Nomads Around Australia

Luxurious Campervan Built For $5000 Without Cutting Corners


Can you build your dream campervan on a budget? For sure, no problem, especially when you get inspiration from the amazing Phoebe and Bubba, her Fiat Ducato Maxi budget campervan. Come and join us on a tour of the budget van to see how you can build a camper van for less than $5000.


Phoebe works full-time in law, while also finishing her degree in law. No small feat, considering she also managed to figure out impressive campervan budget solutions to create her beloved Bubba that she lives in full-time. Pheobe’s originally from Queensland but lived overseas for about eight years. Most of the time she’s in the Northern Beaches of Sydney, but now and again she’ll scoot over to the Eastern suburbs as well.

Name of the Van:


Type of Van:

Sports Long wheelbase

Vane Make:

Fiat Ducato Maxi


“If you can’t build it, you can’t fix it.”
– Phoebe – VanLifer


Phoebe did the conversion herself, so she could build a camper van for less than $5000. Thankfully, she got a helping hand from her friend who did the walls and the roof, as well as everything that needed heavy power tools. The furniture is flatpack to make the installation easier. Her trick was to not do anything fancy in her budget campervan, but make it look really nice instead. Phoebe is pretty proud of what she’s managed to build on a budget. Even though it’s quite cheap, she didn’t cut any corners. If you don’t want to pay anyone else to do the conversion for you, IKEA makes it really easy to implement DIY campervan budget solutions. A great tip to build a camper van for less than $5000 is also to look for second-hand bargains.

She’s got plenty of room for her clothes and everything she needs under the bed and in baskets on the wall. With no electrics in her Fiat Ducato Maxi campervan, she doesn’t have to worry about fire hazards that much. Her battery is run by solar power, and it runs the LED strip lights, her laptop, and the mobile charger. She has never run out of power since she got it. The bed also functions as her study place. She’s got a little stand for the laptop on the wall, so she can cozy up after studying and enjoy Netflix before bed. Bubba is kinda like a miniature version of her apartment. She kept the stuff she liked and got rid of the rest.


The total fitout cost for her Fiat Ducato Maxi campervan was about $5k. That includes power, solar panels, insulation, cupboards, everything! Her best tip to make it easier to build a campervan on a budget is to keep an eye out for stuff that is being given away. The floorboards were free and came from the garbage tip, and they work really well with the rest of the fitout.

Everything is straightforward to use because it’s so simple. The water is operated by a foot pump and is kept in containers. She’s got enough room for 10 litres of drinking water which lasts her for about a week. She’s got a little butane cooker and an extractable fan in the roof. All her cups are hung up on clothing hooks on the wall. Not only does it give the interior a unique touch, but they stay safely in place as she drives about.



  • Yes, I have been living the van full-time for about a year now. I’m going into my second year of vanlife now. 


  • Yes, she fits into regular parking spots, but with a lot of practice. You’ll notice a few bumps at the back. You forget about the treelines at the top. I might be reversing back, and I’ve got the camera, so I see what’s behind me—but I forget about what’s above me!

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