Whether you’re considering your first van conversion, or are looking to upgrade, we’ve gathered over 30 inspirational camper van ideas to help you build your dream van.
From cozy wood burning stoves to elegant rooftop viewing decks, keep reading to find some of the best van to camper conversion ideas out there!
Camper Van Ideas For The Kitchen
Small And Simple Kitchen
Let’s face it, space can be pretty tight inside a camper van. It is possible to include a compact and efficient kitchen in your van, though.
We love how well this kitchen works.
There’s running water with tanks and a one-burner propane stove, as well as intelligent storage space to help minimize clutter. An especially nice touch is the custom-made cutting board, which fits over the sink to create extra space for food prep.
Beautiful High-End Kitchen
If you’re looking for camper van ideas that include a more high-end kitchen setup, you may want to go for a simple, elegant design like this one.
There’s a beautiful white tile backsplash and a super-cool extendable faucet, as well as a generous fridge and a two-burner stove. Best of all, those custom cabinets look so awesome, especially next to the luxurious wooden countertops.
One of the best ways to maximize space inside your camper van is to incorporate a slide-out kitchen. This works especially well if you’re going to be traveling mainly in warm weather.
This awesome side slide-out kitchen is one of the best camper van ideas we’ve seen.
It sits under the front bench seat, and slides out to reveal a sink and several compartments, one of which houses a top-loading fridge. This is such a cool and clever design!
Camper Van Oven
During your search for camper van interior ideas, you might be tempted to take things to the next level by installing an oven in your kitchen setup.
Just imagine how cozy your van would be with the smells of fresh baked bread or cookies filling the air on a chilly night!
Betsy and Justin of the Wandering Woods installed a Camp Chef oven and range combo in their Sprinter, and although they had to take special precautions to make it safe for use inside a van, they use it for things like pizza, cobbler, and reheating leftovers.
Wood-Burning Stove Camper Van Idea
If you plan on living in your van conversion full time, you’re going to need a way of staying warm during the winter months.
Most people solve this problem by installing a heater of some sort, but there are plenty of intrepid folks who won’t settle for anything less than the warming glow of a real fire.
There are plenty of small wood stoves out there, many of which will fit nicely into a camper van.
Wood-burning stoves aren’t the best option for stealth campers, due to the smoke they produce, but if you’re going to be out in the woods during winter, this could be a cost-effective way to stay warm!
If you’re interested in wood-burning stoves check this out —> The 5 Best Wood Burning Stoves for Small Spaces
Camper Van Fridge
Unless you plan on a super-basic conversion, you’ll most likely want a refrigerator for your van.
There are loads of options available, but one of the best ways to incorporate a fridge into your design is too use a top-loading 12 volt model. These refrigerators are super-efficient, and keep your food really cold, even when using energy-saving mode.
We love how Priya Mareedu has used storage space under a bench seat to fit her top-loading fridge. As you can see, there’s loads of room in there and the fridge is completely hidden away when not in use. Ingenious!
Camper Van Ideas For Storage
Anyone who has spent time living in a van will tell you that staying organized and keeping the interior space free of clutter is one of the biggest challenges of van dwelling.
No matter how much storage space you have in your van, you could always use more, which is why these awesome storage boxes are on our list of camper van ideas.
Featuring cleverly designed door mounts, these simple aluminum boxes by Aluminess are ideal for storing shoes, extra gear, and anything else that’s getting in the way. Best of all, you’ll still be able to use your van’s rear doors!
Clever Interior Storage Camper Van Idea
When you’re living in a small space, staying organized is vital. This means you’ll need to keep storage solutions in mind when you’re brainstorming for van to camper conversion ideas.
Depending on how big your van is, you should be able to create space for plenty of drawers and compartments, but remember that you’ll need to use good latches to stop drawers or cupboards from flying open while you’re driving.
Pockets and pouches are also effective and affordable storage solutions, and don’t forget to utilize the space at head height!
Gear Garage Camper Van Idea
If your van to camper conversion ideas include installing a permanent platform bed, chances are you’re also considering utilizing the space underneath.
Creating a gear garage for all your outdoor stuff can be an awesome way to keep things separate and it’ll mean you can keep things clean in your living space, too.
Check out this awesome gear garage, featuring a clever slide-out. There’s ample room for hiking boots, bikes, surf boards, and anything else you might need for your van life adventures!
Learn how to build your own van with this detailed van build sourcebook. While the title reflects Sprinter vans, the concepts can be used on any DIY campervan conversion. You'll learn design considerations, how to plumb your van, choosing solar panels, installing water tanks and electrical and wiring systems. A great resource!
