How Much Does a Van Conversion Cost? [Full 2022 Breakdown]

last updated: Aug 20, 2023

Keen to convert your own camper?


But the biggest question I get asked is … “how much does it actually COST to convert a van to a campervan?” 

The truth is … it really does depend. 

Just like building a house, you can be as expensive and luxurious as you can dream of, or as minimal and cheap as you want.

However, we know you’re probably looking for something a little more specific than that.

So we’ve gone ahead and broken down the cost of a van conversion for every different budget. As well as including images and examples from some of the best van tours we have so far featured.

It is also worth noting that owning a van can cost you absolutely nothing – in fact, it can be profitable. I have developed a process to help people make vanlife free or profitable. You can also sign-up for my free online training which helps people to understand exactly how to to this.

Want some quick answers? Sure, here goes:

Quick van conversion cost breakdown

The budget/low-cost DIY van conversion – $4,082- $12,082

Van kitchen made with pallet wood

This campervan conversion cost covers a van conversion that’s perfect for weekend adventurers, or anyone who enjoys a very minimal van life- like this Ingenious Budget Van Conversion!

For anyone looking for a more inclusive van conversion they can live in and even work in full time, I’d recommend….

The mid-range DIY van conversion – $26,762- $36,726

Kitchen and the queen size bed in a Fedex van conversion

With this budget, you can turn a van into a full-time home you can live and work in! You’ll have (almost) all of the creature comforts, like this Off-Grid Fedex Van Conversion.

If you’re looking for pure luxury in your van conversion, I’d recommend…

The high-end DIY van conversion – $61,892- $96,892+

Boat van interior

With this campervan conversion budget, the sky is the limit. You can create your dream campervan build like this Beautiful Self-Build Van!

Now that you have a more general idea of the cost of a van conversion, let’s go ahead and get into the nitty-gritty of exactly how much campervan conversion costs. 

** Please only use prices given as a rough estimate only. They are accurate at the time of writing, but prices can vary greatly depending on things like where you are located and the condition/age of the van.

Campervan Conversion Cost – The Van Itself

Black Ram Promaster Van

When converting a campervan yourself, there are two primary costs: The cost of the van, and the cost of the conversion.

There is a huge price range when it comes to buying a van. You can find vans for as low as $1000, or upwards of $100,000. 

However, you do get what you pay for, so it is important to look for a quality van, even while shopping for a van on a budget.

Factors to consider when choosing the best van for your conversion:

  • Mileage
  • Rust
  • The size of the van
  • Condition of the engine, brakes, and body of the vehicle

The Price of a Used Van

Luckily, it is possible to find used vans at a great price. The price of used vans is largely dependent on the year, amount of miles, and model of the van.

Also, some vans are known to hold their value better than others. Here is a rough price estimate of used versions of the best vans for camper conversion:

  • Used Sprinter Van: $20,000- $27,000
  • Used Ram Promaster: $9,000- $20,000
  • Used Ford Transit: $10,000-$20,000
  • Used VW Crafter: $25,000

While these prices are an estimate of what these used vans will typically cost, it is possible to find vans for as low as $1000! However, use caution when buying a very inexpensive van, because if a $1000 van needs $10,000 worth of work, it probably isn’t worth that initial seemingly cheap price. 

Anyone looking to convert a campervan on an extreme budget should check out this video on how to convert a mini camper for only $100!

The Price of a New Van

For anyone looking to buy a new van for camper conversion, here are some rough price estimates of the best vans for camper conversion:

  • New Sprinter Van: $35,000 new SWB/ $50,000+ LWB with upgrades
  • New Ram Promaster: $27,000 new SWB/ $45,000 LWB with upgrades
  • New Ford Transit: $25,000 SWB/ $42,000 LWB with upgrades
  • New VW Crafter: $49,000 SWB/ $85,000 extended LWB with upgrades

When purchasing a vehicle to build a campervan, it is important to consider your overall campervan conversion budget ahead of time. It probably doesn’t make the most sense to buy a $50,000 van to spend only $2,000 converting. 

