Simple Campervan Upgrades

Get the best bang per buck with these simple campervan improvements

The arrival of warmer weather and the impending motorhome season means it's an ideal moment to start working on your campervan. Whether you choose to rent out your motorhome or use it for personal purposes, it deserves top-notch care. It's time to rejuvenate the interior or enhance the exterior to such an extent that it gets everyone’s attention. Gather your tools, open up Pinterest, and let's begin the transformation!

Will upgrading my motorhome be costly?

Simple answer - No! It is a common misconception that DIY campervan upgrades have to be expensive. The cost of fixing up your motorhome can be tailored to your budget. You have the freedom to choose what modifications you want to make, how much you want to invest, and how creatively you want to approach the project. Our role is to provide you with inspiration for upgrading your motorhome!

Getting Started

Before embarking on your campervan transformation, it is beneficial to create an idea board. There are two approaches to doing this. One option is to create an online board on Pinterest, utilizing existing pins and ideas from others. This allows easy access for others to view your board and offer assistance, while also being an eco-friendly and budget-friendly choice. You may also want to refer to a campervan conversion guide to ensure you consider all the relevant factors.

If you prefer a more traditional approach, you can opt for creating your own idea board using scissors and glue. This hands-on method allows for greater creativity and a deeper connection with the ideas at hand. It also gives you the opportunity to place pictures alongside your campervan to visualize the improvements better. Additionally, take the time to explore vans that catch your interest, whether through Instagram or in real life. If you have friends with motorhomes, consider asking for a peek at how they have customized theirs as you never know what might inspire you.

It is also wise to establish a budget before diving too deep into the project. Determine how much you are willing to spend and prioritize your expenses accordingly. Along with this planning, there are other essential factors to solidify before the excitement of upgrading takes hold. What specific changes do you want to make? Are you considering a complete overhaul, open to various ideas, or focusing on specific areas like the kitchen or storage?

Setting a timeline for yourself is also beneficial. When do you want to complete each aspect of the project? When is your desired deadline for the entire project? Having a timeline in place helps to prevent the project from dragging on or losing focus. To further solidify your commitment, consider booking a campsite that you plan to visit in your upgraded van. This will provide a concrete goal to work towards and ensure timely progress.

- Door/Window Screens

One of the main advantages of camper vans is the ability to park in scenic locations and enjoy fresh air flowing through the open doors and windows. However, pesky bugs can outright ruin this experience. To enhance your sleep quality and avoid waking up covered in bug bites, many campervan owners opt for screens attached to the walls using Velcro. This eliminates the need for complex screen frames and cords to fit the window tracks.

See how to keep your campervan clean and in great shape.

- Adding New Vinyl

Another way to give your camper a complete makeover is by applying new vinyl. When choosing the material for resurfacing, it is essential to consider three key factors: quality, aesthetic appeal, and cost. Make sure to allocate enough time for removing the old vinyl when planning your project.

Vinyl or non-woven wallpaper is a durable option processed from moisture resistant materials. This makes it ideal for campers, especially in regions like the UK, where winter months can be damp.

- Re-upholstering the Interior

Transforming the interior of your campervan through re-upholstering can give it a brand-new look that will impress others. However, choosing the right fabric can be challenging since you can't predict how it will appear in your vehicle. To address this, create a mix and match of various fabrics by exploring different options. Research nearby fabric stores, visit local marketplaces, or check out your nearest IKEA for a wide selection. You'll be surprised by the abundance of fabric markets across the country, offering unique and beautiful materials at affordable prices. Our top recommendation is to source your fabrics from these markets to ensure your motorhome has a truly distinctive touch!

campervan interior

- Light Dimmers

Camper vans are compact spaces, and at times, the walls and ceilings can feel constricting. One way to create a more soothing environment is by having control over the brightness of your interior lighting.

Dimmable lights allow for a gradual awakening in the morning or a relaxing ambiance at night.

Installing dimmer switches is a straightforward modification that may require some electrical work, but it is achievable for most individuals. For an added convenience, consider opting for remote-controlled dimmers to elevate the functionality of your lighting system.

