17 Creative Car Camper Ideas That Will Make You Want to Convert Your Vehicle Right Now

Ever glanced at your car and thought: “Could this be more than just a ride?” If you’re nodding, you’re about to get seriously inspired.  With…

Ever glanced at your car and thought: “Could this be more than just a ride?” If you’re nodding, you’re about to get seriously inspired. 

With a little time, skill, and cash, you can turn your trusty car into a camper that will take you on your favorite adventures. Build a bed, add a kitchen area, and create a space to chill out – and you’ve got the perfect home away from home.

We’ve scoured the internet for the most creative car camper ideas. Our list includes hatchbacks, SUVs, Jeeps, and minivan conversions. So, no matter what vehicle you own, you’ll find a floor plan that works.

From DIY rigs that will have you rummaging through your garage for tools to sleek conversion kits that promise a hassle-free conversion and professional builds that turn your car into a luxurious mini RV – we’ve got it all covered.

Read on to turn your ride into a weekend warrior’s dream base camp.

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1. DIY Solo Traveler SUV Camper 

Image Credit: Emily Mannisto-Meyers.

Looking for an SUV camper floor plan that suits a solo traveler? Check out this DIY Honda Element conversion by Emily Mannisto-Meyers.

The build looks pretty simple: an elevated platform made of plywood covering the whole area in the back of the vehicle. It has a separator in the middle, so the gear underneath doesn’t move around too much. That’s all – no complicated drawers or fold-up surfaces.

Emily chose to add a single mattress on one side of the platform and fix some storage boxes and mini chests of drawers on the other. These are held in place by bungee cord, making them easy to remove. Under the platform, Emily stores her gear and clothes using canvas bags and storage boxes. 

While this conversion is simple and built to keep things practical, everything looks neat and organized. It’d be easy to glamp it up with some blankets and pillows to make it look even more Instagrammable.

2. Vanpacker’s Dodge Grand Caravan Conversion Kit

Image Credit: Vanpackers

This conversion kit for the Dodge Grand Caravan by Vanpackers turns the back of your car into a living room and the trunk into a practical kitchen. You should check this kit out if you plan to spend most evenings inside your minivan.

The kitchen is accessible from the back of the car and is quite slim, so the bedroom and living room area is roomier. The galley features compartments for a cooler, portable camping stove, water tank, collapsible sink, cookware, and kitchenware. 

The bedroom/living room is built in square modules, so you can customize it anytime. It can be a double bed, a dinette with a table that seats four, a single bed with a side table, or a living room with two benches. 

If you want to use the double bed, you’ll have to take all the modules with you. If you just need a single bed, you can leave a module at home.

Part of the platform bed becomes a camping table, which you can use inside or outside your vehicle. This kit is very cleverly designed and looks cozy.

3. Freeway Camper Kit’s Malibu 2 Minivan Conversion

Image Credit: Freeway Camper Kit

Just need a bed and kitchen area? Check out the Malibu 2 conversion kit by Freeway Camper Kit if you like to keep things simple. It features a two-person platform bed and a kitchen at the back. 

Rather than sliding out of the trunk, the kitchen is fixed. It has a big fold-up table, which provides lots of chopping and cooking space. In the trunk, there are a cooler and a sink you can use from outside or inside the vehicle. No need to get out of your car to brush your teeth before going to bed.

One of the coolest features of the Malibu 2 that’s easy to replicate is the extendable sink faucet, which becomes an outdoor shower. It comes in handy if you travel with a pooch who loves getting muddy.

The Malibu 2 is compatible with vehicles like the Chrysler Pacifica, Volkswagen Routan, Chrysler Town and Country, and Mercedes Metris. It has a dark veneer finish and looks sleeker than some raw ply kits.

4. Pop Top Jeep Wrangler Camper By Ursa Minor

Image Credit: URSA Minor

If you own a Jeep Wrangler, check out the J30 pop-top camper built by Ursa Minor. It adds a functional yet compact sleeping space to the vehicle’s roof, accessible from the cab. 

