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Campervan HQ Gear Update: A Proper Campervan Bench Seat/Bed

Posted by Greg Keith on

Campervan HQ Gear Update: A Proper Campervan Bench Seat/Bed

The Bench Seat Problem Those of you who love getting away from it all but also have kids are probably all too familiar with the question of how to have family vacations in a small DIY camper van. There are a million advantages to a van that doubles as a camper, but accommodating extra kids is not one of them. When my kids came along, I wanted them to experience the outdoors early, like I did in my parents’ camper van. To complicate matters, my mother-in-law wanted to join in some of our adventures, so I needed seating for three...

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Camper Vans Part 6: Adding Windows

Posted by Greg Keith on

Camper Vans Part 6: Adding Windows

Want to build a camper van? In this series of Campervan HQ blog posts, we'll discuss doing just that. For a more detailed discussion, see my 378-page Sprinter RV Conversion Sourcebook. Now that you've started your build by getting the interior of the van ready for your camper van conversion, it's an excellent time to add opening for windows, skylights and vents. Terrifying though it is to cut into the metal of your expensive new van with a saw, it's necessary, and it's really not that hard to add windows if you take some care while planning and performing the...

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Camper Vans Part 5: Starting the Build

Posted by Greg Keith on

Camper Vans Part 5: Starting the Build

Want to build a camper van? In this series of blog posts, we'll discuss doing just that. For a more detailed discussion, see my 378-page Sprinter RV Conversion Sourcebook. When you've chosen your base van, then found yourself a primo example of the van you want and brought it home, you'll want to think about how to start the build: If you bought the van new - You may not have a lot of work to do to get the van ready for your build. If your van came with an interior headliner and/or wall paneling and you're not going...

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Camper Vans Part 4: Choosing a Base Van

Posted by Greg Keith on

Camper Vans Part 4: Choosing a Base Van

Want to build a camper van? This series of blog posts will help you do just that. In this post, we'll discuss choosing a base van. In North America, domestic vans (like the Chevy Express or Ford E-series vans) are pretty tired designs. For decades, they've soldiered on, virtually unchanged. Why? For many reasons: cheap gasoline prices, the 1963 "chicken tax" (still in place today) which slapped a 25% tariff on the import of light trucks into the US, thus preventing competitors' models from entering the North American market, and focus by the big three automakers on other vehicles, especially...

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Camper Vans Part 3: Planning the Interior Layout

Posted by Greg Keith on

Camper Vans Part 3: Planning the Interior Layout

Want to build a camper van? This series of blog posts describes the process. Interior design of your camper van conversion is the most difficult and complicated part of the camper conversion process. You should strike a balance between spending a hundreds of hours planning and then having no time left to do the conversion, or deciding on a design without adequate thought as to whether it meets all of your needs. To get this balance right, spend time thinking in detail about how you will use your new camper van conversion before you buy a shiny empty van or custom conversion. Decide...

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