Build your own motor caravan
Do you fancy the challenge of constructing a motor caravan yourself? We asked technical expert John Wickersham, the renowned author of such titles as “The Motorcaravan Manual”, “Build your own Motorcaravan” and “Caravanning Handbook” for some practical advice and guidance on how to build your own motorhome or DIY self build campervan conversion.
Creating a motor caravan yourself is not as hard as it sounds. It’s true that a few self-build enthusiasts complete their projects unaided but the majority get experts to complete certain tasks.
This collaborative approach was demonstrated recently when Middlesex Motorcaravans took a smart three-year old VW panel van to one of the outdoor shows. The vehicle offered for sale had already been fitted with insulation, its walls and floor had been lined, an elevating roof was installed and 12V cables were fixed in place.
This empty ‘starter kit’ then left its purchaser to:
- decide on the layout inside,
- to decide which jobs he or she could manage themselves,
Then, in the absence of qualifications/experience:
- appoint a qualified gas specialist and plumber to install appliances,
- appoint a qualified electrician to fit lights and couple-up cables,
- appoint an upholsterer to finish the bed(s) and the seating,
- appoint a joiner to construct bespoke furniture,
Then, on completion, the owner would:
- notify the DVLA of its conversion into a motorcaravan.
- tax and insure the vehicle;
- enjoy the rewards of a self-built leisure vehicle.
Such was the interest in this part-completed panel van conversion; it was sold within the first hour. Frankly, that didn’t surprise me at all. After all, a lot of would-be owners want a personalised ‘van and if some of the donkey work has already been done, completing a project is far less daunting. So don’t mistakenly presume that building a motorhome means you have to complete the whole lot yourself.