10 Chevy Astro Van Camper Conversions That Will Fuel Your Wanderlust

By Carrie Wilder | Last Updated: July 14, 2024 

Camper van tours on YouTube never fail to leave me feeling inspired. After watching these Chevy Astro van camper conversions, I was ready to leave my desk and hit the road immediately… and I have a feeling they’ll evoke the same emotions in you! 

This article has 10 amazing Chevy Astro camper conversions from rugged 4×4 Astro van builds to budget DIY builds with zero experience. I hope the variety of builds in this post will leave you feeling inspired to get out there and do your own!

10 Chevy Astro Van Camper Conversions That Will Leave You Inspired

Here are 10 of the best Astro Camper interior and exterior tours on YouTube. I hope these van builds inspire you to get out there and build your own camper van with the resources you have on hand.

1. Jordans 1995 Chevy Astro Van Camper Conversion

Jordan’s Astro van build might be one of my favorite Astro van campers that I’ve ever seen. I think it’s because his build is minimalist, functional, and really aesthetically pleasing. 

This 1995 Astro Van conversion has everything he needs to live off grid including extra storage, portable solar panels, a portable power station, a convertible bed/couch, a sink area with a live edge wood countertop, and more. 

Another thing I really love about this Astro camper van is the fact that the conversion is so simple. Jordan didn’t gut the entire inside of his Astro van, he just built a few key items like the bed and countertop and that was it.

This Chevy Astro still has the original headliner and wall panels so the van feels complete, homey, and cozy. And it saves time, money, and stress on the camper build!

2. Ally & Harrison’s 2001 Astro Camper Interior Tour

Ally & Harrison’s 2001 Chevy Astro camper van conversion is so cute and cozy, it really makes me want to get out in my van right now! But my van isn’t finished yet and I have work to attend to, so I’m going to sit here and watch Astro camper interior tours instead. 

The fact that they filmed their van tour in what looks like a drizzly and cozy pacific northwest vibe setting does not help my wanderlust at ALL. 

This Astro camper van has extra rooftop storage, beautiful tongue and groove pine wood ceilings, a bed, kitchen counter space and cabinets, and the coziest lighting and textiles. 

The couple uses practical clear plastic storage bins under the bed to store clothes, bags, and anything else they need to access. 

This camper conversion has a simple kitchen sink setup with a jerry can for water and a manual hand pump sink. This eliminates the need for complicated power to run water.

The couple uses a small butane stove for cooking and has a handy basket for food storage, and really… what else could you want? This is an awesome and practical Astro van conversion. 

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3. Rugged 4×4 DIY Chevy Van Camper Conversion

This video tours Michael’s rugged 4×4 Chevy Astro Camper Van conversion. This camper is built on a 2004 Chevy Astro van that was once AWD and converted into 4WD. 

Michael says “This vehicle has to do everything for me. I have to use it for work, and having a good time. I’ve done this thing for four years now, I travel the country to do high end carpentry work and I live in this thing while I’m traveling.” 

This camper van is really set up for both work and play. Michaels Astro camper conversion has a 5” lift kit installed to make this van even more rugged. He says he takes his van off road constantly. 

There’s extra storage on the roof of the van which is a popular option among Astro van campers to bring more stuff along. 

The interior of this van is simple and practical: a bed, storage, a power station, and counter space. Michael brings ingenuity and practicality into his Astro van build. 

4. Chevy Astro Camper Van Life with Pets

Anthony travels in a converted Astro van with a dog and a cat – and while he’s not living in his van, he lives in a converted bus. So he’s no stranger to vehicle dwelling! 

Anthony’s Astro van camper is both simple and practical, and I really appreciate the accommodations he makes for his pets. 

This Astro camper build has a bed that converts into a couch, beautiful wood walls and cabinetry, a small counter and sink area, and a platform for his pets and their food dishes. 

For heat, Anthony installed a diesel heater to keep his van warm and cozy at night and when he’s away so his pets don’t get too cold. His dog is elderly and can’t handle the cold, so the heater was mostly for him!

From the outside, this Astro van looks like any other van. You’d have no idea it’s a camper on the inside! This van is perfect for stealth camping. 

5. Julia’s Budget DIY Astro Van Camper Conversion With No Experience

This is what I like to see. A solo female traveler doing things herself… with no experience, and on a budget! But you’d never know that Julia had no experience when she put together her Astro camper van because it has everything she needs. 

This van is a 2001 Astro van camper and as of the timing of this video, Julia had been living in it full-time for two months. 

