Working from a campervan can have its own set of challenges – you need good internet, a computer and a way to set up your van office so it’s comfortable and functional.
Whether you’re working for a company or have your own business, it’s vital to set up your space for productivity.
I’ve been living and working in a campervan for awhile and I’ve come up with a few handy tips and tricks for creating the van office of your dreams.
Let’s dive in!
Questions to Ask Yourself Before Building a Van Office
To get you started in your camper van office planning process, here are some guiding questions :
- Do you need a separate, dedicated office or can you share the space with a cooking or eating surface?
- Do you run your own business and need a complete office setup with a monitor, printer, and other tech gadgets or would a small workspace for a laptop be enough?
- Can you successfully and productively work from the same place you rest? This is important to consider if you plan to work from your bed area!
- Can you use packing cubes to store office supplies in cabinets or drawers with clothing or cooking utensils or do they need their own storage?
- Do you plan to sit or stand to work? Would you like the option to do both?
- How many people need to work in the mobile office at one time?
- What kind of seating do you need? Will bench cushions be enough or do you want something more supportive like a desk chair?
Now that we’ve got the wheels turning, let’s look at some workstation ideas from nomads with fully remote mobile offices in vans and other converted vehicles.
Bed Mobile Office (@werollwithit)
features: easy to setup, portable, comfortable
Depending on your circumstance, you might not want to or have the capabilities to create a dedicated office space. A camper van bed can double as a workspace with the addition of a simple laptop stand or desk.
Be sure to think through whether you can work productively from bed. I tend to fall asleep or get distracted easier when I try to work in bed!
Swivel Seat Mobile Office
features: van seat(s) as a desk chair, supportive seat, window for natural light, folding table
A swivel-seat office is one of the best uses of space in a van. Depending on the build, you can utilize the driver’s seat or the passenger seat. The previous owner of my van built this flip-up table to pair with the swiveled driver’s seat.
Unfortunately, the swivel made the driver’s seat too tall for me to comfortably drive long distances so I would recommend factoring that into your plans for a van office and either using the passenger seat or investing in a lower profile swivel mount for your van seat.
Mobile Office Standing Workstation
features: standing height, portable folding desk, space to move around and stretch, laptop stand to keep healthy posture with the screen at eye level
A few months of van living made me realize I spent a lot of time sitting and would appreciate a standing desk. I purchased this folding tabletop desk that could be used in several places, though I most often set it on the kitchen counter area to create a standing desk.
The convenience is great because it’s right in front of my installed USB and DC outlets. Standing here creates an ergonomic posture as my arms are at a 90-degree angle when my hands rest on the countertop, and there is space under the laptop monitor to store notebooks, writing utensils, and most importantly, snacks! I like that the wood matches my interior, too.
Dinette Seating Area Office (@van.there)
features: storage benches double as desk chairs, space and seating for two to work at one time, footrest, laptop stand to keep healthy posture with the screen at eye level
This mobile office van setup in a Mercedes Sprinter van is versatile because it has space for working alone or coworking. The storage benches pull double-duty as seats and the table is large enough for two.
The footrest is a nice touch since most van benches and seats are quite tall and can cause discomfort when your legs dangle for long periods.
Pro tip: build a storage box or put a folding stool under the desk to keep comfortable.
Bench Seating Mobile Office
features: swivel table, adjacent drawer storage for office supplies, close to inverter (under the counter) for plugging into DC power
Full disclosure: I renovated my van after 10 months on the road, once I had realized what I really wanted and needed. This is my final product which I love!
The large L-shaped storage benches and DIY swivel table make the perfect mobile office. There’s plenty of room for my pup to be close by while I’m working, too!
Convertible Bed and Seating Area Mobile Office (@courtandnate)
features: large table for multiple people, comfortable cushions, clearly defined rest and work spaces
This common van office setup requires converting the bed into a table in order to work. While doing this every day may be a chore, it can be helpful to delineate between resting in bed mode and working in seat mode.
It is one of the most spacious mobile office options and also one of the coziest. Since the cushions double as a bed mattress, they are super comfy and supportive.
Pull-out Table Mobile Office (@levanthevan)
features: hideaway table, space for multiple screens, portable folding chair
I love the simplicity of this office setup. A pull-out table on sliders is an excellent way to maximize space in a small area.
There is enough space for two monitors, but when work is over, the entire workspace can be stored away, out of sight.
A folding chair is a great addition because it can support a healthier posture than many other van seating options and can be tucked away in the garage storage space when not in use.
Fold-down Table Mobile Office (@theroadthroughmyeyes)
features: a desk and chair that fold away when not in use, a hidden TV monitor that links to a laptop as a second screen, a window for natural light
This mobile office is super stylish and functional. The desk folds up and secures to the wall, protecting the monitor and creating a spacious living area after business hours. The chair can be folded up or used for additional seating for guests.
A nice view always helps my workflow, and this window provides the opportunity for connecting to nature and admiring your favorite campsite while you work.
Small Space Vehicle Mobile Office (@theexebec)
features: a mix of indoor/outdoor living, fresh air and natural light, a folding desk that stays secure via a hook and eye latch when driving, headroom in a small space
Wow! This is creativity at its best. Using the sunroof, this Honda Element is transformed into an indoor/outdoor office! Connecting to the outdoors helps this small workspace feel much larger and more open with tons of natural light.
Front Seat Mobile Office (@hayleyskyecurtis)
features: a large desktop that slides over the steering wheel, a window for natural light, slanted angle to keep the screen at eye level
With limited space, a steering wheel office can be a game changer. This desktop is perfect for working on a laptop while gazing at the greenery both inside and outside.
Interior design touches like soft, textured fabrics, plants, and natural light make this bus office warm and inviting.
Outdoor Mobile Office (@soerens.vanlife)
features: fresh air, a wide work surface table, protection from the elements via the back door
features: awning to protect from sun glare, rain, or other elements, standing height for when you need to stretch your legs, easily removable when not parked
This camper van offers multiple outdoor tables and office spaces. You can tell being outside and having the ability to move between meetings matter to this digital nomad.
Equipment to Make Your Workspace Completely Mobile
In order to plan for your mobile office van setup, you need to determine what equipment can support your work on the road. Here are some recommendations to consider:
- An inexpensive laptop stand can help support a healthy posture by keeping your screen at eye level rather than straining your neck to look down. Some even rise high enough to create a standing desk on your countertop!
- An adjustable lap, tabletop, or countertop desk provides a multitude of options for working in various positions and locations both inside and outside of your rig.
- A portable power station can power all of your van office devices and conserve your 12v solar energy for your other camper van appliances – check out large and small solar generator and power station options here!
- Storage solutions can add some interior design flair while keeping your office supplies and equipment organized and secure.
- A cell signal booster can improve cellular service coverage functionality – see a review of WeBoost here!
- Starlink satellite internet can provide internet access in the middle of nowhere so long as you have a clear view of the sky!
- A MiFi or other hotspot device allows you to access the internet with a data plan on a cellular network.
- Computers and laptops are notoriously unforgiving when it comes to lighting. A ring light can help brighten your appearance in video calls and meetings.
Conclusion on Camper Van Office Ideas
Mobile offices can look very different in different types of vehicles. Whether you have a camper van, bus, RV, or other rig, there are endless ways to customize your mobile office setup. Separate your must-haves from your nice-to-haves and decide what is realistic for you.