Camper Van Ideas For Roof Seating
Although you’ll sacrifice some potential storage space, creating an outdoor couch seat like this one is one of the coolest camper van ideas we’ve seen.
The clever design allows the backrest to fold down, then the whole seat retracts like a drawer. On warm days when all you want to do is relax with a book, what could be better than chilling out on this fantastic couch seat?
Roof Deck Camper Van Idea
One of the most rewarding camper van ideas is definitely a roof deck. Just imagine being able to sleep out under the stars, safe in the knowledge that all the critters and creepy-crawlies are far below!
Although it’s no sleeper deck, this awesome seat by Camper Dreamin’ is ideal for enjoying a cold beverage at the end of the day. Check out the clever design that not only features a lifting backrest, but also manages to fit around the van’s skylight.
Camper Van Ideas For Beds
Choosing the right bed setup is one of there most important decisions you’ll make. After all, if you aren’t sleeping well, you likely won’t enjoy your van life.
Many people opt for a permanent bed, either elevated with space underneath for gear storage, or installed lower down for more headroom.
In a Dodge ProMaster, you’ll be able to sleep width-ways, but in a narrower van the bed will have to sit length-ways, which means you’ll lose valuable space. Either way, you won’t have to worry about setting up a bed each night!
Many camper van interior ideas revolve around a couch bed. This is a really efficient way of using the space inside your van, and it means you’ll have seating areas during the day and a comfy bed at night.
There are many different ways to incorporate a couch bed into your van conversion, but we especially love this double couch arrangement.
The benches fold down to meet in the middle, creating a sturdy platform, while the colorful cushions turn into a comfy mattress!
Table Bed Camper Van Idea
The table bed is another clever way to maximize space inside your van. The design usually involves a table that can be lowered at night, allowing the surrounding bench seat cushions to be used as a mattress.
Although you’ll have to set up your bed every night and you might find the gaps in-between the cushions to be uncomfortable, this is one of those camper van ideas that allows you to have the best of both worlds: a dinette/work space and a place to sleep.
Stow-able Retracting Bed
Watch this video and you’ll agree that this is one of the coolest camper van interior ideas around.
When you’re caught between wanting a permanent bed and more interior space, this fantastic bed could be the ideal solution.
The bed is attached to four posts, and moves up and down electronically. After a good night’s sleep, all you need to do is send your bed skyward and voila! you have access to tons more living space.
If your van life dreams involve more than one or two people, your camper van ideas will have to involve extra sleeping arrangements. The Fite family solved this problem by creating an amazing bunk bed for their two kids.
It’s safely suspended above the main bed, and there are cool railings to ensure that no-one tumbles out during the night.
We love the awesome ladder, and are sure the kids do, too. Another great feature is the addition of a couple of LED lights on the underside of the bunk. Now that’s smart design!
Camper Van Ideas For Bathrooms
It can be challenging to stay clean while living in a van, so many people decide to incorporate a shower into their camper van interior ideas.
Although purists might claim that a shower is unnecessary, we feel that everyone has different comfort levels.
Installing a shower in your camper van makes for a more complicated build-out, especially if you’re going to have hot water.
However, the results can be beautiful as with the wonderful little shower compartment in Chris and Megan’s Sprinter, pictured above.
There are lots of options for vans life showers, but one of the most popular is a simple outdoor setup.
Isabelle and Antoine of Faroutride decided to install a shower and water heater in the rear of their Sprinter, allowing them to rinse off after a hard day on the mountain bike trail.
They rigged up a clever curtain system, too, so they’re able to take showers if there are other people around.
Clever Hidden Shower Camper Van Idea
When it comes to camper van ideas that are space-saving and ingenious, Kirby Winson’s “secret shower” takes the cake.
The video shows how this system works. There’s a hidden compartment in the van floor that opens to reveal a shower curtain which extends upwards.
The shower itself is actually the extendable kitchen faucet. Although it looks like this has the potential to get messy, we just love how innovative this van life shower is!
Camper Van Toilet
Whether or not to include a toilet in your camper van is another subject that tends to divide the van life community.
Some feel a toilet is a luxury that can be done without, while others dread the idea of answering nature’s call in the deep dark woods.
Either way, there are loads of camper van toilet options available and if you plan on using one you’ll need somewhere to stow it.
Once again, Kirby Winson came up with an awesome solution, deciding to add a slide-out platform for his cassette-style toilet. This means it can be easily used, then stowed away out of sight.