Her Astro van camper has a convertible bed and couch, a Goal Zero Yeti for off-grid power, a Dometic 12v camper van fridge, and she uses little baskets under the bed for clothes and additional supply storage. 

There wasn’t a lot of building required with Julias Astro van build. She left the original interior walls, ceiling, and floor in the van. Then she simply added the stuff that she needed to live happily, like her bed, fridge, etc.

Julia built a slat bed frame that expands into a full length bed when she needs it but can easily convert into seating area during the day. On top, she uses a tri-fold memory foam mattress. These mattresses are very popular for van camper builders who want a convertible bed, and they’re budget friendly too! 

In the back, she built a pull out drawer that serves as a pantry and food storage area, and she can cook right outside the back of her van. For water, she brings along portable water jugs. 

This is an excellent example of what someone can do on a very limited budget and with limited knowledge and skills of building, electrical, or plumbing. 

6. Nates 2002 Astro Van Camper for Overlanding

Nate’s 2002 AWD Astro Van is a seriously cool, stealthy, and rugged camper conversion. Nate wanted to build something cool that he could both sleep and live in and use for overlanding and going off-road. The Chevy Astro van camper seemed like the perfect idea, and I’d say he pulled it off really well. 

The bed in Nate’s camper van is a bit high for me, but it seems to work for him. He can’t sit up in his bed, but he minimized his sleeping space for a very specific reason: maximizing his under-bed storage. 

Nate kept a couple of seats in the rear of his van for extra road-safe seating when traveling. 

Nate made a DIY van roof rack out of a cargo basket he ordered on Amazon for around $140, which isn’t bad for all the extra storage space it opens up! 

Nate’s van is stealthy and practical and it goes to show that Astro vans can be used for everything – even off-roading. 

7. Stealthy 1995 Chevy Astro Camper Conversion

This stealthy Astro van camper is built on a 1995 Chevy Astro. This video showcases the entire build, but if you want to just see the finished product, skip to around 7:00.

I love that this build is simple and practical. There’s shelving and counter space that folds out for food prep, working, and more. They used a diesel air heater and a small bed along one wall with storage underneath. From the outside, you can’t tell that this van has anything built inside of it. That’s the whole point of stealthy camper vans! 

There is a roof vent fan which is a giveaway for other van campers, but if you’re not privy to the lifestyle, you’d never know. 

8. Troy’s 1998 Chevy Astro Van Build

Troy’s Astro Camper Van build was a labor of love, and it turned out to be so worth it. This camper build is on a 1998 Chevy Astro cargo van and it’s both stealthy and functional. 

Troy incorporated a shore power plugin to use if he’s at an RV park that works with a 15amp power cord and receptacle for extra power inside of his van. Otherwise, he uses 300 watts of solar panels to power his 12v appliances, like his FanTastic Fan and more. 

The interior of the camper van is build to maximize space, function, and efficiency. 

Troy added a swivel seat to his passenger seat for an office chair and created his own little workspace table with a removable leaf added onto a storage box that holds his portable camping toilet. 

The bed is a convertible sofa bed on the popular pull-out slat bed system used by many van lifers today (including myself). 

Opposite the bed, Troy built shelves to hold his food, clothes, toiletries, and everything else. Something I really like about this is that instead of cabinet doors, he uses cargo nets to secure everything in place. Although it doesn’t look as clean, you can see everything that you have. If you’re like me and “out of sight, out of mind” rules your life, being able to see everything you have is so helpful! 

The kitchen area in this Astro camper is built across the back of the van and I think this is such a cool idea. The kitchen area consists of a sink with water pump and fresh/gray water hose with a residential faucet and removable hose sprayer. For cooking, Troy uses a simple propane camping stove and a 12v refrigerator. 

Overall, this is a really smart Astro van build.

9. Jason’s 2003 Chevy Astro Van Life Tour

Jason has a 2003 Chevy Astro Cargo camper van conversion. This van has solar power and uses an Alpicool fridge to store food, a diesel heater for temperature regulation, and overall this is a very simple and efficient setup. 

I’m guessing the most expensive parts of this van build were the refrigerator, heater, and solar setup. Everything else is minimal, functional, and simple. 

For storage for clothes, food, and other accessories, Jason has pre-built shelves and drawers so that he didn’t have to worry about building anything out. This is a practical and functional storage solution for someone who doesn’t want to build stuff, doesn’t know how to build stuff, doesn’t have the space or is limited on time. 

I like that this van is practical and functional. Something like this could be built in a week or less!

10. Minimalist AWD Chevy Astro Van Camper Conversion

This AWD Astro Van camper build is so simple yet so efficient. With a full sized bed, cabinets and plenty of storage, this van has pretty much everything you need. 

