How To Build A Camper Van: DIY VS Professional Van Conversion Company

So, you’re at the stage where you decided to upfit a regular old van into a camper van. Maybe you’re looking to upgrade your weekend warrior status or want to bring all of your adventure gear with you on a trip. You have a vision in your head of what you want, but you don’t know how to get there.


Custom Camper Van Conversion by VanBuilders
Custom Camper Van Conversion

It all comes down to this; can I do it myself, or do I need someone to do it for me?

Why don’t we start off with some pros and cons of a DIY van build vs. working with a van conversion company like VanBuilders.


DIY Van Build


There is a lot that goes into building a van into a camper. It is much more work than you think, the research and planning alone can be enough to overwhelm you. The upside to DIY is that you have full control of what you do. The downside is that you have full control of what you do. If you haven’t turned a Sprinter into a camper van before, you might miss out on a few key elements to your build. It might not even cross your mind to add xyz.


To build a van, you might not need to be a carpenter, electrician, plumber, mechanic, and designer, but all those skills are certainly helpful.


Camper Van Conversion Accessory Add On by VanBuilders
Adding Accessories

Pros


· Full control over your build

· Cheaper than a professional company

· Personal satisfaction of building your own van

· You will know how everything works


Cons


· If you mess up, most companies will not fix/work on a DIY project

· The process can be very time consuming if you have little experience with this type of work

· You may forget features, or not know how to build/design them

· Resale value tends to be lower on DIY projects

· If something breaks down, you will have to troubleshoot it


With a DIY van build, you have full control over your build, and the satisfaction of making your camper dreams come true on your own is a great reward. Keep in mind to overbudget yourself, as small mess-ups can add up over time, especially if you are just learning how to do things. You can make the build as fancy or simple as your budget allows, don’t try to do too much. And remember that a camper van build can require a lot of space and power tools, so have those prepared.


Sprinter camper van conversion by vanbuilders
Happy Camper Van Customers

Professional Van Conversion Company


As was mentioned above, a lot goes into turning a Sprinter or Transit into a camper van. Professional van building companies like VanBuilders who have spent years upfitting camper vans with a staff of highly skilled technicians can be a great to ease the burden of crafting your adventure vehicle. Companies like VanBuilders are your bridge from empty van canvas, to finished camper van.


A professional van building company has done the research already, so you do not have to. With knowledgeable staff that have backgrounds in design, mechanics, plumbing, and electrical, they can pave your way into a van that has all the features you need.


Sprinter Camper Van by VanBuilders in Wasatch Mountains
Van in the Wasatch Mountains

The upfront cost of a professional van conversion company will be much greater than a DIY project, but you pay for the expertise of the staff, the quality of the product, and the ability to trouble-shoot any problems with the company who knows the ins and outs of your camper van build.


Pros


· The company can help troubleshoot any problems

· Knowledgeable staff know their trade

· Warranty coverage

· You won’t have to sacrifice all of your time/energy building it yourself

· Years of van building/conversion experience


Cons


· The upfront cost is higher

· They may work on only certain models of van ie. Sprinter, Transit, Promaster ect.

· Many companies only work with certain products/van elements

· There are many new van conversion companies out there, it can be hard finding a reputable one


Figuring out what you want out of a van conversion company will be your hardest part. Some companies offer custom jobs, and others have standardized builds that are faster and more efficient to make. While custom is great if you want something very out of the box, or a lot of extra features, the price tag for custom is usually a lot higher. There can also be unforeseen issues if the design is completely out of the ordinary. Standard builds can check off almost all your boxes, are a tried-and-true design, and have a lower price tag.


Camper Van Light Accessories by VanBuilders
Code 4 LED Lights

Choosing a Camper Van Conversion Company


Now that you have weighed the pros and cons, choosing a company that can convert your Sprinter/Transit into a camper van is the next step.


Going with a reputable company that has been around for a while can give you piece of mind for a few reasons.


· They have a proven track record upfitting camper vans

· They won’t go out of business, making your warranty null and void

· They can service your converted camper van for you at their shop

For more information on how to vet camper van conversion companies, click here.


Camper van conversion by VanBuilders
Custom Camper Van

VanBuilders


VanBuilders is a van conversion company that has been around for over 5-years. They work on commercial and recreational (camper van) upfits, primarily for Sprinters, with some work on Transits. VanBuilders designs/creates custom builds for campers and work vehicles. Whether crafting campers for weekend warriors, or families of 6, they can get you outdoors.


On the commercial side of things, VanBuilders creates custom vans for tradesmen such as electricians/plumbers, companies looking for sleek passenger/storage vehicles, and even grocery delivery vans for companies like Harmons Grocery.


Harmons Grocery commercial work van by Vanbuilders
Harmons Grocery Commercial Van

They also are a certified dealer for many great products, making them a go-to for aftermarket products. VanBuilders can order and install everything from suspension and roof racks, to heaters, bumpers, and windows.


For more information on how VanBuilders can turn your van into an epic camper or work vehicle, reach out over the phone or by email!

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