Saturday, March 26, 2011

Easy campervan conversion with shoestring budget

Campervan is uncommon in Malaysia, importing one can also be prohibitively expensive and it is usually restricted to corporate sector for special purposes or the very rich who has taste for this sort of life style. For the rest of us, conversion from a standard van is probably the most realistic option, the trick is doing it on a budget and without having to get JPJ approval.

I found a few example in a van enthusiasts web site where the members did just that. Using common house furniture and very little carpentry/metal works, they managed to create very impressive results with a down to earth budget.

Using a camping bed and some small shelves, this van owner  transform his standard van into a homely camper

Another example of minimal carpentry works with impressive result
Another view of the same van above

Using a standard Ikea sofa bed, and shelves this van provide a comfortable seating for day configuration and a full size double bed for night!

Below is a more elaborate conversion example, it is still a simple conversion with no structural or seating changes. The end result is a very versatile camper where all the camping components can be removed to free up space for daily use. When it is time of road trip, the washing sink and stove cabinet be easily installed. What impressed me is the use of platform system to create a flat sleeping surface. 
The washing sink and stove cabinet and folded sleeping platforms.

With the seats folded flat, the platform can deployed to create a flat and comfortable sleeping surface

The sleeping platform fully deployed

The stove cabinet is a self contained unit, with a portable stove, clean water tank and waste water tank to complete the closed circuit plumbing

The camper conversion example below adopts a modules concept. The stove, the washing sink, other storage compartments are made of identical size modular boxes. This may not be a fully fledged camper but it will useful for day trips and picnic outing.
The collapsible water is usually stored in one of the modular box, so is the sink
Like the sink, the stove is a simple camping stove with aluminium heat shield propped up for use. When on the move, they are stored in their modular box.
Storage for other stuff

The bed don't look like it can support an adult, probably for small children only. I believe this concept is borrowed from VW Westfalia's child bunk design, which also make use of the space at the driver's cab

A small television for entertainment, but I think a sun shade DVD player is probably a better alternative

When on the move, everything is neatly stowed away


dragonking said...

Tj, what the difference between panel van and windows van in term of jpj regulation? i see some used panel van is cheaper then windows van.

TJ Chang said...

Panel van are cheaper because JPJ consider panel van as commerrcial vehicle, to convert to private use, you must install windows and, depends on the book value of the vehicle, pay the differences in sales tax.

s.k.tang said...

Hi Mr Chang, just want to ask can I buy a semi panel van with private register & convert to campervan? BTW do you own a campervan?

TJ Chang said...

Semi panel vans are not allowed to be privately registered, as they are considered commercial vehicle. Yes, I do own a campervan.

syahir said... TJ, u give me a lot of idea. thank you so much! :)

mark ruffin melaka said...

Mr.Chang, Your site is a real insperation to me. luckily I came across it. Nobody else seems to do this around here. Have started my own blog, "My Campervan Melaka".Have started rebuilding and converting my 1985 Toyota Hiace Van I've owned since new and will let all see the progress and then our adventures.
Cheers, and keep up the good work (?). Mark Ruffin Melaka

Unknown said...

How much to convert panel van toyota hiace to semi panel with seats?