Embarking on a journey in a campervan epitomizes freedom, offering a slice of life unfettered by the constraints of traditional living. Van life campers illustrates a movement beyond mere travel—it’s a call to embrace simplicity and adventure. While large RVs might seem enticing, they can sometimes dwarf this pure vision, making van life an attractive alternative. By stripping back to minimalism, you stay connected to your destinations and cherish a lifestyle that’s as compact as it is liberating.

Before you put your normal life in the rearview mirror, it’s wise to test the waters. Outdoorsy offers a convenient way to rent a campervan, giving you a taste of the van life before making any long-term commitments. It’s the perfect opportunity to assess how this compact way of living fits into your thirst for adventure.

Exploring Van Life

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Ever wondered what it’s like to wake up with a new backyard every morning? That’s the allure of van life, a lifestyle choice where individuals or couples renovate vans into living spaces and travel at leisure. Think of your camper van as a turtle shell—home is always with you!

From the vintage charm of a Volkswagen Westfalia to the robust Mercedes Sprinter, these mobile abodes range from basic fit-outs to intricate designs with all the comforts of home. And if you’re picturing something like a standard RV, think again. These vans are often customized by their very own owners, reflecting unique personalities and needs.

  • Compact Living: Your bed, kitchen, and storage all ingeniously fit in one space.
  • Freedom to Travel: Going wherever the road takes you, without leaving home behind.
  • Community: A tribe of like-minded adventurers, all sharing the van life experience.

Exploring the Appeal of Van Life Campers

Ever felt the thrill of steering your home on wheels to the next adventure? That’s what van life is all about—turning the key to freedom and exploration. Van life is an allure for those of us who dream to roam unrestrained and delve deeper into the landscape. With vehicles like a 2024 Mercedes Sprinter or a 2024 Ford Transit, you can infuse the comfort of home into a compact, rugged space.

Here’s what you should know:

Space Maximization: Space is a premium in van life, but clever solutions like the Luno front cab air mattress can transform your driving area into a cosy sleeping space. Ideal for solo adventurers or couples, it adds that extra bit of flexibility.

Accessibility: Vans offer unparalleled accessibility. Ground clearance and maneuverability mean you’re not restricted to broad, flat campsites—they take you where larger RVs fear to tread, be it a secluded beach or a mountain vista.

Customization and Upgrades: Starting with a blank canvas, you’re free to tailor your abode. Fancy an off-grid setup? Solar panels and bespoke plumbing systems turn a mere vehicle into a self-sufficient sanctuary.

Servicing and Repairs: Keep in mind, the path less traveled comes with its share of bumps. Regular servicing is essential to avoid getting stranded. Thankfully, finding a service station familiar with popular models like the Sprinter isn’t a wild goose chase.

Cost Considerations: The financial aspect cannot be ignored. While upfront costs for a new van can be steep, ongoing expenses such as fuel and repairs are typically less when compared to a full-size RV.

Remember, van life isn’t just a mode of travel; it’s a tapestry of the landscapes you traverse and the memories you weave. It’s about crafting a life as unique as your destinations. So, are you ready to drive into your next chapter?

The Top Camper Options for Your Adventure-Ready Van Life

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Mercedes-Benz’s Leading Campervan Wonder

The iconic Mercedes-Benz Sprinter starts at $34,985 and can run upwards. Don’t you find it amazing how a single vehicle has become almost synonymous with van life adventure? With choices spanning three lengths, the Sprinter offers you a variety of build possibilities. Regularly available in a robust 4×4 format, these vans are also found in pre-converted forms. But take note, a converted model might make your wallet a bit lighter.


  • A high top roof comes standard allowing you to stand tall.
  • Numerous online blueprints guide your custom build.
  • The van life community loves it.


  • A steeper price tag, especially for converted models.
  • Services and parts available mainly at Mercedes dealerships can delay your travels.

Ram Promaster, The Broad, Budget-Friendly Contender

Ram’s Promaster, tagging in at $29,995 onwards, is a relative newbie stirring up the camper scene. What sets it apart is its affordability paired with various dimensions allowing you to tailor your space. Seeking a van already shaped for the road? The Promaster’s emergence in the van life arena means finding a pre-outfitted one isn’t a tall order.


  • The width is knockout – roominess reigns supreme here.
  • Conversion options abound due to its popularity.


  • Off-roading could get tricky with less than ideal ground clearance.
  • Unlike our friend the Sprinter, no 4×4 rides with this one.

Ford Transit Van: The Trusted, Versatile Road Mover

The Ford Transit Van, priced from $34,500, has been winning over road trippers since 2014 with its wealth of height and length customizations. The used market is flush with ready-made Transit conversions, making it easier for you to roam free.


