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Planning a build

Planning is the longest and most complex part of building a van from scratch. There are many factors to consider and most of these depand on how the van will be used. A van designed for weekend runs to the beach need not have a huge amount of storage and needn't be that comfortable, whilst a campervan for touring Europe over an extended period must have massive amounts of storage and be comfortable enough for long trips.

It's worth looking into existing campervans to see what kind of layouts are favoured. Parts of these can then be incorporated into your own design, giving you the best features from all. There are also little tricks for saving space that you probably didn't think of to start with. Be prepared to design several interiors and chose the best.

Some things to consider are listed below, with links to more information within the 'Buying a Van' section of this site.


What sizes are the fridge, cooker, sink etc. How will they be arranged? This includes gas cylinders and water tanks.


How high should worksurfaces be - no good if they are too low. Furntiure needs to be a comfortable height too - after the cushions are added.


These need to be comfortable as a sofa and as a bed. There must also be room to keep them all when the bed is away.


Everything must be easily accessible and room made for everything you need. Everything must be secured when driving around - especially for bumpy roads and roundabouts which can open cupboards not properly shut.


How much room is needed for living? This depends on how many people will be travelling in the van.


What is required? Where will lights be needed? Where will the distribution unit and hookup fit? where will the leisure battery fit?