Build Info

A basic ‘How to’ guide


This is just a very brief run-down of the basics you need to even think about building one of your own, please bare in mind it is only meant to be informative not ‘Gospel’.



From experience we believe that to get anything close to a reasonable motorhome including the van, you are looking at a minimum of £5000, that would probably be £3000 for the vehicle to get anything reasonable (do not forget you will be looking at ex commercial vehicles) and £2000 for the interior using some second hand parts.


A good selection is imperative, here are just a few musts:

  • Paper: A great big pack of paper and a handful of pencils. You will be surprised how many the pencils you will use.
  • Hand Saw: Hard point saws (Teeth are blue where heated) are great and only about £6.00 each, they stay sharper longer and you just throw them away afterward.
  • Jig Saw: With lots of metal, fine and medium blades
    Plane: A block plane is ideal and a sharpening stone to keep it sharp.
  • Small Router: Ideal for the moldings, grooves and channels for about £80 this is the most versatile tool you could buy and this tool alone will change the overall look of the job.
  • Decent Battery Drill: The best you can afford will be invaluable
  • 2 x 5 mtr Tape measures. You are guaranteed to lose one
  • Work Bench: like a ‘workmate’ is a must and there are some good plastic adjustable trestles on the market now.


This may sound silly but you will be surprised how many people have a bright idea but no ability, you have to have the ability to visualise to see in your mind what you want the finished vehicle to look like, Plan, re plan and plan again, Problem solving, there will be a ton of them as you go along, Math, including a working knowledge of angles, Cabinet Making, Carpentry and Joinery, A safe understanding of Electrics, 12V and 240V and Plumbing…Yes all of them!

Tool Skills

Knowing how to use them correctly will give you a far superior job, let alone the safety issue.

The most important thing to remember is “Be Honest with yourself, know your limitations”

Last but not least: FRIENDS and fellow SBMCC Members. The nice thing about a Self build Motorhome is it never seems to be finished, it is always under development and there is always something in the pipeline to be added.

DVLA requirements for a van to be classified as a ‘Motor caravan