A minivan camper is a terrific method to camp on the go invisibly if you’re seeking the ideal stealth camper van.
The price of minivan camper modifications is lower than that of larger, more well-known camper vans, and they also have much better gas mileage, which saves you money on lengthy travels. For somebody wishing to start living in a van on a tight budget, minivan campers are fantastic possibilities.
Once the back seats have been removed from a minivan that has been converted into a camper to make a place for a bed, you’ll have plenty of area for you to spread out and relax. Because they are shorter in both length and height, minivan campers are significantly simpler to maneuver in confined situations. In a minivan camper, you could even pass out through a drive-through!
Although there isn’t much room inside a minivan camper for daily life, some individuals add conveniences like tables, a bathroom, storage, etc. But if all you need is a place to sleep and keep your belongings while on exciting road trips, a minivan camper is going to do the trick.
What Is A Minivan Camper?
An ordinary minivan that has been transformed into a place to live and sleep while camping is known as a minivan camper. The idea is akin to a smaller Sprinter van modification.
Although a minivan may not appear to have much on the outside, these following van buildouts prove that appearances may be deceiving. You’d be surprised at how much space there is in a minivan to spread out and even cook in!
5 Popular Mini Camper Van
We know all the reasons why certain minivan types are ideal for converting into minivan campers. Without paying the additional price of full-size vehicles, you can have all you require in a van design.
The Toyota Sienna is a fantastic option for minivan camper conversions because it is affordable, fuel-efficient, adaptable, and has all-wheel drive. Because they are well-liked as inexpensive, secure family vehicles, they are also generally accessible.
Practically any technician can operate on a Toyota Sienna camper, so you won’t have to concern about it breaking down or requiring components for upkeep.
Dodge Grand Caravan
The Dodge Grand Caravan is a wonderful option if you need a little more space for one or two extra people, or if you simply want more extra legroom. This is also a fantastic choice when you want to swiftly and easily transform a camper again into a minivan.
The Dodge Grand Caravan retains its value better than other minivans whether you’re simply considering short-term travel in a minivan camper.
Chevy Astro Van
Among the most common vans for camper van conversions is the Chevy Astro Van. For much less than $6,000, you can find them internet on websites including Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist. If you’re mechanically minded, this is a fantastic choice for your minivan camper conversion because Chevys are recognized for being simple to work on.
The Kia Sedona is another excellent choice for the minivan camper on a budget, probably most recognized for its rapid and easy conversion into a camper without requiring any long-term changes.
A Kia Sedona’s center seats are simple to remove, as well as the bench seat in back folds flat to create the ideal area for a foam mattress bed. Although there isn’t much room left for storage, this provides a wonderful base camp for individuals who want to get out and travel without having to invest a lot of money upfront.
The Honda Odyssey is a wonderful option if you want additional legroom in your minivan camper conversion. It can easily fit a bed for a person up to six feet tall to sleep peacefully without having to wriggle into odd positions.
The Honda Odyssey is renowned for its dependability and simplicity in repair and upkeep. Large windows are fantastic for those lovely campsites, but you may need coverings in the winter.
Building a DIY Minivan Camper Conversion
Where do you begin if you only have the resources right now? Although the procedure can appear intimidating, it becomes much more manageable when you divide the build-out into manageable chunks.
Take the seats out.
To create a place for your camper van items, all seating behind the driver’s seat must be removed. Two rows of seats in the majority of minivans must be removed.
When they’re not being used, keep your seats in a secure location to prevent damage if you intend to turn your minivan camper again into a regular minivan.
Small and barely accommodating for one or two individuals, minivan campers are not very spacious. Choose a larger campervan conversion if you intend to travel with even more than two people.
Choose how much storage space you’ll need.
You should think about your storage alternatives before you begin the conversion procedure. The majority of campervan conversions offer under-bed storage that can be accessed through sliding doors and the rear hatch. Anything from a fully equipped kitchen to a portable toilet to straightforward milk box storage containers might be included in this.
Before beginning to construct anything, keep the following in mind:
- With your minivan camper, do you have a refrigerator or portable toilet?
- Are you going to utilize basic camping gear like a jet boil or are you going to require a full kitchen?
- How many outfit changes are you going to need to bring?
- How much water are you willing to transport?
- Are you taking your pet on the road? If so, how much storage space will they require?
- Do you wish to carry any other essentials, such as a portable power source?
Create a bed frame.
Your bed is the most crucial part of your campervan conversion. After a lengthy day of sightseeing, you’ll want a cozy spot to retire.
When creating your bed platform, take accurate measurements, and if there is room, don’t be afraid to add a few extra inches to support your height. The extra legroom is a great idea!
