Campervan layout drawn on paper
Layout & Design

The Mammoth Guide To Creating An Incredible Campervan Layout

Your campervan layout. So many possibilities! I bet your head is already swimming with ideas to create the most innovative, creative and incredible campervan in all the land!

Plus, on top of all your own ideas, there are countless picture-perfect vans on social media to admire and take inspiration from. So many ingenious layouts and space-saving ideas, so little time!

Am I right?!

But hold it, cowboy.

Before your imagination takes over, you need to think about what it is that you really need from your campervan.

Sketched plans for a DIY campervan layout

Having a camper that’s full of clever ideas is all well and good, but if they’re not actually going to be helpful to you, then they won’t count as “clever ideas”. They’ll just be costly mistakes.

Fear not! The time to let that creative brain of yours run rampant is not far away. But first, let’s design a functional, sensible and brilliant campervan layout that’s perfect for you.

This post will help you focus on the things you need from your campervan layout. By looking at different scenarios, we’ll figure out what you need from your layout, and how it will work best for you.

We’ll look at some of the most common layouts and explore which types of van, and which types of travellers these are best suited to.

Not only that, but we’ll also look at the proper weight distribution in a van, to ensure your rolling home is safe.

But that’s only the beginning!

Once you’ve got a better idea of what you need in your camper and how to design it so you’re safe, we’ve got a 15 step guide to designing your perfect campervan layout.

This post may contain Amazon affiliate links. Meaning, if you make a purchase after clicking one, we may earn some commission. This pocket money will help Vandercamp Adventures continue to grow at no extra cost to you. It’s a win win situation!! Learn More…

What Are You Up To?

Before we dive in, you need to know what you need from your campervan. If you’re already pretty certain about what you need, feel free to skip ahead to our 15 step campervan layout design process.

Thinking about how you’ll use your van comes before actually designing your layout.

The following scenarios each have various considerations that may affect the design of your campervan layout.

This is all about knowing what you need from your layout, so when you actually come to design it you’ve already thought about how much storage you’ll need, or how many windows you want, or where you need sockets.

This may seem like a topsy turvy way of going about designing your layout, but it’s best to know these things early on, so you don’t end up having to compromise on anything later.  

1. Hot Climates

Keeping Cool

In hot weather, you need to think about keeping cool in your van. It can feel like a greenhouse on a hot day, which is great for the tomatoes, but not so much for us.

If you’re travelling anywhere super hot you need your campervan to be a sanctuary that offers respite from the heat; somewhere you’re going to be comfortable to relax or sleep.

Make sure to consider these things, which may affect your campervan layout:


  • Effective ventilation positioning will help to keep your van cool. Learn more here.
  • Opening windows: how much wall space will you sacrifice and where will you put them?
  • Roof vents: how many? Where will they be located? Where will they be most effective?


  • Roof vent with built-in fan for air extraction: best position?
  • Portable fans: either battery or mains powered. Require storage when not in use.
  • Any mains powered fans will need to be near a socket.

Further Reading | The Ultimate Campervan Ventilation Guide: Everything You Need To Know

Storing Water

Naturally, we need more water in hotter climates than in cold ones. Not only do we drink much more, but we need to wash more often to keep ourselves fresh.

Carrying plenty of water is especially important if you plan on wild camping, as you don’t want to run out of water when it’s boiling hot and you’re miles from anywhere!

If you need to store a lot of water in your camper, consider the following:

Water Storage Capacity

  • Internal storage container and bottles: needs to be ample storage space in your camper.
  • Installing an underslung water tank would free up internal space.
  • Try and figure out how much water you’ll need: drinking/cooking/cleaning/washing.

Keeping Clean

  • Onboard shower cubicle: where will it go in your layout? Is your van big enough?
  • Portable shower: can be used either inside or out, but need storage for shower, curtain, basin etc.
  • Solar shower bags: put on the roof to heat the water. Need storage for bag, shower curtain etc.

2. Cold Climates

Keeping Warm

Unless you’re really into cold therapy, it’s not pleasant to be cold to your bones and feeling like you can’t get warm. Even if it’s cold outside, you want your camper to be a refuge from the biting cold.

Insulation will keep heat in your van, but this has little impact on the layout, as you’ll take van measurements after it’s installed. However, warm clothes, heaters and blankets will have an impact on your layout.

