The RV movement is taking the world by storm at the moment and it’s difficult to disagree with those choosing to spend their lives in a nomadic fashion. The use of a recreational vehicle used to be for those that had some extra money as the vehicles themselves is not cheap. However, in the modern-day, clever travelers have started to convert vans and other vehicles for their living wants and needs.

This makes a free lifestyle much more available to the masses, but what kind of designs are they using? Here are a few things to think about with DIY camper builds.

Life On The Road

First of all, we should talk about what it’s like to live on the road because it’s not what many people think. The adjustment isn’t necessarily easy but that’s not to say it’s difficult. Life on the road is something that requires planning ahead and understanding what your needs are going to be in order to live comfortably. Are you going to be living alone, or are there other people involved? What kind of necessities do you think you’re going to need?

Are you ok with using public toilets along the way or would you like one in the van? These are all questions you need to ask yourself before starting to design your camper.

It’s good to do your research before buying a van and starting to kit it out with equipment for traveling. Reading a definitive van living blog is going to be invaluable to the beginning of your journey and give you the know-how of what to do in each situation. You’ll also discover things you wouldn’t have thought about when reading these guides, it’s better to be prepared before your journey than discover something unexpected along the way.

Buying Your Van

There are vans of all shapes and sizes that will affect the way in which you design your camper. Some have short wheelbases and others have high tops, some are old school in design and some are almost futuristic. Look into all aspects of a van before laying down any money and decide what is going to make you feel the most comfortable. Long wheelbase vans with a high top will give you tonnes of space inside, but they come with the disadvantage of not being able to make it into some car parks. Short wheelbase, lower vans won’t have that problem but space inside will be much smaller and the opportunity for added extras won’t be there. Deciding what’s best for you is one of the first steps to building a successful, comfortable, and enjoyable DIY camper.

Layout & Storage

Depending on the size of your van, the layout is going to differ dramatically based on how you want to live. If you work in the van from a laptop then a workspace is going to be essential. Everyone requires storage but how much are you going to need? There are clever ways of incorporating hidden storage if you know how to. Designing a bed that has compartments underneath is your best way of maximizing storage space without compromising too much room. It almost becomes a game and discovering new little spots to keep your things can become quite rewarding.

What About Electronics?

There are plenty of electronics solutions when it comes to wiring up a van. One of the most important things to remember is keeping the batteries charged, you don’t want to wake up in the morning to a dead van because you let the charge drop too low. Generators are an option, but they aren’t great for the environment and you’re already burning enough fuel with the engine of the van. The alternator within the camper will charge certain things when you’re driving. One of the best solutions for the van is solar power. You can cover the roof with panels and be rewarded with clean energy that will keep the batteries topped up even on cloudy days. It’s important to understand that some things, such as air conditioning, require huge amounts of power so it’s probably not going to work in your van setup.

There are loads to think about when setting up your own camper van. Getting the research done before you hit the road is the best thing you can do in this situation. Read as much as you can and pour love and affection into your van build. The more time spent ensuring everything is in working order the better. There will be things you’ll modify when you’re on the road but having a solid foundation is going to get you a long way.