What Are the Different Types of Camper Van Conversions?

Lori Kilchermann

Some of the camper van conversions readily available to the buying public are created by installing a few of the features of a full-sized motor home into the body of a family van. Kitchenettes, televisions and improved seating are some of the more common camper van conversions that help to create a comfortable platform for leisurely camping experiences. Commonly fitted into most camper van conversions are convertible tables that double as sleeping arrangements, cooking appliances and refrigerators. Other conveniences include large outdoor roll out-canopies to shield the sun and provide rain protection to persons and furniture outside of the van, as well as generating units and air conditioners to offer comfort inside of the van.

A large-sized camper van could be a wise investment for small families who go on lots of outdoor excursions.
A large-sized camper van could be a wise investment for small families who go on lots of outdoor excursions.

Commonly referred to as mini-motor homes, camper van conversions are a viable choice for consumers who do not want the added fuel expense and parking difficulties that accompany a full-sized motor home. With extended roof lines providing space to comfortably move about the vehicle and amenities to please even the most discerning buyer, camper van conversions offer the creature comforts of home in a small and easy-to-maneuver package. Camper van conversions can be made on a variety of different levels, from a vehicle equipped with special seating to a full-fledged camping vehicle equipped with additional windows, beds and chemical toilets. These specialized vehicles can often be ordered through a typical automobile dealership, however, they are built by conversion specialists on a common passenger van chassis.

While some of the smaller camper van conversions continue to use the original factory equipment van body and chassis, albeit complete with many special conversion options installed, many of the larger conversions use a special aftermarket body mounted onto the original van's chassis. Chassis modifications on the camper van conversions can range from heavy-duty springs and shock absorbers to the addition of a heavier rear axle and dual rear tires to better support the added weight of the converted vehicle. The addition of an electrical generator may also demand the addition of an auxiliary fuel tank to house the generator's fuel supply.

The typical camper van conversions are not subject to special licensing in most areas, and common passenger van license plates may typically be used on the vehicle. In some applications where the van will be parked at a campground for any duration, special equipment will allow the vehicle to be plugged into the campground's electrical service, thereby eliminating the need to operate the electrical generating unit while parked. This electrical supply also permits the use of large, roof-mounted air-conditioning units while parked in the campground.

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