Converting a camper is never easy, and at times it can get expensive, especially if you don’t have a budget in mind. How much does it cost to convert a VW Van into a camper is a question you may have asked yourself.
Every vanlifer looking to convert their own van has a budget in mind, and this is the starting point for any camper conversion. But if you’re new to the conversion process you may want a rough idea about how much it costs to convert a VW van into a camper?
Now, we have actually done this ourselves, but it was with a smaller VW van known as a VW Caddy Maxi, and we managed to convert it for just £1,500 ($2,000) but it was a very basic conversion.
So, in this article we are going over the costs of a self build conversion, not the price for conversion companies to do it for you. We do not add the vans cost to this pricing, we are presuming you have this already, if not, just add the price of your soon to be van to the list.
Many of you searching for this are probably wanting an estimate on larger vans such as the VW Transporter and the VW Crafter, so we have put together a rough estimate on all three variants of the VW Van.
The average costs to convert a VW van into a camper is around $12,000 depending on whether or not you have the tools, the van and the skills to do it yourself. This takes everything into consideration, including wood, insulation, sound deadening, electric, accessories and everything but the kitchen sink… wait, we nope, we add that in too!
The Tools You Need To Convert ANY Sized Van
- Tape Measure ($10 On Amazon)
- Utility Knife ($15 On Amazon)
- A Decent Drill ($60 On Amazon)
- Skilsaw ($75 On Amazon)
- Straight Edge ($17 on Amazon)
- Forstner Bits ($22 on Amazon)
- Hole Saw Kit ($17 On Amazon)
- Jigsaw ($40 On Amazon)
- Square & Level ($15 On Amazon)
These are all of the essential tools you will need to convert your VW van into a camper. This may look like it’s overkill, but we promise you’ll use every single one of them. Each has their own task to fill, and each one will do it well.
Plus it’s always good to have these tools lying around for future conversions and when you want to change around or fix your current build.
The total cost of tools needed is roughly $270. Now, let’s answer that question, how much does it cost to convert a VW van into a camper!
How Much Does It Cost To Convert A VW Crafter Into A Camper?
A VW Crafter is a very popular choice for van lifers wanting a vehicle for long haul trips which can bring with them all of their homely amenities.
It’s a very reliable, boxy van and one perfect for all of the adventures the road may bring. What makes this a great vehicle to convert is the fact that it’s quite cube-like, with very little curves in the wall, making it easier to convert than some of its competitors.
What Will I Need To Convert A VW Crafter?
The costs below are rough estimates and should not be used as exact pricing for a conversion. Prices with any products fluctuate, and some of you maybe able to get these materials cheaper than most. Some of you may even go for more premium materials, this is just an estimate for this type of van.
- Sound Deadening – $400
- Insulation – $500
- Cladding & Flooring – $1,000
- Electrics – $2,500
- Kitchen + Seating Area – $1,700
- Bedroom – $750
- Water System – $600
- Gas + Heating System – $1,000
- Decorating + Styling – $700
- Security – $250
- Windows + Vents – $1,200
The rough total comes to $9,700 to convert a VW Crafter into a camper (not including tools or the van itself). This all depends on what materials you use, where you buy them from and if you are doing it yourself. You will make mistakes, you will break tools, you will need to buy more of certain materials, but this a good number to have in your head if you want to self convert a VW van.
This total also features your average quality materials. If you want better insulation, better sound deadening, a high end fridge etc, then it will be considerably more than this estimate.
How Much Does It Cost To Convert A VW Transporter Into A Camper?
The VW Transporter is one of, if not the most popular camper van across Europe, especially in the United Kingdom. They’re durable, affordable and reliable and they come in all shapes, ages and sizes.
The transporter is what started the van life trend with the original VW Bus, so what better way to pay respects to the old classic, than to buy its newer siblings? How much does it cost to convert a VW van into a camper if you have a Transporter? Let’s find out.
We recommend taking a look at their T3’s and T4’s to convert as they are fairly cheap to pick up, are reliable and there’s plenty of parts around Europe, so if it does break down, you’re not going to need to sell a kidney to fix it.
What Will I Need To Convert A VW Transporter?
We’re taking the rough estimates of the VW Crafter conversion here, but due to the smaller size of the VW Transporter, it will cost you far less, as you don’t need as many materials!
- Sound Deadening – $200
- Insulation – $250
- Cladding & Flooring – $700
- Electrics – $2,000
- Kitchen + Seating Area – $1,200
- Bedroom – $350
- Water System – $500
- Gas + Heating System – $1,000
- Decorating + Styling – $500
- Security – $250
- Windows + Vents – $750
The rough total comes to $6,800 to convert a VW Transporter van. As you can imagine you need less sound deadening, less cladding, less decorating etc, so that shrinks the budget slightly. But you will notice some budgets don’t really change.
For example, the electrics, water system and heating system don’t change much, this is because you need very similar systems to heat, and electrify both sized vans. You will spend less on heating and charging your Transporter than you would a Crafter, remember that.
How Much Does It Cost To Convert A VW Caddy Into A Camper?
The VW Caddy you are seeing above is actually ours, self converted into a little weekend warriors ultimate getaway vehicle. All of this is done a budget and we converted the whole thing for just $2,500, making this whole vehicle cost less than $10,000.
We’ll admit, there’s no electrics in sight, no heater, just a bed, fairy lights, a pull out kitchen area and a bunch of storage, but that’s the way we like it. And by like it we mean, it’s all we can afford.
A small van like this isn’t for everyone, you can’t stand up, there’s no seating area, no fridge, nothing. This is as organic as you can get.
You can turn these things into far more capable campers by adding batteries, solar panels and things, but not many people do, because these Caddy’s are built for weekends, not long haul trips around countries.
What Will I Need To Convert A VW Caddy?
In all honesty not a lot, this vehicle is aimed at new comers to the van life scene, and those that just want a van to escape for a weekend, or a week away through Europe, and you can do that on a very small budget.
- Sound Deadening – $200
- Insulation – $200
- Cladding & Flooring – $300
- Electrics – $0
- Pull Out Kitchen – $200
- Bedroom – $200
- Water System – $0
- Gas + Heating System – $0
- Decorating + Styling – $200
- Security – $0
- Windows + Vents – $400
The rough total comes to $1,700. But that’s for a very basic build. Ours has a bed that folds into a seating area with a table, and there’s a sliding kitchen pod at the back that allows you too cook outside. All while having loads of storage under the bed/seating area.
If you want a fridge, electrics, and maybe some heating, you are looking more towards the $3,000+ range. Still, that’s very cheap.
The VW Caddy comes in a “Maxi” version too, which is also the vehicle in the image, this allows more space length ways, and adds the ability to cut out windows to make it an even better camper.
So there you have, how much does it cost to convert a VW van into a camper has been answered! If you have any questions do let us know by messaging us on Instagram @tinyhomehub, and we’ll be sure to get in touch with you!
Be sure to check out our best Cabins in the UK article should you be one of our UK readers, some of these places are beyond incredible!