Whether you’re buying a second-hand sprinter, or an old van that you want to convert, you’ll be needing some good advice if you want to DIY it.
Choose the right van to convert
There are a lot of van types in the market, but each serve different purposes. Choose a type based on how you want to use it. Some vans are great for bigger spaces, with limited means of travel. Some are compact but can traverse rough roads better than the others. Identify the type of van life you want to live.
Sprinter van tops the list of easy-to-convert vans in the market. It has ample space for customization, uses diesel for better gas mileage and is reliable for camping, long travels and life on the road. Take it easy though, as sprinter vans can also be costly compared to others.
Plan your van layout
Now here comes the exciting part. Planning your van layout opens you to a lot of options for your sprinter van conversions. Get creative and plan it the way you want, but remember to keep this checklist handy.
Purpose of your sprinter van
Are you going to use it for travel only, or are you looking to live in it? Planning your van layout should start with knowing what purpose will it be serving you.
If you’re doing a DIY sprinter van conversion for the purpose of travel, you don’t have to deal much about fitting all the parts of a house inside. However if you’re looking into making it as your primary home, then you’ll need to work on its layout smartly. Make sure your layout will work out fine for you.
Number of people to live in it
If you’ll be living inside a sprinter van, you should consider the number of people to be living with you. Are you a family, or just a couple? Do you have kids living with you in the RV? This will let you determine each functional space you need inside your van.
When considering to convert a sprinter, there should be enough space for everyone to sleep, work, play and do the rest of the things they need.
Look for the tallest one in the group, and ask if he or she is comfortable with the height options of your van and other interior elements. Living in small spaces is already a struggle for taller people, so you should be able to at least accommodate their height in your layout.
Storage and space necessities
What things will you be storing? This will differ from person to person. Most of the time hobbies should be taken into account. Are you an artist travelling with your art materials? Will you be needing storage for your shoe collection? Should you include a space for your books? Make sure you’re not leaving out these important details.
Food is always essential. It’s a struggle to think if you need to install a kitchen inside, or just set up your cooking materials outside when you travel. The answer brings you back on the first one: will you be living inside your sprinter van, or you’ll just be travelling with it?
Camping style kitchen layouts in vans are more applicable for people using their sprinter van for travel only. However, if you plan to live in it, make sure a functional indoor kitchen is in place.
Large items you need to haul
This puts your space-saving skills to the test. If you’re someone travelling with a bunch of outdoor gears like surfboards or bicycles, you’ll need to check out hacks on how to make space for them in limited spaces like a sprinter van.
Test your layout
It’s easy to think about where these spaces should go, but it can be a lot different once the layout has been put into place inside your sprinter.
Most van lifers try out a layout mockup made of scrap wood and cardboard to see if it’s workable enough for them. However, if you don’t have that much time, rely on your good ol’ paper and pencil and draw out lines and measurements of your van layout.
Make insulation works
Once layout is in place, remember to insulate your van properly. Your van should be liveable in the summer as well as during the winter. Also, it should be able to keep condensation at bay to prevent your interiors and other things from getting destroyed.
Understand that this is a task for your van windows too. The right insulation and ventilation system must be planned with windows and glass experts. Windows works double– it protects your van from the harmful elements outside, as it also works to keep fresh air flowing inside. A task as important as this must only be carried out by experts.
For sprinter van windows and other van windows questions, we’re always here to help. Peninsula Glass has been dedicated to providing van lifers the best windows that fit their needs. If you have any questions or a list of DIY things you need to know for your sprinter van conversion, allow us to help.