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The best campervan modifications to upgrade your vehicle

Even the most appealing campervan can be improved with cleverly chosen modifications. Here are six great ideas for upgrading your camper – from solar panels to entertainment tech...

Red Ford Transit Custom Nugget with solar panels

Making your campervan feel like a home can be simply a matter of buying the right one – but since when was anything perfect right off the shelf?

You can dramatically improve the experience of going off on a trip in your camper by "modding" it with some carefully chosen additions.

Some – such as improving the heating system – will make it a much more comfortable home from home, while others – adding solar panels or improving storage, for example – simply make it a more practical vehicle for longer breaks.

Here we list six popular upgrades to help you make the most of your campervan. And if you're still deciding which model to buy, make sure you check out our best campervans page.

1. Fit some solar panels

What could be better than a spot of off-grid camping? It’s easier to get away from it all if you have a solar panel fitted to your van, enabling you to charge your leisure battery up during the day so that you don’t use it all up by nightfall.

Solar panels are easy and relatively affordable to install, and even if you don’t want to go off-grid, a solar panel should help reduce your running costs.

Campervan with a large awning

2. Add an awning

Adding an awning allows you to create instant cover outside your camper’s door – a bit like having a big porch on your van.

It will give you a place to set up easy chairs so you can relax, or perhaps a table for al fresco dining, safe in the knowledge you won’t swelter in the heat of the summer sun – and can shelter if a shower should come along.

Better still, add a full awning with side sections and a door. That will enable you to increase your living space by creating an extra room to one side of your camper. 

3. Extend the roof space

If your camper isn’t giving you the sleeping space you desire, why not consider improving it with a pop-top conversion?

Adding a folding roof with a bed built into it can double your camper’s sleeping capacity, as well as giving you valuable extra head room when the bed section is stowed away.

VW California from the rear with boot open

4. Fit better storage options

If you struggle to pack light when you go away, there’s no harm in adding extra storage to your camper. A roof box will allow you to carry more than your cupboards can hold, while a bike rack fixed to the rear of the van will mean you don’t have to carry your bikes inside.

5. Improve the heating system

Adding a heating solution to your van lets you extend the holiday season by allowing you to camp comfortably from early spring well into late autumn.

And there’s a heating solution to suit every budget, whether it’s a simple gas or electric heater, or a full-on, blown-air system that’s plumbed into your van. 

6. Upgrade your in-van entertainment

In terms of on-board entertainment, the sky’s the limit. You could plump for a simple TV and your van’s in-dash stereo, or you could go all-out and install a custom system with wi-fi, Bluetooth, digital radio and access to satellite channels.

Don’t go too mad, though – remember, while you’re away in the great outdoors, you might not be watching much TV, so splashing out on the latest kit could prove to be a waste.

Read more campervan advice

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