Planning out your campervan interior is one of the most exciting parts of van life. When we got our new Sprinter van, we spent hours on the computer, looking at photos and products to put inside our DIY van build. Deciding on our layout was a tough process.
If you’re not building your own van like us, maybe you’re looking at campervan interior ideas because you’re working with a custom van builder.
Either way, it’s fun and inspiring to see an amazing camper van interior. Here are some of our top picks.
Sponsored by Esplori
This post is sponsored by Esplori, offering a complete aluminum interior kit that’s 40% more lightweight than traditional materials. As in all sponsored content, all writing and opinions are our own.Learn more about Esplori here.
Lightweight Campervan Interior Paneling – Esplori Kits
We really love what Esplori came out with this year: lightweight aluminum interior panel kits for Sprinter vans. If you don’t have a Sprinter, never fear, you can still use these van walls to inspire your own build.
If you do have a Sprinter, you might want to take a closer eye at these kits.
Esplori says their wall and ceiling panels for a Mercedes Sprinter van are 40% lighter than traditional materials and are fireproof, recyclable, easy to clean and come in a variety of colors. Also included in the kit will be a complete wiring harness for a van, lighting, a fan, insulation, soundproofing, and charging outlets.
What’s really cool is that you can decide to do a DIY install, an assisted DIY install or bring your van into Esplori headquarters in Oregon for a professional install.
Bunk Beds for a Family
Some people wonder if it’s possible to bring a family along for the ride in a campervan. The short answer is: yes!! You just have to design your campervan interior to be accommodating for a larger group.
One of the ways you can do this is with campervan bunk beds. If you install an L-track system in your van, you can attach beds at two different heights in the back. You can also do this without the L-track, but it’s a bit harder to create your own support system. L-tracks are available from companies like Esplori, Adventure Wagon and Titan vans.
There are a variety of companies that sell beds that you can double up in your camper van.
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Dinette and Length-Wise Bed Layout
If you have a larger campervan, you might consider adding both a dinette and a bed. This campervan interior idea works best with a long van like a 170″ Mercedes Sprinter van.
We love the high-end luxury look of this Sprinter, with its red-and-white cushion covers and comfy bed. It looks more like a hotel than an RV, right?
This van offers lots of storage, with cabinets underneath the bench seats and overhead cabinets as well. We love the cream-colored siding and bunk windows that let in plenty of fresh air while you sleep.
Camper Kit for Minivans
If you are doing a smaller van build, there are lots of simple conversion kits that help you easily put together an interior.
You can install the Roadloft kit in minutes, and you’ll get an extra-long bed with a sectional mattress made of high-density foam. During the day, you can turn part of the bed into a bench seat and table where you can work, eat or play games.
A Roadloft kit makes great use of limited space, and even includes a kitchen with a drawer for a two-burner stove and a removable shelf. You’ll also get space for a large cooler, a counter with a retractable sink and a cutting board.
What’s cool is you can easily take this kit in and out of your van if you aren’t ready to live full-time van life yet.
We think this is a great option for smaller vans, especially if you don’t want to build out an entire campervan interior yourself.
Other kits to check out include Freeway Camper Kits, which fit a wide variety of minivans.
Lightweight Upper Cabinetry
Coming up with the right cabinetry and storage ideas for your campervan conversion can be challenging. Should you build your own or go with a kit? Should you get soft-sided cabinets, wooden cabinets or aluminum?
One cool option is the lightweight aluminum cabinets from Esplori. Their upper cabinets for Sprinter vans are easy to install yourself.
They are lightweight, strong and attach to an L-track in six places. Cabinets are available in 50″ and 25″ versions and 100% powder-coated aluminum, with soft-close hinges and struts for opening and closing.
You can also get a custom color for an extra fee.
One popular idea in a camper van interior is to create a convertible bed system. This saves space in a van by giving you the option to have either a bed or two couches and a table.
A convertible bed also offers tons of storage underneath the benches. We love what Hilary Bird with @Green.Van.Go did with her budget campervan interior. She wanted a convertible bed system so she had a place to sit and work during the day.
We are super impressed with Hilary’s van conversion as she completed it for just a few thousand bucks.
Listen to Hilary’s interview on Episode 10 of The Wayward Home Podcast:
Pull Out Kitchen
Another space-saving tip for a van build is to create a pull-out kitchen for your campervan. This is also a good way to keep food splatter and cooking smells from your van’s interior space.
While we’ve seen some pull out kitchens for campervans come out the side door, we think this one by the_turquoise_transit is especially interesting.
This kitchen includes a sink, cooktop, counter space and fridge.
Another style of pullout kitchens include drawers that extend out the rear of your van. You can then set your cook stove on top of the drawers and use the tops of the drawers as counter space.
We also love cooking outside our van, and think it’s a great way to go about preparing meals.
Gear Storage Trays
Those of us who live in campervan conversions know just how hard it is to fit all our gear in such a small space. One way to tackle that problem is with gear storage trays.
This is great if you’re storing bicycles or larger bins that you need to access regularly. A slide-out tray is way easier to manage than crawling underneath your bed and rooting around in your campervan garage.
This van’s gear garage by @the_lostvan has ample room for hiking boots, bikes, surf boards, and anything else you might need for your van life adventures.