If keeping warm is a priority for you, the following things may affect your campervan layout:


  • Portable gas heaters: need additional storage space for the heater and spare gas canisters.
  • Gas/diesel heater installed inside the van, or underslung to save on space.
  • An electric/oil heater will need to be stored somewhere and need a socket point.


  • Bulkier clothes, and more of them: you’ll need additional clothes storage or roof box/bag.
  • Ideal to have clothes drying area as drying clothes in the cold air is difficult.
  • Need plenty of space for chunky blankets, a thick duvet and hot water bottles.

Further Reading | Insider Knowledge About The Propex LPG Camper Van Heater

Time Inside

While travelling in hot climates, you tend to spend a lot of time outside; cooking, reading or chilling out. In contrast, colder climates may push you to spend more time inside your van (when you’re not out exploring!)

Opening doors to hunt through storage will lose valuable heat, so it’s worthwhile organising your layout so everything is within easy reach from within your camper.

If you’re going to be spending lots of time inside, these things might affect your campervan layout:

Cooking Area

  • Portable gas heaters: need additional storage space for the heater and spare gas canisters.
  • Gas/diesel heater installed inside the van, or underslung to save on space.
  • An electric/oil heater will need to be stored somewhere and need a socket point.


  • Bulkier clothes, and more of them: you’ll need additional clothes storage or roof box/bag.
  • Ideal to have clothes drying area as drying clothes in the cold air is difficult.
  • Need plenty of space for chunky blankets, a thick duvet and hot water bottles.

Condensation and Damp

Condensation can not be completely eliminated but it can be reduced and kept under control.

Damp, typically caused by condensation, can cause rust on the metalwork which leads to structural issues. Also, breathing in damp air can cause significant problems with your lungs.

To reduce the risk of condensation and damp, consider the following:



  • As well as warming your living space, heaters can also help in the fight against damp.
  • A portable fan heater will require storage and a socket point.
  • Alternatively, a fixed gas/diesel heater can be installed underneath the van to save space.

3. Activities or Sports

Safety and Security

Most sports and hobbies require equipment, which can be valuable. Secure storage will give you peace of mind that your possessions are safe and reduces the risk of anything getting damaged while in transit.

Make sure to consider these things, which may affect your campervan layout:

  • Storing equipment inside your van, compared to outside, will take up space but keeps your possessions safe, secure and away from prying eyes.
  • If designing storage for your hobby equipment inside your van, try to make sure it’s easily accessible, so you don’t have to faff with taking everything out to get at one thing.
  • If your equipment is especially large, consider designing a raised platform bed (if you’ve got a van big enough!) so you can have a “garage” underneath.

Cleaning and Maintenance

Any equipment, whether it be hiking boots, mountain bikes, climbing gear or kayaks will require some cleaning and maintenance. Therefore, your van needs to be ready to carry out these tasks.

Make sure to consider these things, which may affect your layout:


  • Large water storage capacity – camper water storage.
  • External washing facilities, such as a hose, or a bucket will need storing somewhere.
  • If you need any special cleaning equipment this will need to be stored securely to avoid spills.


  • Easily accessible tool storage: either a toolbox or storage drawers.
  • Any spare parts or additional equipment will need storage space.
  • Consider creating a place to carry out maintenance such as a slide-out table/bench.

4. Additional Passengers

Accommodating Everyone

Of course, if you need space for lots of passengers, this will affect your layout. Your campervan living space needs to be comfortable and functional for everyone – including any pooches or other pets.

Make sure to consider these things, which may affect your campervan layout:

Sleeping Arrangements

Seating and Dining

  • Your seating arrangement will need to be big enough to comfortably accommodate everyone.
  • The same goes for your table. Here’s some inspiring camper van table ideas.
  • Dining for pets! Any food/water bowls as well as food for any furry friends will need storage.

Onboard Toilet

Having access to a toilet when you need one is always useful, especially if you’ve got kids who lack an advanced warning setting.

