Firstly, thank you for reading this article, it may be the most important information you receive in your quest to convert a van to a camper. I’m not going to tell you how to convert a van to a camper, there are millions of YouTube videos for that. I’m not going to tell you which van is the best van to convert to a camper, only you can decide that based on your requirements for space, fuel economy, fuel type, four-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive, the list goes on.. NO! In this article, I’m going to give you the tools that you need to inspect the van that you want to convert to a camper and have the confidence to know you’re not buying a piece of crap, then the simple steps to perform regular maintenance on your van to keep it running smoothly, keep it out of the garage and keep money in your pocket. Because, fellow vanlifers, I have seen too many of my peers purchase a van to convert to a camper, build the whole conversion, pouring hours of their time and their money into it, only to drive down the road, break down and realise their van is a piece of junk that is going to cost thousands of dollars to repair.
I am a qualified mechanic, I have personally owned 5 vans that I have converted to a camper and I am currently doing the ultimate mega conversion. Converting a 4×4 truck to a huge, go anywhere, camper. Aside from the vans, I have bought, fixed up and sold dozens of vehicles over the last 12 years. When it comes to buying a van to convert to a camper, I know what to look for, I know the telltale signs of a van that looks good on the outside but is rotten on the inside. I am offering all the info you need to buy a van to convert to a camper and maintain it with confidence in a small E-book that you can keep on your phone, the E-book costs 5 bucks, I believe that by making a small purchase, you will have more respect for the information and be more likely to use it when you inspect your van to convert to a camper. I’m not offering a FREE E-Book where all you have to do is give me your email address so I can spam you with an unlimited amount of BS. I like to keep things simple, it’s a mutually beneficial transaction. You’ll also be helping myself and my partner on our journey. What goes around comes around!
In the beginning of your camper van conversion journey, you may feel overwhelmed by the task ahead of you. Let me reassure you that converting a van to camper is easy! The conversion is the easy part, camper vans are small spaces, you’re basically building out a tiny little box. The best thing is, if you don’t like it, you can just pull it out and start again! Whether you’re someone who has all the required skills like a carpenter or someone with no skills at all, there are literally thousands of camper van conversion videos on YouTube telling you precisely how to convert a van to a camper.
The part that is not so easy, is replacing the head gasket of your van’s engine once it has overheated for the 50th time. or replacing the clutch when you cant change gears anymore or overhauling the brakes, or when you can’t get it registered because it’s full of rust and telling the person behind the desk that “the guy I bought it from told me it was fine!” won’t do any good.
Over excitement is the biggest problem here, you’ve found a van you like and you just want to buy it and get started! Slow down, take a deep breath, the most important step in your journey to convert a van to a camper is buying a reliable van that with a little bit of maintenance will give you years of trouble-free use. After that, the camper conversion is a walk in the park!
Your budget is your budget! There’s not much you can do about that, there’s no point in wasting your time wishing you had a bigger budget for your camper van conversion. Remember that you can find a good quality van in every budget, you may not be able to buy the latest model van to convert to a camper, but you can find a reliable van that will get you where you want to go without any trouble.
Armed with our guide to buying a van to convert to a camper, it won’t matter whether you have a $50k camper van budget or a $2k camper van budget. You will have all the info you need to ensure that the van you buy to convert to a camper won’t let you down.
These are the steps in our E-book that will help you buy a reliable van to convert to a camper.
First off, we’ll look at the condition of the external panels of the van you want to convert to a camper. We’ll make sure there are no hidden surprises. Sellers will often withhold information on the history of the camper van such as previous accidents, with our E-Book you will be like a psychic mechanic, cutting through the thin veil of lies!
We’ll show you how to look over the tyres of the van you want to convert to a camper, looking for telltale signs that indicate suspension problems or problems with the wheel alignment of the van. Aside from suspension or wheel alignment problems, knowing what kind of condition your camper vans tyres are in can immediately save you up to $800.
The undercarriage poses one of the biggest traps for people buying a van to convert to a camper. The undercarriage can often be full of rust, especially in older vans, which can make it very difficult to register the camper van. Sellers will often try to hide the rust in the undercarriage, but with our E-Book, you will be able to see through their tricks.
This is one of the most important parts of the van you want to convert to a camper, a dodgy engine can cost thousands to repair. We’ll show you how to take all the simple check such as fluids and coolant, but also how to check the head gasket for leaks, and check to make sure all pistons are firing.
The transmission consists of the gearbox and clutch in your van. The transmission is one of the most difficult components to check when inspecting a van to convert to a camper. We’ll give you all the tips you need to determine whether or not to transmission in your camper van is healthy or not.
The electrics of the van you want to convert to a camper are also very important but can be easily forgotten about. We’ll show you every electrical component that needs to be tested before you commit to buying your camper van.
We’ll show you how to check all the problem points of the internal body that are susceptible to rust and corrosion in the van you want to convert to a camper.
Finally, we’ll show you what sounds to be aware of and things to notice during the test drive of the van you want to convert to a camper. Sellers can try to distract you during a test drive, we’ll show how to see through this and give you the confidence to be assertive at this moment.
Haggling over the price of the van to convert to a camper is a very important part of the process! Some of us have never purchased a vehicle before and when it comes time to talk turkey, it can be hard to muster up the confidence to negotiate, trust me, I’ve been there. I’ve been ripped off buying and selling vehicles many times, it’s an easy trap to fall into. Especially when you’re negotiating with someone much older than you. In our E-Book we’ll give you some handy tips on price negotiation, making sure you stay within your budget and don’t get ripped off.
Now that you’ve followed all our steps and have bought a reliable van to convert to a camper, the fun can really begin! Like I said, I’m not going to tell you how to convert the van, but with this E-Book, you can be confident that the can you buy to convert to a camper wont end up in a garage or stranded on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere. Thank you so much for your support and good luck! See you on the road!