chevrolet express

The Chevrolet Express van has been around for nearly four decades, making it one of the longest-standing vans in the market. It is best known for its built-to-last chassis and is available in 1500, 2500, and 3500 versions. There are plenty of used models on the cheap, but you might need to give them a facelift if you’re looking to convert yours into a campervan you can be proud of.

Our car experts here at Motor on Wheels share six useful tips on how to breathe new life to your Chevy Express at a budget. Let’s dive straight in!

Revamp the upholstery

Re-upholstering has to be the first step when looking to give your campervan an upgrade. Chevy Express has a characteristically simple interior which you might want to improve to give your van a more premium feel.

For starters, you need to change any worn-out cushion on the furniture and the mattress (if it has a built-in bed). While at it, try to look for fabric sets that blend seamlessly with the van’s exterior. The idea is to make the space feel as comfortable as possible after a busy day on the road or in the woods.

Upgrade the exterior

After transforming the vehicle’s interior, your next area to focus on is the exterior. Start by checking if there are any broken windows and fix them to block out rain and wind. Also, if the windows allow too much light into the cabin, we recommend switching to tinted ones.

You can never talk about exterior upgrades without mentioning painting. If your van appears to have lost its luster, giving it a paint makeover is something you should consider. Visit your preferred garage and ask for recommendations on the best shades to apply depending on your preferences and lifestyle.

Optimize the storage

As big as the Chevrolet Express may seem from the outside, it still doesn’t have the luxury of space especially if you’ve decided to make it your second home. As such, be sure to make good use of the limited space by rearranging your stuff appropriately.

Here are a few useful ideas to help you free and tidy up the storage space:

  • Mount hooks on the doors to hang items like bags and clothes.
  • Store items that are likely to slide or make noises when driving in smaller boxes or bins.
  • Mount more hooks on the cabinets or doors for storing fragile items like mugs and artifacts.
  • Place netting hammocks around the kitchen or bed area for hanging fruits, toiletries, and other useful items.
  • Fix up spring-loaded hinges to create extra shelves. This way, you can create enough space to cook or read your favorite book.

Add accessories

Another effective way to jazz up your camper van is to pimp it with accessories. For example, you can put a portable seat in the kitchen area and add cushions that blend with the interior colors. Other accessories worth trying include fake plants, mirrors, family photos, and art paintings.

On lighting, try fitting twinkling fairy ones to bring out that magical experience. While at it, be sure to cover the cables and other wires to avoid making the van interior appear messy. Where possible, tap them together and only leave out essential parts like the charging ports.

Cleaning and maintenance

Want your camper van to last and serve you longer? Take good care of it by ensuring that its engine is well-maintained and the interior and exterior are neat at all times. For starters, we recommend buying a vacuum cleaner and mop. These two will help to lift dirt and dried-up kitchen spills from the floor and hard-to-reach upholstery.

When it comes to engine maintenance, keep it greasy always, change the oil regularly, and check the air filter and coolant for any breakages or leakage.

You could also consider getting a sealant to protect your machine against UV rays and acid rain.


When you’re a camper, one thing you must accept is you can’t control what happens outside. Good thing is you can do something about the outside noises by adding a soundproof layer to your van’s interior.

The soundproofing process will sure will cost you a good amount of money, but it’s worth every penny in the long-run. Think about the quiet night sleep and the peaceful environment for reading or meditation and you’ll see why this is a worthy investment!

Upgrading your Chevy Express doesn’t have to be expensive!

So there you have it; a quick guide on how to upgrade your Chevrolet Express camper van without breaking the bank. It all adds up to renovating the upholstery, face-lifting the exterior, optimizing storage, barring outside noise, maintaining, and accessorizing the van.

If you’d like to know more about vans upgrade or remodeling, shoot us a quick message and we’ll be glad to help. Also, if you’re considering buying a used Chevrolet Express or any other vehicle in Houston TX, check out our inventory or contact us to let us know what you’re looking for.