On a Budget? Build Your Own RV!

DIY Build Your Own Camper, RV, Van ConversionDon’t have the cash to get an RV and hit the road? Well, why not build that rig yourself? Then you’re halfway there!

On the Simple Living Network, someone just listed the resources below for building your own van conversion, camper, trailer, even boats.


Addendum (12/15/07): I just came across this YouTube video of a home grown fifth wheel from Chad’s Projects.

14 thoughts on “On a Budget? Build Your Own RV!”

  1. Nice job. But I would like some details on the joinery. I can’t tell from the pictures how the 2×2 framing members were fastened. It looks like they were just butted up against each other, but I don’t see any nails, pocket screws, or whatever. Anyone got the revelation on that?

  2. Looking also for a VERY used Chevrolet van that I can likewise so convert or have so converted for me. Advance thanx.

  3. that thing looks like a trade show crate with windows… Hey wait a minute…

    Jim, Rene… you guys design the DIY capmers and shiz and I’ll push the fresh cut old growth timbers through my table saw grande … After a quick draw gunfight with my staple guns it will be ready to load on a diesel swilling big rig to your customer…… Just for added quality we spray the tar and nation outta the thing with the Binks HVLP pressure spray system to polute what aint already junked up with high VOC glue so that thing will be here long after you, me, and the people that wanted it in the first place are long gone, their kids are long gone… And their dogs’ dogs’ dogs’ puppies are thinking about a new wall to spray. Speaking of spraying walls – were gunna add to the brood with a Chihuahua… whatta you guys know bout them dawgs…

  4. Building or converting your own rigs have quite a following..Some pretty amazing rigs out there..Used to see quite a variety when I worked for State Parks..If you can shake the ‘hippie image’ (for those of you that need to!), old school buses are roomy and cheap..Also House Trucks are fun..Here’s a few web sites for those so inclined:

    one nice 1951 Federal House Truck..

    Main Forum Page


    a great forum on expedition vehicle travels..Some of these rigs are quite pricey but preparation advice is excellent:

    There are a number of books on conversions, as this is the way people used to do it before the advent of Winnibagels…or for those that wanted to express themselves in a personal statement..problem sometimes that some ‘RV’ parks don’t let older vehicles in or ‘hippie’ rigs…

    My favorite book, hard to find is called Travel Vans:
    isbn 9992011580

    Old School Buses (high miles), Old fire / emergency vehicles (low miles) and military vehicles (low miles, harder use) also are a good starting base. Well maintained and very reasonable in cost…

    here’s a guy I have corresponded with alot in Australia enjoy…great step by step construction / philosophy of life site..
    check out his old rig WOT 1 and its current reawakening WOT2:


  5. As soon as I finish crocheting my own suit, shooting my own TV show with my cellphone video camera and building my own house out of cardboard, scotch tape and cellophane, I’m on it!


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