If you dream of making your great escape, a camper van conversion can help with that. And for those yearning for a life on the road, we’ve gathered 6 of the best camper vans of 2021.
Before 2020, many outdoor enthusiasts were teetering on the fence over their camper van purchase decisions. Then came the pandemic and all international travel ground to a halt. We are now living in the age of staycations. Life has not been the same, and the appeal of the campervan has become even more apparent.
Besides their ability to foster spontaneity and freedom in travel, these road trip partners can make you feel at home when you are thousands of miles away from home. The best camper vans will not only help you explore your country’s beauty, but you can board a ferry on it and travel abroad affordably.
What Should You Consider When Buying a Camper Van?
There are few things as exciting and freeing as simply getting into your camper van and making a beeline for the hills or countryside.
For all their comforts and excellent compact sizes, camper vans can drain you of your savings. Therefore, you do not want to splurge on a dud.
Do your research first and take the tips below into consideration before biting that bullet.
Camper vans are smaller than regular RVs. But there are camper van models that are large in size.
However, size is not the ultimate consideration when buying a camper van – your needs are! Go for a campervan that has enough storage space for you and your family.
If you are a solo nomad, a mini camper will be perfect for you. But a larger family will need to fork out a little more cash for bigger vans. And remember, sizeable camper vans have more running costs than smaller ones.
Buy a Simple Van
A camper van with all the bells and whistles might look attractive. But all their costs can quickly add up to a princely sum.
Take stock of your traveling needs. Will you put all those over-the-top features to use if you only have time for an occasional trip?
A safer option is to start with the basics then save up for a dream van, when you have established your Van life preferences.
Camper vans may look small when you compare them to larger RVs, but they are deceptively hard to drive. These vehicles are heavy and hard to maneuver. And you’ll find out that driving a camper van is much more difficult than cruising around in a regular SUV.
For this reason, test-drive your van before purchase. Make sure that it has an automatic transmission if you are not ready for manual driving.
New vs. Old
While used vans may be cheaper, make sure they are in excellent condition before purchase. Avoid extremely old budget options that will leave you with high maintenance costs.
And make sure the new camper van has a warranty. Then study the warranty to stay on the safe side. Seriously, read your warranty!
6 Best Camper Van Conversions We Found
Camper vans cost a pretty penny. But there is a reason that they’re now the most popular trend in travel. They are versatile, hardy, and efficient holiday vehicles.
And below are 6 of the best camper vans of 2021.
Winnebago Revels are hands down the best camper vans you can find in the market today. Your Winnebago Revel will look at home on the rugged coast or up high on beautiful highlands.
The Revel may be an aggressive all-wheel vehicle, but they made it for easy maneuverability. In it are upscale features that will foster a good night’s sleep in any type of weather.
It is a remarkable camper van for home-away-from-home coziness made to delight even the toughest to please outdoor enthusiasts.
Its high ride heights, low torque, and excellent braking system can take on any camping destination. The well-balanced, rugged four-wheeler has an incredibly sophisticated living space with a large back bedroom. Simply convert its seating and dining area into a sleeping area when you have extra nomads in tow.
The Winnebago Revel has cassette toilet technology and a shower room as well. That’s right, a camper van with a bathroom!
Made from the chassis of a Mercedes Sprinter, its modifications make it heavier. To boost safety, it has an inbuilt intelligent safety system that monitors your camper van’s blind spots and lane observance awareness.
It has a brakes-based collision prevention mechanism and a control system for easy hill descent. Besides its beast-like engine and comfort features, the Winnebago Revel is also quite spacious.
Four persons can comfortably sleep in its four-foot power lift bed and its hidden supplementary sleeping spot.
Keep the power lift bed up and you will have enough 140 cubic ft. space to fit all your large essentials and bikes. At the very top is a handy rooftop rack that will haul more cargo, including skis and kayaks.
Last but not least, its galley is dazzling. We are talking about a sizable pantry, stainless steel sink, and an induction stove with energy efficiency features.
There is also a small 2.5 cu ft. fridge. The Winnebago Revel camper van’s lighting, AC, and heating are solar and diesel-powered.
The Airstream Interstate Nineteen is the brand’s most compact touring coach. This bourgeois camper van comes at what you would call a budget price for an Airstream. It has all the trim gleaming aluminum trailers of its legendary pricey predecessors. And it is one of the best camper vans out there, basing its design on the popular Mercedes Sprinter.