  • Friendlier on the finances versus the Mercedes rival.
  • Renowned for its easy handling, turning tight corners with ease.


  • Models from 2019 and earlier are limited to rear-wheel drive; AWD joined the scene in 2020.
  • Its narrower build can squeeze the creativity out of custom layouts.

Experience Campervans Before Committing to the Purchase

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Versatile American Workhorses: Chevy and GMC’s Strong Contenders

Have you ever considered the strength and adaptability of American engineering for your adventures on the road? The Chevy Express and GMC Savana 2500/3500 series could be the sturdy companions you’re looking for. Here’s a bit of what you should know:

  • Starting Cost: From around $32,500.
  • Base Features:
    • Heavy-duty frame ideal for substantial custom fitting.
    • Potential to haul up to 6,500 pounds.

Pros and Cons Table:

Robust frame for significant conversionsLimited to aftermarket high top additions
Maintenance is straightforward at Chevy shopsLacks 4×4 drive options
Marketplace overflowing with used and aftermarket partsFuel efficiency may not impress

Iconic Nostalgia on Wheels: The Volkswagen Westfalia

Ever dreamt about stepping back in time while hitting the modern road? The Volkswagen Westfalia campervans, with their retro charm, might just be the groovy portable home you never knew you needed.

  • Price Range: Expect anywhere from $10,000 to over $80,000. These vans have collector appeal!
  • Key Attractions:
    • Agile and parkable almost anywhere.
    • Popup roofs offer that sweet extra sleeping space.

Pros and Cons Table:

Fits anywhere, even a standard parking slot.Pre-owned market; parts scarcity can be challenging.
Popup roofs for a cozy sleeping experienceMaintenance can be pricey due to specialty work required.
The community is tight-knit and always willing to helpFuel efficiency is moderate and the engines aren’t powerhouses.

In the world of campervans and adventure rides, these two options strike a balance between utility and style. So, why not give them a test drive before deciding which van life fits your journey?

Kick Off Your Van Life Adventure

Embarking on your #vanlife journey? Whether you’re enhancing your own camper or seeking a rental, here’s how to optimize your space:

  • Storage: Think vertical with a roof rack, perfect for bulky items.
  • Pop-Up Roof: Why not go upward? A pop-up roof means more headroom or a sleeping area, thus freeing up essential living space.
  • Flexibility: Remember, the van should fit your dream; tailor it to your taste for the ultimate home-on-wheels.

Explore Campervan Rentals

Have you considered a mobile getaway? Rent a campervan and test out the lifestyle! Here’s a snapshot of what’s available:

  • Storyteller Overland MODE LT: A 2023 AWD van perfect for adventure-seeking groups.
  • Voyager Campervans: Choose between the cozy ‘Minny’ for two, or a larger four-sleeper Promaster, both solar-equipped.
  • Mercedes Benz Sprinter: A van life icon with multiple length options and 4×4 availability.

Essential Considerations for Choosing Your Home on Wheels

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Deciding Factors When Selecting a Live-In Van

When eyeing a camper van to call home, here’s what should tickle your fancy:

  • Vehicle Condition: Vintage charm or contemporary tech?
  • Space and Layout: Enough room to swing a cat or just cozy for one?
  • Budget: What’s the dent in your wallet? Remember, price isn’t always synonymous with value.

Living on a Shoestring in a Camper Van

Could swapping bricks for wheels save you a penny or two? It’s a resounding “perhaps”! Here’s the fiscal scoop:

  • Lower utility costs – no water bills if you’re showering beachfront.
  • Parking – free if you’re savvy, but budget for campsite fees elsewise.
  • A study by Outdoorsy highlights an average van lifer can save around $1,000 monthly by skirting traditional housing costs (Outdoorsy).

New versus Preloved Camper Vans

Newbie or old-timer, what’s your pick when it comes to campers? Mull over this:

  • New Vans:
    • Pristine and warranty-backed. Yet, your savings might cry a tad.
    • Ford Transit 2020 gleams with untouched gear.
  • Used Vans:
    • Stories and scars, possibly cheaper, but vet for hidden gremlins.
    • A 2019 Dodge Ram ProMaster could be your seasoned charmer with a softer price tag.

The Non-Negotiable Features of a Camper Van

Ensure your van is decked out with:

  • A solid bed setup: Otherwise, where will all the magic happen, sleep-wise?
  • Power supply: Solar panels, anyone?
  • Storage: Because hoarding canned beans is a thing.
  • Kitchenette: A Ford Transit Custom with an in-built stove can be your Michelin star.

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