Although nothing beats a professionally-converted motorhome for comfort or ease of use, there is no escaping the fact they are expensive beasts.
I started off with (and still use) a home-converted van, and I came across this story (sorry, link no longer available) on the Cheap RV Living website the other day, which provides a well-illustrated guide to a slightly unconventional conversion.
It’s based on an American van, but could just as easily work for most European panel vans. They layout Jason’s gone for is very similar to one I’ve used myself and I can testify that it’s an excellent, easy design to build. You can go as far (or not) as you want with the facilties – from building in a full kitchen/wash unit to just having a wooden countertop, a camping stove and a plastic bowl!
Take a look here (sorry, link no longer available) – there are plenty of pictures and it really shows how (relatively) easy and cheap it can be to build something comfortable enough to spend serious time in.
If you’d like a more in-depth look at the process of converting a van, click here to take a look at my new DIY Campervan Conversion Guide, complete with lots of pictures?