Over the years, minivans have been the best choice for people interested in converting their automobiles into a minivan camper. Within just a week’s time and with just a few materials that you can purchase at your local department store, you will be able to do the conversion.
1. Prepare the following:
- a garage that’s filled with tools
- camping equipment
- fiberglass camper roof
- exterior air conditioning plug adapter for campers
2. Since there are different minivans to choose from, you would need to have one that’s suitable for conversion. There are vans that are too close to the ground and have soft suspensions. These are great for highway use but usually these vans don’t have much use off the road. The ideal vans to use are those four-wheel minivans that are 4WDs. It is also important to take into consideration that these minivans have great storage capacities and that they provide comfort to its passengers and campers.
3. All the rear seats and interior parts of the van have to be taken out. Minivans usually have armrests, shelves, cup holders, etc. and these all have to be removed to provide space. If it has seats that can be folded and then opened as beds, then these are important to keep. It is just important that there would be enough space inside the van for the equipment you will be adding to it.
4. The next thing to do would be to cut off the roofline for the fibreglass top’s hole. A pop top is important to have because it not only provides standing room and a good source of ventilation. These can be purchased through a camper stores, camper’s catalogues or online. A pop top roof consists of the fiberglass shell, canvas midsection and support struts. With the use of an electric saw, you will be able to make a roof that looked like a professional did it.
5. You will now have to mount the struts for the pop top. You will need to use bolts to make the steel struts be fastened to the vehicle because the fiberglass top is not directly attached to the roof. This is where you can use a drill so that it is tightly attached to the roof. You may also choose to use self-tapping metal screws.
6. Once you’re done attaching the struts, you can already go over the instructions in the manual to put the canvas and the fiberglass in place.
7. You will then need to install the kitchen equipment first. Since you can make use of the rear seat as a bed, you will need to have the kitchen just behind the driver’s seat. You can install a stove, a sink and even a refrigerator. Remember to have two holes drilled into the van. One hole would be for the drainage from the sink and the other hole is where all the wires for the appliances will pass through. The stove would most likely be using propane gas, so it would be safest to put this outside of the van.
8. Once the kitchen equipment has been set up, you can already arrange where the bed should be. You can put up a few shelves on the side of the van to store your other things.
Just remember that sawing off part of your van’s roof might reduce its structural integrity, especially if the van uses a unibody construction. You might have to ask your local garage if you will need to install reinforcements to the underchassis. Otherwise, you’re good to go. Enjoy camping with your minivan.