So you want a camper van, but you don’t know where to start. You’ve seen the aesthetic shots of van lifers in the Alabama Hills or beneath the majestic Tetons and you want that to be you.
To get there, you will need to ask the right questions.
What do I want?
And, more importantly, what do I need?
Before you arrive at the wicked dance of make and model and aesthetic, you must figure out the basics.
This checklist can answer a few of your questions, and in the long run it will help you narrow your scope of what to look for.
Camper Van Checklist
What type of camping am I looking to do?
Am I a weekend warrior or looking to venture out on longer road trips?
How tall am I?
How many people will my van be sleeping?
What sort of terrain will I most likely be driving through?
Do I want to stand up in my van?
Will I be spending a lot of time in my van, or is it mostly just for sleeping at the end of the day?
What is my price range?
How much storage do I need?
Am I looking just to camp?
Do I do any outdoor sports?
Where will I store my campervan?
Your Needs Decide Your Van
This list, and any other additions you make to it, can help answer questions you haven’t asked yet, allowing you to figure out how much room you may need in your van, or what sort of drive train you should get.
If you’re looking to spend a lot of time in your van, or need a lot of space to store all of your gear, you may want to look into a bigger van like the Sprinter or ProMaster.
If you don’t need that much space and are using it just as a place to crash for the night between adventures, something smaller might be right up your alley.
Once you figure out your needs you can get a little more specific with your internal monologue of questioning.
If you’re looking for something simple and basic, building a platform bed in an old electrician’s van can do that trick, but that life isn’t for everyone. If this is going to be your home away from home, you don’t just want something that will suffice, you want something that feels right.
Once you figure out the requirements for a vehicle, you can dive into the rabbit hole of makes and models. Blogs are a great resource to answer these questions, but so are dealerships. Companies like Sprinter Utah specialize in vans, and can point you in the direction you need to go.
Get Help From Van Building Professionals
Now for the fun stuff, creating the build.
Upfit companies are great resources once you have the basics squared away. If you don’t exactly know the next best step in creating your part-time home, you can always reach out to them. After all, they have experience in this sort of thing.
Some companies do custom work that can fit your every need, while others have a series of standard builds that are specifically designed to match the most sought-after attributes of any van lifer. Go ahead and spitball a few questions with a local upfitter to figure things out, it will save you a lot of headache and research time.
If you’re looking for a camper van here in Utah, or beyond, companies like us here at VanBuilders offer a mix of custom and standard work for your van. As an authorized dealer for brands such as Dometic, Aluminess, and Roost, VanBuilder's has the right mix of know how to create and execute the design that perfectly fits your needs.
There are also many other companies in the Salt Lake City area that offer different styles of builds.
For a list of proven upfitters in more than just Utah, you can check out a list here (https://www.parkedinparadise.com/camper-van-conversion-companies/).
With the basic questions answered, and some ideas for the next steps, it’s time to take action.
When you’re ready, give us a call at VanBuilders.