best vans for camper conversion

The 6 Best Vans For Your DIY Camper Conversion

Pinterest
Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn

In addition to the necessary tools and supplies for the long trip, transportation means is a worth-considering factor contributing to an unforgettable experience. Before going into the list of best vans for camper conversion, let’s take a look at a few reasons why this type of vehicle is more and more popular lately.

But first, we would like to ask, what is your vehicle choice for the previous long trips? If you still use the family car, a familiar one in your daily life, you may find that it is rather cramped and cannot meet most of your needs for comfort. An even more famous and convenient vehicle that people often use on long trips is the Recreational Vehicle, a fully-equipped vehicle furnished with the same living space as a mobile mini home. The RV has outstanding helpful features, but its limitations have always been its size and the not-so-smooth handling.

So when excluding these two vehicles that are inclined to two extreme opposites (one is too cramped, the other is too bulky), the best option that we would recommend for your trip is camper vans. Ignoring the inconveniences of a massive RV but still want your vehicle to be equipped with many great conveniences with considerably spacious backrests and strong looks, a camping van can be the answer. 

best vans to turn into campers

The van is a versatile idea for those who enjoy camping and weekend getaways. They’re also a compelling idea for touring music festivals during the summer without giving up great amenities. Without any doubt, it is a vehicle that offers good features and services at a more affordable price than a large RV.

Another advantage of these vans is their ability to adapt to the needs of each type of passenger. In many cases, they are assembled with desired additions and come in different sizes, from the most basic to those with bathrooms or kitchens and high ceilings.

They offer more space than a regular car, but without all the hassle of an RV. In addition, a variety of facilities are available and suitable for an overnight stay. You can bypass the high cost of a hotel or resort room and enjoy setting up your sleeping and relaxing place wherever you want. You can even do some charming custom transformations to any of these vans to establish memorable details with a personal touch.

With the highlighted advantages and disadvantages and the unmatched features of a model that is making its brand, here is an inclusive list of all the best camping vans on the market today to help you choose one best suits you and your adventurous spirit. But first, it’s best to know all the criteria for the ultimate selection.

Top 6 Best Vans To Turn Into Campers

As the old saying goes, there’s no such thing as the most beautiful or most-added-characteristic car, only the most suitable one. Your favorite car may or may not be on this reference list. That’s because everyone’s experience and feelings on things are different, and what’s right for you can take weeks or even months to figure out.

But no matter what the outcome or what kind of car you will buy, you are always the one who knows best to make your own decisions and possible choosing reasons.

The following is a list of the 6 best vans for camper conversion from Car From Japan’s point of view. We hope you can find something useful for yourself, even if it’s just a little insight.

1. Mercedes Benz Sprinter 

Estimated price: 

  • $25,000 used models
  • $33,000 short wheel base (WB) models
  • $52,000 long WB with upgrades

The first model we want to introduce to you now is the legendary Mercedes Benz Sprinter. If you’ve ever carefully noticed types of vans on local and intercity roads, you’ve probably realized that there is always an army of Sprinters crawling there, even as they’re delivering packages or bringing roofing materials to a job site. 

Offering an experience that blends comfort, luxury, and modernity so well, the Sprinter can be said to be extremely good at what it is doing while receiving much love from car enthusiasts. Favored as the battle horses in the worldwide car market in the camping vans/vans segment, a new generation of the wild, the Benz Sprinter has made an even stronger and braver case to mark its press for itself but nobody.

First, we’ll talk about the exterior of this impressive vehicle to help you understand why manufacturers did use the Mercedes Sprinter chassis to create a stylish yet comfortable camper van. Compared to previous models of the same line, the Mercedes Sprinter has inherited the tradition of having a large and bull-like body. However, the Sprinter looks not stiff but gives off a soft look highlighted by a wide chassis. The front end makes a clear impression with the grille inspired by the E200 series. Specifically, the steering wheel is formed from 3 sturdy spokes, with a polished chrome-plated flat bar. And right in front is the big 3D pointed star logo, while the light cluster is sharply curved in the shape of a hawk’s eye. 

Similar to other vans, the Sprinter has a square-shaped sidewall. The outstanding detail is the thick black border extending from the front wheel arches to the taillights to help the body look longer. The car uses small 16-inch multi-spoke wheels to give priority to thick tires. The side mirrors are made quite large to help expand the visibility for the driver, accompanied by an electric adjustment feature. In addition, its rear has a familiar horizontal opening style, which is very convenient for loading and arranging furniture.

