Campervan Conversion Guide


The world of Campervan conversions is a total minefield.

With so many options from “what colour spot lights do I want?” to “Do I need more windows?” or even “with this extra weight, do I need more power?”

Well the choice is, of course, yours. But bear in mind if you want to re-classify to a Camper there are some criteria you need to meet to satisfy the DVLA.

DVLA Criteria

  • A door that provides access to the living accommodation
  • bed, which has a minimum length of 1800mm or 6 feet – this can be converted from seats used for other purposes during the day but must be permanently fixed within the body of the vehicle
  • water storage tank or container on, or in, the vehicle
  • Seating and dining area permanently attached to the vehicle – the table may be detachable but must have some permanent means of attachment to the vehicle. It is not good enough to have a loose table
  • Permanently fixed means of storage, a cupboard, locker or wardrobe
  • Permanently fixed cooking facility within the vehicle, powered by gas or electricity
  • At least one window on the side of the accommodation

If your vehicle has all the above permanently fixed then it is a legal requirement to re-classify as a Campervan or, as the DVLA call it, a Motor Caravan.

Campervan Insurance

Our campervan conversion insurance policy will accept almost any additions during your conversion except for a log burner which is a restriction set by the insurers we use.

Anything you wish to add to your vehicle that’s a cosmetic change, we won’t charge a single penny. It’s only when you start increasing the power of the vehicle that we’ll look to charge a small additional premium.

A vehicle still under the classification of “Van” gets a standard 90 days European travel but when you re-classify as a Camper and let us know, this will then become 365 days of European travel!


Planning Your Conversion

When it comes to actually beginning the project of converting your van, you will want to have a solid plan prepared. From deciding which bed you want to the insulation to keep you warm on those cold wintery nights.

Once you have a list of all the parts and accessories that you require, you will want to get it fitted. If you are new to the game, you can pick up a range of tools to begin your collection. Tools such as a circular saw, framing nailer and drills will become your best friend.

If you have just converted your campervan, we would love to see some pictures! An excellent guide for planning can be seen over at Mowgli Adventures, which goes through each and everything factor you need to consider.

Re-classification Process

When you’re ready to re-classify, the DVLA will require photographic evidence of the completed conversion showing all the changes made, along with a description of the work carried out and any receipts.

The photos they’ll need are:

  • exterior photographs from the front and rear with the registration plates clearly visible – if the vehicle has a rear door it should be opened and showing some of the interior
  • interior photographs of each of the required features with the bed and table in the usable position

On the back of every photo you should write a description of what the photo shows, the date and vehicle registration.

The DVLA may want to inspect the vehicle before they’ll re-classify if you don’t produce sufficient evidence.

Along with the evidence provide a clear covering letter explaining that you wish to re-classify to a “Motor Caravan” and make it clear that you’re aware of the minimum criteria and list the additions you’ve made to meet these criteria.

If you’ve followed this and all goes well, your V5 will arrive back amended and what’s great is (at time of writing this) there is no charge for the re-classification.

So, charge up your leisure batteries, pack your food (and obligatory beverages), hit the roads and see where it takes you!

Further information:

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