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Camper Van Conversion Shopping List

We list everything what you need for your DIY van conversion here. Just click the category below and start shopping!

Van Build Essential Tools

DEWALT Cordless Drill

The electric power drill is an essential tool for a van conversion. Luckily, you don’t need an expensive or overly one to get the job done. This DeWalt power drill is relatively inexpensive and provided all the power we needed.

Or better yet, ask your neighbor. Everyone’s got a power drill somewhere in their garage.


A jigsaw is another essential tool. You’ll likely be using a jigsaw for almost every part of your build that involves cutting wood. Whether you want to cut through wood, plastic, or even sheet metal, this DeWalt jigsaw can do that. (Make sure you’re using the right saw blades.)

Bonus: You can interchange the batteries between this jigsaw and the DeWalt power drill.

DEWALT Table Saw

Not an essential tool, but if making easy straight cuts in  your wood boards is important to you, no other tool does it easier than a table saw.

There’s a steep learning curve, but once you get used to it, you’ll be churning out high-quality straight cuts all the time.

Pair with a high-quality saw blade for the best results.

Miter Saw

We loved our miter saw, but we wouldn’t label it as a 100% essential tool. It’s great for sawing the wood planks we needed to make our ceiling and drawers, but if you’re on a tight budget, a jigsaw can do similar work.

But it was sure fun to operate!

Circular Saw

Since we used a table saw, our circular saw didn’t get much action. We only used it to cut our butcher block counter top.

But if budget is a concern, a circular saw is likely a better investment than a table saw. It’s easier to use and has a greater range of uses.

Van Life Tool Box - Work Gloves
Heavy Duty Work Gloves
Safety Glasses
Ear Protection
Tape Measure
Essential Tools For A Campervan Conversion - Framing Square
Framing Square
Painter's Tape
Van Life Tool Box - Utility Blade
Utility Knife
Camper Conversion Essential Tools - Pocket Hole Jig
Kreg Tool Pocket Hole Jig
Essential Tools For A Campervan Conversion - Drawer Slide Jig
Kreg Tool Drawer Slide Jig
Van Life Tool Box - Caulking Gun
Caulking Gun
Camper Conversion Tools - Biscuit Joiner
Biscuit Joiner
Random orbit sander - essential tools for a van conversion build
Electric Sander
80-Grit Sandpaper
120-Grit Sandpaper
Van Life Tool Box - Needlenose Pliers
Needle Nose Pliers
Van Life Tool Box - Linemans Pliers
Lineman's Pliers
Irwin Electrical Stripping Tool
Electrical Stripping Tool
Top Tools For Van Life - Adjustable Wrench
Adjustable Wrench

Essential Tools For Camper Van Build

If you’re planning to undertake this project to convert a camper van, chances are you’ll need quite a bit of tools.

In this section, we outline all the tools and accessories we used to build our camper. Some tools are more useful than others and so we’ll let you know which ones we consider essential and which ones are simply ‘nice to have’.

Read more: Essential Tools To Build A Camper Van Build

Fan & Windows

Maxxair RV Vent Fan

A RV vent fan may not be the sexiest item in your camper van, but it is low-key one of the most essential items to have. Maxxair has the highest quality in the market. 

Learn More Detail: Maxxair Fan Review: The Best Vent Fan For Camper Vans

RecPro RV Window

Pairing a window with a vent fan really helps to have strong air circulation all throughout you van. Pulling fresh air into your vehicle instantly increases your van’s livability, especially during hot, muggy, and rainy days.

Read More: How To Install RV Windows In A Camper Van


Havelock Wool

Sheep’s wool is fast becoming the camper van insulation material of choice for many van lifers. Wool is a renewable material, non-toxic to produce and to breathe in. By absorbing moisture and condensation, sheep’s wool helps keep your camper van dry and mold free. 

Learn More About Insulation: Camper Van Insulation: The Ultimate Guide

Insulation For Van Conversions - Spray Foam Insulation
Expanding Spray Foam
Duct Insulation
Camper Van Insulation Guide
Insulation Board For Wall
Insulation For Van Conversions - XPS Foam Board Insulation
XPS - Foam Board Insulation ( For Floor)


Cross Nut Installation Tool

Though DIY installation method is cheaper, we VERY MUCH recommend getting an actual installation tool. This tool ensures that all your cross nuts are VERY TIGHTLY compressed onto your van’s frame. Some of our hand-cranked cross nuts don’t adhere very well to the metal wall and freely rotate.

