April 3rd, 2016

From Blueprint to Highway: The Realities of DIY Campervan Projects

When the open road calls, the allure of building your own custom campervan can be enticing. The freedom to craft an ideal living and traveling space based on personal requirements and whimsical ideas is a dream for many. However, there are significant hurdles to overcome in the DIY campervan journey. Before delving into such a project, it's essential to weigh the pros and cons.

Problems with DIY Van Builds:

RV Insurance Issues: DIY builds complicate the insurance process. Securing a standard RV insurance can be a challenge, and if you manage to get one, fair market value compensation in case of accidents can be problematic. Without comparable models, DIY custom campervans are difficult to value against professionally manufactured brands.

Time Consumption: Crafting a campervan is not a weekend project. In some cases, enthusiasts find their projects stretching out indefinitely. A quick online search will reveal numerous unfinished builds for sale, indicating many never reach the finish line.

Resale Value: Homemade campervans don't have the same resale value as those constructed by professional, licensed companies. Potential buyers may be wary of the quality and safety of DIY projects.

Potential Frustration: The building process can be exasperating, especially for novices. Mistakes, delays, and unforeseen issues are par for the course.

Construction Space: An ideal build requires a dedicated, sheltered space – not always easy to find and might be a cause for concern to neighbors.

Electrical Knowledge: A strong grasp of electrical codes is vital. Without it, there's the risk of creating a mobile fire hazard or endangering lives during accidents.

Cost Overruns: Contrary to popular belief, DIY can be more expensive. Between paying retail prices for parts, potential mistakes leading to buying components twice, and sourcing from incomplete projects, costs can quickly escalate.

Reasons People Opt for DIY Campervan Builds:

Perceived Savings: On paper, building a campervan may seem cheaper, but the real costs are in the details. While upfront costs can be lower, the overall expense considering vehicle acquisition, parts, insurance, fuel, and reselling can mount up.

Personal Satisfaction: The thrill of constructing something from scratch can't be understated. For some, the journey and the challenges are as fulfilling as the final product.

Pre-owned Vans: If depreciation on an existing van has already occurred, converting it into a campervan seems a logical next step.

Alternative Living Spaces: For those looking to avoid traditional housing costs, a campervan offers an intriguing option. However, while the idea of 'van life' is romanticized, the realities can be harsh. Travel expenses, parking restrictions, and basic necessities like food and connectivity remain constant concerns. Most 'van lifers' tend to last only a few months unless they have alternative income sources.

Permanent Living: For those looking to fully embrace the RV lifestyle but realize the travel portion is not only more expensive the stying longer in a single location but much harder if you are not retitred and your still in your working years. With this understood you might realize that the VAN size is not right for you, larger RV's are a great option is you are "staying put" so to speak and planting roots instead of traveling and explooring. bigger RVs offer a more sustainable living arrangement for those who are not traviling and exploring and need to work.

While building a DIY campervan has its allure, it's essential to understand the challenges and real costs involved. Whether it's a passion project or a lifestyle choice, thorough research and preparation can make the journey smoother and more fulfilling.

The Advantages of Choosing Licensed Manufacturers and Dealers:

Peace of Mind Through Warranty:

Perhaps the most persuasive argument for purchasing a campervan from a licensed manufacturer and dealer is the warranty. When you're thousands of miles from home, exploring unknown terrains and soaking in new experiences, the last thing you want is a mechanical hiccup or system failure. A warranty is more than just a promise; it's a commitment that, if things go awry, you're not alone. Here are some of the core benefits:

Reliability: Professional manufacturers have years of experience and employ rigorous testing methods to ensure that each unit is up to par. This means you're getting a vehicle that's designed to endure the challenges of the road and is very unlikely to need a warranty repair in the first place.

Cost Savings: Unexpected repairs can be costly. With a warranty, many of these expenses are covered, ensuring that a mechanical setback doesn’t translate into a financial burden.

Access to Professional Repairs: Dealerships and licensed manufacturers often have a network, either their own or service providers they work with on a nationwide level, to which you can be referred to bring your vehicle in for a covered repair. So, if you face any issues while traveling, there's a good chance you can find an approved service center nearby.

Higher Resale Value: A campervan purchased from a reputable dealer, built by a licensed manufacturer, tends to have a higher resale value. It offers the next owner some assurance of the vehicle's quality and potential coverage against unforeseen issues.

Safety: Professional builds prioritize safety, ensuring that every aspect, from electrical systems to gas lines, adheres to industry standards. This not only provides peace of mind but also ensures the well-being of the passengers.

Ease of Financing and Insurance: Established dealers often have partnerships with finance and insurance companies, making the process of acquiring and insuring your campervan smoother and often more favorable in terms.

In essence, while the allure of a DIY build is undeniable, there's an unmatched comfort in the reliability, safety, and security provided by professional manufacturers and dealers. Especially for those who dream of extensive travels without the worry of unforeseen breakdowns, going the professional route with the safety net of a warranty might be a wise choice.

Happy Camping!

Campervans for sale: In stock camper vans HERE


DLM-Distribution / Campervans is a licensed manufacture and dealer located in Lake Crystal Minnesota serving clients around the country

Contact Dave: 651-285-7089 or Candy: 507-382-9446 today!