Custom Van Conversion

Hello, I am a dog groomer who would like to go mobile. As these vehicles can cost multiple tens of thousands of dollars I am interested in purchasing a high top van and having it outfitted with the necessary equipment. Alas, my conundrum, I have no earthly clue as to who does that type of work. It would need water tanks clean & gray, electrical outlets, generator/inverter, hot water heater, etc. Much like a mobile home. Any suggestions?

There ya’ go…motor home…to start with, then adapt to k9 needs by removing beds, adding kennels, work tables etc.
Depending on your location ( in my small town there’s no one, it’d be 140 miles one way to find one ), you may find the shops that do these things by calling the companies on the motor home labels…not Ford, Dodge , or Chevy but the body builders like Glaval . A Camping World RV dealer could also guide you to a body builder for your mods.
A general carpenter may also do this because once inside, the body of an RV is a lot like home construction.

The mobile dog groomer in my area doesn’t use a van. Instead he pulls a trailer outfitted for dog grooming behind his truck. Another option to consider anyway.

For what it’s worth, the groomer who provides this “groom your dog at your own home” isn’t particularly popular. I think the reason is b/c he charges more than the customers expect to pay for a mobile grooming service. The proper marketing and pricing of your services is going to be important to be successful.

I have seen a Sprinter van and a box truck used for this.

George makes a VERY important point - is there enough of a market at the price you want to charge to make this pay? Putting thousands into a truck/van is a pretty big risk. You’ll want a good understanding of how this’ll work. I’d look to see if there are other services like what you’re considering, and how they do it.

I guess I’d talk first to the nearest conversion van outfit that does handicapped versions and see what they say.

Don’t know much about it but if you need hot water, you’ll have to use a propane heater. We had a food truck blow up that was parked at a house last year. Turns out, food trucks are not supposed to be in residential areas with the propane. Might be worth checking the ordinances to see if there are restrictions for that type of thing. I know there’s a lot of propane around but its one thing for a BBQ grill and another for trucks with it in use and mobile.

Hi again, thanks so much for all of the good points that you all raised, I so appreciate the input. I live in Connecticut (lots of folks, pretty densely populated and a fair amount of them seem to think when it comes to spending money on Fluffy, the sky’s the limit, so no problem there).
I think an actual rv may be larger than what I need. I am in fact considering the Sprinter or the Nissan high top van. I think the advice about Camping World is worth checking out.

If you’re considering a used Sprinter you might peruse this.

This does not mean go into panic mode as every vehicle has their quirks; just some more pricy than others to fix.

Check a local RV dealer in your area. Most large dealers can outfit a van or trailer easily. The last big thing that was happening when I worked at an RV dealership was converting horse trailers so there was living quarters in them.

I agree with @ken green. I think a used van-based RV (motor home) is the hot ticket. Built on Sprinters, Freightliners or Rams (same van, different badges) plus Fords or Chevy. Used ones with low mileage are relatively cheap, they already have wiring, plumbing, storage ect.

Modifying them would be way cheaper than building from scratch and the local RV service place may be able or know someone who can install the things you need for grooming. Add some vinyl graphics to the side and you are set.

You might look for a Class B motor home (van conversion) or a Class C, which is the class between the B and much larger A. A small used motor home might save you some money in the initial purchase price. At least look at a few to see if they might work for you.

Look into a Sprinter by Mercedes or Freightliner, the new Ford van or the Nissan work van.

As far as a business that can build the internals try Craftsmen Industries in St Louis.

They can build the internals and wrap externals. When I sold tools we leased a Econoline cutaway with a large box and they converted it into a mobile training vehicle.