Camper Van Ideas For Remote Work
For many van dwellers, it’s important to be able to work while on the road. There are plenty of camper van interior ideas that include tables and other work surfaces, but this work space solution is one of the best we’ve seen.
It’s essentially nothing more than a suitcase attached to the wall, but the inclusion of a bespoke surface for a laptop transforms this idea into a space-saving marvel!
This is an epic Sprinter conversion, and we absolutely love the bench seating in-between the kitchen and bed.
What really makes this area functional, though, is the neat foldaway table.
If you’re looking for camper van ideas that really work, you should definitely consider a table like this.
It’s incredibly practical, and can be swiveled to different positions. Not only that, but when not in use, it folds down to provide more space.
Camper Van Ideas To Make Van Life Work For You
Lighting inside your camper van is super-important, especially if you don’t have many windows. There are lots of options when it comes to lighting, but using LED lights is the most efficient solution.
LED light strips can be relatively cheap and easy to install, and they won’t use much power. You can even use a dimmer switch to create a cozy and relaxing vibe inside your van!
When people imagine van life, they often imagine constant adventure and excitement. While it is true that van life can bring wonderful experiences, sometimes you just want to take it easy and binge watch the latest Netflix series.
You might have room to mount a flatscreen TV inside your van, but another option is to create an outdoor movie zone.
All you’ll need is a small projector and a screen of some sort. We love this creative solution that uses the van awning to mount the white screen. It sure does look like a dreamy place to lie back and enjoy a movie!
One of the most popular van to camper conversion ideas is to add one or two swivel seats.
Once you have swivel seats installed, they’ll transform your living space, allowing you to use the cab seats as part of your living space.
Be careful when choosing an adapter, though, as some options can increase the seat height which can dramatically affect the driver’s comfort levels.
Plant Hangers Camper Van Idea
If you plan on converting a van for full time living, you’ll want it to feel as cozy and homey as possible. Having plants in your living space can make a huge difference, and some folks even grow herbs inside their camper vans!
One thing you’ll need to be careful of is securing plants when you’re driving, which is where these nifty plant hangers come in.
The plant pots attach to a clever hanging board, meaning they’ll always be safe when you’re on the road.
Flexible Solar Panel
The prospect of installing a solar power set up can be pretty intimidating. Not only are you going to have to deal with batteries, cables, and delicate panels, you’re also going to have to install them on your roof.
There are other ways, though! Portable solar panels are affordable and easy to use, plus you don’t have to drill into your van’s roof to use them.
You can find a semi-flexible 120 W panel on Amazon, then you’ll just need a battery, charge controller, and the right cables and connections. In no time you’ll be powering up off-grid without a care in the world!
Side flares can be an especially valuable addition to your van if you’re converting a Sprinter.
One of the biggest reasons that some people choose ProMasters is their width. Because of this, you’re able to sleep across the van, meaning you’re left with more living space.
If you want to create more space inside a Sprinter, side flares are the way to go. They come with or without windows and can really make your van feel bigger.
Space For Pets
For many van dwellers, hitting the road without their four-legged friend is out of the question. If you plan on living in a van with your dog or cat, there are lots of van to camper conversion ideas that include space for your pet.
An enclosed space like the one in the photo can be especially important when you’re driving, as it can be unsafe to allow Fido to roam free. Remember, though, it’s never a good idea to leave animals in hot vehicles.
Rooftop tents are a popular option for van dwellers who want a little more living space.
This is a great option for the warm summer months, and many rooftop tents are quick and easy to set up.
Not only that, but you’ll often feel cooler sleeping outside under the stars than you would inside your van, especially on muggy nights.
Keeping It Simple
The last entry on our list of inspirational camper van ideas is to remind you that camper van conversions don’t always have to live up to the expectations created by Instagram.
Images of glamorous and beautiful van dwellers relaxing on the beach next to their $80,000 Sprinter can make it seem like van life is unobtainable, but if you keep it simple, you can enjoy affordable freedom and adventure!
We hope you’ve enjoyed our list of inspirational camper van ideas. Feel free to leave any questions or feedback in the comments section below!
Check out some more great van life inspiration below:
Nicholas Marshall is a writer, photographer, and musician who currently lives in a ‘97 VW Eurovan with his wife and six-year-old daughter. Since selling their house and hitting the road, Nicholas and his family have meandered through the Western States. Van life has been everything they hoped it would be: challenging, rewarding, relaxing, and exciting.