Customize Your Conversion Van
The step from a smaller passenger car to a conversion van is already a big step for any driver. A bigger vehicle means more opportunities for van owners. Whereas the aftermarket for passenger cars is focused more on performance, conversion vans can be customized for comfort, luxury, or specific need. There are many options for owners looking to personalize their vehicles:
One of the easiest ways to make a van more comfortable is to swap out the stock seating for an upgraded layout or design. Custom van layouts include seating oriented along the walls or rear instead of the standard forward-facing seats. Additionally, owners can choose from bench-style seating or bucket seats that recline or swivel all the way around. One popular configurations include seating along the walls of the van with two rotating seats in front, creating a “living room” space for its occupants. Other options include leather and plush fabric-covered seats, in-seat cup holders, and seats that convert into sleeping spaces for long trips.
In the last several years, the most popular van modification has been the addition of one or more television screens. A quick and easy entertainment solution, the TV/DVD player combination is popular among passengers young and old. More recently, these entertainment systems have been expanded with Blu-ray players, video game systems, surround sound systems, and even satellite receivers that allow the viewing of live television while on the road.
Lighting has long been an easy and popular van modification. Modern light options include dimmers for selected areas, lights that can change colors, and LEDs that last longer and are more energy-efficient. Lights can be installed in conventional fixtures, high-intensity panels, or LED strips that run the length of the vehicle.
The rise in popularity of small electronics necessitates the addition of electrical outlets to a customized van. At some point, everyone will need to recharge a dead cell phone, tablet, or laptop on the road and the addition of a 110 volt outlet allows passengers on longer trips to top off their various electronics and keep working on the move.
Those with larger vans, budgets, or aspirations may also consider adding dining capabilities, which may include a refrigerator, cupboards for snack storage, and fold-out tables. Cooking devices like pizza ovens, microwaves, or toasters may be technically feasible but not recommended due to potential heat or fire hazards. Those who want to be able to prepare full meals in their vehicles are encouraged to go all the way and purchase an RV.
For The Road
Luggage racks on top of the van can free up storage space in the main body of the vehicle, allowing its occupants more room. Additionally, space can be set aside under or around custom seating arrangements for luggage and equipment storage to keep it away from the main occupation area.
A staple of coach buses and RVs, in-vehicle bathrooms are beginning to gain traction in conversion vans. Given the right setup, a large enough vehicle, and the appropriate use case, a bathroom or toilet can be useful in a van for long-distance trips. To reduce stops for gas and wasted time, vans can be fitted with extended or additional gas tanks which extend vehicle range.
A nearly infinite combination of conversion van modification options exists, and each fulfills a certain need for van owners. The first step in identifying which modifications to install is determining the needs and desires of the people that will use it. A customized van can help relieve the inconveniences of travel and provide a comfortable, enjoyable trip in which the vehicle itself becomes an integral part of the trip experience.