Man holding a collapsible bucket that's used for a toilet in a campervan conversion
We don’t have room for an onboard toilet, so we make do with a collapsible bucket and a hand shovel

If you need an onboard toilet, here are some things you need to consider that may affect your layout:

  • An on-board toilet can either have a specific cubicle or can pull out of a cupboard or drawer. There obviously needs to be enough space for the toilet itself, as well as any privacy measures you may need.
  • Portable toilets can either be used inside or outside in a toilet tent. The toilet (and the tent) and all related cleaning supplies also need storage space.
  • A composting toilet is far more environmentally friendly, and doesn’t use all the chemicals which would otherwise need storing. They do, however, require more space than a cassette toilet.

Further Reading | 7 Best Campervan Composting Toilets For An Eco Friendly Vanlife

Storage Solutions

Each passenger will require storage space. The more passengers there are, the more storage space will be needed, so your layout needs to be designed to have enough space for everyone’s stuff.

Make sure to consider these things, which may affect your layout:

  • Maximise the available space by incorporating storage areas into what would otherwise be dead space. To make the most of your space, make sure every inch of your camper has a purpose!
  • Make the most of any storage by using as much vertical space as possible. Hanging shelves, hanging toiletry bags, and other hanging storage will create additional storage space.
  • Alternatively, if you know you aren’t going to have room on board to create tonnes of storage, consider the addition of a roof box or a large waterproof roof bag.

5. Onboard Office

Creating a Workspace

If you’re going to be working from your van, then you need to have space where you can work comfortably. Will you work from the main van table, or is it better for you to have a separate working area?

Make sure to consider these things, which may affect your campervan layout:


  • A separate work area will either need portable furniture or a table that fold up/down/away.
  • Any portable furniture (along with all your work gear!) will need storage space somewhere.
  • Make sure that whatever space you give yourself to do work will be big enough!


  • Natural light from windows or skylights. Consider the best placement of these for your workstation.
  • The placement of lights needs to be considered to allow maximum brightness in your work area.
  • Reading lights can be added to your layout later on in the build, but will need sockets.


  • Make sure that you design your working area to be comfortable to sit at.
  • If headroom is limited, make sure you’ll be able to sit on the seats without stooping!
  • Make sure that the height of the desk/table will be comfortable to use while sat on the seats.

Further Reading | Table Ideas To Create A Productive Workspace In Your Camper

Further Reading | Camper Van Seating Ideas

Charging Devices

Laptops and other electrical devices need power. So, your camper will need to supply them with the energy they need, whether that be from batteries, mains electricity or solar, so you can keep working.

Make sure to consider these things, which may affect your layout:

Power Points

  • You need to have enough sockets and Power points close to your workstation.
  • Having both household plug sockets and USB outlets allows you to charge multiple devices.
  • If you want to work outside, consider having some storage space for an extension lead.

Further Reading | How to charge a leisure battery in 5 ways

Securing Valuables

Whether or not you’re working from your van you’ll have valuables on board. Laptops, phones or cameras will need to be kept safe, but working from your van means there’s also notebooks, journals, sketchbooks etc to protect.

Make sure to consider these things, which may affect your layout:

  • Design the storage space for your work gear so it’s out of sight, wherever possible.
  • Consider a lockable storage cupboard, bag or box or even secret compartments in your cupboards.
  • Fewer windows mean fewer potential break-in points. Also consider acrylic, rather than glass, windows.

6. Off-Grid

Toilet and Shower

Wild camping used to mean roughing it in the elements. However, you can now have an onboard shower or toilet to make things more civilised. If you don’t have fixed facilities, portable showers and toilets will need to be stored.

Make sure to consider these things, which may affect your layout:


  • Onboard toilets can either pull out of a cupboard or be in a self-contained cubicle.
  • Portable toilets can either be used inside or outside, but will need storage.
  • Composting toilets are much more eco friendly, but need more room onboard.


  • Either build a cubicle or design a pull-out shower (with a bucket to stand in and a curtain).
  • Portable/solar showers don’t take up interior space but they need storage.
  • Large water storage: internally stored bottles/containers or external tanks.

Further Reading | Composting Toilets – 7 Best Options For Your Campervan

Bare Necessities

To live off-grid comfortably, a campervan needs to have sufficient water, electricity, fuel and gas. You can harvest some of these resources from nature if your camper has the right equipment (e.g. solar panel).

Make sure to consider these things, which may affect your campervan layout:


  • Large water capacity to last a few days without replenishing.
  • Filtration system to harvest rainwater: but this needs sufficient space and accessibility.
  • Work out how much water you use each day so you know how much water storage you’ll need.


