Last summer as my wife and I drove around Vancouver Island we kept seeing a lot of RV van conversions. We decided to stop in an RV dealership and have a look at some. We saw many that ranged from used GM vans that were about 10 years old, and cost around $20K to new Sprinters that were over $100K.
A few weeks later, we were on the internet looking around at vans, and came across a Toyota Sienna AWD van for sale at our local dealership. We went for a test drive, and a few days later traded in our 6 year old Camry for the 3 yr old Sienna. The intention had been to look at camperizing the Sienna for a poor man RV.
We tested the Sienna out at Whistler at the end of October with the temperatures just above freezing. The only mistake we made was using an air mattress instead of the Thermarests that we already owned. We rigged up an electrical connection through the driver’s side window and had our fan heater to provide heat, and our electric kettle to provide hot water in the morning.
I visited GTRV in Richmond to look at doing a conversion of sorts. The almost $3K for the couch bed, which would be a permanent conversion coupled with $5K or more for a pop-up roof, left us thinking that this would not happen this year.
However, the more we thought about it, the more we realized that we could probably build our own conversion bed / sofa that could be removable such that the vehicle could be returned to its normal state if we wanted to.
This has led to many discussions about different styles of sofa beds and other storage. However, some of the more intriguing ideas have come from YouTube and other websites. I am thinking of adapting something like this for the bed/dinnette:
I am also looking at some sort of cooking station for the back of the van. I saw a neat idea at the following site for a VW Caddy Camper
I will do some more investigation and discussion with my handyman / carpenter friends and see what we can come up with. I will update this when it happens.