From Van to Moving Home: A Comprehensive Guide to Camperausbau Conversions

Are you ready to embark on an adventure and travel in your own self-converted camper van? Converting an empty van into a camper can be an exciting and rewarding project, but it can also be overwhelming for those who are new to it. 

With proper planning and a clear understanding of the process, anyone can turn an empty van into a comfortable and functional living space. In this guide, we will provide a step-by-step approach to converting your van into a camper, from selecting the right van to putting on the finishing touches.

Step 1: Select the Right Van

The first step in a Camperausbau (camper van conversion) is to select the right van. You will want to consider factors such as the size of the van, the type of engine, fuel efficiency, and reliability. Consider what you will be using the camper for and the number of people who will be traveling with you. A larger van may be more comfortable for longer trips, but a smaller van may be more fuel-efficient and easier to maneuver.

It’s important to inspect the van thoroughly before making a purchase. Look for any signs of rust, damage, or wear and tear. Check the engine, brakes, and other mechanical components to ensure they are in good working order. Once you have found the right van, you can move on to the next step.

Step 2: Plan Your Layout

Before you start converting your van, it’s important to plan your layout. Think about what features you want to include in your camper, such as a bed, kitchenette, bathroom, and storage space. Consider the size and shape of your van and plan the layout accordingly. Make a rough sketch of your design and measure everything carefully to ensure it will fit.Think about how you will use the space and what is most important to you. 

For example, if you plan on doing a lot of cooking, you may want to prioritize the kitchenette. If you plan on spending more time outdoors, you may want to focus on storage space for your gear. Once you have a clear idea of your layout, you can start gathering the materials you will need.

Step 3: Insulate the Van

Insulating your van is an important step in creating a comfortable living space. It will help regulate the temperature and reduce noise from the road. There are several types of insulation you can use, including foam board insulation and spray foam insulation. Foam board insulation is easy to install and provides good thermal insulation, while spray foam insulation is more expensive but provides better sound insulation.

To insulate your van, start by cleaning the interior and removing any existing materials. Measure and cut your insulation to fit the walls, ceiling, and floor of your van. Secure the insulation in place with adhesive or screws. Be sure to seal any gaps or seams to prevent air leaks.

Step 4: Install the Electrical System

An electrical system is essential for powering lights, appliances, and other electronics in your camper. To install the electrical system, start by running wires through the walls and ceiling of your van. Install a fuse box and battery bank to provide power to your system. You may also want to install a solarpanel wohnmobil to provide additional power when off the grid.

Next, install your electrical components, such as lights, outlets, and appliances. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and use caution when working with electrical components.

Step 5: Build the Interior

Once you have insulated your van and installed the electrical system, it’s time to start building the interior. This includes installing flooring, walls, cabinets, and furniture. You may want to hire a professional carpenter or tackle this step on your own.

Step 6: Install Plumbing and HVAC Systems

If you plan on including a bathroom or kitchen in your camper, you will need to install a plumbing system. This includes a freshwater tank, a greywater tank, and a pump. You may also want to install a water heater and a shower to make your camper feel more like home. It’s important to consult a professional plumber to ensure your plumbing system is installed correctly and meets local codes and regulations.

In addition to the plumbing system, you may also want to install a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system to regulate the temperature and improve air quality in your camper. A small portable heater or air conditioner may be sufficient for a smaller camper, while a larger camper may require a more complex HVAC system.

Step 7: Install Windows and Ventilation

Installing windows and ventilation is important for allowing natural light into your camper and improving air circulation. Consider installing windows that can be opened for fresh air and views of the surrounding scenery. Install a roof vent or a fan to improve air circulation and reduce condensation inside your camper.

Step 8: Add Finishing Touches

Once the basic elements of your camper are in place, it’s time to add the finishing touches. This includes adding decor, such as curtains, rugs, and throw pillows, to make your camper feel more like home. Consider adding personal touches, such as photos or artwork, to make your space unique and reflective of your personality.

Step 9: Test Your Camper

Before hitting the road, it’s important to thoroughly test your camper to ensure everything is working properly. Take your camper on a short trip to work out any kinks and make sure everything is functioning as it should. This will give you peace of mind and ensure that your adventures on the road are enjoyable and stress-free.

Step 10: Hit the Road

Congratulations, you have successfully converted your empty van into a comfortable and functional camper! Now it’s time to hit the road and start your adventure. Whether you’re embarking on a cross-country road trip or just exploring your local area, your camper will provide you with the freedom and flexibility to travel at your own pace and experience the world in a whole new way.


Converting an empty van into a camper can be a fun and rewarding project, but it requires careful planning and attention to detail. 

By following these ten steps, you can create a comfortable and functional living space that meets your needs and allows you to travel in style. Remember to take your time, seek professional help when needed, and most importantly, have fun!