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Can You Remove a Van Bulkhead?

Sep 22, 2023

If you’re working on a campervan conversion, you might think about removing the van’s bulkhead.

In this post we’ll explore whether this is possible, and whether it’s safe and legal. We’ll also take a look at some of the other modifications you might have to make when converting a van to a campervan.

Want to discuss your campervan insurance needs with an experienced expert? Our friendly team is always on-hand to find you exactly the cover you need at a price you can afford. Call us on 0208 290 9086 or email us at personal@anthonyjones.com.

What is the Van Bulkhead?

In a standard van, the bulkhead is the material that separates the driving compartment from the storage area. The bulkhead is there for safety and security reasons.

It means that thieves cannot readily gain access to the van’s storage area via the driving compartment. It also means that any loose or unsecured items in the storage area won’t be flung into the driving compartment when in transit.

Reasons to Remove the Bulkhead When Converting A Van to a Campervan

The van bulkhead is usually a solid piece of material. If you remove it, you’ll immediately allow a lot more natural light into the back of your van via the front windscreen. This alone will make the van’s storage area feel brighter, airier, and more comfortable.

Removing the bulkhead will also allow for greater flexibility when designing your conversion. You’ll have more room for storage, or for bulky items of furniture. Plus, if there’ll be space for passengers to travel safely in the back of your campervan conversion, removing the bulkhead will allow them to talk with the driver and the front passenger while you’re on the road.

Taking the bulkhead out also means that you’ll be able to install new front seats in your conversion, which you can swivel around to face the living area when you’re parked.

But apart from anything else, removing the bulkhead will make the van feel less like a functional commercial vehicle, and more like a fun recreational vehicle.

Things To Consider Before You Remove Your Bulkhead

Removing the bulkhead will leave your van wide open, so you might worry about your privacy when you’re parked up. But if you want to retain the seclusion that a bulkhead could bring, you could always fit a curtain to separate the driving compartment from the living area, and some additional curtains for the windows in the driving compartment.

Bulkheads may keep the light out, but they could also work to insulate the back of a van. Without a bulkhead, your campervan conversion’s living space could become too hot in the summer, and too cold in the winter. If you insulate your conversion properly this shouldn’t be an issue. But it’s still something to consider.

Also remember that, in standard vans, bulkheads are there for a reason. Removing them won’t affect the structure of your van, as most bulkheads are simply bolted into place. However, it’s still the sort of change that you should tell your insurer about. They’ll assess how removing the bulkhead might affect your safety and security, which they’ll use to calculate the price of your campervan insurance.

What Other Modifications Could Affect My Insurance?

Strictly speaking, you should inform your insurers about any changes you make as part of your campervan conversion, including:

  • Adding a roof rack, or bicycle racks to the rear.
  • Installing additional doors or mirrors.
  • Making decorative changes to the outside of the van.
  • Installing internal features such as water tanks, cookers, stoves, seats, storage facilities, and more.

If you’re working on a campervan conversion, or planning to start one, talk to us about your campervan insurance needs. Tell us everything about your vehicle, and about how you intend to use it, and we’ll work to find you cover that ticks all your boxes at a price you can afford. Call us on 0208 290 9086 or email us at personal@anthonyjones.com.

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020 8290 4560

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