What Camper Van is Best for You and Your Journey?
Anyone who’s ever shopped around for a van can tell you, that there are so many options out there to choose from! It can be overwhelming trying to decide which van is the right choice for you on your epic road trip. So whether you’re looking to rent or buy, check out the best camper vans for long road trips here!
Things to Consider When Choosing Camper Vans for Long Road Trips
The most significant driving factor for which model of van you should pick for long road trips is the details about your trip! The best camper van for a young single person with a dog isn’t the same best choice for a family of four. So the first thing you’ll want to do is consider:
- Your individual needs
- The type of road trip you’re looking for
- How long you plan on camping for
Before buying, consider these 10 factors.
Camper Van Size
Vans for long road trips could be as small as a minivan or as massive as an extra wide, extra long cargo van. Larger vans will give you more space but also be a bit more challenging to drive and park.
Gas Mileage for Long Road Trips
There are tons of old-school Class B RVs out there that can save you some initial upfront costs, but if the gas mileage is very low, it might end up costing you more in the long run. Considering you’re heading out on a long road trip, make sure to factor in the gas mileage in your decision.
Read more: Ways #Vanlifers Can Save on Gas
If you want to spend some nights in a city without getting harassed, you’ll want to consider whether your van is suitable for stealth camping. Trying to camp without anyone noticing that you’re in the vehicle is only possible with certain camper vans, so shop accordingly.
Camper Van Living Space
How much living space you need will depend on how you plan on camping or spending your days as a van lifer.
If your idea is to cook outside and spend as much free time outside, you might not need much living space. On the other hand, a larger van is necessary if you want your van to be more like a tiny home, with a kitchen and bathroom included.
Most vans out there are not meant for off-roading. So, if you want to get as far off the beaten path as possible, you’ll want to look for a van with 4WD and off-roading tires. If you try to take a 2WD on rough terrain, you run a good chance of getting stuck or blowing a tire.
For those looking to go off-road and do some wild camping far away from other van lifers, you need to consider if your van is self-sufficient. Without campground hookups, you’ll need a generator or solar power to provide electricity. You might also want to only consider vans with sufficient fresh and gray water tanks if you plan to boondock for long periods.
Gas vs. Diesel
While diesel is more expensive than gasoline, many consider it the better option for longer distances. There are more gas-powered vans, so if having diesel is your top priority, you may be on the hunt a little bit longer.
The range of prices on vans goes from around $5,000 to over $200,000! Budget will play a significant factor in making vans available to you, so ensure you have a solid understanding of your budget (and needs) before getting attached to any builds.
Already Converted or Not
For many people, converting the van into your tiny personalized home is half the fun! For a lot of people, it’s not. There are plenty of vans that are already converted you can choose from, but make sure the craftsmanship is solid.
Read more: 5 Affordable Conversion Kits for Sale
Renting vs. Buying Camper Vans for Long Road Trips
If this is your first ever long road trip in a van, renting a camper van may be your best option.
Be warned: with the extreme popularity in van life, daily rates are pretty high. So for extra long road trips, buying your own may be the better financial decision.
Top 5 Camper Vans for Long Road Trips
Without any further ado, our roundup of the best camper vans for long road trips!
The Best All Around Camper Van for Long Road Trips- The Mercedes Sprinter
If you’ve ever looked at the #vanlife hashtag on Instagram, then you’ve no doubt seen a collection of beautifully renovated Sprinters that offer campers everything an RV does! With the high roof, you have plenty of headroom to stand inside the van without breaking your back. The extra room also allows for a fixed bed, kitchen, and sometimes even a bathroom!
The functional space, coupled with its reliability and drivability, means the Sprinter checks all the boxes for most people looking to tackle a long road trip in their van. After all, if you’re spending that much time, you want to be comfortable and trust that it won’t break down.
The Best Tiny Home on Wheels – The Dodge ProMaster
There’s a lot of debate about which van makes the better tiny home, the Sprinter or the Dodge ProMaster. Many argue that because of the boxy shape, the ProMaster allows for a much more house-like feel. If your road trip is going to last months, it’s beneficial to feel at home inside your van’s walls.
While the ProMaster isn’t a 4WD, the ProMaster has a reputation for making its way through rugged terrain without many issues. This is a huge perk for people planning to explore less developed areas.
The Best Van For Hardcore Adventures – The Winnebago Revel 4×4
For the van lifers who want to get as far off the road as possible, you will need a 4WD. The Winnebago Revel van will take you wherever your heart desires without worrying about getting stuck.
On top of that, it has a wet bath, seatbelts for four, and a power lift bed with a gear garage below so you can store all your other adventure toys! The Revel can’t be beaten when it comes to living life to the extreme.
The Best Nostalgic Van – The VW Campervan
With a few models to choose from – like the Vanagon, Westfalia, or Eurovan – these nostalgic camper vans bring us the hippie, counterculture vibes we love. These vans tend to be more compact, making them easy to drive around. Plus, they were designed to be campers, so you won’t have to spend much time or money to convert them.
The Best Budget-Friendly Camper Van for Long Road Trips- The Ford Econoline
If you don’t care so much about the finer things in life but instead want a nice, simple conversion where you can crash at night and get up and go the next morning, a Ford Econoline may be your go-to. Millions have been produced, so you can snag a used one at a reasonable price and build your van as simple or fancy as you like.
Camper Vans and Long Road Trips Go Hand-In-Hand
Nothing’s better than hitting the open road with a new playlist blasting through your speakers and endless adventures awaiting ahead. Even better if your mode of transportation is also your tiny home on wheels! Camper vans and long road trips go hand-in-hand, and it’s perfect for those courageous souls looking to cruise around the country for an extended time.
Which camper van would you choose for your road trip? Let us know in the comments below.