Add your facilities and storage
Once your bed frame is constructed, you may add accessories like a cooler, garment storage bins, and a camp stove.
Many campers are set up very simply, utilizing a few containers on the floor, while others feature complete kitchens with slide-out drawers. The method you assemble your minivan camper might be either right or wrong.
Including window coverings
When you travel for long periods of time in a minivan camper, window coverings are a must. For your windows, people usually advise something insulated or a blackout shade so you can rest comfortably and have some solitude.
Window coverings are another fantastic way to keep the heat and cold out of your minivan camper.
Now, get your things together, and go! You can now put your mattress inside and furnish your living area with all you need for your journey living in a converted minivan.
Keep in mind these necessities to make traveling much more fun!
- A bedding that is cozy because a nice pillow makes all the difference!
- Organizing and carrying everything you need in a toiletry bag
- medical kit
- leapfrog cables
- movable power supply
- water purifier
- simple mess kit
- a sack or bag for dirty laundry
Minivan Camper Conversions
You generally picture expensive-looking builds in large, pricey cars like Sprinter vans, Ford Transits, or Ram Promaster when you picture van living.
In a basic minivan, you can live the #vanlife just as well. Due to their lack of flare, minivans are sometimes neglected as bases for camper van modifications. They’re diminutive. They lack as much inner room.
Yet, minivan conversions provide a ton of benefits for full-time traveling. Compared to larger vans, they are much more accessible and inexpensive. They use less gasoline, are simpler to drive, and can generally be fixed by any mechanic. They are also larger than you might imagine. For instance, a Toyota Sienna is a little bigger than the VW Vanagon, which is the van of choice for many people.
Older variants like the Ford Aerostar and Windstar as well as hybrid cargo minivans like the Chevrolet Astro, Ford Transit Connect, Ram Promaster City, Nissan NV200, and Mercedes Metris are also available.
We’ve compiled this collection of inventive minivan camper transformations to motivate you and also get your creative juices flowing if you’re thinking about using a minivan for your DIY van project, which you should.
$300 Toyota Sienna Camper Conversion By Josh
Josh spent only $300 to outfit his 2012 Toyota Sienna. He didn’t add any screws or remove any carpeting from the van itself. The back seats were taken out, but the rest of the inside was left intact for a rather easy minivan conversion.
Josh used the fold-away seat compartment from the Toyota Sienna minivan to create a bed frame with lots of space for storage below. He divided the mattress cushions into pieces, and the bed frame features a sizable flap that lifts to reveal storage space. This clever idea, which addresses one of the greatest drawbacks of a minivan camper: a lack of storage capacity, is what we consider to be the problem. The bed can also be used as a bench seat.
Josh made window coverings for his minivan camper conversion using Reflectix and black fabric on one side. On the driver’s side of the van, he constructed a shelf unit that serves as his everyday storage and is reachable both from inside the vehicle as well as through the side door.
In order to create room inside and outside for working, dining, and relaxing, he has a table that latches into the storage unit in the living area and the back of the camper van. Josh has learned to distinguish between pleasure and consumerism because to his experience living in a van. He would only take half as much gear if he were to go on this adventure again.
Honda Odyssey Minivan Conversion By @jay.moyes
Jay turned a 2003 Honda Odyssey into a minivan camper that he uses as his primary residence. The awning/deluxe room combo featuring screens that greatly expands the living area is one of this minivan camper conversion’s special characteristics.
The table Jay employs to carry his stove and culinary equipment is just one of the many components of his design that can be quickly packed up and stowed inside the camper van or the rooftop carrier.
He strung lights along the awning for a comfortable ambiance and has a portable power station that is powered by a 50-watt solar panel. His heater, fan, and inside outlets are all powered by a 100-watt roof-mounted solar panel.
Jay’s minivan camper conversion has a straightforward water dispenser with a pump container for water. To divide the living area from the cab, a bungee cord and blackout curtain are used. On either side of the inside, there are built-in cabinets with cubbies for storage. For things that required further protection, Jay constructed additional covert storage spaces beneath the van’s floor.
Jay purchased a tri-fold mattress rather than a permanent sleeping base to utilize the available space. For added comfort, he does have a mattress pad that fits on top. To create a cozy sleeping area that can be folded away during the day, he layers quilts and other bedding.
Dodge Caravan Converted Minivan By@helenwheels66
Gail needed a secure place to live independently right away, so she converted a 2008 Dodge Caravan into a customized minivan camper. She believes that discounting the van itself, she spent less than $1,000 on this build. The majority of the stuff in her minivan camper were either found objects or used goods. She chose a Dodge Caravan camper since it’s simple for her to blend in and they’re very popular.
