Climbers and other outdoor adventurers have been living in vans for years, but the rise of social media has catapulted #VanLife into the spotlight. Van travel is considerably different from RV travel, and there is a lot to learn about living in a van. Vans are less expensive and smaller than RVs, making them easier to park and requiring fewer sophisticated hook-ups at RV parks, ensuring that there is always somewhere to stay. Here are our selections for the best vans for van life, whether you want to go full-time van living or just want a weekend camper.
1. Mercedes Sprinter
For good reason, the Mercedes Benz Sprinter is regarded as the gold standard among van lifers.
Sprinters have been around for a long time, so finding one that is already equipped with the necessities of van life is possible.
The tall-roofed Sprinter Cargo Van is available in three lengths, the longest of which is almost as large as a small RV, indicating that space for a toilet may be available. The Sprinter is also available in 4×4, making it the greatest choice for van lifers who wish to spend a lot of time off the beaten path. Sprinter owners’ top gripe is the vehicle’s overall cost, as well as the high cost of maintenance and repairs.
2. Peugeot Rifter 4×4 Concept
The Rifter is Peugeot’s entry-level SUV, and it’s a mild, blatantly European take on the modern SUV, with utility taking precedence over form. The Rifter 444 Concept, on the other hand, expertly balances design and function, resulting in one of the sharpest, most capable campervans ever built.
From the bumpers to the steering wheel, there are stylistic decorations on every corner. The Rifter Concept is a force to be reckoned with, with an 8cm lift kit ensuring its DANGEL 44 transmission clears most obstacles, a hugely strong light bar, and a root-mounted Overland tent offering ample sleeping space.
3. Dodge Promaster
The Promaster, like the Sprinter and Transit, comes in a wide range of lengths and roof heights, making it one of the best vans for van life. The 159″ wheelbase variant is the widest conversion van on the market, with a passenger to driver side dimension wide enough to carry a conventional full-sized mattress — a considerable space-saving benefit. The Promaster, unlike the others, is a front-wheel-drive van, which means it has stronger traction in the winter and gets better gas mileage.
4. Volkswagen California Camper Van
Volkswagen’s California is undoubtedly the most well-balanced option on this list, coming from one of the industry’s oldest names. This is practical German engineering at its best, with a range of modern technology and safety requirements (including driver aid, clever parking, and smart-cornering halogen lighting) as well as some vintage touches (like an optional manual transmission).
From Volkswagen’s distinctive pop-top roof, which comfortably sleeps four adults, to the removable camping table and chairs that pack neatly out of the way when not in use, ingenious, space-saving design aspects abound.
5. Nissan NV Cargo
Although the Nissan NV Cargo Van isn’t the most popular option, its potential to be converted to 4WD makes it a viable option if you’re searching for a capable off-roader. The Nissan NV comes in a variety of variants and has a roomy cabin, but less cargo space than its competitors. If you’re looking for the most headroom, the high-roof van features the second-highest ceiling of all the van options.
6. RB Components Sawtooth Touring Van
The Sawtooth Touring Van from RB Components is a fantastic illustration of their expertise with bells and whistles. It features a full-sized awning, top-and-bottom front light bars, big freshwater tank, full kitchen, bathroom, two dining spaces, integrated solar panels, built-in outdoor BBQ, and a 5-foot snorkel, just in case you feel like camping at the bottom of a pond. This is an all-around, self-contained, perfectly capable escape pod that isn’t precisely a camper or a touring van.
Also Read: 15 Traveling Tips For Van Life Couples