My Opel Combo Mini Camper - Progression, Questions and advice

Hi everyone,

First of all I wanna say I am super stoked this page is coming to life, as a new opportunity for vanlife people to connect.

I have just bought an Opel Combo from 2003, which I am planning to convert into a mini camper to travel to Spain with. As I have never done something like this before I’ll make this thread to keep you updated on my ideas, my progress, and concerns and questions I have.

First of all here are a couple pictures of the interior, before any work is done:

It’s quite dirty right now, and doesn’t look like much yet, but I hope I can turn it into a nice mini camper.


So the plan I am hoping to go with is as follows:

  1. The Floor: The Combo already has a wooden floor in it, but it’s quite dirty right now.
    My plan is to leave it in, and just clean it up using probably an electric grinder. Then I’ll spray paint it white for looks. I’m thinking I’ll put in another thin layer of floor insulation. The actual floor will probably be linoleum, as it’s easier to cut to the right size than say wood, and also takes up less space.

  2. The walls: I feel like this is going to be the trickiest part. As you can see in the picture they’re partly metal, party plastic and they are super uneven. I will most likely (unless highly suggested otherwise) use stretch liner carpet for the finish, as I can just leave the walls uneven, and loose less space -the combo is indeed fairly small - but I really can’t think of a good way to insulate them. I was thinking armaflex is probably the best guess for the top metal part, but I don’t know how to insulate the plastic part below, as well as the wheels. Here I’m super grateful for any suggestions you guys have.

  3. The interior: here I am still planning the details. I am using sketch up to pre design the ideas I have in my head, but it’s still pretty uncertain. I’ll add some ideas later.

As said before I am super thankful for any advice and concerns, as I have never done this before. And I’ll keep you updated on my progress. Thanks for reading!


Don’t worry we’ve all been there :joy:

No matter how much planning you do it will always be uncertain. That’s just how it is, nothing goes as planned. But it’s still a good idea to prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

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I think you can just overlap it.
Have you figured it out yet?

As far as your floors - I want to add that it can’t hurt to take some additional steps to prevent mold. After a year on the road and some wonky, leaky door seals we noticed we had mold growing on our subfloor that went all the way from the back of the van and was easing its way up to the front of the van. We ended up having to gut the whole thing and install an entirely new flooring situation. We typed up a bunch of tips and tricks to help prevent mold for other vanlifers, can’t hurt to look into. Mold is a nasttyyyyy thing to deal with and is best to just be avoided all together. Best of luck on the build! We just love looking at blank, clean slates! Such an excting time!