However, whichever van you choose to convert, we are here to help you make the best DIY campervan conversion- everyone who buys The Van Conversion Guide has access to 100’s of pages of instruction as well as video tutorials!

Cost of Van Conversion: Other Important Considerations

After the initial investment in a van, the next costs will include the conversion itself. Many different components go into a van to camper conversion budget, but we’ve broken all the costs of van conversion down step by step below.

Cost of Van Conversion: Electricity

Electricity is one of the most important factors to consider when converting a van. 

Depending on your power needs, the electrical system can be configured as cheaply or as intricately as needed. 

A low-cost electrical system can be completed for roughly $500 

mid-range electrical system will cost roughly $1400  

This electric system includes more solar, and with a split charge relay, the battery can be charged while driving. 

A high-end electrical system will cost roughly $3300 

The main differences with this electrical system are the lithium battery and increased solar. While the lithium battery is more expensive, it is also vastly more powerful and can last up to 5x as long as other batteries. 

Additionally, with more solar, this electrical system has increased off-grid capacities as well. 

Cost of Van Conversion: Materials for Furniture Builds 

When converting a van to a camper van, one of the main costs will be lumber for your build. 

Depending on your campervan layout, this will likely include lumber for your kitchen, bed, living room benches, bathroom, and any other counters inside the van.

A more minimal van build like this one will require less lumber, and therefore prices will be lower.

Minimal camper van garage

However, the more extravagant your campervan layout ideas are, the more the price of lumber will be.

Camper van wooden walls

Aside from quantity, the next biggest factor that affects the price of materials is the quality of the wood itself. There are cheaper materials that can be used to convert a campervan at a lower cost, but they may not be as durable.

For a low-cost van conversion, materials will cost roughly $250

  • Plywood/ MDF Sheets $200
  • Wooden Battens $75
  • Screws and Fixtures $25

A huge way to lower the cost of van conversion is to try to find free lumber. And, utilize old furniture to avoid having to purchase wood for your build!

One great example is pallet wood. It is easy to find for free, and can make a great van build!

Van kitchen made with pallet wood

ALL of the interior wood in this campervan cost less than $40. Most of it is pallet wood which was resourced for free!

For a mid-range van conversion, materials will cost roughly $650

  • Plywood/ MDF Sheets $400
  • Wooden Battens $200
  • Screws and Fixtures $50

For a high-end van conversion, materials will cost roughly $2200

  • Plywood Sheets $1000
  • Oak Worktop $600
  • Wooden Battens $200
  • Screws and Fixtures $300

The use of quality wood and materials really will give your van conversion the boost from a mid-range or low-cost conversion to a high-end campervan. 

Cost of a Van Conversion: Water System

The water system in a campervan conversion will roughly include a freshwater tank, a gray water tank, and a water pump. The prices for each of these will primarily depend on the size of the tanks. 

A low-cost water system will cost roughly $80

  • A 20L  freshwater tank $30
  • A 20L grey water tank $30
  • A 12V Submersible Pump $20

mid-range water system will cost roughly $138

high-end will cost roughly $634

The larger the water tank, the longer you will be able to stay off-grid. Additionally, how large of a water system to install greatly depends on water needs. 

Anyone anticipating on installing a shower in their van may want a larger tank. Those who don’t plan on building an off-road van conversion where you take showers in the van, may want to opt for a smaller, less costly water system.

Cost of Van Conversion: Insulation

When it comes to insulating a campervan, there are many different options that fall into many different price ranges.

The biggest thing to consider when insulating a van is the temperatures you plan to take the van in. Anyone planning on taking their van in only mild climates can opt for more minimal insulation.

However, anyone planning to take their van anywhere with a colder climate will need a more sophisticated level of insulation.

Low-cost insulation will cost roughly $120.

Mid-range insulation will cost roughly $520.

High-end insulation will cost roughly $650.

