How to convert a 3rd gen 4runner into a camper?

In this blog post, we will answer the question: “How to convert a 3rd gen 4runner into a camper?”  We will describe the steps to successfully convert a 3rd gen 4runner and also talk about a few additional camper conversion tips. Additionally, we will talk about the uses of a DIY camper kit.

How to convert a 3rd gen 4runner into a camper?

To covert a 3rd gen 4runner into a camper, you will need to follow the steps mentioned below.

  • Clear the rear space
  • Clean the rear space
  • Measure the rear space
  • Fix a bed frame
  • Assemble the platform
  • Add curtains for the windows
  • Install a house battery
  • Add a battery isolator relay
  • Add a mini-fridge
  • Install a ceiling fan
  • Add a table and chairs
  • Install cargo nets

Clear the rear space

  • Clearing the rear space is the only way for you to get some space to convert your 3rd gen 4runner into a camper. 
  • Remove the middle and rear seats and remove any other accessories that are stored at the back. 
  • Your vehicle should only have the driver and the front passenger seat. Once you have removed everything, you can go ahead to the next step.

Clean the rear space

  • The next step is pretty easy as you just need to clean the space at the rear. You can use any cleaning liquid to clean the roof, walls, and floor. 
  • Just be sure to remove any stains and get rid of dirt if there are any. 
  • It is also recommended to remove the carpet on the floor of the vehicle if you have one. Be sure to keep the entire rear space empty.

Measure the rear space

  • Before fixing a bed frame, you will need to take the measurements of the space that you have on the inside. 
  • Measure the width, length, and height. You will need to build the bed frame based on the measurements that you take. 
  • Ensure to keep a couple of inches of space by the bottom and the top of the bed frame.
  • You can also leave one inch of space around the bed frame for the bed to sit correctly.

Fix a bed frame

Fixing the bed frame is easy as you will require a couple of wooden reapers to build it. The bed frame should be built at least one foot from the vehicle floor. The space under the frame can be used to store any cargo or other items. Fix the bed frame according to your preference and the measurements that you have taken.

Assemble the platform

  • Assemble the platform to the bed frame that you installed. You can use plywood at the top as the platform. 
  • Add hinges to the frame and the plywood to have access to the space under. 
  • Be sure to have the platform fixed correctly to the frame. The bed platform should be perfect to set your mattress. 
  • You can feel free to be as creative as you want to be when it comes to choosing a mattress.

Add curtains for the windows

  • When you get the bed up for your camper it is important to add curtains for the windows as well. 
  • Adding curtains will give you some privacy while sleeping and it will also keep the heat out during summer. 
  • You can use Velcro to attach the curtains to the windows and rear door. Velcro is the easiest option for installing curtains in a camper.

Install a house battery

  • Your camper will surely need a source of power and it is important to install a house battery. 
  • You can purchase a 12 V battery to power up all your appliances and gadgets. You can easily purchase this battery online or even at a Walmart store. 
  • A house battery can also keep you powered up for a couple of days while camping.

Add a battery isolator relay

Adding a battery isolator relay can be another option, but not many people opt for this. With a battery isolator, you can charge the house battery by using the energy of your vehicle. This can be used in an emergency. However, be sure to have a professional along while installing these appliances.

Add a mini-fridge

Adding a mini-fridge is highly recommended.  A mini-fridge will help you keep all your food items safe. While camping it is important to have a fridge to store all your perishable food items. There are several portable options that you can purchase. A fridge will surely help you save time and you can also camp in remote places if you have enough food.

Install a fan

Installing a ceiling fan is also an option since this is based on your travel preferences. A ceiling fan might require more work but you can also purchase a portable table fan or a portable cooler for your camper. It is always good to have a portable cooler and heater. The biggest advantage is that there is no need to carry them around always.

Add a table and chairs  

Purchase a foldable table and a chair since they are the most important, especially when it comes to camping outdoors. A foldable table can be used for cooking and eating outdoors. You can use the foldable chairs to sit outside while camping. These items can be easily stored under the bed frame on or on top of the camper.

Install cargo nets

If you want space in your camper, you can go ahead and install cargo nets. Installing cargo nets is easy and they can be used only when you have extra luggage to store. Cargo nets are not too expensive and they can be installed even at the corners of your camper. You can purchase these nets online or at any store that deals with camper accessories.

Converting a 3rd gen 4runner into a camper is left up to you. Just ensure to keep your requirements first. Feel free to experiment and add new items that you feel will be useful. The camper is what you make it. The more creative you are, the better your camper will appear. However, stick to the basics and the important accessories.

Additional camper conversion tips

Here are a few additional tips to consider while installing a camper

Purchase a camping stove

  • It is always good to have a source to heat your food or even make a quick cup of coffee. You can purchase a camping stove and carry it along with you. Just be sure to use the stove outside your camper and not inside.

Add storage shelves

  • You can add a couple of storage shelves to create more space in your camper. You can either build a storage shelf or purchase some small shelves. Different types of storage shelves are used including cloth storage shelves.

Carry an SUV camping tent

  • If you are still not satisfied with the space that you have on the inside, you can always expand your camping space outside. Carry an SUV camping tent that can be used on the roof of your 3rd gen 4runner.

Add an external shower

  • You can easily purchase an external shower. A solar shower is not too expensive and there are also easy to carry around.

Uses of DIY camper kits

  • Purchasing a DIY camper kit is another easy way to save you from the hassle of constructing and building things on your own. 
  • Several DIY camper kits are available in the market and these kits arrive with several items including shelves and the tools to fix them. 
  • DIY camper kits can also save your money since there will be no need to pay for labor. 
  • Camper conversion kits are pretty common and famous. These kits come with all the major components and they cover all the basics. Some kits are not specific to any vehicle model.
  • Some kits come pre-packed with a bed platform and shelving options. You can also get insulation panels with some of these camper conversion kits.


In this blog post, we have answered the question: “How to convert a 3rd gen 4runner into a camper?”  We have described the steps to successfully convert a 3rd gen 4runner and also talk about a few additional camper conversion tips. Additionally, we will talk about the uses of a DIY camper kit.


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