Cost To Build A Camper Van

So you want to build a camper van, huh? Well, we’ve got some news for you: it’s not as hard as you think. First of all, you should know that there are many different types of camper vans, so it’s important to do some research and figure out what kind of camper van will best suit your needs. We recommend starting by looking at the different types of camper vans—you can find this information on the Internet or in any book about building campers.

Once you have decided which type of camper van is best for you, it’s time to start making some plans. You’ll need to figure out how much space you’ll need for storage and how much space your family will need on an average day. You may also want to consider how many people will be sleeping in the van at night (this will help determine whether or not there will be room for a bed). Once you’ve figured out all these things, it’s time to start building.

The cost to build a camper van will depend on the size of your van and the number of people it needs to sleep. Your budget may also be limited by whether or not you have any existing tools and skills. If you don’t have any experience or tools, then plan on spending more than if you have them. We’ll start with some general costs for building a camper van, then we’ll go into more detail about what components are involved in each category — like cabinetwork, flooring etc…

Cost To Build A Camper Van

The cost to build a camper van can vary depending on the materials and features you choose. A smaller, basic van will be less expensive than a larger, more luxurious one. The most important thing to do when considering the cost of your build is to decide what kind of lifestyle you want from your new home on wheels. Are you going to be living in it full-time? Do you want a place where you can take short overnight trips? How many people are going to be living in there with you? These questions will help determine how much space and amenities are needed for your setup and therefore affect how much money it will cost.

Site Preparation

You’ll need to prepare your site before you can begin building. This includes digging the foundation, building it and pouring the concrete.

The extent of this work depends on what type of camper van you want to make and where exactly you plan to put it once it’s finished. If you’re going for a permanent residence, then site preparation will be more involved—and expensive—than if you’re creating something that won’t stay in one place for long.

Excavation and Foundation

This is where you have to decide what kind of foundation you want for your van. If you’re going to be parked on a lot most of the time, then a simple slab will work just fine. On the other hand, if you’re doing any off-roading or plan on being in an area with lots of roads with potholes and debris, then I would recommend a more substantial foundation like blocks or piers. The choice is yours.

The next step is excavation for your camper van’s foundation (or whatever type). If you’re using blocks or something similar, then this should be pretty simple because they can easily be installed directly into compacted soil without digging too much out first. However if using piers/concrete/etc., then it may take some digging depending on how deep down those go as well as how much soil needs to be removed from around them once installed so that they don’t come loose over time due to shifting earth pressure against them causing cracks along their outer edges which leads us next…

Structure Steel

The most common material used to construct a camper van is steel. Steel is strong, durable and easy to work with, making it a good choice for the beginner camper van builder. Steel also costs significantly less than aluminum or fiberglass, which makes it more affordable for many people who want to build a camper van on a budget.

Some areas may not have access to steel that’s needed for building their camper vans; however, there are other resources available if you’re unable to find what you need locally. It’s possible to order steel online and have it shipped directly to your home or work site where you can assemble your own camper van without having any difficulties locating materials anywhere nearby (or even across town).

If you’re looking into building a custom-built camper van from scratch then using metal sheets made out of aluminum might be an option worth considering since they’re lightweight yet strong enough when combined together in order form.


Concrete is a strong and durable material, so it’s the ideal choice for the foundation of your camper van. Concrete can be poured into forms to create all sorts of structures, including foundations. It also serves as an excellent base for other materials, like brick or stone. However, concrete is not without its drawbacks: it’s heavy and takes some time to dry out before you can use it in construction projects. Still, concrete has many advantages that make it a popular material for foundations and other building projects—you might even find yourself using this material in your own home someday.

Framing (Interior & Exterior)

Because you will be using a camper van to sleep and cook, it is imperative that the interior framing is strong. While some builders choose to use 2x4s throughout, others prefer to use 2x6s for their added strength. If you are thinking about doing this project yourself, it’s best to stick with 2x4s rather than go with 2x6s because of cost considerations. You can always reinforce your walls later if need be but there is no way around building everything twice if you underestimate what kind of materials will be needed by going with 2×6 as opposed to 2×4.

Exterior framing should also be built in a similar fashion as interior framing; however there may be less space between studs depending on how many windows are being installed into your camper van (and where they need sit).

