Van life is all about enjoying your freedom and exploring the world around you. And it’s because of this that the van life culture movement has taken off, and you’ll find an expansive community of van dwellers who have built mobile getaways for lifetime adventures. For them, their van is the key to their experiences.
Your van conversion is uniquely your own, and converting it is the first step towards joining van life. Even if you decide to purchase a completed van build, you’ll still need to make the right van choice and alter it to your liking. Here are a few van conversion tips to help you with your journey:
Know Your Capabilities
If you don’t have experience building or working with cars, take a moment to consider whether you should take on the van conversion yourself. To be clear, with the right dedication and time, you can spearhead your own build, and many inexperienced van owners have done just that.
But keep in mind that you’ll run into technical issues along the way, and if you want to ensure the longevity of your van, consider hiring a professional, or at least outsourcing parts of the build. For example, some van conversion companies will handle some of the most important basics, like insulation, solar panel installation, flooring, and electric. From here, you can work on your cabinetry, storage, and other features of your van on your own. This might offer you the best combination of hands-on and hands-off work.
Choose the Right Van
Choosing the right van to convert is one of the most important decisions you’ll make. After all, this is the van you’ll be turning into a mobile home and living in while you’re on the road. The features and size are often more important than the make and model. While it may be tempting to get an old vehicle with character and a cheaper price tag, you have to consider whether it’s easy to source spare parts for future maintenance. If you plan to live in your camper for stretches of time, you’ll need a longer vehicle. Certain features in the build, like a shower, also require a longer-bodied van.
Additionally, it’s crucial that you make sure your vehicle has all the right safety features and is in solid working condition, too. And furthermore, your vehicle requirements may change depending on the level of terrain you’re planning on traversing. According to the Barnes Firm, San Diego car accident lawyers, choosing the best vehicle for your itinerary can help avoid an accident along your journey, and protect one of your biggest assets in the process. The last thing you’d want is to get stuck ascending an uphill dirt road because you didn’t get the right wheel drive, tires, or your vehicle is simply too heavy.
Don’t Ignore Storage Space
In such a small space, your storage will mean more than it ever has. Take a look at some of the van tours on platforms like YouTube, and you’ll notice how storage plays a big role in van life. There are endless creative options for van storage, which is pertinent to organization on the road.
There are obvious places for storage, like the space under your bed or the cabinets, but you can also take your efforts to the next level. For example, instead of taking up counter or cabinet space, why not use a magnetic spice rack and put it on your fridge or wall? Hooks, pop-up shelving, hanging shoe racks on your back doors, and roof racks are other storage ideas you should consider.
Make It Your Own
If you’re interested in van conversion, chances are you’ve researched other van conversions and collected plenty of inspiration. A single search for the hashtag “vanlife” on Instagram will unveil thousands of beautiful photos from around the world. Use these images as a springboard for inspiration, but don’t forget to make your van your own.
Rather than create a replica of someone else’s aesthetic, infuse your own personality. Incorporate your favorite colors and concepts. Having a theme in mind helps during the design process. For example, you might love the beach or the woods. Use these themes to create color palettes and choose your decor. Hang up personal items, like photos and paintings. And don’t forget about hygge—the Danish term for making a space feel cozy, comforting, and homey.