You’re ready to start creating your unique floor plan for your van conversion, but where do you start? You can try modeling software, such as from VanSpace3D or AutoCAD, but these services often have a fee and have a steep learning curve. Is it possible to find a FREE camper van floor plan design creator that’s also easy to use?
The answer? Yes, it is!
That’s why we want to show you how you can design your van interior using any drawing software that you probably already have installed on your computer right now. Whether you have access to more professional-level software, like Adobe Illustrator, or are only able to use free and widely available software, like Microsoft Paint, you, too, can create your own van interior floor plan.
Follow these 6 steps below and you’ll be on your way to designing your perfect van interior layout.
Pick A Van Design Software
You may think that to design your own camper floor plan you’ll need to use some fancy, expensive 3D modeling software. But I’m here to tell you, you don’t need them. You’ve likely got adequate software already installed on your computer.
Don’t believe us? This is what we created with an outdated version of Adobe Illustrator.
Even if you don’t have access to Adobe Illustrator, there’s plenty of free and widely available software that lets you do the exact same thing we did. For example:
Whichever software you choose, it needs to be able to let you create shapes (especially rectangles) with exact dimensions (inches or centimeters). All the options that we list above let you do this.
How To Make Shapes With Exact Dimensions
All the software suggestions we make above allow you to draw shapes with exact dimensions. In the example below, we use the Apple Pages software to show how to make a rectangle that is 3.28″(W) and 2.34″(H)
Identify Your Van’s Interior Dimensions
If you already have your van, great! You will need to use a tape measure and figure out the exact dimensions of your van. If you don’t have your van yet, you’ll have to look online for your van’s interior dimensions.
Once you have your dimensions, open your van floor plan creator of choice and draw a rectangle to match the dimensions of our vehicle.
Keeping Everything To Scale Is Critical.
We chose a 1:10 scale. Meaning everything that we sketched was 1/10th the actual size. So when we drew our van’s interior dimensions, the rectangle was 13.1”(L) x 6.6”(W)
Below, you can see we sketched out a birds-eye-view of our van’s floor dimensions. We shaded the rectangle yellow and gave it a black border.
We also added room for the two wheel wells in the back and the sliding door in the front. Both the wheel wells and sliding door were measured, so even these additions were drawn to scale. Remember: Everything was kept at a 1:10 scale.
Add Interior Furniture
Now that you have your van floor plan dimensions set up, you can begin placing your interior furniture into your van floor plan creator. This is the fun part!
Create The Bed & Back Benches
To draw in a bed using your van design software, use the rectangle tool and play around with different dimensions until you arrive at a shape that fits your liking. Because you’re designing a bed, it’s a good idea to measure your height to make sure you’ll design a bed that you can comfortably sleep in.
Below, you can how we created the U-bench (shaded in Light Blue). We outlined each of the dimensions so we can see how long and wide each section of the benches are. We even know how wide the aisle (21”) will be in the middle of the van.
There will be a table that sits in the middle of the U-bench. To convert the U-bench into a bed in the evenings, our plan is to lower the table so that it sits flush with the benches. This will create a rectangle-ish bed.
Obligatory Bed Shape Disclaimer
You might realize that our bed is NOT a perfect rectangle. We did this on purpose to maximize our countertop area. Eric sleeps on the bottom half of the bed while Yuko sleeps on the top half.
Create The Kitchen Counter
With the bed layout finished, you can move onto designing the kitchen counter. In the layout diagram below, our kitchen counters are shaded in Orange.
One of priorities when designing our camper’s layout was to maximize the amount of countertop area in our van. We wanted ample countertop space to cook, fit our stove & sink, and simply just to hold all our other belongings.
So, we took the remaining area and shaded virtually the rest of the camper with two orange rectangles. You can see in the floor plan diagram above that we designed a longer counter on the left side of the van (72” long) and a shorter counter (20.5”) just next to the sliding door.
Add Large, Essential Products
Once you’ve created the basic floor plan with your interior furniture, it’s a good time to start placing in large, bulky items into your van layout design to make sure everything fits. You wouldn’t want to finish building your kitchen counter only to realize that your desired fridge won’t fit, right?
Examples of large items to put in your van layout can include:
In the layout diagram below, you can see how we accounted for all our essential items and where in the van we intended to place them. Once again, each of the products you see below are all to scale.
Can’t Measure Your Product?
If you don’t yet have the product in your hands to measure accurately, one tip is to go to the product’s Amazon page and find the LxWxH dimensions there.
Design Camper Van Side View Layouts
Once you get comfortable creating scaled rectangles using your chosen van floor plan creator, you can create side view layouts as well.
In our diagram below, we created a side view layout of our camper’s left side (driver side). Here you can see our back bench (blue) and kitchen counter (orange) and our upper cabinets (green).
Important things you can see in this side view design:
Side view layouts are nice because you can really get a feel for how your van’s interior will look when you’re inside your camper.
Learn How To Build Our Furniture!
In our three posts below, we detail how we built each of our major pieces of van interior furniture.
Design A Van Ceiling Layout
Did you know that creating a van floor plan isn’t only related to the actual floor? You can also design a ‘ceiling plan!’
Below is the ceiling plan we made with our van floor plan creator.
Here is some helpful information to know when creating your van’s ceiling plan:
Adding Furring Strips?
#3 above is an important point because where your furring strips will be located is likely where you’ll have to cut your wood planks. Aside from the left and right-most edge, can you see where our other three furring strips are located?
Add Lights And A Vent Fan
Shop Our Lights & Fan
Final Thoughts: Save Money! Create Your Own Free Van Floor Plan
And there you have it!
Skip the fancy software. If you follow the steps we outline above, you can create your own camper van floor plan for free using even the most basic, everyday drawing software.
Doing the homework and spending time to design a proportionally scaled floor plan (either on paper or on your computer) is worth the effort. It makes building your interior easier, gives you a plan to follow, and reduces the chances of making a mistake. We admit we still do have van build regrets, but by designing our own interior beforehand we hope we kept our mistakes to a minimum!
If you have any questions about creating your own free van floor plan, please let us a question in the comment section below.
Thanks & happy building!