Doors, Windows, Trimwork and Cabinetry

Doors, Windows and Trimwork

What kind of doors will you have on your camper? Bolt-on or integral? Winch-out or sliding? The type of door you choose will depend on what you want to use the van for, but if it’s going to be a daily driver, then having an external door will make it easier to get into. It also helps keep dirt outside where it belongs. The same goes with windows; each type has its pros and cons: glass windows are lighter than plexiglass ones (and therefore cheaper), but they’re not as shatter resistant; while plexiglass is heavier than glass (and therefore more expensive) so it’s less likely to break in an accident. Then there are many other factors such as whether they open fully or only part way; slide sideways instead of outwards etc. Think carefully about what features would be useful before deciding which type will work best for your needs.

If at all possible we recommend getting custom-made doors and windows fitted rather than buying them off-the shelf because this way you know exactly what size/shape/kind etc..

Drywall and Insulation

  • Drywall and insulation:

As noted above, the camper van you want to build has a lot of wall space. This means that you will need to install drywall, which is the most common material used for interior walls in homes. In addition to covering up your home’s walls, drywall also provides thermal and sound insulation that helps keep heat in during winter months and reduces outside noise during hot summer nights. Drywall can be purchased at hardware stores or online and comes in two types: gypsum-based panels or fiberglass meshboard (which is lighter than other varieties). The cost depends on which type you select; however, expect to pay around $12–$16 per sheet for either option—a 4×8′ sheet costs about $36 on average.

Insulation is also important when building a camper van because it prevents heat from escaping through your van’s exterior shell into cold climates where temperatures drop below freezing overnight during winter months; likewise, insulation helps keep cool air from entering through windows when parked near hot asphalt parking lots in summertime regions like Arizona where temperatures may reach 120°F.


Flooring is a major part of the interior of your van. You can choose from carpet, vinyl, or hardwood for your floors. Carpet is popular because it gives you something soft to stand on. Vinyl is great for people who are looking for something low maintenance and easy to clean. Hardwood is also popular—it looks really nice inside and out.

Hardwood is special because you can install it over plywood or directly on concrete. If you go with hardwood flooring, installers will typically recommend installing a subfloor before laying down your new flooring material so they don’t damage the structure underneath their feet when they walk around the house (or van).

Tile and Stonework

Tile and stone are durable, easy to clean and install. They can be used in many rooms of the house such as kitchen, bathroom and living room. Tile and stone cost more than wood but if you are looking for durability and style then tiles are a very good option for you.

Carpentry and Masonry

Carpentry and Masonry

If you have a friend or family member that can help out with the carpentry work, it would be a great idea to take them up on their offer. Carpentry is more time-consuming than masonry work, so it’s going to take you longer to complete. You also have fewer tools at your disposal when working on carpentry projects compared to when working on masonry projects. The cost of carpentry can be high depending on what kind of materials you need for your van project and how much work needs to be done.

Masonry costs less than other parts of building your camper van because there are fewer steps involved in masonry projects compared with other parts of building your camper van. If you want something fast, cheap, and easy then this might be the right choice for you.


Plumbing is another major cost factor in your camper van build, and you’ll want to get it right from the start. The most common system for plumbing in a van is to have a grey water tank and a water tank. The grey water tank is for used water from the sink and shower, while the fresh water tank contains fresh drinking water which you can fill up at any time.

Plumbing will cost more than $600–$800 if you buy all new parts, but if you salvage pieces from old vehicles or install PVC piping instead of metal pipes, it will be cheaper.

One thing that can add greatly to your budget is if you choose an on-demand hot water heater instead of an electric storage version—the cost difference between these two options can be as much as $500.

Electrical Work

Electrical work is the most expensive part of building a camper van. You will need to have it done by a licensed electrician, so be sure to find someone who is reliable and trustworthy. Electrical work can be dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing, so make sure the person who does your electrical work has experience in working with things like power tools or anything else that may present an electrical hazard (i.e., soldering irons).


The total cost to build your camper van will vary depending on the size of the van, how many amenities you want, and what kind of materials you choose. If you’re looking for a DIY project that can save money and teach you new skills, building a camper van may be right up your alley.

Leave a Comment