Looking for a budget-friendly and easy-to-assemble camper kit? You might want to check out VanLab, the Ikea of van conversion kits. All kits by VanLab produces include a floor, a bed, a kitchen and a table. Van Lab provides you with all the comforts you need to live in a van, without having to spend months designing and assembling your very own custom furniture.
The VanLab kits are shipped flat-packed, together with all the tools and parts you need to assemble it, as well as precise instructions. Every piece is labeled with an engraving – the label is referenced in the instruction manual, so you can easily figure out how to screw the panels together.
So all you need to build the camper is a screwdriver and two days’ time.
The best thing about these kits? They cost under $9,000. DIY camper kits can easily come to over $20,000 these days. VanLab offers an affordable alternative for van lifers looking to keep their build simple.
What’s Included with These VanLab Kits?
All VanLab conversion kits come with flooring, a bed, a kitchen and a table on which to eat and work. Storage is built in throughout the camper via cabinets and cupboards. There are dedicated spaces to fit a Porta Potti, batteries, water tanks and a bin. All utilities are hidden away but easily accessible.
Seating has been designed to provide an ergonomic layout, which allows you to cook comfortably both while sitting and standing up.
The panels are made out of prefinished Baltic Birch plywood, which is sturdy, durable and good-looking. The panels are custom-designed to fit each van model perfectly, so you don’t need to alter them in any way.
For an extra $1,500, you can add an electrics integrated wiring loom with switches, wiring, lighting, fuses, circuit breakers, USB chargers and more. I would definitely add this option to my kit, just to make my life easier.
For the camper kitchen, you can either opt for the standard blank worktop or request cut outs for a sink and fridge. That’s pretty neat; if you want to keep your van super simple, you gain more storage space.
Don’t forget that you’ll need to add insulation and walls to your build before you start building a kit. These aren’t included.
The VanLab kits are currently available for the following vans:
Ford Transit Cargo/Crew (from $8,995)
Ford Transit Passenger (from $8,995)
Mercedes Sprinter 144 (from $8,995)
Nissan NV200 (from $4,750)
Chevy City Express (from $4,750)
Let’s look at the two main floor plans available.
Medium and Large VanLab Kits Design
The medium and large van kit floor plan includes a fixed queen-size platform bed at the rear with a garage underneath it. The bed is configured for east-to-west sleeping and it’s 67 1/4″ long x 61″ wide with a height of “37. The garage storage capacity is a staggering 101 ft3. You can access the shelves and cupboards from either inside the van or the back doors.
In front of the platform bed there are a bench on the right and a kitchen on the left. The kitchen is customizable with a sink and fridge cut out. This is suitable for a 2.6 ft3 front-loading refrigerator. The kitchen unit can host a 8.2 ft3 water tank. Included in the kit there are also two table panels, which you can mount by the bed, in front of the bench, or on the outside of the van.
This floor plan works well for couples who live in their van full-time and don’t mind showering outdoors. It features lots of storage space and enough room for a big fridge. There’s even a garage for a dog bed and some bulky adventure gear, like surfboards.
Small Kits Design
The small van kit floor plan features a kitchen on the left hand side, which you can customize with a sink and fridge cut out, if you wish. You’ll be able to fit a 21L top-loading cooler or fridge next to the sink, as well as a 12 gal water tank under it. The kitchen features two flip-up tables on either side of the unit, which you can use to eat and work.
In front and to the side of the kitchen there are two benches with storage underneath. If you reposition the flip-up tables, you’re able to create a king size single bed that measures 78″ x 45″.
This kit is ideal for solo van lifers who want to be able to cook, eat and work inside their van, rather than filling the whole interior space with a double bed. The floor plan features all the essential furniture you need to stay comfortable on the road and enough storage space to take your favorite adventure gear with you.
So what do you think? Are these conversion kits the best option for van lifers on a tight budget who don’t like the idea of carrying out a DIY conversion?
We think the VanLab camper kits are excellent value for money. They are super easy to assemble but built to be durable. The floor plans are smart, designed to make the most of the space available in your vehicle. The plywood panels are practical, but we find they look just fine. You can always customize them with your favorite finish once you’ve assembled the kit.
If you’re looking for an affordable, easy and fast-to-assemble camper kit, you should definitely Check out Van Lab.
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