DIY Campervan Conversion: Before & After Photos

Before and after van conversion feature

To independently road trip a country guarantees you a perspective that just isn’t possible by travelling on public transport. For years now, my bucket list has contained the item ‘drive a campervan around Australia’. The dream has always been to do it as cheaply as possible, in a cosy and comfortable self-converted camper. It’s lucky then, that my partner is an engineer because actually, I am the least handy and practically-skilled person you will ever meet. It’s also lucky that Dave wants to travel Australia by campervan just as much as I do, as this joint dream is what has led to the four-month adventure trip we are about to commence, in our very own DIY campervan conversion.

Australia road trip

Rough route of the upcoming Australian road trip

When we first bought our van, Roma (see what I did there ๐Ÿ˜‰), in April 2017, she was not in a good state. Having come from a life as a backup vehicle for tradies, chauffeuring them from job to job, Roma was very dirty, dusty, and drab.

However, Roma was also clearly a reliable van with a great mileage, and although her previous owner had been too busy to give her a clean, he had serviced her well. In terms of finding a van that would make a nearly 13,000km journey around the country with little mechanical issues, she was a winner. To make Roma our own cost us just $1600 total – it was an obvious bargain.

Inside the campervan before the conversion

Roma came full of tools, dirt and shelving

Dirt along the van

We’re 100% positive she was never cleaned

Dirt under the driver's seat

Dirt, everywhere.

Worn seats of the van

The seats were very worn and just as dirty as the rest of the van

Once we were the proud owners of a van, the hard work began; tearing out the carpet, removing tooling shelves, and starting the deep clean process. I’m going to write entirely separate posts on how to convert a campervan yourself, which will include step-by-step tutorials to each part of the transformation process. If you’ve arrived on this page because you’re in need of an ultimate guide right away though, take a look at this detailed campervan conversion post.

For now, I’ll just skip ahead five months to August 2017, and the result of hours of designing, building, and decorating during our DIY campervan conversion.

Meet the new and improved, Roma…

The back of the van converted

Fitted out with a place for everything we might need

Inside of the converted van

Shabby chic and SO cosy!

Ready to go on a road trip

Complete with doormat for our mobile home

Shelving inside the van

Updated shelving for nic nacs, shoes and family photos

Storage on the inside of the van

Plenty of storage inside, with an emergency fire extinguisher which came with Roma

With the bed pulled out

The sofa transforms into a comfortable bed

New seat covers in the front of the van

The front is fitted out with new seat covers and even more storage

A desk inside the campervan

Even a little desk for my new office

She’s beautiful, right?!

I’m going to publicly thank Dave here for being such a whizz and making our vision of the ultimate campervan home a reality.

As of October 2017, the Australian road trip will begin, and I will be sharing lots of blog posts about every single aspect of our travels. From what you’ll need, and how much it costs to convert your own campervan, to documenting our experiences in dreamy Australian destinations like the Kimberley Region, the gorges of the Northern Territory, the Great Barrier Reef (we’ll probably have to do this one by boat, for obvious reasons), Noosa and the Sunshine Coast, Sydney Harbour, the Great Ocean Road, and every single little place in between. When I say document, I mean honest insight into #vanlife; the highs and the lows.

So, if you’ve already got questions about our transformation of Roma, like ‘How did you make the sofa-bed?’, or ‘Where will you store all of your clothes?’, go ahead and send them to me so I can answer as many as possible in upcoming posts.

Otherwise, sign up to receive notifications when a new post goes live, and follow me on Instagram and YouTube for plenty of photos and videos from the road!

Have you ever fancied doing a DIY campervan conversion? Let me know what you think of Roma in the comments below! All feedback will be passed along to her ๐Ÿ˜œ

Before and after DIY campervan conversion

36 Comments on “DIY Campervan Conversion: Before & After Photos

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  4. Just checked out your camper; absolutely fantastic!!
    My partner and I have 3 kids and a husky and are looking to buy a camper for all 6 of us to travel around in one day. Great inspiration post!! Xx

  5. Pingback: Budget Campervan Conversion: How To Choose The Right Van

  6. Absolutely love your van conversion! I really want to do this

      • Are you still in Australia? I’d love to rent this for my trip! x

      • I’m afraid our own trip around Australia only begins in October and ends around February next year. When is yours? X

      • Mine’s beginning in October too – starting in Cairns! Hopefully going to do another trip by campervan sometime next year too! Have an amazing trip! x

  7. love your van conversion. I cant โ€‹wait to hit the road with mine.

    • Thanks! No it’s actually fine and we have made net covers for the front windows so we can also sleep with them open if we need to โ˜บ๏ธ

  8. This is the coolest thing! So much respect for creating your very own DIY camper home, can’t wait to hear how it all came together. Very jealous of your upcoming adventures hope they’re everything you hope for and more!

  9. Wow that sounds like an amazing journey! A dream come true!
    I love how you renovated her! It has a nordic/scandinavian feel to it and I love that since I live in Denmark ๐Ÿ˜ We will be heading out to explore Europe May 2018 in a motorhome. I plan to prep it up a bit so thanks for the inspiration ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Bettina /

  10. This looks fabulous! What an epic transformation! You will be so comfortable travelling around Australia in this beauty. I adore Aussie road trips and am quite envious as my car never looked as great as Roma! Look forward to following your adventures.

  11. Roma looks amazing! We dream about doing this exact same thing! Unfortunately, we don’t have a handyman, but too clumsy women :p I want to follow you guys on your journey to see what happens! I’m pretty sure you’ll have a wonderful time road tripping! Happy travels!

  12. I’m amazed! This would be a dream come true! I’ve been wanting to travel Australia for a while and now I know the best way to do it ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Wow, looks cute. We just got back from a 2 week road trip through Scotland and we had a similar van. We rented it. It is such a great way to travel! Our van didn’t look this cute though, and it looked like a hurricane went through it. We are messy… ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. THIS IS MY DREAM! OMGOMGOGMOG! I LOVE YOUR POST! <3 I bet you'll have tons of fun creating memories with this awesome campervan <3

  15. OMG this is my dream too. Love your style. My partner and I are planning a really similar route. Have you considered gong from Darwin to Adelaide and seeing all the nice stops in South Australia then all the way along the coast to finish in Cairns, instead of cutting across the dessert (where I don’t think there’s much to see) from Cairns to Darwin?

    • Hey Sandykul, oh really – when are you planning to go and where do you begin? The reason we are staying North and cutting across to Cairns is because we want to end the trip in South Australia, so we need to make our way South down the East Coast! It will be a thought drive that one, I agree.

  16. I am interested to know how the bed works? Does it pull out to go down flat or do you stack boxes underneath? I so want to buy a van, but I feel where I live in NZ it wouldnt get much use as we are a small isolated country. Love the design!

    • Hey Tashyie, it pulls out like a sofa-bed ๐Ÿ˜ฌ I’ll be sharing a post in the next few weeks showing how it’s made and how it works!

  17. Wow, so impressed by the transformation. Awesome job guys! I just started travelling in a van in Canada, and redid a little bit myself, but it definitely doesn’t look as classy and cosy as yours ๐Ÿ˜€ Must be a dream travelling in that! Thanks for the inspiration!

  18. Ahhhh I love this so much!! You’ve brought beautiful chic charm to a dirty old van and man is she going to see some adventures now. Can’t wait to read more about your roadtrip around my homeland, and looking forward to doing something very similar someday! Enjoy the #vanlife

  19. Looks amazing!!! Dave has done a wicked job on this. Good luck with the road trip guys x

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