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  • Camplife Customs

Hiring a Van Builder vs Doing it Yourself

Updated: Jul 22, 2022

So, you've decided to embrace vanlife and make it a reality. Thanks to modern technology & the recent innovations, travelers can now enjoy many of the amenities of normal life while on the road, from basic plumbing and electricity to full kitchens and even air conditioning. However, before you depart on your mobile journey and commit to the road full time, you need to make a very important decision: Should you hire a professional van builder or do a conversion yourself?

In this article, we'll examine the pros and cons of each, so that you can make the best decision possible.

What's it Like to Convert a Van Yourself?

In a DIY conversion, every step is done by you. Generally, you’ll start by installing insulation, followed by wiring, plumbing, flooring, walls, & ceiling panels. This process can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months depending on your experience and the amount of time you have to commit.

Builders also need to focus on installing interior components like the electrical system, heater, cabinetry, and general aesthetics. This stage can take an additional few months.

Ultimately, completing a vanlife build can take anywhere from 3-18 months depending on time & experience. However, if you're willing to put in the work, most committed first time builders can successfully complete a build they are happy with. In exchange, you'll get lots of creative freedom, and, if you enjoy building things, you may even have some fun in the process.


Pros of hiring a professional include:

  • Highest quality construction

  • Less time-consuming (most van builders will turn around a build much faster than first time DIY’ers can complete their own build)

  • Company will help with design aspects

  • Company can provide safety guarantees

  • Staff can assist with any issues (even after the project is done)


Cons of hiring a professional include:

  • Expensive

  • Can be hard to find a reliable company

  • Less creative freedom than DIY van conversions

Who Is Hiring a Professional Van Builder Best For?

Hiring a custom van conversion company is a major convenience. Even if you have woodworking and building experience, professional companies can complete your project faster, leaving you to normal life and the excitement of your soon to be completed van. The biggest downside is that it will be more expensive (especially if you have high customization demands).

You should consider hiring someone if you meet the following conditions:

  • You don't have building experience

  • You don't have time to complete the project

  • You want a high-quality build

  • You have the budget

For many people, hiring a professional van builder is well worth the cost. You don't have to invest your own time and effort, and you can rest assured that the final product will be safe and well constructed.

Wondering if hiring a professional is right for you?

At Camplife Customs, we use high-quality materials, intricate design knowledge and skilled craftsmanship to create unique van conversions that maximize space and save weight. Every customer starts with a questionnaire that lets them customize their own conversion, resulting in a highly personalized experience. If you’re on the fence about hiring a professional builder, contact us for a quote and see just how much your dream van will cost!

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