There have been over time many books written detailing how to build a campervan. Many of them hopeless, a few of them good and one or two are truly excellent. Into this last category, must come, “The Van Conversion Bible” by vanlifers Charlie Low and Dale Comley.
The book gets our vote because it is so well written, so beautifully laid out, so clear in its focus that you could read it just for the pleasure about finding out more about campervan conversion and van life.
We would go so far as to suggest that it is the book everyone aspiring to own a van conversion should buy and read.
Using the book helps readers decide which route they are going to take when it comes to buying a new campervan.
The choices boil down to three. Either you buy a van converted by the large motorhome and caravan production facilities. Or you buy one from a small bespoke converter. Or even convert one yourselves. The book is useful even if you already own a van.
Think of it as an asset when it comes to fixing maintaining and understanding your own van.
Charlie and Dale say in The Van Conversion Bible, “Recognising everyone has different needs, we wanted to write a book that was more than just a story about how we converted our own van. Instead, we wanted to provide people with the tools to design and maintain something completely bespoke. And give them the confidence to start then continue, their journey.”
Most motorhome and caravan manufacturers design vehicles in a set way, trying to come up with a layout that appeals to the widest possible audience. But, as we found out when looking for a company to convert our Fiat Ducato into Voyager, there simply is no one van design to suit everyone.
As motorcaravanners, we all have our different needs, budgets, and skills. For us it was a choice of converting a van for ourselves.
It might have been different
Had we had The Van Conversion Bible back then, it might have been different. But if we are to be truthful, our skill set does not match that required to do a good job of conversion.
We opted instead to choose a small, dedicated team. We knew we could trust them to give us the vehicle we had designed ourselves. The craftsmen, at what is now called Voyage Adventure Vans, did an excellent job. We are very happy with the result.
The option of a converting a van oneself remains one favoured by many. Websites, self help groups and YouTube videos all offer guidance. There are thousands of self-conversions on the roads today. Some are incredibly beautiful in their design. Others make you wonder why the converter bothered!
But, for the most part, self builds are statements of personal achievement and perseverance. “For many, converting your own campervan will be the single largest DIY project you ever undertake, and it can feel daunting to start, says Charlie Low. We know from research while writing The Van Conversion Bible the reality is, many first-time van builders have very little prior experience or knowledge. But they have taken the plunge nonetheless.” Dale Comley adds, “The majority of the complexity of converting a van resides in the planning and design stages. Many of the practical elements simply aren’t that complicated.”
Dale adds, “Buy The Van Conversion Bible, follow our guidance and by the time you finish your build, you will have learnt woodworking, electrics, plumbing, gas, fitting windows, furniture upholstery, and even interior design. Charlie smiles while adding her conclusion. “Converting a van is like building a tiny house, but without having to wait three years for planning permission!”