Skip the expensive tent and convert your minivan into a camper for the ultimate in minivan “glamping”. Here’s a quick way to turn your van into an RV. It’s a DIY minivan camper conversion that’ll be sure to win over your whole family, and get you camping in relative comfort, on a limited budget.
What is “glamping”? It’s glamorous camping, of course. For those of us who want the experience of camping, without the sleeping on the ground part.
Minivan Camper Conversion Steps
It doesn’t take much to convert your minivan into a camper for two adults or for one adult and a few kids. I slept in my van with an eight year old, and a five year old.
Step 1: Remove Those Back Seats
If your minivan seats fold down into the floor, you can transport more than two people in your van to the campsite, and STILL convert it into a sleeping spot for the night. If your seats don’t fold down, you may need to remove them at your campsite and store them near your van for the night, or drive two vehicles to your site. Either way, they have to be moved to give you the space you need to sleep.
Step 2: Hang Some Battery Operated Lights
There’s something festive and magical about twinkling lights. Not only do they remind you of Christmas, they nod to the stars you’re (sorta) sleeping under. Not to mention they light up your sleeping pad when the sun goes down. Duh!
To hang your lights use cubicle clips. The teeth on them will easily slide into the fabric roof of your minivan and hold your light string securely.
Step 3: Hang a Privacy Screen
Using binder clips, or the same cubicle clips as above, hang a lightweight blanket or sheet behind the front seats to create a sense of coziness in your sleeping cabin. Secure your clip on the edge of your blanket, then shove the metal arm into the top of the plastic casing on the side of your van.
Step 4: Make Your (Dog!) Bed
I purchased two oversized dog beds with removable, washable covers. On the floor bed of your minivan lay them side by side to create a bed base. They’re firm, comfortable, and easily portable. In fact, they fit perfectly. Layer sheets and blankets on top of your base. Add pillows, and you’ve got a BED!
Step 5: Pack Clothes in Clear Bags
When you’re camping, the sun goes down, and it gets dark. Sure you’ll have your battery operated lights overhead and a few flashlights, but that’s still not as much light as you’d have at home. Grabbing clothes or supplies out of a CLEAR bag makes your life a lot easier. It’s easier to find things. Period. Add in the fact that you’re sleeping in a glamped van — and it’s a lifesaver.