What is the cost of a campervan conversion? This is the question everyone asks when they think of taking off into the sunset in the campervan of their dreams. It’s a difficult question to answer, as cost is affected by so many factors, from vehicle dimensions, finish quality, and the size of your budget.
It’s possible to spend as little as a few hundred pounds on a basic campervan conversion if you use second-hand materials and do the work yourself. Alternatively, a full, luxury camper conversion performed by professional fitters involving brand new materials and top-of-the-range products can run into tens of thousands of pounds.
While a camper van conversion varies between relatively cheap to extravagantly expensive, we’ve broken down the estimated costs according to the work that’s carried out. So, before you hit the open road, here’s what you are likely to pay for a typical campervan conversion.
The Cost of Converting a Campervan
Estimate: £1,000 – £15,000
Whether you are converting a regular van into a campervan or modernising an older Volkswagen camper for example, purchasing the vehicle is likely to be your biggest outlay before any conversion work has even started.
A shiny, new campervan is a nice thought but is probably beyond most people’s budgets, so buying a used campervan is a popular choice. You’ll have more money left over to spend on the vehicle by undertaking conversion work yourself than you would if outsourcing to a specialist garage, which is something else to consider.
While we always encourage people to get stuck in and work on their own campers and vehicles, we also urge that if you don’t have the tools, experience or confidence to tackle a job yourself, you look for a professional who can do it for you.
The type of second-hand campervan you buy depends on your personal requirements and, most of all, the size of your budget. At the lower end of the price range are mini campervans such as the Volkswagen Caddy and Renault Kangoo. It’s a tight squeeze for two people with limited storage, but fitting in a small kitchen and toilet is possible.
Small campervans like the Volkswagen Caddy Maxi, Citroen Berlingo or Toyota Tarago are roomier, can comfortably sleep two and almost certainly include a toilet space and a kitchen area.
Used mid-sized campervans can sleep up to four and should include a fixed bed, kitchen, bathroom area and storage units. Volkswagen T25 Transporters and Kombis, the Ford Transit, and short wheelbase Toyota Hiace are great options for a mid-sized campervan.
Large campervans like the long wheelbase Volkswagen T6, Ford Econovan, Renault Traffic, Vauxhall Vivaro and long wheelbase Toyota Hiace will almost certainly contain fixed bedding and seating, a toilet/bathroom space, kitchen and storage.
Full-size campervans sit at the top of a budget and can sleep up to six people. Fixed beds and seating, a kitchen, bathroom and ample storage come as standard. The Volkswagen Crafter, Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, Iveco Daily and Renault Master are typical of this category.
It is essential to insulate the inside of your campervan to keep out the cold and avoid problems with damp. Materials such as a thermal insulation board, wool and aluminium tape are relatively cheap and will keep you warm and snug even in winter months. If fitted by a conversion company, there will be added labour costs to consider.
Just Kampers stocks a range of insulation options for your camper conversion, and if you insure with Just Kampers Insurance you’ll get 10% off orders for the duration of your policy.
A conversion company will charge between £200-300 per window and a similar amount for a roof vent plus labour costs. If you do the work yourself, however, expect to pay between £500-600 for windows and a jigsaw to cut them out.
It’s not as difficult as it seems to install windows into your camper yourself, and we’ve got a how-to video on the process which you can see here. Just Kampers also stocks an exclusive range of JK Glass windows, with Just Kampers Insurance customers getting 10% off.
Flooring and Lining Costs
These conversion costs vary wildly depending on the materials used. A new and fitted plywood floor can cost £500 alone and lined walls around £250. Using recycled materials and fitting them yourself will bring down costs.
You can click here to watch our video on installing carpet into our VW T6.1 camper.
Interior Fitting Costs
Estimate: £600 – £5,000
Be as basic or lavish as you want. Using a simple design, recycled materials and doing the work yourself will save money. Incorporating a kitchen, sink, fixed beds and seating fitted by conversion experts will be much more expensive.
While some of these appliances can seem pricey, if you’ve got vehicle insurance with Just Kampers Insurance, you’ll save 10% on orders from Just Kampers, which can make a huge difference.
Electrical System Costs
This is best left to the professionals unless you’re a qualified electrician. You’ll pay around £1,000 for a full 12v wiring system for battery, split charger and lighting.
If you do have the skills, training and equipment needed to take on the work yourself, a basic 12v system (battery, connections and cables) ranges from £200-£400.
An inverter that converts a 12v battery into a 240v mains is around £150-270 and solar panels around £300.
Estimate: £200 – £1,100
There are a wide range of costs involved with kitchen conversions and you can pay as little or as much as your budget allows. An electric cool box is £30-90, a 12v fridge starts at around £200, a compressor fridge freezer around £800 and a gas hob burner anything from £30 to £300. You will also need to budget for other kitchen items such as a kettle and crockery.
Water Tank Costs
A conversion company will charge around £200 for a 70L water tank, pump, pipes, connectors and plumbing and more for a shower which will require a boiler or solar heating. It’s possible to buy your own materials and do the work yourself but with minimal cost savings.
Toilet and Shower Costs
A cassette toilet is perfect for campervan conversions and costs as little as £60 to buy including chemicals. A conversion company will charge around £150 for a fully fitted toilet. A tankless, LPG water heater shower costs around £170 before installation.
Gas and Heating Costs
Estimate: £1,000 – £1,500
The UK can be chilly at night even in summer months, so a reliable and efficient heating system is essential. A gas connection for cooking and hot water will cost between £500 – 800 when fitted by a qualified professional. A gas tank, heater and pipes should cost a similar amount.
It is important to ensure your beautifully converted campervan is safe and fully secure.
We recommend budgeting for some of the following: alarm (£300), wheel clamp (£50), steering wheel lock (£60), immobiliser (£30), smoke/carbon monoxide alarm (£30) and GPS tracker (£75) at minimum.
Insuring Your Converted Campervan
The price of insuring your campervan is determined by a number of factors such as the vehicle’s size, age, make and value, as well as its internal features. Insurance premiums will be higher if more than one person is named as a designated driver.
Driving history is another consideration as premiums are likely to be more expensive if you have recently caused an accident.
Storage and security will also affect the cost, and it is cheaper to insure your campervan if it is kept in a locked garage at home as opposed to parking it on a driveway or in the street.
However, don’t be put off by the cost of insurance. Just Kampers Insurance has been providing affordable insurance for campervans for more than two decades. Get a quote now.
Hire Out Your Converted Campervan
Instead of your converted campervan sitting idle on your driveway when it isn’t being used, why not hire it out so that it becomes a source of income? It’s possible to charge between £70 and £95 for an average day’s rental of your vehicle and there are a number of companies who will help you do this, though you will have to pay extra for insurance.
Converting a campervan? Just Kampers Insurance is the place to go for all your insurance needs
Just Kampers Insurance has been providing campervan insurance for over 20 years for everything from brand new campervans to self-build campers. For a quote, contact us now.