An Enclosed Wet Bath
Some people can’t handle the idea of not having a bathroom inside their campervan. An enclosed wet bath solves this problem. A wet bath features a toilet and a shower in one tiny room, which means everything inside the bathroom gets wet when you shower.
You can either add a composting toilet or portable toilet to your campervan interior. This is especially good for people who will be spending a lot of time stealth camping and don’t have the great outdoors to use as a restroom.
It also offers the privacy of having a bathroom in your own van build, instead of always needing to seek one out.
A Sun Roof or Skylight
You don’t see this campervan interior idea in many van builds yet, but a sunroof or skylight (check out this one from Campervan HQ) could be just what you need in your dream vehicle.
Cutting a hole in your roof isn’t for everyone, especially if you need space for lots of solar panels, a roof rack and gear on your van. But if you don’t need those things, a skylight is a way to get more light into a van interior.
This is another way to get airflow and light in your van if your van is mostly for stealth camping. You can leave the side and rear windows out and use a sunroof instead.
A Van Oven
You might not think it possible to put an oven in such a tiny home like a van, but the Camp Chef cooktop and oven is the perfect solution.
We love Wandering Woods’ camper interior with its sleek white cabinets and wood countertops.
These two van lifers enjoy baking pizzas, cookies and bread right inside their campervan. This would be wonderful if you’re living van life in the mountains in winter.
A Bathtub Instead of a Shower
Who would have ever thought you could have a bath inside a campervan? This doesn’t happen very often, but I have seen one or two campervan interiors with bathtubs.
A small bathtub means you have more space above for upper cabinetry, and you can use it for storage when it’s not in use.
However, van lifers like @bryceandkatie say they use theirs more as a shower than a bath. If you think about it, a bath usually takes more water than van lifers can carry. But on those days you do want to take a bath, it sure would feel great!
Ditch the Bed and Use a Hammock
Let’s face it: the bed, especially a permanent bed, takes up a lot of room inside a campervan. Some van lifers decide not to even add a bed and use a hammock instead.
Below your hammock (which you could stash to the side during the day), you could have space to do yoga inside your campervan, keep a low-lying table (seated on cushions around the floor), access extra storage more easily, or store your bike safely.
The options are really endless, but in exchange, you’d have to be comfortable sleeping in a hammock night after night.
Whatever you choose, make sure you keep the weight as evenly distributed as possible throughout the campervan.
A Space-Saving Pull-Out Table
Part of good van interior design is creating a layout that saves space. Campervans are tiny homes, even if you have a longer wheelbase version. One thing we love to see is pull-out tables or even swivel tables like the
@bai.en.den.indevanbuilt out their own campervan with space-saving furniture. Their table fits into a notch under the bed, then pulls out when they need to work or eat. Here’s what they used to build it:
“We used a solid piece of bamboo plywood, 2cm thick. We have used a bamboo-specific, water-based clear coat to protect the wood and give an extremely smooth finish. The width is 65cm and it slides out to a length of 60cm, enough to enjoy a meal for 2, some computer work and an evening card game. It sits on a set of undermount slides so they are almost invisible, and can hold up to 45kg on top.”
In our campervan, we have a teak table off our sailboat that can fold toward the ceiling and attach high up, leaving us even more floor space.
A Mobile Office
Working while living out of a camper van doesn’t have to be difficult with a mobile office. We just love what @goandlivefree did with their 2008 self-converted campervan.
Every part of their van conversion feels like home, from their plush bed to their functional kitchen complete with a deep sink, fridge and cupboards to store larger appliances like a food processor and Vitamix.
Their mobile office leaves little to be desired, with a large pull-out screen that doubles as a TV and ergonomic swivel seat.
Furniture that Doubles as Storage
My older campervan – the 1994 Chevy Astro – is a tight squeeze inside. The bench folds down into a bed but it only goes down to mid-thigh. That’s when we found these awesome storage ottomans at TJ Maxx.
Not only do they extend our bed and make it comfortable enough for sleeping, but they are also where we store our clothes. Each of us gets one ottoman, and that’s all the clothes we can take! We use packing cubes to condense our clothes down into a smaller package.
Furniture you can use for more than one thing is a great addition to any campervan’s living space.
Design Your Campervan Layout
The design process is one of the most exciting parts as you get to decide exactly how you want your van laid out.
It’s a good idea to draw out your campervan layout before you build. Once you have a rough sketch, consider using a free software program like SketchUp, which lets you create 3D layouts.
These can help you get a more detailed look at your campervan interior’s layout – although I’ve read there’s a steep learning curve for getting comfortable with the software.
If digital rendering isn’t your thing, you can just go analog from the get-go and create a stencil of your entire floor.
Red rosin paper is a great option.
Once you have a stencil of your floorplan, figure out the dimensions of the furniture you’ll have in your DIY van conversion interior.
Draw these out in charcoal or pencil. Stenciling is a powerful way to see exactly how much (or how little) space your new home will have, and helps you find out whether you can actually pull off all your goals, or if you maybe need to opt for a smaller sink or scrap your whole bed plan and start over.
It’s good to get these details worked out before you build.
We Hope This Helps!
We hope all these ideas for a cozy van interior help you design and build your own campervan.
Remember, if you don’t want to do everything yourself, there are plenty of campervan conversion kits out there like this complete aluminum paneling kit by Esplori.
Have fun building, and let us know if you have any questions in the comments!
Other articles to check out:
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