The additional headroom created by the pop-top allows you to dress while standing. You can use the back of the vehicle however you like: as storage, a kitchen, or a living room. 

Constructed with durable materials, the J30 is designed to withstand the elements, ensuring a comfortable and waterproof shelter in any weather.

The best part? This pop-top only adds 10 inches in height to the vehicle, so it doesn’t significantly impact fuel efficiency, and you can still use it as a car. It’s the perfect camper for weekend warriors.

Customize your setup with optional features like solar charging, awnings, USB ports, racks, and more. You can install the camper DIY or drive to San Diego or Portland for a professional installation.

Like the idea of having an extra bedroom but don’t have a Jeep? Check out this pop-top roof for the Kia Carnival.

5. VW-Inspired Minivan Camper Conversion

Image Credit: VW Buses

This DIY conversion has been inspired by the iconic VW buses – think of the Vanagon or even the latest California campers. 

It features a modern fixed kitchen inside the minivan, behind the driver’s seat. This is slim and compact but has a small sink and space for a single-burner camping stove. You can add a table attachment for chopping your veggies and eating meals. 

Behind the passenger seat is a cooler you can access inside and outside the minivan. It’s fixed in place via some plywood corners, so it’s easy to replicate.

At the back, there’s a bench which you can fold down to make a double bed. While the bed doesn’t take up the whole width of the minivan, the space taken up by the kitchenette is quite narrow. So you can still sleep two adults who don’t need much space.

6. RiverLeaf’s Grand Teton Camper Box

Image Credit: Riverleaf

The RiverLeaf’s Grand Teton Camper Box is perfect for people who want to stow the conversion away during the day and need a lot of kitchen space. Foodies, take note!

The kitchen is located in the back of the camper. It has two long slide-out drawers with a portable stove, a sink, a cooler, and two worktop areas. If you need to use all the kitchen gear simultaneously, you can easily walk around the drawers to move from the sink to the fridge.

Inside, there’s a platform bed for two, which you can fold away to create a single bench in the back. It makes for a cozy living room. The camper platform is tall enough to fit a portable toilet under it. You can’t use it while the bed is set up, though.

The Grand Teton is compatible with the Chrysler Pacifica, Toyota Sienna, Honda Odyssey, and many other popular minivans. The kit comes in raw plywood with some black veneer details.

7. Hatchet Overland Pop Top Camper

Image Credit: Hatchet Overland

The Hatchet Overland pop-top for the Jeep Wrangler is the ultimate offroading camper. The pop-top comes with extra canvas, which expands towards the back of the vehicle, so the bedroom has more headroom. Inside are two “nightstand” trays where you can put your glasses, phone, or tablet.

If you like spending lots of time outside, you can add extra side awnings. These create a big area on the side of the vehicle where you can chill and a shelter at the back of the vehicle where you can cook in any weather. It’s the perfect overlanding base camp.

Setting up the camper only takes one minute. The shell is built in white, which doesn’t retain heat, and has a recessed center pre-wired to mount up to two low-profile solar panels.

What’s exceptional about this pop-top is that it only weighs 200 pounds, so it hardly adds any weight to your rig, allowing you to carry all your favorite gear.

8. Custom Minivan Conversion By Oasis Campervans

Image Credit: Oasis Campervans

Want to invite people over for a drink? Take a look at this custom conversion by Oasis Campervans – it features a unique U-shaped dinette.

The Classic minivan camper conversion has an expandable bench system that can be arranged as a double bed or a long couch and three additional seats. It’d be cozy in there, but you could fit six people if you wanted to. To make everyone comfortable, you can remove the swivel table in the center. 

When only two people are on board, one person can work at the swivel table while the other lounges on the couch. 

At the back, there’s a fixed kitchen with a fold-up table. It features a cooler, two drawers, a sink, and space to cook and chop.