Something I personally love about this van build is the bench seat in the front of the van as opposed to two captains chairs. It adds extra seating to the front of the van and creates a nice little separating bulkhead to separate the cab from the living space. 

This is a really minimal setup that uses a simple water jug system, a diesel heater, and plenty of shelves and hooks for storage. 

If you’re looking for a simple yet efficient camper van, this set up has it all!  

FAQ’s About Astro Vans and Camper Conversions

Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions about Astro camper van conversions. 

Can You Sleep In an Astro Van?

astro camper van bed

Yes, you can totally sleep in an Astro van! You can build a few different kinds of bed in an Astro camper van, or use an air mattress on the floor. In fact, some Astro passenger vans have a reclining rear bench seat that converts into a bed already. 

Are Astro Vans Good and Reliable? 

The Chevy Astro van has a cult following for a reason! These vans are known to be incredibly reliable, that’s why you see so many of them still on the road today. 

Chevy stopped making Astro vans in 2005, but you still see many early 2000’s and 90’s versions of the Astro van still on the road today as work vans, daily drivers, and camper vans. These gasoline powered vans are known to last well into the 200k mile range, with some making it to 300k based off of anecdotal reports. 

The AWD Chevy Astro vans tend to be very reliable in off-road and adverse weather conditions, too. 

How Much Does a Chevy Astro Van Cost? 

Used Chevy Astro vans sell for as low as just a couple thousand dollars to around $9k, depending on year, condition, mileage, and upgrades. You can easily find low priced Astro vans for sale on local marketplaces, aggregated used-car listing websites, and even at your local dealerships. 

Why Are Astro Vans So Popular?

Astro vans are so popular with the vanlife crowd in particular because they are so low priced, versatile, and reliable. Plus they offer a good amount of interior space for converting into a camper, you really can’t go wrong! 

Astro vans last for hundreds of thousands of miles, cost less than $10k to own, are cheap to maintain and repair, and are excellent for camping and van dwelling.

How Much Does it Cost To Convert an Astro Van into a Camper?

camper van conversion

It can cost as little as just a few hundred dollars to upwards of $5,000 or more to convert an Astro van into a camper. It all depends on what you want to add.

If all you need is a simple sleeping area, small countertop for cooking, and some storage bins, you’re looking at around $200 – $300 max. The most expensive part of that setup would be your mattress. But if you want to add other amenities like a battery or power pack, solar panels, a 12v fridge, diesel heater, and other amenities, you can easily spend into the thousands. Travelin’ Troy shared his Astro Van Camper Conversion Cost in this video here, he spent just over $5,000 on his build. 

Renegade Vans, a custom camper van conversion company based in Colorado, completed an Astro camper van build on a 2000 Chevy Astro for $9,000. Keep in mind that this price also includes their labor charge. If you build a van yourself, you won’t have to pay for labor. 

Why Was the Astro Van Discontinued? 

The Chevy Astro and GMC Safari twin vans were discontinued in May of 2005. In a statement about the discontinuation, GM said: “Long-term market softening and the products’ lifecycle have driven GM to make this difficult yet necessary decision.” Here’s what I think that means:

The “products’ lifecycle” comment, in my opinion, refers to how long these vans actually last. The vans were produced from 1985 to 2005 and were arguably one of the most popular vans of the 80’s and 90’s. Because these vans were lasting so long on the road, customers weren’t coming back very often to buy new models. This led to the “market softening”, because everyone who wanted an Astro or Safari at the time already had one, and it was performing great. 

This is just my guess, there’s no real clarification on that quote from the manufacturer. The discontinuation of these vans closed down an entire manufacturing plant and displaced 1,100 workers. 

Can You Buy an Astro Van Conversion Kit?

Astro van conversion kits are hard to come by, but they’re in high demand. Contravans in Colorado does custom van conversions on several different types of vans which may include Astro and Safari vans. 

These Chevy Astro Campers Take Wanderlust To New Heights

I hope that after reading this article you’re feeling inspired and enlightened about how easy it is to convert an Astro van and about all the different setups you can choose!

I’m really passionate about camper vans if that’s not obvious yet, and if I could do it again, a Chevy Astro van would definitely be at the top of my van priority list. 

If you’re interested in other styles of camper vans, check out these Ford Econoline camper van conversions. 

Carrie Wilder

Carrie has a passion for location independence and nomadic lifestyles. After traveling full-time in an RV and living the van life, she created Making Money and Traveling to help others make the switch to a remote lifestyle. Learn more about Carrie on the About page or connect on social media below.