Camper Van Conversions: DIY vs. Builders

Camper Van Conversions: DIY vs. Builders

When it comes to camper van conversions, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Whether you’re a curious DIY-er excited about tackling the ultimate build or leaning more towards working with the experts, there are advantages and disadvantages to both. Keep reading our post for the ultimate guide on the pros and cons of DIY camper van conversions versus working with a professional conversion company.

Camper Van Conversions: The Basics

Before we jump into the details, it’s worth noting that both approaches—either DIY or working with a professional company—more or less involve the same processes. In other words, no matter what you decide, building any comfortable and capable camper van is going to generally require the same skills: knowledge of power systems, water management and plumbing, insulation, sound dampening, carpentry, welding, and upholstery can make or break your vanlife experience, especially if you want the look and feel of a modern adventure rig.

Benefits of Working with a Professional Builder

The primary benefits of working with a professional builder are that the customer can rely on expert craftsmanship, specialized expertise, and usually some kind of upfitter warranty as well. With a qualified builder, the customer has the peace of mind that their van will be finished correctly and with attention to detail required to build a safe and comfortable vehicle. Professional builders can also help by providing advice on the most suitable systems and materials to use, saving the customer both time and money (if you’ve started doing research, you probably know how overwhelming the early stages can be!). Additionally, builders can often source parts more easily and at a better price than the customer themselves, making it an even more cost-effective solution than DIY.

Drawbacks of Working with a Professional Builder

When people think about the pros and cons of building a campervan as a DIY project compared to with a professional upfitter, the most common drawback that comes to mind most likely has to do with price. In general, and at least upfront, the cost of having a conversion company build your van is typically much higher than going the DIY route. Some customers can also struggle with trusting a conversion company with their investment, whether they’re worried about falling behind schedule, running into expenses, or having contract issues with the builder.

Benefits of DIY Camper Van Conversions

That being said, it makes sense that the biggest benefit of building your campervan conversion yourself is the cost savings. Doing the work yourself provides the opportunity to accomplish the same goal at a fraction of the cost, and since you aren’t locked into a contract with a builder, you can always start and stop your build as your budget, free time, or other resources change. And of course DIY camper van conversions also give you the opportunity to get creative and customize your own van to your own taste and needs, without needing to fit within a builder’s templates.

Drawbacks of DIY Camper Van Conversions

The biggest drawback when it comes to DIY-ing your own campervan build is time. Doing the job yourself will inevitably take more time than it would to have a professional builder do it, and it may require multiple iterations and some trial and error to get the job done correctly (and safely). On top of your own personal time, you also run the risk of reliability challenges down the road, as DIY jobs may not be up to the same standard as a professional job.

Ultimately, knowledge and expertise is the biggest reason to think twice about a do-it-yourself approach to your van. Van conversions require certain skills, tools, and other equipment that many people might not have or be comfortable using, so if you’re not confident in your ability to do the job, it may be safer to leave it to the professionals.


When it comes to camper van conversions, the choice between DIY and working with a professional builder is one that will depend on a variety of factors. For those with some knowledge and experience in the field, a DIY conversion can be an attractive option due to the cost savings and creative freedom it provides. However, for those who are looking for reliability and expert workmanship, working with a professional builder might be a better option. Ultimately, it’s up to the individual to weigh the pros and cons and decide what works best for them. Have you worked with a professional builder, or taken on the challenge of DIY-ing your own campervan? Leave your stories in the comments!

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