- Swivel Seat

One popular modification that everyone enjoys is the swivel seat. If you're fortunate, your camper van may already have a swivel seat installed. If not, it's a straightforward and easy modification to make.

Having a front seat that can swivel 180 degrees to face the living area of your van not only opens up the space but also provides additional seating options.

The process of adding a swivel seat is as simple as removing the seat, replacing the base, and reinstalling it. This modification requires minimal time and tools but brings a significant change.

- Cargo Capacity

Once your camper van conversion is complete, there may be limited space left for cargo, especially items like tools, sporting goods, seasonal clothing, and other non-daily essentials.

By adding a rooftop rack or a rear-mounted rack, you can significantly expand your storage capacity to accommodate all the extra belongings you want to bring along.

The easiest option is a hitch-mounted rack, which can be easily slid into your rear hitch.

- There’s No Place Like My Bed

Some argue that the essence of a campervan lies in providing a comfortable resting place. It's important to create a cozy and inviting bed that allows for extended trips rather than limiting you to short weekends.

Testing the mattress is crucial, especially before embarking on longer journeys. Consider sleeping on it in your home before installing it in the van. The same applies to selecting the right pillows. When choosing a mattress, memory foam is worth considering for optimal comfort. Aches or a poor night's sleep can disrupt the tranquility of a camping trip. Additionally, it's helpful to have dedicated sheets and a blanket specifically for your van. Keep them packaged together, possibly even in the van itself, to avoid forgetting them.

You can maximize space in your van by incorporating storage beneath the bed with a simple DIY bed frame. A simple plywood platform can work wonders and you don't have to spend a lot of money in the process. This allows you to utilize boxes, crates, or drawers to store your belongings or accommodate larger items. This DIY project is particularly beneficial for converted vans.

- All-Terrain Tires

Are you ready to explore with your camper van? Don't let your tires hold you back from reaching amazing destinations.

Certain places may pose more challenges to access. Upgrading to a quality set of tires offers numerous benefits, including enhanced grip, traction, and durability. With thicker tread and rugged sidewalls, these tires provide added protection against punctures caused by roots and rocks along your journey.

Since this modification is typically done by a tire shop, you won't have to worry about getting your hands dirty. Consult your local tire shop and explore online forums to find the perfect tire upgrade that suits your camper van requirements.

motorhome off road tyres

- Wall Storage

Camper van walls present unique challenges, including limited space and curved surfaces. Traditional wall-mounted cabinets may not be practical in this scenario.

Maximizing any available wall space for storage becomes crucial. Using hanging bins or wall organizers is an excellent solution for storing items like spices and books.

There are numerous options for hanging and wall-mounted storage. Wall-mounted shoe racks, for instance, are versatile and can hold various items, not just shoes.

- Exterior Lighting

Camper vans offer the opportunity to travel, explore, and immerse yourself in nature. Since interior space is limited, creating a comfortable outdoor area becomes crucial.

For nighttime activities, installing exterior lighting can extend your enjoyment. It provides extra hours for stargazing or tidying up your gear after a late day of adventure.

Enhancing the safety and recreational aspects of your camper van can be achieved by adding a light bar to the rear or side. This illuminates the surrounding area, serving both security and leisure purposes.

- Back-up Camera

Maneuvering larger camper vans can be challenging for some individuals who are used to smaller vehicles.

To ease the process of parking and backing up, a backup camera can be extremely beneficial. Wireless backup cameras are a simple modification that involves mounting the camera on the back of your van.

DIY Van Inspiration

If you are interested in learning more about renovating your motorhome, Campervanlife is a valuable resource worth exploring. This website offers a wealth of tips, inspiration, examples of impressive refurbishments, and Do-It-Yourself projects.

Additionally, Facebook forums dedicated to van refurbishment or conversions are excellent sources for help and ideas. These groups provide a platform for motorhome and camper owners to share tips, tricks, ask questions, and showcase inspiring pictures of upgraded motorhomes, tents, and folding trailers. Some individuals have even transformed seemingly ordinary campervans into rugged off-road beasts that make a bold statement.

Are you looking to explore in a campervan? Our campervan hire Ireland is the perfect choice!