the toilet with a small door attached to the hinges.

Install the power

  • You will need to have a source of power to run the appliances on your homemade campervan. Make sure you have enough power points inside near the bed and the kitchenette.
  • Solar panels are one of the best options since you do not need to depend on shore power. Solar panels are also good for camping in remote areas. Connect the panels to the battery and the inverter to get your campervan powered up.
  • Install enough lights on the inside in all places as required. You can also add a couple of portable external lights if necessary.

Add freshwater tanks

  • You can add freshwater tanks to store your drinking water. Removable water tanks are one of the best options. Keep some space in the kitchen area for a freshwater tank.

Make sure that you have enough ventilation inside the campervan. Add a small fan or use a portable fan if you are camping during summer. Add curtains and personalize your homemade campervan according to your taste. Portable air coolers and heaters are the other options. Building a homemade camper van depends on your priorities. Feel free to add what you need to the campervan.


In this blog post, we have answered the question: “How to build a homemade campervan?” We have described the steps to build a homemade campervan along with all the required materials. We have covered the basics and the essentials. We have also talked about the insulation, flooring, kitchenette, and more.


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