Not many people are aware of the latest trend hitting the campervan scene. The minivans driven by suburban housewives and soccer moms are getting a transformation. It turns out that not only are these vans suitable for hauling around the kids and carrying groceries, but they also make an excellent template for a campervan conversion. The Toyota Sienna is a popular choice for those looking to turn their minivan into a home on wheels.
The social media hashtag of #VanLife encourages people of all ages to show off their nomadic lifestyle. You can find Instagram users sitting alongside a beach, next to a roaring campfire, or deep in the woods, escaping today’s world’s modern luxuries.
It’s easier than you think to convert a minivan into a camper
Traveling in a van has become a popular lifestyle alternative, and all the big recreational vehicle companies are getting in on the action. Airstream, Winnebago, and Mercedes Sprinter have designed high-end campervans that can cost upwards of $100,000. The traditional Volkswagen campervan is still running down the road, as well, with its modern-day version of the ’60s surfer wagon.
Using a standard minivan creates a price point that is more affordable than luxury prefabricated options available on the market today. The minivan camper conversion is not only inexpensive but provides flexibility in sleeping arrangements, kitchen design, and organizational setups.
The all-wheel drive Sienna is perfect for a campervan conversion
The Toyota Sienna minivan, designed to accommodate 150 cubic feet of cargo space, is 78 inches wide with a 71-inch height. It has enough room to carry a 4′ x 8′ sheet of plywood, and a roof rack provides additional carrying capacity.
The Sienna was built to accommodate seven passengers. The seats are easily removed, providing ample room to retrofit a conversion van. The back row of seating can even be stored away for future use. The family-focused vehicle features tons of storage bins, hooks, cup holders, and accessible accessories for added convenience.
There is an overhead console mirror that allows the driver to see what’s going on in the back. In the newer Sienna models, a built-in voice-command multi-media system projects the driver’s voice to the vehicle’s rear. A dual-view entertainment center offers two display monitors with HDMI input. It’s now possible to watch videos, with access to Blu-ray, from your campervan’s comfort.
The 3.5-liter V6 can tow up to 3,500 pounds making it the perfect option for anyone wanting to bring a small trailer or boat along for the ride. The large surrounding windows and a 360-degree camera makes driving the Sienna enjoyable. Available in AWD, the sturdy ride that comes from the anti-vibration frame is appreciated, and even parking in tight spots is a breeze in this model.
Conversion companies eager to help turn a minivan into a home on wheels
Custom conversion companies, such as Oasis Campervans, are popping up around the country and turning everyday minivans into true campervans ready for any adventure.
Oasis recently converted a 2018 Toyota Sienna XLE for $8,500. The overhaul made room for a kitchen, living space, and sleeping area for two people. The Colorado-based company also works with Honda, Dodge, and Kia vans for its conversion projects. The one-person company can finish a job in about three weeks, offering superior craftsmanship. Accessories are available for an additional cost, and changes to the design are not only welcomed but encouraged.
Other companies offer off-grid adventure vans that come with rooftop solar panels, charging stations, and auxiliary deep cycle batteries to power up the lights and portable refrigerator.
Amenities such as a propane stove, slide-out boxes, overhead compartments, and foldable beds are all available options when it comes to converting a campervan. Wood panels, covered ceilings, privacy shades, and vinyl flooring can create a unique interior design. Anything goes when it comes to creating a new home or mobile office on wheels.