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The Best Panel Vans For Camper Van Conversions

Ford Transit Custom
July 11th, 2022

Over the past few years, the world as we know it has changed rapidly. In the aftermath of multiple lockdowns, endless working from home and restricted travel freedoms, more and more people are craving adventure. For many, travelling and living a somewhat nomadic lifestyle has been a lifelong dream. For others, a newfound thirst for the freedom of the outdoors rose from the pandemic. 

In many ways, the dramatic change that we have experienced as a global society has led to the reconsideration of values. More frequently, people are assessing what is important to them and taking little steps towards their dreams. 

With this in mind, it is becoming increasingly popular among young couples, families and retirees alike to convert and repurpose vans for camping and travelling. There is an endless joy to be gained from such a project and, with a little preparation, time and care, limitless adventures to be had.

Here is Van Sales UK’s guide to the best panel vans for camper van conversion.

Why Convert A Van?

If you’re toying with the idea of living the dream and investing in a quality van for conversion, there are a multitude of reasons why you should just go for it. 


Firstly, converting a regular van is far more cost-effective than buying a purpose-built campervan. Despite the initial cost and the ongoing investments, a van conversion should be much cheaper than buying one new. 

In order to make your conversion as cost-effective as possible, plan the project in advance, setting budgets and timeframes in which sections are to be completed. Although this doesn’t have to be adhered to militantly, it is a great place to start.

A Van Is An Ongoing Project

Moreover, buying a van with the intention of conversion is a commitment to a project that can bring a lot of joy. Rather than buying one that is ready-made, converting your own is a way to get your teeth stuck into some DIY work. 

A van conversion is a great project to work on with friends or family members. It is something for weekends and evenings and a way to distract your mind from life’s stresses. What’s more, it is an investment in the future; every little bit of work you put into the van is one step closer to the freedom of travel and camping. 

Quality Time 

Furthermore, as mentioned above a camper van conversion doesn’t have to be a solo mission. Using it as a project with a partner, friends or family is a great way to spend quality time together and work towards something rewarding. Perhaps it could be something to work on with your children or a passion project with a partner in the hopes of a romantic getaway. Whatever the reason, a van conversion is a great way to invest in quality time with friends and family.

Future Investment

One of the best things about converting your own van is the sense of possibility and freedom upon completion. Unlike a flight abroad or a package holiday, camper vans provide almost limitless travel, making them an investment with endless returns. This can save you money on travel and accommodation for years to come. 

What To Consider Before You Buy A Van

Of course, buying a van is no small purchase and there are a few key points to consider before making the investment. This will ensure you choose the perfect van for your needs and can properly plan your conversion project from start to finish. 

Intended Use

It sounds obvious, but have a good think about what you intend on using the van for. Will it be for summer getaways for a few weeks at a time? Are you planning on leaving your 9 to 5 behind in favour of a nomadic lifestyle, using the van all year round? This is a crucial element to decide on as it will determine the size needed as well as help you to determine the budget of the project. 

Number Of Passengers

Another key consideration is the number of people your camper will need to accommodate. If it is a solo project, a single bed of some sort will be perfect for keeping you comfy through summer nights. However, if it is for more than just yourself, you’ll need to plan how much seating and sleeping space to add. 


Before you begin a conversion project of any sort, it is important to set yourself a budget to stick to. Of course, unforeseen circumstances and additional costs may cause you to veer from the plan slightly, but having a rough idea of spending will help to plan the project in advance. 

Understanding the total money you’re happy to spend on the conversion will also determine how much you are able to spend on the initial van with finances left over for the conversion itself. 

Models To Consider

With a good understanding of the benefits of camper van conversions and what to consider before embarking on such an exciting project, it’s time to think about the model of the van to convert. 

When it comes to a camper, panel vans are ideal, but there are so many models to choose from it can be tricky knowing where to start. Fortunately, Van Sales UK has a range of panel vans, perfect for a camper conversion.

Volkswagen Transporter

First up is the Volkswagen Transporter. This classic van is a widely popular choice for modern van enthusiasts and free-spirits alike. Bearing the classic VW badge front and centre, converting this van is a great choice for those looking to recreate the classic 70s campervan look, with a newer body and a lower price point. 

As a medium-bodied model, this van has enough room to install all the camping essentials such as fold-out beds, storage units, gas cookers and even a sink. 

Ford Transit Custom

Next on the list is a Ford Transit Custom. This versatile vehicle is a popular choice for van conversions for a multitude of reasons. Featuring a similar body shape and size to a Volkswagen Transporter, this van is a great choice for those seeking similar characteristics at a slightly lower cost. 

What’s more, the Ford Transit Custom features an ergonomic cabin space with comfortable seats, great storage and a well-thought-out design. This means when it’s your turn to drive, you can do so in style and comfort.

Peugeot Expert

Another great choice for a camper van is a Peugeot Expert. This sturdy and reliable panel van features diesel transmission and a 200-mile range, making it ideal for efficient travel. With rear doors and a sliding side panel, this model boasts many similarities to the Ford Transit, making it a strong choice for any prospective van converter.

Moreover, Peugeot also provides the option of their much bigger Boxer Van. This Large panel van boasts a massive rear area, leaving room for any number of conversion possibilities. From beds and kitchen units to tent and surfboard storage, this van is ideal for a group and would make the perfect living space for longer periods. 

Smaller Vans

In addition to the range of medium-bodied panel vans perfect for conversion, there are also a number of smaller models that may be more suited to specific requirements such as solo travel, and fuel economy. 

Despite their smaller body shape, vans such as the Citroen Berlingo or the Ford Transit Connect can make great little camper vans. With room for a bed in the back as well as enough storage for essential items, these vans are great for shorter getaways and exploring. 

What’s more, you can always add roof storage or a fold-out kitchen during the conversion, maximising your space and facilitating longer getaways.

New Van Deals From Van Sales UK

If you’re considering buying a van for the purpose of a camper van conversion, look no further than Van Sales UK. With a huge range of new and used vans available for purchase, we are sure to have something for everyone. 

What’s more, with a wealth of industry experience, our team is always on hand to advise our customers and listen to your requirements. 

Camper van conversions are a brilliant way to get the most from your vehicle and open up a whole range of travel possibilities. No matter your dream camper van, we can put you on the right track. 

Get in touch with a member of our friendly team today and find the perfect van for you. Call us on 0117 428 7721 or send an email to



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