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Home On Wheels: Everything You Need to Know About Campervan Conversions

Home On Wheels: Everything You Need to Know About Campervan Conversions

With holidaying in the UK becoming increasingly popular, more adventurers are investing in campervans and caravans. Both have their pros and cons: while a caravan offers you a complete home away from home with the freedom to move freely once you are pitched, a camper offers convenience and versatility, and the ability to explore less accessible areas.

While specific camper brands, like VWs, have dominated the market for decades, people are realising that converted vans such as Ford Transits offer much more in terms of internal space and value for money. As such, there are ever more conversions hitting the market. While it's not mandatory to register a converted van as a campervan with the DVLA, there are benefits to doing so, such as cheaper ferry travel and potentially lower insurance costs.

When the DVLA reviews an application to re-register a vehicle as a motor caravan, they consider several internal and external features. They will assesses four key interior areas: seats and a table, sleeping space, cooking facilities, and storage.


The seats and table should be integrated into the van, separate from other elements like passenger seats. While the table can be removable, its base must be permanently fixed within the van. The seating should be permanently attached to the floor or wall and usable with the table.


Similar to the table and chairs, the sleeping space should be a permanent part of the van, not just a mattress you can add when needed. The sleeping area can consist of standalone beds or seats that convert into beds. Unless the sleeping area is installed above the driver or in a pop-top, it must be permanently attached to the van's base or side.


A portable gas stove in a box doesn't qualify as cooking equipment for registering a vehicle as a campervan or motor caravan. The van must have at least a microwave or a single cooking ring, permanently and securely attached to the floor or wall. Additionally, the fuel reservoir (like a gas canister) must be secured in a storage cupboard or fixed to the vehicle’s structure, with the fuel supply pipe permanently fixed to the van.


To be classified as a motor caravan, the van must have permanent storage. This can be one or several cupboards or lockers, part of the living accommodation, and independently mounted to the van's structure, unless integrated into the seating, sleeping space, or cooker. All storage units must be permanently fixed to the wall or base of the van.

There's plenty of scope for adventurous vehicle owners to convert their own vans. However, if you're unsure about what you're doing, it's wise to protect your investment by seeking professional advice or having a professional do the work for you. If you are unsure of who to trust with your conversion, consult a local caravan and motorhome specialist for advice.

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