She used a friend’s assistance to construct her campervan conversion in three phases. Under the floor are a bed platform, a kitchenette, and storage. The bed sits behind the driver’s seat throughout its length. It may be raised in order to reach the contents kept underneath it, which includes a little portable lavatory. The minivan camper’s kitchenette features a small pump sink and is located across the back.
Gail even has the ability to access compartments built into the kitchenette when she opens the back of the vehicle. Gail’s enclosed “basement” underneath the floor is the ideal place for her to keep medications and dehydrated meals without worrying about anything heating up. She also has a tiny table on a drawer that slides out of the rear of the vehicle which is ideal for carrying her stove.
Gail enjoys having serenity and time to travel without feeling a bit rushed thanks to her minivan camper. She strongly advises formulating a plan in advance and collecting what you’re able to in bits and pieces for anyone contemplating van life as a way to get out of a difficult circumstance.
Ford Aerostar Minivan Build By @adventure_time_loui
Loui initially resided in a Ram Promaster. She ultimately decided to sell her Promaster to her mother due to a change in circumstances and purchase a 1989 Ford Aerostar. Approximately three months were required to complete the minivan camper conversion. You can observe how Loui was capable of incorporating features typically common in a cargo van conversion—like a composting toilet and Maxxair fan—into this minivan project.
Her cabinetry, which provides ample space for storing her everyday necessities, is the most important component of her van build. The swivel table she keeps here is wonderful. It was made by Loui out of a piece of wood and some galvanized pipes and is a fantastic less expensive option to a Lagun table mount. Her primary work environment is the table.
She utilizes the sink with flowing water behind the passenger side to wash her hair and clean the dishes. To save water while doing the dishes, she keeps a solution of water and soap in a spray bottle. Loui installs a composting toilet underneath the sink that can be pulled out to the living room area as necessary.
The L-shaped sofa in the minivan camper may be made into a bed by raising the frame out of beneath the cushions. It is on hinges, so it transforms into a bed that is roughly the size of a twin rather quickly once it is stretched and the pillows are adjusted. In a minivan camper modification, every square inch counts, thus Loui has a ton of storage room inside the bench seats.
Minivan Camper Conversion By Adriana
Adriana converted a minivan into a camper where she resides full-time. Because it was less expensive and allowed her to test out all the van life living, she decided on building out a minivan rather than a full-size van.
In order to maximize the amount of living room at the rear, she opted to one of the unusual choices in her van build by positioning her bed width-wise behind the driver and passenger seats. The bed is on a low platform because she wanted the room to sit on it. Less storage is available under the bed as a result, but she still makes the most of it by using several sliding plastic bins. She keeps the majority of her belongings in plastic dresser drawers hung from the interior side of the van using bungee cables.
When Adriana decides to place her minivan camper modification in a populated area, the drapes and curtain that conceal the front seats assist her blend in.
Adriana keeps a portable toilet covered in an ottoman for use as a bathroom. She uses a plastic container and a small amount of water to take showers inside her minivan camper.
Adriana’s low-cost hack with gutter covers from Home Depot is fantastic. The covers precisely fit the side windows of her minivan, allowing her to drop the windows, put a cover, lift the window to secure the cover in place, and then enjoy bug-free circulation in her living area.
Dodge Grand Caravan Campervan Conversion By Abiyah
In her 2015 Dodge Grand Caravan minivan camper conversion, Abiyah resides full-time. She decides to keep her van’s cab simple for covert purposes, unlike many van lifers, thus she will not really store more up by the driver’s seat.
Her minivan camper has a lot of multipurpose items. Her ottomans are suitable for serving as tables and chairs as well as storage space. Her blackout drapes divide the cab from the living area and offer privacy as well as aesthetic appeal.
Abiyah made her living area cozier by adding fairy lights and fake plants. She created a shelving unit to house her pantry and kitchen supplies. Her bed is on a cot that spans the length of the passenger side of the vehicle. There is adequate room underground to store stuff, and access is also possible from the vehicle’s back. In Abiyah’s king-size pillowcase, a duvet, as well as a heating blanket is kept. The bed is really comfortable because of the plenty of pillows and blankets.
She has a 3-drawer plastic dresser which she uses for storing. To prevent the top shelf of the dresser from sinking in the middle, Abiyah used gel adhesives to attach a sturdy chopping board to the top of the dresser.
A minivan conversion is a great choice for those seeking an inexpensive camping vehicle. First off, you won’t have to spend as much money on an RV. Yet, you might also spend less on gas and insurance. Also, a minivan camper may fit in spaces most RVs cannot, allowing you to park in a standard parking space.
A minivan camper is a wonderful option for road trips, in our opinion. It makes camping trips simple while still providing conveniences that a tent might not offer.