Designing a camper interior layout; it’s the most exciting part of the van conversion process! In this stage you get decide everything you’ve dreamed about putting in your camper. And in this post, we’ll show you how you can turn any standard drawing software into your own FREE camper van floor plan creator.
Though you can search online and find fancy 3D design software, like SketchUp or VanSpace3D, we prefer to keep things simple. 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 or even PowerPoint, you, too, can create your own van interior floor plan.
Follow these 6 steps and you’ll be on your way to designing your perfect interior layout.
Select A Van Floor Plan Creator 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.
If you have access to Adobe Illustrator, then great! That’s what we used.
But if you don’t, there’s plenty of free and widely available software that lets you do the 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.
Identify Your Vehicle’s Interior Dimensions & Draw It
If you already have your vehicle, great! If not, you’ll have to look online for your van’s interior dimensions.
Once we have our dimensions, we open our van floor plan creator of choice and draw a rectangle to match the dimensions of our vehicle.
Note: Keeping things to scale is critical. We kept our drawing at a scale of 1/10th of the van’s actual dimensions. That means when we drew our van’s interior dimensions, the rectangle we drew was 13.1”(L) x 6.6”(W)
In the diagram above, you can see we drew 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. We measured both the wheel wells and sliding door, so even these additions are to scale.
Add Interior Furniture
Now that you have your van floor plan dimensions set up, you can begin adding your interior furniture. This is the fun part!
Creating The Bed & Back Benches
In our camper, we wanted to build a convertible bed in the back of our van. This is a bed that converts a U-shaped bench and dining area during the day.
To create a convertible bed in our diagram, we went back to our trusty rectangle tool and began playing around with different dimensions until we were satisfied with what we had. Eric is 70” tall, so we had to make sure that the length of the bed would be longer than he was.
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.
You might realize after looking at the above diagram 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.
Creating The Kitchen Counter Floor Plan
Now that we had our bed floor plan outlined, we could move on to our kitchen counter area (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 & full-size sink, and simply just to hold all our other belongings as we live long-term in our campervan.
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 To Floor Plan To Ensure Good Fit
Once you’ve created the basic floor plan of your interior furniture, it’s a good time to start placing in large, bulky items into your layout design to make sure everything fits.
For us, our large, essential items included our:
Once we knew the basic layout of our interior furniture, we began to place in our large items using our van floor plan creator.
Though at this planning stage we didn’t yet own these products, we went on Amazon to get their dimensions. This way, we could keep our campervan floor plan sketch accurate and to scale.
In the diagram above, you can see how we worked our large products into our floor plan design to make sure everything fit when it came time to build our interior furniture. If it turned out that a product was too big and didn’t fit, we would adjust the dimensions of our furniture to make sure it fit. Or we’d simply have to find a different and smaller product to use.
Create Van Side View Layouts, Too!
Once you get comfortable creating scaled rectangles using your chosen van floor plan creator, you can create layouts of your camper’s side view.
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). The length dimensions of both the bench and counter are the same as in our birds-eye-view sketch, 49” & 72”, respectively.
And because this is a side view sketch, we created our upper cabinets (shaded in green).
Important things you can see in this sideview 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.
Building in electrical sockets? You can add those too! Simply add space for your 12v and 120v sockets either into your walls or furniture.
Learn How To Build Our Furniture!
Create 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 when designing our camper interior.
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.
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!