  • You’ll need a large electrical system with space for components and batteries.
  • Adding a solar panel won’t affect your layout, but bear in mind where will be best for the electrics.
  • Batteries in the electric system are heavy, which needs weight distribution considerations.

Gas and Fuel

  • Larger gas capacity to supply fridge, heater, cooking facilities etc.
  • Storage for disposable canisters or internal bottles. Alternatively, use underslung tanks.
  • Wood storage for fires: either internal storage drawer or roof box.

Further Reading | 5 ways of charging your campervan leisure battery

7. Additional Considerations

These things have little or no effect on your actual campervan layout so you can skip this section if you want. However, they may affect the overall comfort in your conversion, so we thought they were worth mentioning.

Hot Climates

  • Protection from the sun: either Fiamma awning/canopy or DIY designs.
  • Mosquitos and bugs: door and window nets. Buy online or DIY design.

Cold Climates

Working Onboard

  • Internet: hotspot/tethering from phone or device. Campervan internet devices.
  • Solar panels: can either buy roof-mounted, portable or folding devices.

Hobby Equipment

  • Van security: install deadlocks and internal locks to doors.
  • Cleaning: rear water hose with hose pipe/shower attachment.

Additional Passengers

  • Roof storage: roof rack, roof bars, storage boxes, waterproof duffel bag.
  • More wear and tear: use hard-wearing materials in the build.

Wild Camping

  • Van security: install deadlocks to all doors, internal locks.
  • Solar panels: can either buy roof-mounted, portable or folding devices.

Common Campervan Layouts

Here are some basic campervan layout designs for different types of vehicles. These plans will give you an idea of different layout possibilities and the lifestyle they are most suited to.

Rock and Roll Layout

Rock and Roll bed layouts are the most common for short wheelbase (SWB) vans. The bed itself is simple to assemble and bolt into place. Most importantly, it transitions from a seat to a bed with the pull of a handle.

The rest of the furniture is bought as a flat pack kit which is quick and easy to install. Although this layout lacks the personal touches of a bespoke design, it’s a quick and easy way to convert a camper.

Best suited to

  • Solo traveller and couples.
  • Short trips and weekends away.
  • Smaller, short wheelbase vehicles.

Ideal vans

  • Ford Transit SWB van.
  • Renault Traffic SWB van.
  • Volkswagen Transporter van range (T4 onwards).


  • Easy to assemble and install.
  • Quick conversion time.
  • Super quick way of converting a seat into a bed.


  • Lots of valuable space is wasted and unused.
  • More expensive than building your own from scratch.
  • Unable to access some storage when bed is made.

Pull Out Bed

Most suited to smaller vans because it makes good use of a smaller space and creates a lot of additional under bed storage, especially if you have an L-shaped sofa, like us!

This setup gives us plenty of room when we’re inside the van, and we’ve both got (pretty much!) enough room to stretch our legs out. We know that living this close together isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, though!

Best suited to

  • Solo traveller and couples.
  • Short trips or full-time van living.
  • Smaller, short wheelbase vehicles.

Ideal vans

  • Ford Transit SWB van.
  • Renault Traffic SWB van.
  • Volkswagen Transporter van range (T4 onwards).


  • Bespoke and unique design.
  • Comfortable seating area for working and dining.
  • Bed design creates lots of storage space.


  • The bed needs to be put up and away daily.
  • Not suitable for taller people more than 6ft.
  • Bespoke design and build can be time-consuming.

Fixed Bed, Storage And Seating

A fixed, platform bed allows for a large storage area underneath. Perfect for hobby and sports equipment, additional storage or space for a cosy dog bed area.

The permanent seating could go along side the bed, and can either be two smaller seats, or one small one with a larger bench that obscures some of the doorway.

Best suited to

  • Solo traveller or couples for fulltime van living.
  • Sports enthusiasts with lots of equipment!
  • Medium or long wheelbase vehicles.

Ideal vans

  • Renault Master MWB van.
  • Ford Transit MWB van.
  • Mercedes Sprinter van range.


  • Separate and secure equipment storage.
  • Ideal for couples with different sleeping patterns.
  • No need to make and unmake the bed when required.