Cost of Van Conversion:Tools

For any DIY van conversion, tools are going to be your best friend. The exact tools needed will vary just like every campervan conversion is different.

However, the tools you will most likely need for a van conversion are:

There are two main ways to save money on tools while converting a van to a campervan. 

The number one way is to borrow tools from friends and family! Before purchasing everything on this list, ask around! 

Chances are, you may be able to scrape together all of these tools without spending a dime.

The second way to save money on tools while converting van to camper is to reach out to local hardware stores to borrow tools. 

If you only need a specific tool for one thing, it’s a great idea to rent it from a hardware store rather than buy expensive power tools for one single element of the van!

The total cost of tools for van conversion: $363

Cost of Van Conversion: Floors and Walls

The walls and flooring are very important components when converting a campervan.

It is possible to install the walls and floors quite cheaply to fit a small budget, or with gorgeous pieces of wood that make the van a piece of art. 

Low-cost floors and walls will cost roughly $150

  • Lightweight cladding $100
  • Lino flooring material $50

Mid-range floors and walls will cost roughly $500

  • Tongue and groove cladding (pine) $300
  • Basic flooring material $200

High-end floors and walls will cost roughly $1000

  • High quality wood cladding (cedar) $700
  • High quality flooring $300

To save costs on flooring and wall installation, consider completing the walls and flooring after big campervan installations like beds and kitchen cabinets. 

Installing walls and flooring after these big components will be more difficult, but will save money because fewer materials will be needed. 

Other Large Costs of Van Conversion

Cost of a Van Kitchen

A low-cost kitchen will cost roughly $95.

This simple kitchen setup can be powered by propane canisters. 

A mid-range kitchen will cost roughly $1140.

With this kitchen setup, LPG is used instead of propane, which is much more economical. 

A high-end kitchen will cost roughly $2600

This high-end kitchen set-up utilizes an underslung LPG which saves a ton of space in your van conversion. It also introduces an oven which greatly expands the number of meals you can prepare in your campervan conversion!

Pro chef's van kitchen

This dreamy kitchen designed by a professional chef really shows the full potential of a van conversion’s kitchen.

Cost of a Van Bathroom

A low-cost bathroom will cost roughly $31

My favorite low-cost shower solution combines an outdoor solar shower and curtains on the back doors of the van!

Outdoor camper van shower

A mid-range bathroom will cost roughly $250

With this setup, hot outdoor showers are a possibility even when the sun isn’t shining.

A high-end bathroom will cost roughly $2500

With this set-up, you can have hot showers from inside your campervan conversion like this one!

Learn more: Best Campervans With Bathrooms

Camper van indoor shower

Cost of a Van Bed

A low-cost van bed will cost roughly $100.

  • Ikea Mattress $100

A mid-range van bed will cost roughly $200

  • Memory foam mattress $200

A high-end van bed will cost roughly $1000

  • Custom made mattress to fit the bed build $1000

Read More: Best Campervan Bed Ideas

Cost of a Van Ventilation and Windows

Low-cost van ventilation and windows will cost roughly $223.

 Mid-range van ventilation and windows will cost roughly $660.

High-end van ventilation and windows will cost roughly $1020.

This is the ultimate van ventilation setup. One Maxxair fan pulls clean air in, and the other sucks air out. 

The skylight can also go right over the bed for stargazing!

Cost of Van Heating

Mid-range van heating will cost roughly $150

High-end van heating will cost roughly $650

  • Propane Heater $650

While more expensive than other options, this heater can connect to the van’s LPG supply and is quite economical in heating your campervan! 

Cost of Van Wifi

Mid-range van Wifi will cost roughly $155

  • Portable Router $100
  • Signal Booster $55

High-end van Wifi will cost roughly $375

  • Multi-directional antenna $375

This antenna makes it possible to get Wifi even in very remote locations, which is great for working from the van or streaming Netflix!

Cost of Van Conversion Finishing Touches

All of the above is needed to make your campervan conversion liveable. However, what makes a van a home?

