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Conversion of containers into residential vehicles such as motorhomes

Jul 31, 2023 | Blog

Dreams of discovering the world and getting to know unknown places have been known to people since the dawn of time. Great explorers traveled in different ways, they crossed lands and oceans. And although today most of our planet is no longer a secret, the desire to explore new cultures and places has remained rooted in human nature. One of the forms of traveling the world that has gained popularity in recent years (especially after the pandemic) is caravanning, i.e. traveling in residential vehicles, such as motorhomes. This mode of traveling gives you almost unlimited freedom and independence. These cars allow you to change the location at any time, without having to book accommodation and comply with a previously developed schedule. What's more, when traveling with a motorhome, you can stop in places that would not be available if you stayed in a hotel or other standard accommodation. They also enable close contact with nature and free staying away from the hustle and bustle of the city and crowds of tourists. After all, traveling in a mobile home is not only a lifestyle choice, but also a way to avoid the costs associated with booking hotels or renting a car. However, buying a new one is a huge expense. An interesting alternative is redevelopment containers for residential vehicles such as campers.

Conversion of containers into residential vehicles such as motorhomes

Conversion of containers into residential vehicles such as motorhomes


Advantages of using containers as campers

Over the years containers they are used for many different purposes, they are no longer used only for the transport of goods. They have become warehouses, houses, cafes and hotels, and enthusiasts convert them into residential vehicles - they have many advantages in this respect. 

Freedom of arrangement

First of all, it is worth noting that residential containers is a solution that allows full freedom in designing and arranging the interior. Thanks to this, the vehicle can be adapted to individual needs and preferences, which allows for high comfort of traveling (and living). Depending on your expectations, you can opt for various solutions, such as adding additional windows, doors or stairs. What's more, residential containers allow the use of various finishing materials, which allows for a variety of aesthetic effects.

Resistance to weather conditions

The containers are not only durable and resistant to changing weather conditions, but also designed to survive the harsh conditions of sea transport. Thanks to this, it is possible to travel with them to any corner of the world, regardless of the prevailing climate. They are not afraid of any rain or scorching sun or snow. This is due to high-quality steel and the right protective coating. When planning a redevelopment container on the vehicle residentialsuch as a motorhome, it is worth choosing an object from a reputable manufacturer to be sure that it will be our traveller home for many years.

Good insulation

Comfortable apartment in container both during summer and winter trips, ensures the right one insulation. Without an appropriate protective layer, the temperature inside the container could drop significantly (or rise very much), which is not only uncomfortable, but also potentially dangerous. Standard shipping containers they are usually only made of steel, which does not provide good insulation. Therefore, the walls, roof and floor of the container must be properly constructed to prevent heat loss. For this purpose, renowned manufacturers use a thick layer of mineral wool (up to 100 mm) together with a vapor barrier foil. One of the key elements affecting thermal comfort is also the roof structure. It is known that the most heat escapes up the mountain (each of us remembers how our mother always said to put on a hat, because the head is the coldest). As in the case of walls, the roof should be insulated with mineral wool and foil.

Decent price

Small container a residential vehicle that can be converted into a residential vehicle costs only several thousand zlotys. It is a module already equipped with 2 windows and a door, insulated with a 100 mm layer of mineral wool, with an OSB floor (with PVC lining) and a complete electrical installation with LED lamps, 230V sockets and power sockets. In a word, it's almost ready sun, to which you can order bathroom equipment from the manufacturer for a small amount. Of course, there is the question of the semi-trailer on which the container will be mounted - but still its price is significantly lower than that of any motorhome. New motorhomes cost from PLN 150 upwards, which is 8 times more than a well-equipped container ready to move in.

Conversion of containers into residential vehicles such as motorhomes

Conversion of containers into residential vehicles such as motorhomes

Stages of converting containers into residential vehicles such as motorhomes

By using a container as a base to build a motorhome, much of the work is already done by the manufacturer. The starting stage is not a "bare" metal sheet that needs to be insulated, put in windows and doors, and lay the floor. This does not mean, however, that the module purchased even from a reputable manufacturer is ready to go on a journey around the world. So what work needs to be planned to turn a container into a mobile home?

  1. Choosing a container: the right size and construction. If you plan to travel rather in the summer and not necessarily to places with extreme climates (whether cold or hot), you can choose a facility with a thinner insulation layer, which will translate into a lower price. There is also no point in buying a module with a large area and volume, because it is heavy and it will be more difficult to move it. Of course, the number of people who will regularly live in it should be taken into account.
  2. Interior design. The second step is to create a detailed plan that will define the interior layout, functions and aesthetics of the vehicle. It is worth consulting with the designer or manufacturer's experts to use the space in the most effective way. At this stage, attention should also be paid to legal regulations regarding residential vehicles and the design should be adapted to their requirements.
  3. Container order. After developing the project, order your dream container equipped with installations and elements resulting from the previously agreed plan. Reputable manufacturers provide not only basic electrical installations, but also sanitary, and can also help in building the interior.
  4. Additionally equipped with: furniture, kitchen, solar panels. In addition to basic equipment, such as a bathroom, it is worth thinking about a functional (preferably foldable) sleeping and leisure furniture, so that the motorhome can be comfortably used not only for sleeping, but also for spending time in bad weather. You can't forget about the ergonomic kitchen with a fridge, stove and sink. Here, an interesting solution may be to design such a water circuit that gray water from the kitchen is used in the toilet. It is not only ecological, but above all a functional solution when traveling, when there is not always access to running water. In addition, a great idea is to install solar panels on the roof of the container, which will be a valuable source of power for the motorhome even in the farthest corners of the world.
  5. Selection of the rolling base. Choosing the right mobile base for the container that will be converted into a motorhome is an important stage of reconstruction. It requires a thorough understanding of the needs and requirements of the vehicle and matching the right type of chassis. It will guarantee security, comfort and reliability while traveling. It is worth spending time on appropriate research and consultations with experts so that the final result meets the requirements, which will translate into travel comfort.


Safety and legal aspects of converting a container into a residential vehicle

Conversion of containers into residential vehicles, such as motorhomes, requires not only the appropriate selection of the container, design or purchase of a mobile base, but also taking into account safety aspects and legal regulations. First of all, every vehicle that travels on the road must have a valid technical inspection and liability insurance. In these matters, it is worth consulting the nearest diagnostic station, where experts are always up to date with any changes in road traffic law and will advise how to prepare the vehicle to meet all requirements.

Safety is certainly a priority. When converting a container into a residential vehicle, it is worth taking care of appropriate security systems that will ensure protection both during the journey and while staying at the campsite. Here are some key systems to consider:

  • fire protection systems: equipping the motorhome with appropriate fire extinguishers, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are important means of preventing and responding to possible threats;
  • anti-theft systems: the installation of an alarm system and anti-burglary locks is particularly important if longer stops outside guarded campsites are planned during the trip;
  • reversing cameras facilitate precise maneuvering of the vehicle when parking.


Freedom and joy of traveling

Conversion of a container into a residential vehicle is not only a fascinating project, but also an opportunity to fulfill dreams of independent traveling and discovering new places. Containers as the basis of motorhomes offer many advantages, such as freedom of arrangement, resistance to weather conditions and good insulation, allowing you to travel in different climatic conditions. Reconstruction of the container to a house on wheels is also a more affordable option compared to buying a new motorhome. Thanks to proper planning, safety systems and compliance with regulations, traveling in a motorhome can become an unforgettable adventure, giving you a sense of freedom and on the roads around the world.

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