If you’ve read my recent post then you’ll know I have recently purchased a van with a view to turning it into my very own campervan.
And one of the big question is how much is my campervan conversion going to cost?
I’m planning to use the camper on trips and Mountain Leader work in the UK, I might go abroad but at the moment I don’t have plans to. And it’s going to be a few months before I get everything finished!
As I’m self-employed I will have flexibility in the time I can spend working on my van. I’m also going to share my decisions and the work that I’m completing on the van as I go.
The two big factors when considering a campervan conversion are time and money. I might not have all the skills which does mean things will take longer for me to learn but I’m happy with that. The second huge factor is cost!
I’ve spent a big chunk on the van itself and I also sold my car to partially fund the purchase of the van. But the costs for the conversion aren’t something I’ve calculated (hmm, maybe I should have!) I have some money put away to spend on the van and I’ll aim to research and find the best deals possible.
If you’re thinking of buying a van to convert into a camper you might be wondering, how much will it all cost?
Here I’m going to keep a running total of all the items and tools I’m buying for the conversion. If you’re lucky enough to borrow or you might already have some of the tools then you’ll automatically save some money but I’m including everything I spend money on. Full list of tools needed here.
Campervan conversion costs
Here you can find all my costs for my van conversion, you’ll notice a few items that I’ve not bought yet, these are on the list as I’ve researched but don’t necessarily need the item straight away.
My Vauxhall Vivaro
Before I jump in with the interesting stuff, I wanted to point out that these costs are based on my conversion of my Vauxhall Vivaro (2019) Mk3, which is a LWB. Therefore although many things will be the same for your conversation cost may differ slightly based on the size of your van.
For example, the costs for insulating your van will depend on size; however the costs of the tools required will all be the same.
First on the list was to have a Tracker fitted for my own peace of mine but I’ll be looking to add other security measure too. There are cheaper options but for me I felt this wasn’t an area to go budget on.
Then it was a set of new van mats for the driver/passenger area. The van came with nothing so I opted to buy a set to fit my exact model. As I’m an outdoorsy person, I selected the mid-range hard-wearing rubber option from carmats.co.uk. To save money, I could have selected the basic option at £19.99 but it made more sense to go with a more robust one. I received 5% discount by signing up the the mailing list (£1.74 saving) but then had the delivery costs £2.99 on top!
- Tracker – £399
- Rubber van mat – £34.99 (minus £1.74) + delivery = £36.24
Costs = £435.24
On the list
- Reversing camera from Amazon (recommended by one on my Instagram followers) – £139.99 (not bothering with this now, I have parking sensors and a window so that’s enough for manoeuvring)
- Thermal blind set for Vivaro Mk3 x 3 (windscreen + 2 side windows) – £79.99 (Decide to make my own with insulation/carpet)
- Wind deflectors £50+
I decided on having two windows in my van, one side opening window and one on the back, both tinted. Read more about my decision making process for having windows fitted here.
There’s company based in Derbyshire (The Happy Campervan), which is local for me based in Nottingham. The prices for windows on the website start from £115, but as I was having tinted windows plus one with an opening I knew it would cost more!
- Side tinted window with opening £270
- Back barn door tinted window £165
Costs = £435
Removing bulkhead + plywood
These are tools that I didn’t have so needed to buy for the van conversion in order to remove the bulkhead and plywood.
- Racket + socket set (25-piece including Torx fittings)) £15.92
- Trim removal tools (5-piece set) from Amazon – £7.59
- Safety gloves (warm for winter) from Amazon – £3.99
Costs = £27.50
Campervan sound deadening + insulation
I’ll write a more detailed post on my campervan insulation and the choices I made but here are the costs for my van. My costs for insulation are based on covering an amount of 16.5 square metres, not every inch of the van will be covered and I’ve made decisions based on the quantity for each product.
- Sound deadening sheets x 30 from Ebay – £34.99**
- Sound deadening mat roller tool from Ebay – £8.79
- Recycled plastic insulation rolls x 2 from B&Q – £29.00 (£5 discount with signing up for mailing list)
- Thermal liner 7 mm (10 metre roll) from Amazon – £129.99
- Super liner 6 mm (3 metre squared) from Amazon – £44.99
- Tape measure (5-metre) from Amazon – £4.00
- Heavy duty scissors from Amazon – £11.49
- Sharpies x 2 from Amazon – £2.00
**I would have ordered more sound deadening sheets – another 10 so I could have put double on the ceiling.
Costs = £265.25
Insulation part 2
After staying in the van for a few nights I noticed the ceiling collected a fair amount of condensation, plus some of the metal close to the ceiling so I opted for some cheaper Thermawrap combined with foil tape and set to work fixing this. I’d also planned to use this for my window covers as I only had 1.5 metres of my thermal liner left over.