To this end, it has also adopted the German luxury vehicle maker’s exceptional performance and safety features. They include the robust 3.0L V6 Mercedes Sprinter turbo diesel engine. It also enjoys the German carmaker’s lane assist, sufficient airbags, and side plus rearview cameras.
There are also ultra-useful collision prevention features for additional safety and spryness.
The Airstream Interstate Nineteen also has the superior Garmin navigation system and a luxury infotainment system from Fusion. Away from its impressive technical features, this on-demand 4×4 camper van gives you a choice of three exterior colors. You can have it in Arctic White, Iridium Silver Metallic, or Jet Black.
There is a cockpit bed for that extra touring couch bed and a large fold-out bed at the rear. Other handy features include a kitchen with a useful microwave.
The bathroom has the Truma Combi feature that heats not just bath water but the kitchen water as well.
Its sliding door mechanism is effective and there is a screen cover for the rear door. Alternatively, use the rear door’s privacy shade should you choose to leave the door open. Two 100 Ah lithium deep cycle batteries feed all the components on the power system.
Mercedes Sprinter vans are popular amongst outdoor nomads. They are reliable and hardy and, for this reason, are the best camper vans for conversions.
Set the Mercedes Sprinter’s satnav on an old and dependable route or take it to the rugged potholes that lead to rich experiences, and it will perform excellently.
The Nomans Vanz Sprinter is a spectacular Sprinter van conversion. Call it a miniature bespoke home inside a Sprinter. Nomad Vanz is Vancouver-based and focuses on van conversions. They build miniature homes on wheels, adding extra features and designs that make them four seasons capable.
You will love the names of their conversions. Besides the Yin Yang, there is the Sweet Dreamz, Talking Head, and an insulated wall conversion, the R-Rated.
Yin Yang focuses on harmony. It is an all-rounded Sprinter conversion with beastly features such as a 175 liters water tank. Use it to enjoy an outdoor or indoor shower.
Its Sprinter’s high roof has a rack and ladder in a Safari roof style. On top of the roof rack is a huge LED light bar for nighttime lighting. Its windows have anti-glare tinting treatment. The Yin Yang’s off-road wheels coupled with the ride improvement system make the Nomad Vanz Sprinter agile, enhancing the vehicle’s stability and suspension for safety.
Inside the camper is a sizable kitchen with a sink, food prep, storage space, and a fridge. For seating, there is a table with a bench seat, and swiveling cockpit seats. The sleeping area at the van’s rear has a massive double bed that has a lot of storage space beneath it.
The Sportsmobile Classic is a rugged 4×4 camper van for the overland adventurer. Its chassis is that of a Ford Cutaway with Sportsmobile enhancing its shell with steel and fiberglass.
The Sportsmobile Classic 4×4’s most outstanding feature is its penthouse roof. This pop-top feature plunges into the interior of the van creating a captivating streamlined look.
One of the best camper vans for off-road use, it has top-notch performance and heavy-duty parts for road maneuverability and comfort.
Sportsmobile is an old hand in the camper van production arena. The company has been at it since 1961, making camper van conversions from Dodge Promaster, Mercedes Sprinter, Ford E Vans, and Volkswagen buses.
The Sportsmobile Classic 4×4 is their coolest offering yet. Made for the roughest of terrains, this camper van has excellent braking systems and a 30% higher front axle clearance space. It has performance shocks and military warp springs for the ultimate rugged terrain comfort. Its beastly engine is a 7.3L V-8 engine.
The perfect off-grid camper van, the Sportsmobile Classic 4×4, has a large kitchen with a propane system cooktop – taste the meat not the heat. That said, you could swap the propane stove for an electric stove. The kitchen sink has a cover, and there is a refrigerator as well.
The 4×4 does not have standard bedding, storage, seating, or bathroom options. Unfortunately, you’ll have to order these accessories to suit your needs and style.
Sportsmobile has a variety of leisure seating, dinette, bunk, platform, and convertible sofa bed options all at different prices. Should you prefer more light, they can custom build more windows at the rear of the van.
The average Sportsmobile Classic 4×4 has window shades for the side windows. And the windshield and the doors have insulating panels to keep its interior well insulated. All-in-all, a beautiful vehicle in the camper van world.
This pop top van from the German utility vehicle maker Knaus Tabbert is a work of art. It is the sleekest of all camper vans.
We are talking about an Instagram-worthy penthouse roof with the best panoramic views of your surroundings. The high vantage point roof of the vehicle has panoramic windows for the perfect glamping experience.
