Do you have a van you want to customize with conversion van accessories? If you are a do-it-yourself mechanic, you can find van accessories online and install them yourself, or you can have a conversion van company install them for you.
What Is a Conversion Van?
Popular in the 1980s, conversion vans consisted of one-half ton or three-quarter ton cargo vans. Initially, these vans were used for small contractors or carrying cargo. When the conversion craze hit, these windowless vans became a hit by adding painted murals, custom portholes, plush seats, wood trim, entertainment systems, and even places to sleep and cook. For added conveniences, some conversions even come with toilets and complete compact kitchens.
Families enjoy these conversions as a comfortable place to travel and camp, and the selection of accessories available is enormous. The most popular vans used for conversions include the Dodge Sprinter, the Ford E-Series, and the GMC Savana. Conversion vans have become so popular that the Conversion Van Marketing Association or CVMA has partnered with seven conversion companies who are authorized to custom build General Motors vans.
Where to Find Conversion Van Accessories
- El Kapitan - All it takes is a visit to this company's website, and you'll find everything you need from outside murals to deluxe inside options. Once you're ready to convert your van, use the contact page to answer questions on the type of van you want and provide your budget for quotes on customizing and accessorizing.
- East Coast Custom Vehicles - This conversion van company offers accessories for van interiors, AC, graphics, shades, portholes, and wheels along with running board packages. If your interior wood needs to be refinished, East Coast Custom Vehicles can help with that too. Browse the parts section for carpeting, center caps, and all sorts of electronics. For questions, this company provides a toll-free telephone number.
- V-Seating - If your conversion van is in need of new seats or customized seating options, V-Seating has everything from captain chair replacements to bench replacements to seat belt options. They include a wide selection of sofa replacements, and all seating options come in various colors with leather and custom vinyl trims.
- Auto Body & Paint Shops - If you're interested in customizing or converting your van for travel and camping comfort, some body shops specialize in restoration and van modifications. Call auto body and paint stores in your area to find out if they offer this service. Most can help you not only design your van, but find affordable accessories at discounted or wholesale prices.
Tips on Van Conversions
In today's world of electronic and computerized components, unless you're a do-it-yourself mechanic and feel you can buy and complete the conversion on your own, the CVMA recommends the following tips:
- Budget - Start with a budget and consider how much you want to spend on conversion van accessories. Do you need the van converted for travel and entertainment? What about camping? Or will it be more of an office or handicap van? Consider a plan on how to design your own custom vehicle.
- Features - Once you have a budget, contact any of the CVMA's partners, which are located across the US, or find a conversion van company in your area. Discuss your budget along with the features you want both in and outside of the van.
- Professional Assistance - The easiest custom van accessories to install may be graphics or vinyl decals on the outside of your van. If you desire a full conversion, it's best to seek out a professional company to ensure all accessories are installed safely.
- Timeline - When considering your van conversion, come up with a timeline for completion. Be realistic on how long it will take a conversion company to customize your van, or ask for a timeline based on your budget and desired features.
- Aftermarket Parts - Most conversion van companies utilize aftermarket parts instead of original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts. While aftermarket parts are fine, if you want to convert your van for handicap access, all manufacturers offer parts to do this. Visit a local authorized manufacturer dealership to help you equip your van with handicap accessories.
- Better Business Bureau - If you utilize a conversion van company to add accessories to your van, check with your local Better Business Bureau to see if the company has any unresolved complaints.
Sprucing up your ride with conversion van accessories is a great way to have your own travel van, office van, or a super vehicle to impress others.