The Classic conversion fits many popular minivans, like the Toyota Sienna, Honda Odyssey, Kia Sedona, and Chrysler Pacifica. The varnished plywood and professional upholstery make this kit look premium.

9. Backwoods Camper Co Shell

Image Credit: Backwood Camper

If you don’t need to stay stealthy, the Backwoods Camper Co camper shell offers a ton of extra living space without making your SUV camper much longer. The shell sits on top of your vehicle, allowing you to keep the interior as it is.

The camper creates a California king-size bed on the roof of your SUV. You’ll find a bench seat and a galley area with a countertop and cabinets in the back.

To step inside the camper, you need to get out of your vehicle and open a dedicated door, which is located in the back. 

This shell fits most SUVs – you only need a receiver hitch and a roof rack that can support 300 pounds. You can easily modify your vehicle to take it. It’s also easy and quick to mount and dismount – you just need space to store it. The shell is made of structural fiberglass over foam-core panels, so it’s lightweight and durable.

10. Sleep’In Kit by VanPackers

Image Credit: Vanpackers

This low-profile conversion kit by VanPackers fits most hatchbacks and SUVs – from the Ford Escape and the Mazda CX-5 to the Nissan Qashqai and the Subaru Forester. 

Because these vehicles are short, the platform bed takes up the whole area in the back of the car. You can leave the seats in and place the kit on top of them if you can fold them flat. The area under the platform is accessible from both sides of the car.

The kitchen is hidden under it, in the trunk. While this is low to provide maximum headroom inside, part of it slides out to reveal a collapsible sink, water tank, chopping area, and camping stove. The cooler is stored under the platform bed; you can move it to the back when needed.

Part of the platform bed turns into a camping table, which you can set up outside by the kitchen. Handy.

11. Toyota Sienna Custom Conversion by GTRV

Image Credit: GTRV

Do you own a Sienna? You’ve got to check out this GTRV custom conversion. It turns your minivan into an RV. 

This conversion package features a pop-top and a couch that turns into a double bed. The bedroom in the pop-top is accessible from inside the vehicle, so you don’t need to step out of your vehicle at night or in the early morning. If you keep a portable toilet inside the minivan, you don’t even need to venture out into the dark to pee.

The bench in the back can be lifted so you have full access to the trunk. This is where you can add a kitchen box.

If you only want to add a pop-top to your Sienna and finish the conversion DIY, GTRV can install just the pop-top. They’re based in Sebastopol, California.

12. Home On Wheels Car Camper by Camp N Car

Image Credit: Camp N Car

Looking for a floor plan that will suit almost any car, SUV, minivan, or truck? Take a look at the Home On Wheels. It’s a practical conversion kit with a bed and furniture that you can easily replicate DIY. But it’s also cheap and quick to assemble if you’d rather buy it. All you need is an electric screwdriver.

It features a bunk bed with a slide-out extension and an L-shaped furniture unit at the rear of the vehicle. Two large drawers are under the bed, and eight shelves surround it. Four of these can be accessed from the back of the vehicle. 

That’s it – this ply kit has no frills or add-ons. Just add your favorite gear to make this conversion homey. Camp N Car offers two bed heights – 9.5 feet and 17 feet – and three bed lengths: 5 feet, 5.5 feet, and 6 feet.

13. Egoé Nest Car Camper Boxes

Image Credit: Egoe Nest

Egoé Nest is a European company with suppliers, like Earthship Overland, based in the US. They produce lightweight floating camping systems that fold into a compact cube that’s easy to remove from your car and store at home. Installation and removal only take a few minutes. 

The Egoé Nest boxes come in many sizes. They all feature a collapsible platform bed and a slide-out kitchenette in the trunk. In the kitchen area, there are a sink, a chopping space, a gas stove, and storage for a water tank.

Every box is made of plywood covered in black or gray veneer, which gives it a modern and sleek look.

