Tips & Advice

Self-Build Motorhome Conversion – Interested?

Professionally-converted motorhome can be great, but they do have a number of downsides:

  • Very expensive
  • Mostly aimed at a certain type of market – if you want something different it’s hard to find
  • Everybody else’s motorhome is fairly similar
  • Did I mention they are expensive?

Carrying out a self-build – or DIY motorhome conversion can be the answer. I won’t pretend it’s easy, fast or simple – but it’s manageable for many people and terrifically satisfying when you finish it.

Visit our DIY Van Conversion Guide

You also have the advantage of knowing exactly how everything in your motorhome works – because you built it!

The scale of DIY conversions varies from almost nothing to palatial – likewise people use all kinds of vehicles – from small panel vans up to buses and lorries. There are no restrictions on vehicle choice or specification. The only restrictions should be made up from your requirements, your budget and (perhaps) your skills.

If you would like a few ideas on how to get started with planning, specifying and carrying out a van conversion, why not take a look at my DIY Campervan Conversion Guide?

It’s aimed at people wanting to convert a panel van – like a Ford Transit – into a fairly self-sufficient (but simple) campervan or small motorhome.

There are one or two other great internet resources for the self-build community – prince among these is undoubtedly the Self-Build Motor Caravanners Club. If it can be done then one of their members has probably tried it – and the SBMCC forums are an absolute mine of useful knowledge.

Joining the SBMCC is also worthwhile as it entitles you to discounts from a range of companies – including motorhome parts suppliers and insurance companies who are willing to insure self-build conversion (not all will…).

I’ve included links to the SBMCC and several other useful websites on the main website – take a look here for more details.

2 thoughts on “Self-Build Motorhome Conversion – Interested?

  • Mohammud Jannoo

    I am considering purchasing a van which I shall require to be converted to a high spec 2 berth motor home. Can you advise ? I would like ideas about the year, model of van to aim for, options about the different conversions you propose with prices including the time it will take you to complete the conversion as my DIY skills are very limited.

    • Hi Mohammud,

      What you are suggesting seems to be a bespoke professional conversion – paying someone to convert a van for you to your specification. We don’t offer this service (I have only converted vans for my own use!) and in any case this is likely to be an expensive option. I would suggest looking at regular conversions by mainstream motorhome manufacturers as your first option. Companies that make smaller (2-berth) van conversions include Autosleeper, Bilbos, Swift, Murvi, Devon, Timberland, Westfalia and many others.

      Regarding the age and make of the base vehicle, age is a matter of preference and budget – as a general rule, newer vehicles will be better to drive and more reliable but many older motorhomes have a lot of life left in them as they have had a very easy life – careful use and low mileages. Most motorhome manufacturers choose to use the Fiat Ducato (also badged as Citroen Relay and Peugeot Boxer) as a base vehicle but you will also find vans based on the Volkswagen Transporter, Ford Transit, Renault Master and Mercedes-Benz Sprinter plus a few other models.

      There’s a huge range of sizes, prices and layouts available – the only way to work out what’s right for you is to have a good look at all the options and consider how you will use the vehicle. Think about cooking, washing, sleeping and lounging arrangements and decide what’s most important to you.

      I hope this is of some help!


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