How to convert a self-contained van: Part 2

Converting your van into a self-contained vehicle opens up so many doors in the way of travel. And while more and more owners are deciding to take up the task, the perception that it’s ‘too expensive’ or ‘too hard’ still remains.

With this in mind, we’ve decided to demonstrate just how easy it can be with 4 simple motorhome conversion steps below.

Freshwater supply
For obvious reasons, having access to freshwater is crucial for any getaway. However, it doesn’t need to be plumbed-in to align with self-contained guidelines. For drinking water, consider a 10L dispenser with a tap that will set you back around $20.

As for water to use for washing up, you might consider a 20L jerry can for about $25 can that can be easily pulled out when you need it.

Fitted or moveable sink
During your stay, you’ll likely need to do some form of washing – whether that be your hands, your dinner plates or the like. Depending on your set-up, this can be catered for either with a fitted sink for around $200 (plus accessories) or a stand-alone sink ($81.50) and pop up waste kit ($26.00) that connects straight through to your greywater tank.
Greywater tanks
Greywater is essentially any form of domestic wastewater from things like washing up and showering. To be classified as self-contained, your motorhome will need the ability to collect this type of waste through a greywater tank.

For short stays, a tank of around 50L should be adequate and can be purchased for as little as $60. For longer stays (and depending on spatial capacity), you might consider something a little larger, like this 95L tank for around $132. Fitting and storing them is really simple, too. Just follow manufacturer instructions depending on the brand and model you decide to go with.


Porta Potti or fitted toilet and sewage tank

Having a properly fitted and plumbed toilet does have its advantages, however, they aren’t essential if you’re looking to convert your van on a budget. On the other hand, a Porta Potti like this one comes with all the practicality you need without requiring a connection to drainage or water systems as it has a built-in compartment to capture waste. And the best part is that you can pick one up for anywhere between $200-$400.

If you’re interested in going all out with a built-in toilet, then you might consider one like this for around $800, including removable waste tank and indicator that lets you know when it needs emptying.

And that’s it! While there’s so much more you can do to upgrade your motorhome or campervan, these are the basic requirements needed to ensure you meet the eligibility requirements of most self-contained camping venues. 

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