It’s the finishing touches!

Details like a beautiful kitchen backsplash, rope trim, plants, artwork, and paint are all going to bring your van conversion together. 

Read more: Best campervan interiors

These finishing touches can be as minimal or extravagant as desired, but they are nevertheless important to factor into the total cost of van conversion! 

Finishing touches for a low-cost van conversion will cost roughly: $150

  • This much money should pretty easily cover some nice tiles and paint from a local hardware store. 

Finishing touches for a mid-range van conversion will cost roughly: $600

  • This should be enough to cover some nice paint and tiles, as well as other bits of decor.

Finishing touches for a high-end van conversion will cost roughly: $1500+

  • This should cover not only paint and tiles, but also rugs, beautiful upholstery, and maybe even some artwork! When it comes to a high-end van conversion, the sky is the limit in terms of how much you can spend, so we left this one open-ended. 

Total Cost of a DIY Van Conversion

Depending on your wants and needs in a campervan, there is a fairly large range of prices for campervan conversions. 

A low-cost campervan conversion comes out to: 

  • $2,082 for the conversion itself
  • $2,000- $10,000 for an older used van
  • Grand Total: $4,082- $12,082 

A mid-range campervan conversion comes out to: 

  • $6,726 for the conversion itself
  • $20,000- $30,000 for a new van or high-quality used van
  • Grand Total: $26,762- $36,726

A high-end campervan conversion comes out to: 

  • $16,892+ for the conversion itself
  • $45,000-$80,000 for a new van
  • Grand Total: $61,892- $96,892+

Cost of a Van Conversion Done Professionally

The DIY cost of van conversion isn’t cheap. However, it is a fraction of the cost of a professional van conversion!

A professional van conversion typically starts right around $30,000 for a minimal interior build. That does not include the price of the van.

Typically, a professional van conversion company will charge $100,000+ plus for their campervan buildouts. 

Which Option is Best For You?

While we love all campervan conversions, here at the van conversion guide we always recommend a DIY camper van conversion over a professional conversion, and here’s why:

  • Price:

A DIY campervan conversion cost is far less expensive than a professional build.

A professional campervan conversion can run well over $100,000 easily. Converting your own campervan allows you to have much more control over your budget.

  • Construction Skills:

If you build your own campervan conversion, then if anything breaks in the van, you will know how to fix it yourself. 

While many professional services do offer warranties, they won’t be much help on an off-grid adventure! 

Not much compares to hands-on knowledge, and trust me, converting your own campervan will teach you plenty of construction skills!

Plus, you have incredible resources available to help you like The Van Conversion Guide

No matter how daunting the idea of converting a campervan seems, or if you have no construction skills whatsoever, the Van Conversion Guide has the instructions and videos to teach you how to convert your dream tiny home on wheels.

So, for anyone wondering “Is converting a van worth it?” the answer is a resounding YES!

Also, while we are talking about money; check out my latest article to advise you how to approach making money online. This article takes a holistic approach and aims to help you choose the right direction and inspire you to just do it.

You might also like:

Build your own adventure

The guide anyone can use to convert a van into a camper! With over $350 worth of savings inside

Do you want to live vanlife at zero cost?

Nate Murphy knows how to buy vans, convert them quickly and efficiently - use them for years - and then sell them for a profit. This can make vanlife not just free, but profitable!

He has successfully done this for years and he teaches his friends and students to do exactly the same. It is not obvious, but anyone can do it if they have the knowledge!

Join Nate at his free online training (running today) and he will teach you exactly how he does this!

nate murphy van conversion
the van conversion guide

The Van Conversion Guide (14th Edition)

The guide anyone can use to convert a van into a camper! This best-selling guide, now in its 14th Edition, has been used by thousands of people to transform a van into a camper.

  • 150+ page eBook
  • Helps you convert any kind of van
  • Diagrams for all the main systems
  • FREE mini-course - 28 video tutorials