Van Conversion #12 – The Costs

Pé na estrada! (8)

How much does it cost to turn a minivan into a motorhome? This was one of the questions that most people asked us and in this article we will talk a little about all the costs that involved the transformation of the van.

First of all, this subject turns out to be a bit subjective because it always depends on the type of transformation we do and the complexity level of it, if it is something like the one we did, the value goes up comparatively with simpler transformations.

But truth is that to travel a bit and spend a few nights out does not need a lot of money and for € 2000 you can do something turning, buying some second-hand materials.

In our case as we practically lived in the van we opted to invest a little more so that we had a fully functional van that allowed us to really live in it.


At the level of the expenses themselves and for a complete transformation there are certain things that always end up representing a great part of the value, that is the minivan itself, the legalization and the electrical appliances, only here we spent 3/4 of the total money.

Another thing we noticed is that when you start a transformation its hard to stop and there is always something else that we want to do so that the list of things to buy never really ends …

In this picture you can see everything we bought for this transformation and as you can see the list is very large … later we will have a more general list.

Total Costs

  • Van: 1900 €
  • Legalization: € 1750


  • Plywood: € 331
  • Shingles: € 198
  • Wood Slats: 140 €


  • XPS: € 72
  • RockWool: 31 €
  • Others: € 84
  • PVC: € 46


  • Dirty water hose: 40 €
  • Clean water hose: € 14
  • Gas pipe in Copper: € 20
  • Gas hose: € 3
  • Miscellaneous accessories: € 34
  • Showers / taps: 121 €

Electrical system material

  • Yarn: 73 €
  • Solar Panel Kit: 200 €
  • Drums . € 185
  • Relay: 50 €
  • Other: € 187

Consumables materials

  • Silicone / Glues: 50 €
  • Screws: € 20
  • Paints / Varnishes: € 45
  • Membrane: € 29
  • Others: 15.5 €


  • Foam: 67.5 €
  • Water pump: 61.9 €
  • Expansion Vessel: € 24
  • Deposit 100 L: 70 €
    80 L deposit: 100 €
  • Cooker: 150 €
  • Refrigerator: € 600
  • Dishwasher: € 30
  • Windows: € 460
  • Skylights: 150 €
  • Others: 163 €
  • Decoration: 30 €

Total: 3650 € (van + legalization) + 3844 (processing) = 7494 €

At the end of each article is a more complete list of expenses we had.


What this value does not include:

  • The hot water system we have not yet installed and that should be 300 € more.
  • The necessary tools, which in our case only had to buy a device that allows us to drill diagonally in slats and discs and sheets for the eletric and circular saw, which in total was 60 € (in case it is necessary tools, the indispensable one to buy is: it is a drill, a tico-tico and a circular saw (+ 200 €).
  • Alarm and GPS (150 €).
  • Mechanical expenditures. In total we spent almost € 1000 on the van itself, since we had to change the clutch kit, make the revision, change belts, inserts …
  • Insurance, inspection and stamp (300 € / year).
  • Eventually we will paint the van (1000 €).

Where could we have saved money?

There were some things we might not have bought or bought second hand so that we spent less money, for example the refrigerator, we might have bought a second hand gas or some electrical things.

But the reality is that since we are going to use the van a lot in the next few years, it is cheaper to buy everything new and with warranty, besides valuing the van. Either way everything we bought was the cheapest we thought would be indicated to us.  We have bought almost everything online.

In the end we ended up spending what we were expecting at the beginning and when we do everything we want it will be more or less the value for which we sell our motorhome.

If we think it’s worth it? No doubt.

In our case this project has always been more than simply transforming a van, we wanted to deepen our knowledge to work with wood and to build things and we got it. Then comes the pleasure / pride part in traveling and living in something that we were ourselves that built what for us is the best part.

Lastly we did something exactly the way we wanted it, we had a hammock, an oven … things we did not have in our motorhome and apart from that everything is new which was not the case in our AC.

This is the penultimate article of the transformation of the van, is missing last of all where we will show the final result, as well as talk a bit of the main difficulties we had.

Other articles about this conversion

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