Step by Step Guide to Building Your Adventure Van

Adventure is out there waiting to be experienced, and all you're missing is the camper van of your dreams. So, we’ve developed a Step-by-Step Guide to Building Your Adventure Van! Let us help you design your luxury sprinter van with a bed with access to some of the best conversion van floor plans.
Although Flarespace’s primary goal is to help you build your camper van conversion affordably, we understand that van conversions can get expensive - even with the most cost-efficient van equipment.

How to finance a conversion van?

Financing your conversion van is easy with Flarespace! You can build your camper little by little or buy all of your van’s conversion equipment in one go and finance your Flarespace purchases with Bread®.

Build your conversion van now & pay later by financing with Bread®!
Subject to approval of credit application. Bread® pay-over-time plans are loans made by Comenity Capital Bank.
Learn More
Okay, now let’s get started.


Step 1: Pick the best van for camper conversion

First and foremost, your van journey starts by finding a van that suits your needs. Although Flarespace doesn’t sell vans, we are van experts. So, if you’re wondering, "Which camper van is right for me?” you’ll need to consider three main factors – Cubic feet, drivability, and fuel efficiency.

Cubic Feet: How much interior space will you have to create your camper van’s floor plan?
Drivability: How easy will it be to drive your camper van?
Fuel Efficiency: How many miles per gallon can you expect from your camper van?

Keeping these main factors in mind, one major point should make or break your decision: compatibility. Let’s say you’ve done your research and landed on the most spacious, drivable, and fuel-efficient van to fit your needs… but it’s an obscure vintage import from 1992. Sure, you’ll be the most unique van lifer at Back to Baja 2022, but you’ll have a really, and we mean REALLY, hard time finding ready-made equipment to fit your model van. So, unless you’re planning on spending big bucks building your van interiors from scratch, we recommend you go with one of the most compatible conversion vans below.


Cubic Feet: 319.1
Drivability: Easy
Fuel Efficiency: Avg. 21mpg

The Mercedes Sprinter 144” is the most popular, compatible, and fuel-efficient camper van on the market. It’s hands down the best camper van for solo travel with the right amount of space for sleeping plus all your adventure gear!


Cubic Feet: 486.5
Drivability: Intermediate
Fuel Efficiency: Avg. 20mpg

The Mercedes Sprinter 170” is the roomiest camper van for a family of 4 or adventure couples traveling with their pups! And since this model is only available with a high roof, it’s a camper van you can actually stand up in!

2019 FORD TRANSIT 148"

Cubic Feet: 336.1
Drivability: Easy
Fuel Efficiency: Avg. 18 mpg

The Ford Transit 148” is excellent for short adventures. A great day van for solo travel or family day trips, the Ford Transit is a bit more affordable than its Mercedes counterpart while still offering a lot of compatibility with van life equipment.


Cubic Feet: 461.9
Drivability: Intermediate
Fuel Efficiency: Avg. 18 mpg

The Ford Transit 148 EL is still cost-efficient and features more van living space than the standard Ford Transit, making it one of the best road trip vans for families or those with a lot of gear to store!

Step 2: Plan your conversion van’s floor plan

Once you’ve chosen the best camper van for your lifestyle, the next logical step is to pin down the conversion van floor plan that fits your needs. You must get this piece right the first time, so be sure to consider all the possible uses of your van. Suppose you're planning to use your adventure van for road trips or camping in a park with facilities. In that case, you can keep your van's floor plans simple and go with a minimal camper van build – a comfortable bed, a couple of windows, and some simple storage solutions will leave you with plenty of room to move around. But if you’re thinking of heading out on the road for a couple of weeks, you’ll need all the basics and plenty more. We’re talking cabinetry, a ventilation system, a shower solution, and keep in mind that you’ll need a place to go when… you need to go. Save some space in your floorplan for a bathroom!

Step 3: Purchase your van life equipment

Your van has been chosen, your van’s interior layout is finalized, and now it’s time for the fun part – finding the right van life equipment for your camper conversion. Though this is one of the final steps of completing your van build, plenty of decisions are still to be made. Here are some questions to ask yourself before pressing “check-out.” 

Will you build your van little by little or in one go? 
What’s your time frame before having a road-ready van? 
Will you need to insulate your van before installation?
Will you go the DIY route or hire a professional installer?

This step is also where the compatibility factor comes into play. If you have a popular van, you’ll have plenty of choices for van life equipment. However, purchasing a bed from one vendor and a wall system from another will prove to be a tricky feat because they may not work together. 

That's where we come in! Flarespace’s DIY-friendly, cost-efficient, and durable van life solutions are completely compatible with one another. That means our van Bed Systems are compatible with our Interior Panel Kit, and our Interior Panel Kit is compatible with our van Flares, and our Flares are completely compatible with our universal van windows – do you see where we’re going here? 


The first piece for the perfect van and Flarespace’s namesake!
  • Increases van’s interiors
  • Allows you to sleep sideways
  • Lends to better floorplans

Trim Rings

A ready-made sill that creates an elegant finish for your van’s Flares.
  • Compatible with Bed System
  • Creates flush surface for bed
  • High-Tech add-ons available

Bed System

Modular van bed system that fits widthwise and maximizes interiors.
  • Just 1” thick & easy to move
  • Supported by structural steel
  • Up to 80” of sleeping room

Interior Panel Kit

Easy to install van wall system at a fraction of the cost of custom.
  • Precut to fit your Flares
  • Lightweight & durable
  • Stylish & customizable

Want an even more detailed rundown of what you'll need to build the perfect adventure van?

Take our van build quiz – you’ll answer a set of questions about your budget, lifestyle, and adventure plans, and at the end, you'll get a meticulous list customized with everything you need to build the van of your dreams. You can also schedule a call with a Flarespace pro and talk through your van conversion needs with an expert!

Mercedes Sprinter 144 & 170 Dimensions
Ford Transit 148 & 148 EL Dimensions