  • A sideways bed is unsuitable for anyone over 5’8″.
  • A fixed bed requires a separate seating area.
  • Wet equipment stored inside the van can cause condensation and damp.

Fixed Bed and Toilet

If it’s important to you to have an onboard toilet, but don’t fancy getting a big van, then fear not! This layout is going to be perfect for you.

A toilet can easily be incorporated into a MWB campervan. Whether that be a porta potty underneath a bench seat or a fixed toilet in a compact cubicle.

Best suited to

  • Full/part time travel .
  • Off-grid van living.
  • Medium or long wheelbase vehicles.

Ideal vans

  • Renault Master MWB van.
  • Ford Transit MWB van.
  • Mercedes Sprinter van range.


  • Toilet doesn’t need a high roof vehicle for you to use it.
  • The Porta Potti is small and portable so can be removed to use.
  • Compost toilets are very economical as they don’t use unfriendly chemicals.


  • Limits you to a sideways bed that’s unsuitable for anyone over 5’8″.
  • Toilets take up a lot of living space, for storing, use and removing to empty.
  • Even if you have a cubicle, the lack of privacy could interrupt your…flow. 

Shower And Toilet Cubicle 

The ultimate luxury of camper van living! A well-designed layout in a large van can accommodate both facilities, meaning you’ll never have to worry about hunting down a shower or a loo.

The shower and toilet would both be in a small cubicle, that can also double as a place to hang wet clothes if you can’t dry them outside.

Best suited to

  • Solo traveller, couples or families.
  • Off-grid, full-time van living.
  • Medium/long wheelbase vehicles.

Ideal vans

  • LDV Convoy MWB/LWB van.
  • Ford Transit MWB/LWB van.
  • Mercedes Sprinter van range.


  • Self-contained camper for off-grid/wild camping.
  • Emergency storage for wet/damp clothing.
  • No need to worry about finding the nearest loo.


  • Large water storage capacity/weight restrictions.
  • Harmful toilet chemicals and waste products.
  • Occupies a large amount of valuable living space.

Multiple Occupants And Families 

Whether you have kids or want to adventure with friends, design a layout that can accommodate you all. Specially designed campervan seats have seat belts for safe travel, and convert easily into a bed. 

Bunk beds are a great way to keep the kiddiwinks entertained. A clever layout will allow you to sit at the table whilst they’re tucked up asleep (or not) in the bunks above. 

Best suited to

  • Families and multiple occupants up to 5 people*.
  • Short campervan trips with access to facilities.
  • Long wheel base vehicles.

*The layout above will seat 5 (3 in the front and 2 in the rear). However, it’s possible to carry additional passengers as long as the rear seats are safe to carry passengers.

Ideal vans

  • Mercedes Sprinter LWB.
  • Volkswagen Crafter LWB.
  • IVECO Daily LWB.


  • Fixed rear seating is designed with seat belts and meet vehicle safety regulations.
  • Some seat designs can be swivelled and folded to create additional seating/bed space.
  • High top vehicles will allow you to sit underneath the bunk beds when they’re folded down.


  • No space for a fixed toilet and/or shower.
  • Internal storage is limited for larger items.
  • Weight restrictions need to be carefully considered.

Lengthways Convertible Bed

If your priority is to starfish in bed, or you’re too long to sleep widthways (Approx 5’8″) a lengthways bed is the perfect option for you! 

It could either be designed to convert into a large seating area or it could be a raised, fixed platform bed with a large storage space underneath.

Best suited to

  • Couples who are >5’8″ tall or want a big bed.
  • Full-time van living.
  • LWB and ELWB vehicles.

Ideal vans

  • Mercedes Sprinter LWB.
  • Ford Transit LWB/ELWB.
  • IVECO daily LWB/ELWB.


  • Bed can be converted into a large seating/dining area.
  • Comfy design for couples who need the length or space to sleep.
  • Lots of storage compartments can be incorporated into the layout.


  • A fixed length-ways bed will considerably reduce the living space.
  • The bed and seating area need to be made up everyday.
  • A LWB or ELWB is required in order to install other campervan elements.

Luton Box Van Layout

Most vans have curved corners and a sloped ceiling inside. A Luton, on the other hand, is essentially a box on wheels, which makes designing a layout simpler.

In addition, the space over the cab can be used for a bed, leaving a lot of free space for a seating area, kitchen and table.

Best suited to

  • Solo traveller and couples.
  • Short trips and full time van living.
  • Luton, box or low loader style vans.

Ideal vans

  • Ford Transit Luton van.
  • Peugeot Boxer low loader.
  • Mercedes Luton box van.


  • Easy design: straight walls, floor and ceiling.
  • Large living space area: higher and wider than a typical van.
  • Generally cheaper to buy second hand than a panel van.


  • Unsightly to look at compared to most vans.
  • Size and weight restrictions – roads, parking, camp sites.
  • More structural work needed compared with a typical van.

Downloadable Floor Plans

The vehicle outline sketches are available to download below. Allowing you to print them off and doodle your designs.

Measuring The Dimensions

To create an accurate floor plan for your camper, you will need the vehicle’s interior dimensions. 

1. Manufacturer’s Measurements

These measurements are provided by the manufacturer, so you can trust they are fairly accurate. However, we recommend only using these as a basic reference, as they don’t consider all the internal angles and edges.

Using the manufacturer’s measurements is useful if you haven’t decided on van yet and need a rough guide to different van sizes.

2. Measure It Yourself

There may be slight differences in size between models, so once you’ve bought your van don’t rely on the manufacturer’s measurements.

Get exact measurements of your van, remembering that it’s not going to be a perfect rectangle! The width and height for example, will be wider in some places due to curving edges.

Measure all the internal curves, angles and any bits that stick out (like the wheel arches). Being thorough will help you create a campervan layout which doesn’t waste an inch of space!

Weight Distribution

Weight distribution is essential in making sure the vehicle drives safely and is within its legal weight limits. For example, too much weight towards the rear will make the campervan very unstable and difficult to drive.

Ideal weight distribution:

A handrawn sketch of a VW T5 camper van showing weight distribution in a camper van

Heavier items should be distributed evenly and ideally positioned towards the front of the vehicle – between the axles and low down. This will create a low centre of gravity, making your camper van safer to drive.

Prioritise Large And Important Elements

It’s important to prioritise the fundamental elements of your camper. Once they are incorporated, you can then start adding other components. 

Indel B TB18 Compressor Fridge

For example, we wanted a 12v compressor fridge but that meant having to compromise on storage and leg space. The fridge is now tucked into the cab, as there wasn’t any room in our campervan layout.

15 Steps To Design Your Campervan Layout

So, you know what you want from your camper van, you have an idea of what elements you need and the measurements of the living space. It’s now time to start designing a basic floor plan layout.

We came up with a 15 Step method to follow when designing your campervan layout.

We’ve included handy links throughout to give you inspiration about what to include in your layout.

Step 1:

Bed & Seating

The bed will be the largest part of your campervan conversion. To make it comfortable, make sure the bed will be long and wide enough.

You’ll need space to sleep comfortably; think about whether you sleep like a starfish, a log or in foetal position and what this means for the width of your bed.

The seating in your conversion may form part of the bed, or will stand alone if you’ve got a fixed bed. It could be where you work, eat, or relax.

The seat needs to be deep enough for your legs, have room to stretch out and be low enough, so you don’t bang your head on the ceiling.

Campervan Bed and Seating: The Battle Of Permanent VS Convertible

Step 2:

Shower Cubicle

Shower trays come in specific sizes so you’ll know exactly how much space is needed.

If you’re installing a shower in your conversion, prioritise where it’s going to go, as the fixed size of the tray can’t be adapted to fit around you or furniture.

Alternatively, if you don’t have room for a fixed shower, but still want showering facilities in your van, maybe opt for a portable solar shower bag. It hangs up on the back of the van, and so the only area it takes up inside is storage space.

Step 3:


An onboard toilet needs space for the toilet itself and also room to be used, to remove the waste and to be properly cleaned.

Cassette and compost toilets are fixed in place, so require more space for installation and use, whereas portable toilets can be stored away.

Furthermore, external ventilation and weight need to be considered. Toilets require an external vent to the outside world, to prevent smells from filling the van.

Vehicle weight distribution needs to be considered for cassette, compost or large portable loos.

7 Best Campervan Composting Toilets For An Eco Friendly Vanlife

Step 4:

Hobby & Sport Equipment

If you’re planning on taking large items on your travels, such as bikes, kayaks, canoes etc, there needs to be space in your layout design to keep them.

Obviously, the larger the equipment is, the more space in your conversion it’s going to take up.

Large equipment storage may need designing around the bed or seating area. Bikes or kayaks, for example, could be stored underneath a fixed, raised bed (if your van is tall and long enough, that is.)

Alternatively, store equipment on the roof, although your stuff will be permanently on display.

Step 5:


The kitchen in your conversion may be a fully fitted kitchen with cupboards and a worktop, or some bits of wood screwed together.

Whatever the design, the kitchen should be practical, functional and comfortable, whether you’re chopping, cooking or washing up.

The worktop needs to be high enough to work at, whether you’re sitting (in a smaller van) or standing.

Everything in the drawers and cupboards needs to be easily accessible, so all your ingredients are to hand while you’re cooking up a storm.

Step 6:


If you choose a fixed cooker or oven, it will need a permanent place to live, taking up space in your kitchen layout.

If however, you opt for a portable stove, it will only require a flat, stable surface (Although it will also need to be stored somewhere.)

The layout of our kitchen was determined by the cooker because the dimensions (and the gas pipes) restricted where it could be positioned.

In addition, finding a comfortable height to cook on impacted how high we made the kitchen units.

Step 7:

Food Storage

Cupboard items, such as tinned or dried food last longest when kept somewhere cool, dark and dry.

You may not have much cupboard space in your conversion, so storing food in a box, bag or container works just as well. Just make sure it’s all easily accessible.

Some food will need to be kept cold and will be ideally kept in a fridge, but fridges are bulky and need air ventilation.

If there’s not room in your conversion for one, a cool box or cool bag is a smaller alternative that only needs cool blocks to work effectively.

Step 8:


A campervan fridge is available in different sizes. Some open from the front, while others open from the top.

2-way fridges run off 12V and 230V electric, while 3-way run off 12V, 230V and gas. Alternatively, electric coolboxes are a smaller option.

If you include a fridge in your design, it needs to be easily accessible and shouldn’t be blocking (or blocked by) anything else.

Also, keep in mind the weight distribution of your layout; fridges should ideally be at the front end of your conversion.

Step 9:


If frequent heating is necessary, then we recommend installing a permanent heater. Whether it’s a log burner stove, diesel or LPG heater.

Thoughtful planning is necessary to position the heater (and its vents) to provide the most efficient heating and air circulation.

If you don’t have space for something permanent, portable heaters can provide sufficient heat, especially in smaller campers. Options include electric or oil radiators.

Although they only need to be set up when needed, they need somewhere to live the rest of the time.

Insider Knowledge About The Propex HS2211 Camper Van LPG Heater

Step 10:


A table gives you somewhere to eat, work, or act as a laptop stand while watching films. They can pull-out, fold-out or hang down, or can even be a permanent setup.

You’ll probably use the table from the seat (Step 1), so make sure the height matches so you’ll be comfortable.

If there isn’t space in your layout design for a fixed table, a portable camping table may be a good option. Although, if you’re trying to save space, remember that it will still need storing somewhere.

Alternatively, you may only need to use a lap tray.

15 Fabulous Camper Table Ideas To Inspire Your Next Conversion

Step 11:


When designing the layout, plan the placement of the electrical points and also where the batteries, inverter, charger, solar controller etc will go.

The batteries are heavy (so need to be near the front of your van) and electrical components require sufficient air circulation.

When designing the lighting design, plan the placement of the lights around your furniture layout.

This way, you’ll have plenty of light where you need it and you won’t accidentally create unwanted dark or shadowy pockets in your conversion.

How To Charge A Leisure Battery In 5 Ways

Step 12:


Gas can be very dangerous, especially within the confines of a campervan. Incorrect installation can potentially be fatal.

You can either have a gas canister inside your conversion or choose to have an underslung gas tank underneath the van. Both need pipework to attach them to appliances.

You may also have manifolds (which split the supply to your appliances) and isolators (which turn the gas on and off).

All components need to be accessible in case of maintenance. If there is any gas being used in your van, then there needs to be adequate ventilation in case of a leak.

FREE Safety Guide to the Campervan Gas Regulations UK

Step 13:


Your water requirements will determine how much water you need to store onboard your conversion.

For example, if you’re planning to go off-grid, you will need a much large water storage capacity than if you plan on staying at campsites, where you will always be able to top up your water.

If you don’t need to store much water, then water storage tanks or bottles can be stored inside the van.

However, if you need a larger capacity, then an underslung water tank would suit you better, as it won’t interfere with onboard space.

Step 14:

Windows & Ventilation

Correct ventilation will keep air flowing through your conversion, which creates a fresh and healthy environment.

It is also essential if you have any gas on board. Incorrect ventilation, on the other hand, will cause condensation, damp, and stale smells.

Efficient placement of windows and vents may depend on the positioning of the other elements.

For example, we advise to have a window or ventilation point near the cooker, to help to eliminate smoke, heat and cooking smells from your conversion.

The Ultimate Camper Van Ventilation Guide

A Definitive Guide To Campervan Windows: Everything You Need To Know

Step 15:


Last but not least! Storage can be created anywhere, so keep it in mind throughout the design process and constantly imagine how to incorporate storage within other elements.

Decide where to have larger storage units, like “wardrobes” and cupboard.

Clever, space-saving storage solutions will help you to make the most out of a small space. Take your camper on lots of test drive trips to see what you really need storage for.

Your storage space will be dependent on how much space you’ll need for clothes, toiletries, kitchenware and food.

Finding Inspiration

By thinking about everything above, you should now have a pretty good idea about what you want and what you need from your campervan layout.

Once you know what you want, list everything you think you’ll absolutely need in your conversion.

Make another list of things you’d like in there, but could do without if there’s no room.

Once that’s all done, it’s then time to start admiring other conversions on all your favourite social media platforms. Here are 9 Innovative Camper Layout Ideas To Inspire Your Conversion.

But stay savvy!

Don’t just get lured in by how creative and beautiful it is. Take a methodical approach and analyse how they make their space work best for them.

Ok… we admit that we did get a bit of rolling-home-envy when we spotted this one!

If you want to get off social media and into the real world, head to a festival or camper show for some real-life inspiration.

Camper shows generally attract the most extravagant and creative camper creations, and festival camper fields are a hot bed of creativity and innovation.

If they’re around, most owners will happily invite you in for a guided tour so you can see how their layout works.

SketchUp Campervan Layout Software

Your campervan layout design can be done absolutely anywhere. But if you’ve got loads of scribbles on scraps of paper, or ideas flung down in notebooks, it’s easy to lose track of your designs.

Not only that, but you can only ever create a 2D design.

Interior design software, like Sketchup, is available to create your camper layout. Creating an accurate 3D design brings your campervan layout ideas to life.

If you have no software design experience or aren’t very computer literate, this could potentially be a time-consuming process.

However, there are easy to follow tutorial videos to help with teaching the basics of creating your design.

This video will give you an idea of what you can achieve using Sketchup design software.

Meet Florence the Ambulance and follow her adventures on Instagram

Sketchup Software Download

The new version of Sketchup is free to use for 30-days when you sign up for an account.

Alternatively, download ‘Sketchup Make 2017’ version for free here.

This version is widely used in tutorial videos so will help with following along.

The Social Media Trap

We know what you’re thinking… yes, we did just tell you to look at other vans for inspiration and yes, there are some incredible looking vans out there to ogle over.

However, don’t get sucked into thinking that your camper needs to be picture perfect for you to get away and enjoy vanlife.

The only things you truly need are a bed, a surface to cook on and your wonderful self.

Don’t feel pressured into being “social media perfect”.


We hope you’re now bursting with ideas and psyched to start designing your layout!

We know it’s super exciting to design your campervan layout, and it can sometimes feel as if your brain will explode from all the ideas you come up with!

Not only that, but social media exhibits some tantalisingly beautiful campervans and you may want your campervan layout to be as beautiful as the ones you see online.

But remember that just because a campervan layout looks good, doesn’t actually mean it’s functional.

Think about the things YOU need in your conversion before you start looking for inspiration elsewhere, otherwise you might end up with amazing-idea-overload! Then, follow the 15 design steps to make sure you fit it all in.

Thanks for sticking with us to the end, we know it’s a lot to take in!

We’re sure your campervan layout designs are going to be incredible and we can’t wait to see what you come up with. Once you’ve got your layout design, head over to our 5 Stage Campervan Conversion Guide, to start building!

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