Designing & Planning Your Campervan Layout - Part 1

Designing & Planning Your Campervan Layout - Part 1

Get ready for this to be the most time consuming and complicated part of your campervan conversion. If you’re undertaking this project with your partner, expect some heated discussions along the way as the battle of the bed/kitchen/loo position begins!

Challenging yes, but it’s also one of the most exciting parts of your van build too, as the dream turns into a reality.

Research, research, research.

Watch YouTube videos - Nate Murphy has lots of van tours on his channel and has playlists dedicated to specific area ideas or Van Conversion Tours.

Nate Murphy's Campervan Playlist

Spend eons of hours trawling through Instagram, Pinterest and save the vans you think have a layout idea that could work for you.

Don’t be scared to take little bits from each van you like, eventually you’ll piece all of the ideas into your perfect jigsaw on wheels.

Most of us start planning our campervan layout months if not years before you get your hands on the keys to your transport to freedom, but be prepared to rip the whole thing up once you actually see the space you have to work with.

We planned a layout in a LWB Boxer and a LWB Crafter before settling on our Barbara, a MWB high top Sprinter, who captured our hearts from the moment we met her. Dramatic I know but if you have a camper van, you’ll understand.

Ask yourself these questions:

What are you going to use your van for?

Does there need to be a portion of space used as a business van or to transport items day to day? 

If you need to take adventure gear on your travels such as surf boards, SUPs, paddles, mountain bikes etc. you'll need to think carefully about where these are stored securely whilst on the move - inside or outside.

Adventure van

Plus, where will they 'live' when they are wet and dirty.

This will determine whether or not you need a permanent 'garage area'.

Here is some Adventure van inspiration... 

How many people do you need to sleep/transport?

If you have babies or little children now, remember they will grow up and need bigger beds. There are some very clever ideas for campervan childrens beds, check out our Pinterest board for inspiration... 

Campervan childrens bed ideas

Unless you’re happy to share your bed with your furry friend, give some thought to where your dog or cat will sleep.

You may need an extra passenger seat or two. Legally passengers can travel side on with a lap belt but it's a good idea to research this fully for how safe this would be in the event of an accident. Safety always comes first!

Permanent or flexible bed set up?

This seems to be a hot debate and everyone has their own opinion on this - if you want a decent garage area then you may have to opt for a high up fixed bed.

Imagine you've been out for a day exploring, do you want to have to adjust cushions and mattresses to create your bed for the night?
The compromise is a more roomy living area to work and play in so it depends what's more important to you.

How important is a shower and/or toilet in your camper van?

Some people insist on a full bathroom featuring automatic hot water, a little sink and toilet system, and I think if I was going to be living in a van full time for a long time, this would be something I’d lean towards. 
Again, there is lots of campervan shower and bathroom inspiration out there, here’s our Van bathroom Pinterest board… 

Now you've got a much better idea of what you want to need/don't need, let's start planning!...

Read Designing & Planning Your Campervan Layout - Part 2

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