- ThemaWrap rolls (600 mm x 7.5 metres) x 2 general purpose insulation from Toolstation – £26.98
- ThermaWrap foil tape (50 mm x 20 metres) x 2 from Toolstation** – £11.68
- Spray adhesive (heat resistant – 3.5 m2 per can) x 3 from Amazon – £13.59***
**No idea why I bought two of these, one roll was plenty!
***I used slightly more than this ratio, approximately 3 m2 per can
Costs = £52.25
Total insulation costs £265.25 + £52.25 = £317.50
4-way stretch carpet lining
Next was my 4-way stretch carpet, I have a few jobs to do before I can fully carpet the van but I wanted to use the carpet and leftover insulation materials to make some window covers so I thought it made sense to do one order for the carpet so I can make the window covers first, which I really need!
I researched a few different places, the prices were similar from between £9-£10 per metre, I opted for a slightly more expensive one, hoping for a quality carpet instead of a cheaper one. This sort of worked! I order two different shades of carpet, I thought it would look nice (watch this space!)
- Half mask respiratory face cover from Amazon – £16.99
- Eye goggles from Amazon – £0 (I already had these)
- 4-way stretch carpet in silver (2 m x 6 m) from Amazon – £42.99
- 4-way stretch carpet in smoke (2 m x 4 m) from Amazon – £28.99
- Spray adhesive (heat restistant) x 12 from Amazon – £41.94**
**Should have bought more bulk initially as cheaper £4.53 versus £3.49 per can
Costs = £130.91
Cladding for the walls + ceiling
I was initially going to carpet the van ceiling but since decided that cladding would be easier, again I may be wrong! But I’ve started to research the costs for the cladding and framework that I’d need for the van.
- Cladding from Wickes
Power for the van
I initially thought I’d have to fit electrics to the van, which I was dreading, I can change a light fitting in the house but electrics for the van looking complicated. And maybe I’m wrong, but it wasn’t until I started researched and chatting to people I realised there was an alternative option – a portable power unit.
I received an email from Jackery UK in 2021 to see if I wanted to test a portable power bank, it looked good but I didn’t have a need for it so I declined the offer. Now, jumping to 2022, I decided to email to see if the offer was still there, and it was!
(Advert) – My kit was sent from Jackery and I’ll be writing a detailed review on my website once I’ve tested out over the next few months. If you’ve read my reviews before you’ll know I’m 100% honest even when I’ve been sent an item to test.
- Portable power station (230V/500W) from Jackery on Amazon – £0 – (To buy £566.99)
- Carry case from Jackery on Amazon – £0 – (To buy £33.99)
- Solars panel (foldable) from Jackery on Amazon – £0 – (To buy £272.99)
Costs = £0 – (To buy £873.97)
Sale on Jackery*
Jackery has a sale from 10 June to 19 June 2022* with 15% OFF on the Solar Generators – Click here to view the Jackery Solar Generator 500.
*Discount only available between these dates
On the list
There are also a few other things I’ve found whilst searching (kind of a Becky shopping list), including a toilet, although I’m not sure about that yet, and other handy campervan mini items!
And now that I have power for the van I’m researching some van essentials that will be powered by my Jackery power station, including lights and a toolbox. Here are a few optiosn that I’m looking at. I’d welcome any other recommendations.
- Alpicool portable fridge – 22-litres from Amazon – £225
- Vevor car refridgerator – 22-litres from Amazon – £165.99
- USB rechargeable lights x 6 from Amazon – £19.99
- Porta Potti from Amazon – £73.99
- Folding/collapsible wash basin – £8.99
- Storage netting – various
- Dustpan + brush mini set from Amazon – £7.20 or maybe this cool bamboo set – £11.39
Making my sofa/bed
On the list
Another area I’ve researched, mainly the foam cushions because I wanted to know what measurements they came in for working out my sofa/bed in the layout! In turns out that although there are standard sizes (90 x 60, 150 x 50, 200 x 50, 200 x 75 cm) for the foam you can also opt for custom made so that means I can be flexible with my planning! And the depth also has several options (5, 7.5, 10, 13 + 15 cm)
I’ve looked at prices a higher quality as the foam will be my bed – Duraform (High density firm memory foam sheets)
For example, 200 x 50 x 10 cm (L x W x D) = £54.29 (I’d need about double this amount for my bed!
Cushion wrap (6 metres) – £8.94
Fabric – not researched yet tbc!
Total campervan conversion costs
Here’s where I will add up my total campervan conversion costs. I wish this post was like a spreadsheet, but I do have one of those too! Remember this include both tools and materials so if you already have some tools it will work out cheaper.
- Van accessories – £435.24
- Adding windows – £435
- Removing bulkhead + plywood – £27.50
- Campervan sounds deadening + insulation – £317.50
- Carpet lining – £130.91
- Power for the van – £0 (£873.97)
Total campervan costs = £1,346.15 (so far)