Home Travel Tips Campervan fitouts: step-by-step Guide

Campervan fitouts: step-by-step Guide

Campervan fitouts: step-by-step Guide

You want to visit Australia with your vehicle… you are wondering whether you should buy a fully equipped van / 4×4 or do it yourself. If you choose the second option, here are our tips to fit out your van in order to travel with a vehicle that really suits you. You’ll find the steps and our tips to customize your van before you hit the road in Australia.

Choose the right van – Step 1

Compare the different models

Several brands of vans are sold in Australia. The most common are : Toyota Hiace, Mitsubishi Delica, L300, Kia Pregio, etc… According to your needs and your project, we advise you to make a comparative table with the strong points / weak points of each model. For example, the Kia Pregio, has many advantages including a chain distribution and not by timing belt (unbreakable), it has a diesel engine (faster), and a consumption of less than 10l/100km guaranteeing more than 700 km per tank. Moreover, it is one of the most recent models at affordable prices.

Compare prices

The next important thing to do is to see what the market is like, especially in the city where you are thinking of buying your vehicle. You will surely find many offers, with big price differences and different mileage… Another important point to take into account is that empty vans will be much cheaper.

Several months before your departure and when you think you have found the model that suits you, we advise you to check the ads regularly. This will give you an idea of the evolution of the market and the prices.

Buy the equipment – Step 2

Once the van has been purchased, the next step is to fit it out. DIY and car stores will become your best allies during this period. Bunnings, Super Cheap Auto and Ikea will be the best places to find the equipment you need. Kmart and BigW can also be useful stores for everything that is buying storage, small accessories.

As for tools, consider checking Marketplace or Gumtree to buy them second hand. This will make you save a lot of money.

So remember to budget for the purchase of equipment (see below for a detailed price list)!

Campervan Conversion – A step-by-step guide


First, for the floor, clean it and the walls with soapy water. Then lay out the floor with 3mm thick plywood (over the entire surface) and linoleum flooring on top.

van fitouts floor

campervan fitouts floor


Interior equipment

You can buy a folding bed at IKEA. On a Kia it is likely that you will have to raise it by 10cm with the help of cleats because the rear wheel can get in the way. The good point is that this will also allow you to save space in storage under the sofa bed.

campervan bed
van bed

It is easier to install the kitchen area at the back of the van. It’s also more convenient for ventilation when cooking, and you can shelter under the back door if it rains. Separate the kitchen area from the sleeping area with a plywood board. You can then arrange it to your liking with storage units purchased at Kmart (or recovered on the street – quite common in big cities). Also plan to buy an electric cooler. You will find them at affordable prices and of good quality at Super Cheap Auto.

campervan fitouts 5
campervan fitouts 6

Electric installation

The most important thing is to remember to isolate the two batteries from each other when they are connected in parallel as here, otherwise there is a danger. And also that the batteries are relatively identical (Volts/Ampere) even if it is not mandatory. When you buy the batteries, you will have an installation manual that details how to do it, step by step. It is important to follow all the steps.

It’s best to get expert advice to do everything the right way. That’s safer. Especially if you don’t have any knowledge about it.

If you don’t drive a lot, the second battery will not hold the charge well to continuously power the cooler. In this case you could install a solar panel on the roof of your vehicle. The installation is quite simple, you just have to think to isolate it from the second battery and to dimension well the installation. For ex: 12v cooler consumes 43W + 1 computer + 2 tel, we turn around 75W so a 90W panel will be perfect). You can go to specialized stores like RoadTechMarine. They will give you everything ready to use! Plan a budget of about 500$ for the installation of a panel.

van electricity
van solar panel

How much does it cost to fit out a van?

Altogether count more than 7,000 AUD. That sounds like a lot of money. However, considering that you can resell the van- and for a much higher price – it is not that much. Moreover, you can convert the campervan according to your needs and ideas. Campervan fitouts always depend on a travellers needs.

List of expenses

VanJP Car Rentals$5000,00
Folding bedIkea$350,00
Bed storagesIkea$39,99
Portable stoveBCF$49,99
Water tank (10L)Coles$6
Petrol can (20L)Kmart$20,00
Gas bottleBCF$44,99
Gas bottle containerBCF$10
Duvet coverKmart$20
Plastic containersKmart$15,00
Camping tableKmart$19,00
Camping chairsKmart$58,00
Plywood boards for the floorBunnings$20
Linoleum for the floorBunnings$43,50
RadioSuper Cheap Auto$129,00
Adapter for the radioAutoBarn$39,98
Electric ConverterBunnings$91,18
BatterySuper Cheap Auto$219,00
CouplingSuper Cheap Auto$99,95
Insulation TapeBunnings$2,10
Small items for electronicsSuper Cheap Auto$85,50
SunscreenSuper Cheap Auto$8,69
Lamp holderBunnings$48,06
Various home improvement productsBunnings$35,86
Storage SystemsKmart$22,80
BBQ equipmentKmart$8,00
RefrigeratorSuper Cheap Auto$219,00
Camping LightSuper Cheap Auto$33,58
Rear equipmentBunnings$33,26
Rear storage compartmentBunnings$13,00
MeterSuper Cheap Auto$35
Snorkelling GearRay’s Outdoors$59,00
Cable LugsSuper Cheap Auto$12
Cigarette lighterAuto Pro$12
Rear CoverSuper Cheap Auto$9
Solar PanelRoadTechMarine$430
Ventilator 12vRoadTechMarine$25
TentBig W$15
MiscellaneousSuper Cheap Auto$42

Have you ever fitted out a van? How much money did you spend on it? Have you got any advice you want to share with other backpackers?

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