Which are the best vans to convert?

Picking the right van to convert can be tricky because there’s lots of choice and lots of information for you to get lost in.


That’s why we’ve put together a list of the best vans to convert – by size – and what you need to consider, to make sure you select the van that’s right for you and your needs.

So whether you’re looking to convert a Ford Transit into a camper for weekend getaways or you want to go mobile and convert your panel van for work, we’re here to help.

Why convert your van?

There are lots of reasons why you might want to convert your van and while there’s lots to be learnt from other van converters and their conversions, selecting the right van comes down to why you want to convert it in the first place.

Someone who wants to convert a van into a campervan suitable for two people to sleep in will have a different set of requirements to someone who wants to build a mobile tanning salon.

As you can see below when Katie Collarbone explains her requirements when looking for the perfect van to get her business on the road, having enough space for a changing area was important for her, but may not be for a weekend camper.

Know your van conversion requirements

Before looking for a van you want to convert, be clear in your requirements. Create a list that outlines exactly what you need, covering things like size (both height and length), access and mileage before you kick off your search.

For example, a list of requirements to convert your van into a campervan may look like this:

    Length: Long wheelbase
    Height: Enough to stand up straight
    Access: Sliding door on the side and rear access
    Mileage: Fewer than 100,000 miles
    Budget: Around £5,000

Once you know your requirements, your search can begin and while those must haves may change as you compare vans, that list will help you target your search and whittle down the options available.

Best small van to convert

Small vans like the Ford Transit Connect, Peugeot Bipper or the Citroen Berlingo are a good option for anyone looking to convert a van that’s easy to drive, cheap to run and where interior space isn’t high on your list of requirements.

Small vans are often converted into campers as they can sleep two fairly comfortably and for occasional weekend getaways, they make financial sense compared to larger, more expensive vans. Small vans are also commonly used for coffee van conversions, too.

However their short wheelbases and low roofs mean they do have some limitations and as a result, small van conversions tend to be fairly basic. If you’re looking to convert a van into a camper that has more than just sleeping arrangements in the back, you may be better looking at larger vans.

Still think a small van suits your needs? We’ve picked five small vans that could be right for your van conversion.

    1. Vauxhall Combo
    2. Ford Transit Connect
    3. Renault Kangoo
    4. Peugeot Bipper
    5. Suzuki Carry


Best medium van to convert

Medium size vans offer the best of both worlds, offering more flexibility for both business and camper conversions, while being slightly easier to drive and cheaper to buy than some big van options.

For camper conversions, the Vauxhall Vivaro is a common pick, along with the Peugeot Expert and the Renault Trafic.

And while everyone likes to be different, choosing a big-selling, popular base van for your conversion means parts are easy – and cheap – to come by and there’s usually plenty of choice for new or used vans when you decide to take the plunge.

So if you’re keen on a medium van to convert, here are five picks that could fit the bill.

    1. Vauxhall Vivaro
    2. Peugeot Expert
    3. Renault Trafic
    4. Volkswagen Caravelle
    5. Mercedes-Benz Vito

Best large van for conversion

While small and medium size vans are a good fit for lots of van conversion projects, sometimes they’re not big enough to meet your requirements. And that’s when it’s time to look at larger panel vans to convert.

As you’d expect, large vans have a long wheel base and a high roof so if it’s space you want for your conversion, a large van could be the one for your project.

The likes of the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, Ford Transit or the Iveco Daily are all good options because of the interior space they provide, allowing a lot more flexibility for your conversion.

And as well as allowing you to go to town on storage, accommodation and even cooking facilities for a camper conversion, large vans also have lots of options for business owners who are looking to go mobile, too.

If space is the most important requirement for your van conversion, here are five options that could be right for you.

    1. Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
    2. Ford Transit
    3. Iveco Daily
    4. Volkswagen Crafter
    5. Nissan NV400