The DIY Self Build Camper Van Conversion Blog

The thought of taking to the road to explore in a Motor Home or RV can be a very appealing one but the high costs of many factory built camper vans can stop a lot of us from experiencing this unique way of travelling.

But there is another way! with some basic DIY skills and some creative thinking, it's possible to build a campervan for just a few hundred pounds. That's exactly what I did with my van conversion.

If you want to know how to build a Motorhome / CamperVan very cheaply, without compromising on quality, then you've come to the right place. I'll show you how I converted a tired old Ford Transit Minibus, into a very stylish and comfortable Motor Home, for under £500!

Self build campervan insurance & MOT, Jumping through hoops!

Getting the bus MOT'd and insured was not as straight forward as I first thought. Let me explain.

Now the bus is no longer a minibus it needs to be re-registered as a camper van to get benefits like cheaper insurance, road tax and be eligible for a standard class 4 MOT, rather than a class 7.
There was a slight problem however. DVLA required the newly converted campervan to have an inspection to make sure the conversion met their requirement.
  • Side windows further to the rear than the driving position
  • Somewhere to sleep - a bed of at least six feet in length
  • Somewhere to cook
  • Washing facilities (a sink) with a water supply
  • Somewhere to eat sat at a table
  • Somewhere to store clothes etc. (either a wardrobe and/or cupboard and/or drawer space.)
To name but a few.

Now that created a problem. My newly converted camper van had no tax, MOT or insurance, so driving it to the inspector was out of the question. The only other option was a very large trailer or recovery vehicle, something I really did not want to do.

So after speaking to DVLA it was agreed that the camper van would be kept registered as a minibus for now. Which would mean getting a class 7 MOT rather than a class 4 (normal car MOT). So not really a problem then, until I tried getting insurance.

You see, I could no longer insure the camper van as a minibus because it has to have a minimum of 6 seats and all but one insurance company I spoke to would only insure the bus as a camper van for a period of 30 days. In which time it had to be re registered as a motorhome. Better than nothing I suppose but still not ideal.

Anyway to cut a long story short, I did managed to find one insurance company, Insurance Choice who were happy to insure the bus as a camper van even though it was still registered as a minibus, with no time restrictions. I dealt with a very nice chap called Jason, his number is 0844 5577989, tell him Joe from the A BUS FOR US blog recommended him.

And as for the MOT, the guy at the MOT station said that he can only test what's presented to him, which is clearly a camper van not a minibus, so the bus had a standard class 4 MOT. Which unfortunately it failed :( on a headlight bulb :) As for the road tax, well it's taxed as a minibus, which for 6 months was only about £6 more. So it all worked out in the end.