Custom conversions in Europe?

Hey there! I just had my first camper van experience: we took a 10-day trip throughout Switzerland in a rented VW California and it was spectacular. My husband and I were so surprised at how cozy were were and how incredibly well we slept in the upper berth. We are now thinking about having a camper van as a second home.

We loved the upper berth sleeping of the California but don’t like the design, style, or other layout choices of it. So we’re interested in a custom camper van: one that keeps the upper berth but uses the rear area for a workspace, as my husband and I can both work remotely from our laptops. I’m also interested in timber clad, shower/toilet, induction instead of propane stovetop, wifi, and a vertically accessible fridge. Maybe even a kitty door in case we get a cat.

I’m American, but we live in Europe right now. Can anyone recommend a European conversion outfitter that could do something like this?

Best,

Wendy

Seems nobody is answering this. Maybe because Europe covers a very large area. If you can get your vehicle to the U.K. (it doesn’t matter if it’s left hand drive) then there are quite a few small companies doing this type of work, a few show their work on YouTube. However, campervan conversions are going through a very busy period here so expect most small companies to have a waitlist. Alternatively it’s not too difficult to build one yourself. I hope this helps in some way.

Hey Gordon, thanks so much for responding! I’ve seen a few UK companies online and with videos. Building one ourselves seems out of our skillset entirely to be honest. We actually live in Ireland currently.

Nice to hear from you. We are also planning on visiting Switzerland after lockdown is lifted, hopefully it won’t be too long.

Considering your post, there are a few companies that I could mention. So much depends on your budget and also what a conversion company is willing to take on. It’s not easy to select a company without seeing or knowing something about who you are about to deal with. Perhaps this is were YouTube has some real benefits. I would suggest viewing two companies on YouTube, I’ve never dealt with either but both come across as being decent. Firstly see “dantheman 321” on YouTube and judge his work for yourself. He works for a company in the North West (near Manchester), has produced some quality work and knows what he is doing. They may not do budget builds or be as flexible as some companies, I may be wrong but that’s the impression I get. However, one that seems flexible is “HughTube” (South of England) he seems to take on more or less anything, he seems to enjoy the challenge of new ideas.

As regards not building it yourself then I understand but keep it in mind. I have never converted a camper-van before and I don’t have any related skills. Whilst I have a good size garage my van was too big to fit inside so I built it in front of my home using borrowed tools and a bench saw from Aldi (£80). The point I am making is that it’s worth keeping a DIY option open. Or how about getting someone to do the difficult bits and you finish it off yourself. It’s both economical and personal (as in custom). My van is viewable at www.diyvan.co.uk but credit has to go to “Greg Virgo” on YouTube because in order to build my van I watched all his videos and couldn’t have done it without his help.

I hope this inspires you. Summer lies ahead, vaccines may give us our freedom, now is the time to “get cracking” as we say in the U.K. All the best.