The Egoé Nest boxes are compatible with the Ford Galaxy, Audi A6, Toyota Rav 4, Dodge Grand Caravan, Nissan NV, and many more vehicles. 

14. Rightline Gear SUV Tent

Image Credit: Rightline Gear

The Rightline Gear SUV Tent is a tailgate tent that fits most SUVs. It’s a cheap, easy-to-store, lightweight tent that sleeps up to four adults. 

The tent attaches to your vehicle’s tailgate, creating extra room. You can sleep, cook, and get changed inside it while having full access to your car. This is pretty handy if you prefer keeping your kitchenware, clothes, and gear in the trunk.

The tent can stay set up without the support of your car. So, if you need to drive to a trailhead or pop to the grocery store, you can simply detach it from the tailgate and leave it where it is for as long as you need to.

If you’re just experimenting with car camping and don’t want to invest much cash in turning your vehicle into a camper, this tent offers a great budget solution. 

15. Chevy Sonic DIY Car Camper

Image Credit: Chevy Sonic

You might like this DIY cozy conversion if you own a sedan or a hatchback and travel solo. 

Alyssa collapsed the back seats and placed a single-bed platform on them. Next to the bed, she built a dresser with three drawers, which she uses to store her clothes. Next to it, there are some crates with gear in them. Alyssa stores her food and kitchenware in the trunk.

To make her camper feel homely, she installed wooden molding with decorations in the back and boho soft furnishing throughout the vehicle. 

While this car camper is practical and easy to replicate, it also looks very cozy.

16. Roadloft Conversion Kit

Image Credit: Roadloft

Roadloft is a company based in Quebec that manufactures conversion kits for SUVs, hatchbacks, minivans, and cargovans. 

Their kits are made of plywood, and once they’re assembled, it only takes five minutes and a star screwdriver to install. 

Each kit features a platform bed that turns into a couch and a slide-out kitchen at the back. Even the hatchback version of the kit has a big kitchen area with a wide retractable sink, swiveling shelf, space for a two-burner stove, and dedicated fridge storage.

The cool thing about the Roadloft kits is that they don’t obstruct the view through the rear window, which is crucial for people driving a hatchback.

Roadloft ships everywhere in the USA.

17. DIY Toyota Sienna Conversion For Two

Image Credit: https://thegroveguy.blogspot.com/

This Toyota Sienna camper looks extra cozy and didn’t take much cash to build. After getting frustrated with his vintage VW camper breaking down for years, Glenn decided to buy a reliable Toyota Sienna and turn it into a camper. 

It was the best decision he ever made. He managed to travel around the USA in it with his partner Francesca and their dog Pi.

Glenn built a platform bed that turns into a couch, some narrow shelves, and a kitchen unit that he fixed on the left-hand side of the vehicle. He uses a removable table by the couch to prep food, eat, and work. 

Want to Live the Van Life? Here are the 16 Best Vans to Live In

white 2018 mercedes sprinter parked on a ranch during sunset
Photo Credit: VanCamper

If you’re considering living the van life, a lot goes into choosing the right type of van for your needs. If you want a campervan but don’t know where to start, we’ve got you covered! 

I’ve lived in a Toyota Prius, a Chevy Astro Van and now a self-converted Sprinter van. In this post, we’ll outline the best vans for van life so you can travel as a weekend warrior or full-time van lifer.

12 Ridiculously Overpriced Camper Vans And Trucks

Photo Credit: Hymer

With over 16 million posts tagged #vanlife on Instagram, it’s no wonder the van life trend has now become mainstream. But it’s not just Millennials and Zoomers self-converting old vans posting on the platform. 

More and more people are hoping to hit the road and go on a long off-grid adventure, but they don’t want to give up the luxuries they have at home. So manufacturers are responding by producing rigs that can travel anywhere while resembling a 5-star hotel room inside.

Here are the most expensive camper vans and trucks we could find on the market.

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