Van build step by step photos

In this blog post we’ll show you how we carry out a van build – step by step!

This micro campervan conversion was on a VW Caddy in our classic Mandalay layout.

Choosing the wood

As a first step, we will work with our customers to choose the wood that we will use inside the campervan. All our designs feature high quality hand-built wooden furniture, sanded and treated with a natural wood style finish.

With a Love Campers van you will have the choice of either ply or tongue & groove. With our tongue & groove wood finishes you will also have a choice of wood stain or Farrow & Ball paint.

Our carpenters will be on hand to help you to choose the most practical, durable and attractive wood finishes for your new campervan! You also have the option of melamine should you wish.

wood for campervan interior
A piece of wood with an antique stain

Preparing for the pop top roof

With our micro campervans you will have the option to include a pop top roof.

We are experienced fitters of poptop roofs for a variety of campervans, including VW Caddy Campers, VW Transporters, Nissans and Ford Transits (to name a few!).

We fit a variety of roofs and are one of the few workshops in the UK who can supply and fit Reimo pop-top roofs. Reimo is widely regarded as the “gold standard” for campervan components and their parts have been tested to the stringent German “TUV” standard.

When our customers have chosen to have a pop top roof this will be the first major step of the van build. First we will prepare the van by cutting a hole in the roof of the vehicle.

We will fit strengthening bars for the pop top roof (pictured below) to ensure the roof is secure and safe.

van build step by step
van build step by step
pop top roof camper

Electrics and insulation

Next up, we’ll install the electrics and the insulation to our base vehicle. Fitting the electrics in a van is a highly skilled step of the process. Our team have many years of experience fitting all the electrics and so everything can be organised at this initial stage of the build.

We won’t ever never need to rip up the woodwork at a later stage to fit extra electrics – something that we’ve seen can easily go wrong with little knowledge or experience.

At Love Campers we use an eco-friendly insulation lining made from sheep’s wool or hemp plant. Thermafleece use all natural fibres for their insulation that either combines natural sheep’s wool and recycled fibres, or uses low-impact hemp crops.

We recommend that the fitting of electrics is always carried out by a trained professional. Electrics and insulation could lead to frustrating breakages, and more dangerously, could even create a potential fire hazard.

van build step by step
insulation for van

Building handmade wooden furniture from scratch

Our skilled carpenters then get to work on the chosen style of furniture for your van. This is where our offering at Love Campers is a little different to most campervan converters.

We build beautiful handmade pieces for you that resemble something more similar to a log cabin, than your regular campervan interior!

van build
van build carpentary

Precision metalwork

We’ll also get started on any metalwork needed for the van build. Quite often this will involve making a rock n roll bed from scratch. Our Technical Director Darren brings over 25 years’ experience of precision metal-working across a variety of areas, including heading a tool-room making and fitting parts for super-yachts. 

Depending on the layout our customers choose, the bed could function in a variety of ways – a wooden slat bed, a fixed bed, or a rock n roll pull-out bed. All of the different bed styles can transform into seating areas for day time use.

metal work Rock n roll bed

Fitting carpet or wood lining

To give our campervans a slick, warm and attractive finish we fit a mixture of carpet lining and wooden cladding. Depending on the vehicle and design you choose we will let you know the best combination. Our customers get to choose the colours and styles of the chosen materials.

Check out our Customisable Interiors page to find out more about the options available to you, from upholstery to curtain colour, you’ll get to choose the look of your van.

carpet lining van build

Curtains, lighting, flooring and other bits!

We’ll fit blackout curtains around the windows and spotlights within the ceiling.

The chosen flooring will go into the van at this stage of the build as well. We use high quality commercial grade Forbo Flooring in our van builds.

There are many options available in either ColourMaterial or Wood effects. The Wood style flooring has been developed to offer a natural, authentic look of a wooden floor with the advantages of a high quality vinyl floor. You can also choose from ranges based on popular flooring materials like stone, metal and marble.

The van below was fitted with a slatey style flooring which has a beautiful texture to it.

interior van build

Furniture goes in!

Our woodwork and furniture goes into the van. Everything is expertly secured by our team to make sure it meets the highest safety standards.

Love Campers customers get to choose their upholstery choices from a wide range of vibrant and durable fabric options. (You can browse the full range we offer here.)

Our team use high quality materials to build the bed upholstery and can even make matching cushions in the same fabric. The last step in the process is fitting the chosen upholstery onto the bed.

interior van build

The kitchen appliances are fitted

Depending on the campervan design our customers have chosen the kitchen elements we install vary slightly. (View all the design options we offer here.)

All our campervans feature a fridge, sink and hob. Medium to large sized campers contain a full Thetford oven. There is a water tank in every campervan we build. These are for the kitchen sink but with larger campers we also provide bathroom facilities as well.

Caddy Camper kitchen

Extra features added to the camper

We always fit a fully functioning kitchenette into every camper to give you the best possible experience for an adventure on the road.

Our standard Love Campers designs vary in their facilities, but there’s also the opportunity to incorporate optional extras such as a portaloo, heating and even solar panels to every build. Towards the end of the build we’ll add in these extras so that the campervan is packed full of functionality.

The campervan is almost ready!

portaloo campervan

The van build is complete!

After we’ve added all the finishing touches such as flexi lighting and plug socket frontage, the campervan is good to go!

Below are the photos of a completed VW Caddy van conversion in our Mandalay layout. We hope you like the finished product!

If you’re interested in having a campervan of your own, with the chance of choosing all the interior design elements yourself please do get in touch. You can contact us by email at and by phone at 01273101407

VW Caddy van conversion
VW caddy campervan conversion
Wood finish in campervan