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Renovating a Campervan - all you need to know!

Travel 4 min read

15 Jun 2021

Campervans are quickly becoming the most fashionable mode of transport when going on Irish holidays. The freedom of a camper allows you to hit the road, with little or no plan, and experience the beauty across the island of Ireland.

While you can rent a campervan from various places in Ireland, you may want to set yourself a challenge to renovate an old van, and transform it into your own little paradise. We take a look at the key things to take into account when you decide the camper life is for you!

Whatever you’re dreaming of this summer, know that your credit union is here to make your dreams a reality. Talk to us today and hit the road in style this summer!

Getting started

Kicking off your camper van renovation journey, there are a few key things to remember to make sure your process is a smooth as possible.

  • Start an idea board

Putting all your ideas, wants and needs down on paper will give you a clear focus and allow you to see what is realistically possible for you camper van.

  • Set a budget

This is one of the most important things you can do. While the cost of renovating a camper van can vary depending on what you want to include in the build. Setting a realistic budget will allow you to see what is in your range.

  • Give yourself a timeframe

It’s important to have a completion date in place to ensure you and your campervan get on the road. While setbacks may arise throughout the build, a date set in stone will help you focus your energy to make your target date.

The Van

The main focus is the type of van you should purchase to renovate. Of course, the first thing to think about is reliability. For a campervan, 99% of its time is spent on the road, so a sturdy, reliable make and model is key. The classic self-build choice is the Mercedes Sprinter, they are seen to be reliable, easy to buy parts for and long enough inside to fit multiple rooms. Alternatively, the Volkswagen Crafter is a good starting point to be considered.

Planning the layout

Layout within the van is key. For a small space, it is important that every inch of it is used to the best of its ability. There are a few questions to ask when planning the layout of the van.
How many people will be living in your camper van? The more people you have, the more sleeping room you will need.

How tall are you? Factoring in your height will ensure you’re comfortable throughout your trip.

Do you plan to cook inside your van? Ventilation is key for this aspect of your layout if you plan on cooking indoors.

How much storage space do you need? Creating storage space can be easy once you know what you need. A top tip making the most of a small space is to create an area where you can hang items, so that floor or cupboard space is not limited to just items on the ground.

Do you want your van to have windows and natural lighting? If so, you will need to plan this part in the renovation stage of your van build.

Renovating the van

  • Paint it

The key here is to not cheap out on the paint. Buying high quality paint will make your van durable and defend against weather. As we know, Irish summers are unpredictable at the best of times, so having a durable outer layer of your van will be a good investment.

  • Add Vinyl

Adding vinyl to your van will also help the durability through your travels. Anything that adds a layer of protection against the unpredictable Irish summer is the key to campervan success.

  • Cladding and Insulation

Thin cladding, pre made boards or palette wood are the usual choices for cladding and insulating the walls of your van. Comfort it key when creating your home on the road and insulating the van properly will ensure your van is not just for the summer months.


One of the most important aspects of your conversion will be the cost incurred. The million dollar question is how much does this kind of process cost? The answer is, whatever you want it to! You can purchase vans from €/£600 up to €/£10,000, and beyond. You also need to think of the fit out, you can spend up to, and beyond €/£5,000 to ensure your camper van is fully fitted out with all the requirements.

You also need to factor in the cost of re-registering the van with the Revenue Commissioners as it is now not just a van, but houses people too. Motor tax in the Republic of Ireland tends to come in at around €120 while it is £270 pounds in Northern Ireland. Insurance will also be a huge factor to consider and will vary from person to person, campervan to campervan.
So, there you have it. Ready to hit the road and get your very own campervan up and running? Pop into your local credit union, we’re here for all your dreams, big small or strange, we’ve got a seriously good, Monster Loan Range!