Key skills for converting vans into campervans 2 day course



This is a hands-on 2 day practical course for beginners in basic key skills for designing and building your own camper van. This course is for people who have acquired or want to acquire a van for conversion and want some hands-on practice in DIY van building, before you start building your own.

No skill is required to join the course. During the course you will gain practical skills and experience of materials, tools, and construction used in van conversion.

The course will be held near Glastonbury, Somerset (BA4).

This course will include the following sections :
Van design, Van layout.
Planning Safety in a van: Aspects of ventilation, fire, carbon monoxide, smoke,, airflow, gas leaks, planning for a crash, storage.
Planning your build (which bit to build first, and, or order of build)
Choosing tools and materials.
Working with wood and metal.
Plumbing and electrics (12v & 240v).

The weekend course is based in an indoor workshop and is taught in a number of practical units. Each unit will naturally lead onto the next. By the end of the weekend, as a team we will have built from scratch, a freestanding sink and cooker unit with the following:
Integrated 12v power supply which will run both lighting and the water pump
Integrated clean and dirty water storage
A working gas ring
240-volt hook-up power systems, with socket and battery charging
Built-in usb charger points and battery charge monitor display
A 12v battery with both 240v and van charging capabilities from an external supply
A fuse panel and individual switches

We will also practice:
Shaping units to fit into the shape of your van walls and floor
Marking out and cutting metal and wood
Using 12v diesel heater units
There may also be a van on site under construction that you can have a look at (but this is not guaranteed)

Key skills covered will include:
Building in wood.
How to make frames, boxes, beds, seating.
Making wood fit the odd-shaped bits of your van (like the wall and ceilings).
Using both hand and power tools and how to choose the best tools for you.
Using different screws, nails, sandpapers, drill bits, chop and circular saws, drills, power tools.
Cutting for hardboard, laminates, chipboard and wood.
Working in copper and plastic pipe
Connecting up a sink and fitting a tap
Choosing pipe and pipe fittings
Water pumps
12v electrics,
Understanding your power requirements
Choosing the right size cables, fuses and battery
Connecting wires
How to build a basic wiring loom to meet your van’s needs
Installing fuses, switches and units e.g. usb charging points
Lighting options
Cutting and shaping metal
How to remove stubborn nuts, bolts or fixings in a van
Cutting holes in metal sheet ( like the roof and sides of a van)
Options on attaching wood to metal

Who is running the course?
Scott is a teacher who has been teaching for over 30 years with a passion for upcycling and repurposing. Currently, he runs courses in metalwork, building with pallets, woodwork, creating shabby sheek furniture and clock making. He also runs a handyman/property maintenance service and is fully qualified in P.A.T electrical testing and management.
The course is based on his experiences of building vans and supporting others to build vans over the last 20 years.

Cancellation and a full refund can be obtained up to 4 weeks before the course starts. Start dates may be amended on request.

What's included in the price?

What is required from you?
-You need no skills in woodwork, metal work or using tools for these courses, you just need to be keen to get stuck in.
-Old clothes, work boots, and work gloves are recommended.
-All courses are run indoors in the dry with heating.
-Under 18’s can take part if accompanied by a parent or guardian also on the course (one adult with each child) but only with prior agreement.
-There is also free tea and coffee on tap, throughout the day and a fridge is provided to keep any food or packed lunches cool.


Scott McMillan at Black Paw upcycle project

Message the tutor More from this maker All reviews


9 Silver Street

Suitable for

  • Adults
  • Christmas
  • Easter
  • Father's Day
  • Hearing impaired
  • Mother's Day
  • Parking provided
  • Pet lovers
  • Romantic
  • Seniors
  • Suitable for beginners
  • Teenagers
  • UK Holiday


2 days (9:15am to 4:30pm)

Gold Badge
What does this mean?

This craft course provider has been awarded Gold status for receiving 10 or more 5 star ratings from previous students.

The Students' Choice award ensures that course providers get recognised for their efforts in the teaching and practice of UK craft.

They also allow tutors to gain valuable feedback on their courses and for new students to find the course that's right for them.


Antonio Rangel - - #37948

Hi Mr Scott,
My name is Antonio, I'm planning to do the course on May this year.
One of my questions is in the course do you teach how to cut the roof? and do you provide a certificate please.


Response from Black Paw upcycle project:

Hi Antonio
to answer your questions we cover cutting holes in your van for things like electrical hook ups and windows. but we don't cover doing the roof. we also don't do a certificate. but we do take photos you can show off to others after the course.
If you have more questions please email me as this link is really for people who have already done a course with us and want to leave feedback
thanks Scott

Kirstin - - #36715

Really informative, good fun and interesting weekend. Scott covered a huge span of topics and was able to give extra insight and tips. Suitable for handy DIY people and complete beginners- felt very welcome and came away with a lot of knowledge you wouldn’t get from a book or video.

Response from Black Paw upcycle project:

thanks for a lovely review. im so pleased you liked the weekend.

Lee Harman - - #36691

Great course, thanks Scott, much appreciated.
Also thanks for others on the course, really good to meet you and hang out for the weekend.

Response from Black Paw upcycle project:

Hi Lee
thanks for the feed back. i had fun too.
keep building

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