The pop-up camper has a Fiat Ducato’s chassis. And it is so roomy it can house seven people! The panoramic roof will not only light up the camper van naturally, but will also enhance ventilation. That said, its cabin has sufficient climate and light control features. It has heat vents for the compartment and a ventilation system.
The camper van has Boxstar and Boxlife floor plans. Both plans have an air conditioning unit set in the rooftop area. Its main sleeping area is a master ensuite and has a ventilated mattress. Inside the cabin is ceiling edge warm glow lights in an array of color options.
There are reading lamps and side hatches for easy reading and storage of essentials such as books and handheld devices. Knaus Tabbert has wireless and USB charging inbuilt into the van for ultimate comfort.
The Ford Terrier M Sport is a looker! It has a racecar look and is an excellent choice for the outdoor enthusiast that loves the thrill of speed.
Any weekend warrior will love to race this camper van down the road. And they’ll capture lots of attention with its rally-style exterior.
Its alloy wheels, tailgate spoilers, rear, front bumpers, and quad exhaust are super stylish. And the seats are Nappa leather while the cabin has M-Sport specialized limited edition treatment. The Ford Terrier M Sport has an elevating roof and elegant furniture in an Italian design.
Its kitchen has a stove, fridge, and sink. There is a 40-liter water tank and lots of storage space in the kitchen area. Its leisure battery is solar powered by a 100W panel.
Travel Van FAQ – Answers to 5 of the Most Frequently Asked Questions About Travel Vans
So, you know what you want from an RV conversion. But you still have some lingering questions.
In order to help ease your mind before you purchase a new camper van, we answered some frequently asked questions about travel van life.
1. What Vehicle Can Be Used For an RV conversion?
Camper van conversions come in many shapes and sizes. From full on renovations to the inclusion of a pop top with a single bed. But you can also find conversions in a plethora of other vehicle styles – SUVs, Jeeps, and even station wagons.
So, the use of “van” is a bit of a misnomer. Because you can convert almost any vehicle into a livable RV. As long as you’re okay with missing out on the extra space you can achieve with a camper van.
2. Where Can You Park Your Camper Van While Traveling?
First time van lifers might be apprehensive about navigating and parking. And the truth is, it takes some getting used to.
But you can find plenty of small camper vans that are perfect for stealth camping – the act of camping overnight without being detected. Which means parking can be as simple as parking any larger vehicle overnight.
And you can find parking in State and National Parks, some city streets, and even the parking lots of stores. Just remember to check with local laws to avoid any interactions with disgruntled property owners, or law enforcement.
3. Where Can You Shower and Use the Restroom While Traveling in a Camper Van?
If you go for a larger model camper van conversion, you could end up with enough space for a water tank. And if so, you can shower without leaving your campsite. Same goes for using the restroom. With enough space, you can even find a camper van with a bathroom.
However, if you’re opting for a smaller model, you’re going to want to utilize space, and sometimes that means no water source. But you can always find local gyms to use for showers. And restrooms can be found in grocery stores, campgrounds, or gas stations.
4. How Can You Power Your Electronics Inside Your Camper Van?
Ultimately, your best bet for electricity is a solar grid. If you can spring for a solar set up, you’ll thank yourself later.
Not only is solar more sustainable. But it’s also peaceful. Generators can prove to be very loud. And that’s not the vibe you want when you’re ditching the hustle and bustle for the great outdoors.
But there’s also campgrounds with electricity you can use while camping. Plus having a backup electrical system ready to go doesn’t hurt.
5. Can You Live Off the Grid in a Camper Van Conversion?
If you don’t mind small spaces, then you can absolutely live off the grid in a camper van conversion!
Because the reality is that it is cramped, sometimes too hot, sometimes too cold. When there’s a mechanical issue with your van, your home can suddenly be out of commission.
And switching to van life from an apartment, or single-family home, can be quite jarring. So, it isn’t a decision to take lightly.
Of course, for those trying to reduce their carbon footprint, and live off the grid, camper vans are the way to go.
Van Camping: Final Word
These gorgeous rigs offer the ultimate campervan experience. All while getting you safely, affordably, and enjoyably close to nature whenever it calls to you. Take your pick and enjoy a lifetime of adventure.
Which camper van conversion speaks to you the most?
Tell us about your top travel van picks in the comments below!
And while you’re at it, let us know where you plan to go on your van life adventure.