Read More: How To Build & Install Furring Strips In A Camper Van

Cross Nut Product Picture
Cross Nut (for Sprinter & Promaster)
Cross Nut Product Picture
Cross Nut for Ford Transit
Bolts For Sprinter & Promaster Cross Nuts
Bolts For Ford Transit Cross Nuts

1/3" plywood

Choosing the thickness of your van’s walls is an important first step. Too thick and you are adding unnecessary weight. Too thin and your walls will be too flimsy. In our van, we chose 1/3″ for our plywood wall thickness. We felt 1/4″ was too thin and 1/2″ was too thick and heavy.

Read More: How To Install Strong Plywood Camper Van Walls

#10 Flat Head Screw
Countersink Drill Bit
Drywall Spackling
Drywall Corner Tape
Filtered Mask - Top Tips For Camper Van Insulation
Filtered Mask
Zinsser mold killing primer
anti-rust primer
Random orbit sander - essential tools for a van conversion build
Electric Sander
80-Grit Sandpaper
120-Grit Sandpaper

Ceiling & Floor

Tongue-and-Groove Cedar Planks

While there are different types of wood to use for a van conversion ceiling, cedar wood is a great choice as a ceiling material for a number of reasons. Cedar wood is not only beautiful itself, it is also lightweight, has insect repelling effect.

Learn More: How To Install A Ceiling In A DIY Camper Van: Detailed Guide With Tips

LED Puck Lights For Camper Vans
LED Ceiling Puck Lights
2-3/8" hole saw
Minwax ‘Special Walnut’
Minwax ‘Espresso’

Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring

Luxury vinyl planks are easy to install because L-shaped lips are constructed on the edges of each of the planks. They are water & scratch resistant and easy to clean, which is suitable for van life!

Learn More: Camper Van Floor Installation In A DIY Van Conversion

1/2 Plywood
flooring installation kit

Bed & Benches

LINENSPA 5" Mattress

Foam mattresses are often considered to be the best mattresses for camper vans. They’re lightweight, easy to cut, and are affordable. We’ve slept on our LINENSPA foam mattress for 3 years and love it.

Also Read: Best Campervan Mattress? LINENSPA Foam Mattress Review

DALUOBO Swivel Table

Swivel table is a great way to save extra space and create a smooth pathway in camper vans. This DALUOBO swivel table leg is easy to set up, made of aluminum so it is lightweight and durable.

Also Read: How To Build A Camper Van Bed Frame (Step-by-Step)

L Brackets For Camper Van Bed Frame
L-Brackets For Bed Frame
Brass Hinges
flooring installation kit

Solar System

Newpowa 180-Watt Solar Panel

We use these Newpowa panels on our van and we’ve found that the dimensions of two of these 180-watt panels fit the best when mounting these panels side-by-side on a commercial van, such as a Transit, Sprinter, or Promaster.

Solar Charge Controller

Charge controllers are a critical component to any solar system build. But we love our Victron charge controller because it’s Bluetooth enabled. This means we can regularly check all our solar harvesting data right on our smartphones. Check out our Victron solar charge controller review to learn more!

Mounting Z-Brackets
Van Life Tool Box - MC4 Branch Connectors
Branch Connectors
MC4 Connectors - Campervan Solar System
MC4 Connectors
MC4 Wrench Tool - Van Life Tool Box
MC4 Assembly Tool
Half Inch Rubber Grommet
Rubber Grommet
Circuit Breaker
M6 Ring Wire Connector
M10 Ring Wire Connector

Camper Van Custom Solar System Diagram

Our solar system wiring eBook teaches you everything you need to know to build your own solar system in your camper van or RV.

From detailed wiring diagrams, clickable product images, and loads of informative side content, we’re sure you’ll learn a thing (or two!) about putting together your own system.

Best of all, our eBook is completely free.

Learn More About Solar Installation: Camper Van Solar Installation Guide – With Illustrated Wiring Diagrams

Electrical System

Deep Cycle Lithium Battery

Admittedly, our Battleborn lithium batteries are not the cheapest. And there are plenty of more affordable batteries out there on the market. But since having a reliable & long-term source of power was critical for our van life, we opened our wallets for the best camper battery in the market today.

Victron 2000VA Inverter Charger

Planning to charge a laptop, operate a blender, or bring along your favorite electric toothbrush? You’ll need an inverter to power all those standard household devices. The 2000VA Victron inverter/charge does all that and also helps us charge our house batteries when we’re parked next to shore power.

Hasn’t failed us yet!