How to Upgrade a Camper Van!

We’re Actually going to Upgrade a Camper Van at last

I can’t believe it. At long last we bought a camper van. It’s something I’ve wanted since I was a teenager, and here I am getting one in my mid 50s.

It’s dirty, run down, has a dour interior and has super low mileage. But, as we are looking to upgrade a camper van, it’s exactly what we are looking for. Here she is:

She’s a 1992 Ford Transit Mk 3, 2.5 Litre Diesel, on Spanish Plates, but Originally from Germany. Left Hand Drive.

So now the project to upgrade a camper van begins. The inside is dour to say the least, so the plan is, to paint everything inside white, rip out the brown sink and cooker and replace them with new and larger stainless steel models. Wendy (the wife) has a friend who is an interior designer, so she’s going to come up with some ideas to brighten up the interior furnishings. No project is much fun without before and after pictures, so here goes on the before images:

How to Upgrade a Camper Van – The Before Images

She has separate power systems for the leisure and vehicle supplies, as well as a solar panel on the roof to trickle charge the batteries when parked up or boondocking. She is also capable of mains hookup for campsites or charging at the front door.

Hopefully we will be able to get our family out and about a bit more now that we have bought a camper van. Spain is covered with Aires, they are sort of free or super cheap places where you can park up campers overnight and empty Grey and Black (Waste) Water systems, as well as top up with Fresh Water.

Here’s a link to Aires in Spain http://www.lapaca.org/

It’s a brilliant system of locations, and extremely useful. As I am writing this article retrospectively I can say I have used around 20 of them to date, and have not spent a penny on parking or water yet!

Stage 1 immediately after we bought the camper van was to sort out the drab interior. Also we had 2 new rear seatbelts fitted for passengers, and we changed the single front passenger seat to a double, so she can now carry 5 people. It took us around a month to complete stage 1, but here are the results. I personally love the transformation:

How to Upgrade a Camper Van – Stage 1 After Images

We Bought a Camper Van 1  

Stage 2 of the conversion is to retro-fit Aircon, as believe me, it is stiflingly hot in Spain in the summer.

I started to research how to upgrade a camper van on You Tube and Google, watching videos and reading articles about how others had done this, and came to the conclusion that I would need to upgrade the Power Supply System from it’s current 35 Amps, to around 80 Amps. In the end I decided to go for a 100 Amp Supply, using 2 x 100 a/h Deep Cycle Batteries wired in Parallel, protected by a 100 A Breaker. I also purchased a 1.1kW Portable Domestic Aircon Unit and Trunking, and a 1500W (3000W Peak) Inverter for changing the 12v system to 240v to run the Aircon and other domestic appliances.

How to Upgrade a Camper Van - Batteries and InverterHow to Upgrade a Camper Van - Batteries Boxed InHow to Upgrade a Camper Van - Socket Outlets

I have just received the camper back from the Auto Electricians with the batteries now located in their new position and wired in to the vehicle charging and solar systems. I have test run the Aircon Unit from my new battery power without the engine running or being hooked up to the mains, and it runs like a dream. Now it’s on me to fit the Aircon Unit where I want it, and to start cutting holes in my Camper. To date it has cost me slightly under 1000 euros!

How to Upgrade a Camper Van – Adding the Aircon

How to Upgrade a Camper Van - Aircon

Below, we cut a whole in the door and made a mesh cover for the Aircon. We also have an ait inlet and water drain at the back that exits to a grill at the side of the Camper.

How to Upgrade a Camper Van - Mesh for Aircon

Waking up to this makes it feel worthwhile though.

How to Upgrade a Camper Van

Here’s a Pinterest friendly image……So you can Pin it to your Camper Board!!!!