Newbie looking to pick your brains

Hi I am going to convert a van in 2022 as a project to hopefully use when i retire in 2023 to explore europe assuming of course the world is open in 2023 lol

So i am hoping to get advice on what van to buy and then loads more advice as i convert to suit myself

UK based (Scotland)

Greetings & Welcome!

The one thing I learned quickly while traveling Europe was to get something that would be easily repaired anywhere I was traveling too.

Here in the USA, you can often actually get a factory camper van or motorhome for much cheaper than you can build your own. People who build their own seem to never be satisfied with them, and quickly sell them. Conversely, most full timers with factory built rigs love them and keep them.

I’ve gone both ways, and been happy with all but one. I got conned into building out a windowless cargo van, and it was both miserable and expensive. I wouldn’t make a good cave dweller, for me a view in all directions is much safer & much more enjoyable.


“Everything should be made as simple as possible." ~ Einstein

How big van is in your mind? Very common is VW T5/6, either factory built California or similar conversion from a van. They are small, under 2m tall and around 5m long. Seats and sleeps four people. Will fit in a regular parking space and won’t take more room on the road than a regular sedan.

One step up in size is the Sprinter/Crafter/Ducato base. Taller, longer. More space inside but cumbersome in tight corners.

Indeed also worth checking is what kind of factory built campers are available and how much they cost. Locally I coud source several about 1998 VW Vans for 1000-2000€ but a factory built camper on same base chassis and year is 14000€. If I’m not picky and italian electrics are enough, a Fiat based campers start around 8000€ (mid 80’s).

In a way, there is a lot of incentive to build your own…