Under the hood of the Sprinter camper van is a V6 Diesel engine that can produce a maximum capacity of 190 horsepower at 3800 rpm with a torque of 440 Nm at 1400-2400 rpm. Not only that but Sprinter is also equipped with a modern air suspension system. This is a big plus because this function can easily smooth out fluctuations quickly. At the same time, the system also creates a different smoothness compared to conventional suspensions in other van models.

As for the interior and comfort, the Sprinter chassis was already installed and equipped with high-end appliances, tools, and air conditioning or electrical systems. And when any manufacturer decides to convert and bring a fresh breath into this camper model, they may also tend to keep the original spirit of Mercedes, which is to create the most modern space with an experience of effortless superiority. 

The Sprinter van is often considered the top van life enthusiast’s vehicle and is worth the investment for all of the “just pretty general” reasons we’ve listed above. In addition to the basics that attract users, this van can also be modified to take on full of surprises and highlights journeys. The quality, the reliability, and the supreme van look have kept the Sprinter consistently high in searches and stand still among the top choices of camper vans for commuters seeking a super modern vehicle without suffering any bulkiness.

2. Volkswagen Transporter

Estimated price:  

  • $33,000 used 
  • $30,000 standard 
  • $52,000 extended models with upgrades

The Volkswagen Transporter is one of the most prominent and well-known among the convertible camper vans mentioned today. There are 3 plus points that help this car with a cool name appear in your list of worth-invested vans. There are 3 plus points that help this car with a cool name appear in your list of worth-invested vans. This is a car that is easy to operate, easy to maintain, and no matter where you are heading in the future, it will always offer a pleasant and fresh look on the road.

The German automaker makes it very clear in its vision that the Transporter is ready for any job, and is flexible for any situation, no matter the size. The original car offers 2 types of wheelbases. If you want a mid-size offering an airy and spacious space, you can invest and bet on the van model with a long wheelbase of 5,304mm and a roof height of up to 2,477mm. Although you can’t claim a standing upright experience on a camper van like with RVs, you can still fully enjoy the comfort if you know how to arrange things neatly and smartly inside the cabin.

Moreover, you and your future journeys may get along very well thanks to the van’s impressive 5.8m3 to 9.3m3 load volume and plenty of storage space that can fill with materials, tools, packages, and many other items securely and conveniently. Volkswagen offers a range of smart solutions to keep your belongings in place, avoiding heavy shifting when encountering road obstacles. Some notable features of the van on the physical conveniences include a load compartment lock function, optional chain and sill protection, baffles, rails, and high floor coverings.

Contributing to the van’s prominence is the powerful engine output with potential power options from 81-146kWs. Don’t be too surprised when you first experience the feeling behind the wheel of the Transporter. Because to easily support you through the unexpected ups and downs of any journey, Volkswagen Transporter has dedicated and proudly developed the modern and incredibly intense 4MOTION all-wheel drive. 

With this cleverly adjustable feature for all driving conditions, the Transporter is considered among the best vans to convert to camper vans capable of penetrating off-roads in its segment. In addition, it also has many optimal features that effectively support the 4MOTION system on the roads ahead, including DSG – the switching gears system, mechanical differential lock, and downhill assist feature.

As for the conveniences and driving comforts both outsides and inside the van, look at a few highlights below. It has never been easier to get from the starting point to your desired destination, thanks to the multi-functioned steering wheel and seat that can be adjusted continuously, and the soft stable cushions. You can also keep an eye on the control panel designed to accommodate the various levels of any customization you want. The Transporter has been upgraded with a range of modern systems to keep you on the lookout on the road, including Adaptive Cruise Control, High Beam Assist, and Park Assist.

You can freely add a few or a bunch of your unique touches to the Volkswagen without worrying about the reduced performance or reliability of the car. All the features, from staying connected and load securing to the vehicle’s comprehensive driving experience support system, will accompany you no matter what custom or remodel plan you go for later. With sliding doors, rear wing-like doors, and three standard optional seats at the back, the car can easily be renovated and converted into a prominent camper van and unleashes its full potential immediately. