How to choose the best van converter - expert advice from Daniel Lopez-Ferreiro, author of Camper Van Life.
When you’re looking for a camper van conversion – whether brand new or what we call a “brand new, secondhand camper van” – you will come across a lot of people claiming to be great campervan builders, but many won’t be the experts that they claim to be.
As well as knowing what needs to go where, how best to make the most space in a small area and the best equipment to fit into a camper, campervan builders should have the relevant qualifications for fitting gas and electrical installations.
Check your van converter’s credentials
Gas installations should be installed by a GasSafe registered technician and should also comply with the Gas Safety [installation and use] Regulations.
Electrics should comply with BS7671:17th Edition wiring regulations.
If you are unsure that your campervan builders hold these qualifications simple ask to see their certificates – especially in the case of camper van conversions.
Get your converter to buy the newest van you can afford
You should also be certain that the mechanics in your chosen vehicle are in good working order. When it comes to conversions, some campervan builders buy in old vans to convert which makes the price lower for you but gives the van a shorter life and puts you at more risk of breakdowns and engine problems. This can be a disaster when you’re away from home or abroad in your camper. Look for a good warranty and that the vehicle is correctly registered with the DVLA.
Seatbelts must be worn if fitted
If you’re looking at an older camper van or motorhome, ensure that the campervan builders have installed seatbelts to all of the seats that you wish to use while the vehicle is in motion. While it is still legal to drive in the UK without seatbelts on all the road seats, it does put passengers in danger. And when it comes to driving on the Continent you may get pulled over by police, as the laws are different in other countries.