Van conversion on a budget

Whether you’re seeking the freedom of life on the road in 2024 or looking to maximise utility on a budget, our 3-IN-ONE squad members have got you covered.  


Our Legends of Leisure @vanmonkeys have THREE budget van conversion top tips just for you: 

1. Plan 

Write a list of things you’d like in your van and then split them into two columns; things you cannot live without, and things you would be willing to compromise on. It’s really easy to get carried away at the start of the build with wanting to add lots of gadgets and home comforts, but costs build up quickly because it’s easy to forget the price of little but vital things like screws, adhesive, fixings and paint. There might come a point where you need to cross off something on your compromise list to save money.


2. Know when to spend your money 

Buy cheap, buy twice is true for van converting too! On bigger purchases like electrics, it’s always worth spending a bit more on reputable brands from shops with good customer service (we’ve learnt this the hard way!), but there’s lots of other areas you can save on. We’ve only ever purchased cheap remnant flooring for the 6 vans we have converted, and if you have the tools – and patience! – you can often pick up pallet wood for free. We also save searches on second-hand sites for things like sinks, taps and specific motorhome equipment that we might be interested in. There’s lots of second-hand items out there that still have life in them after a bit of TLC. We managed to get a caravan door that we brought back to life using 3-IN-ONE Heavy Duty Cleaner Degreaser!


3. Rent or borrow tools 

The first hurdle after buying your van, is realising you need all the tools to actually do it! This can be very expensive, so borrowing or renting the tools you need can be a big money saver. A pro tip with using tools that aren’t your own – practice on some scrap first! Particularly with cutting tools, so you can set the guides correctly. Plywood is widely used, which is layers of wood and glue packed together, so overtime cutting blades can pick up adhesive and not cut as smooth as it should. Make sure your tools are all clean and well-oiled where necessary to limit mistakes and ensure a neat finish. 3-IN-ONE Heavy Duty Cleaner Degreaser and 3-IN-ONE Multi-Purpose Oil are great for this.


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