Savvy Travel & Family Time

How to Turn Your Van into a Stylish Home for Traveling

If you have wanted to spend time on the open road, then you will appreciate how thrilling it can be. The freedom to do what you want and go anywhere can be made even better by having your own space to take around with you. It doesn’t matter if you don’t own a Transvan sp or caravan, with a regular van you can create something amazing.

Clearing Out the Van

Before you can start, you need to clear out the van; you can keep the wood panels if the van has them, as this will help later. If you’ve got a large amount of junk such as mattresses and old TV’s, that need moving, contact a junk removal company to sort it out for you. Clean the floor and the walls from debris and deal with any evidence of rust. You also need to check the engine and the mechanics of the van; you can choose best picks for professional obd2 scanners so you can diagnose any problems.

Selecting Materials

Most people choose a wood frame and finish for their interior of the van. It is easier to build with, and it looks better when finished. Treated wood can be better than regular timber because it won’t react to moisture. You will also need something for the floor such as carpet or rubber flooring, and insulation for the sides to keep in the heat at night. You may be interested in installing a generator to control the temperature better, looking after the Heat and Hearth will make your van so much more comfortable, whether the temperature is cold or hot you will be able to change it to suit your desired temperature.

Preparing the Interior

The sides of the van should be covered first, plus you will need to add windows to the sides if your van doesn’t have them. Wooden slats are better to use as they can be cut to shape as you go along. Seal edges and areas where the boards meet the front and back to keep out dust.

Building the Bed Frame and Storage

With the sides and roof completed, you then need to build the bed frame and the storage areas. It should include an area for a cooker, food storage, clothes, and bedding storage. The bed frame should be as big as a double bed if you can or as close as possible. It will make sleeping more comfortable.


Now the basics are finished, you can indulge your creative side and decorate. The wood effect will look great if it’s stained. For a more modern look, you can choose a clear stain, or something more traditional such as oak if you want a cozy feel. Not all of the wood needs to be stained, cupboard sides and the bed frame can be painted a neutral color with protective paint. The windows can be covered with a one-way film, this allows you to see out, but no-one can see inside.


The furnishings need to be as comfortable as possible; you might need to custom make them by measuring, especially the cushions. The mattress can be made from foam as this is light and easy to move around. It also allows you to make separate sections, so you can turn it into a sofa. Try to create matching curtains and bedclothes so that you have good coordination throughout. You also want to make a couple of sets for rotation.

Even small vans can be transformed into living homes, so there is no reason why you cannot create a space to take with you.


  • gloria patterson

    If I was 20 years younger I would have something like this. I love to watch the tiny house shows on tv and have saw several van redone.

  • gloria patterson

    A friend (teacher) is taking a year off to see the USA. She has been traveling the world in the summer and has decided its time to see home. She just bought a van and she is turning it into her home.

    • mcushing7

      That is so cool! I would love to buy a nice camper and travel through the 48 continental states here in the USA. That would be a dream!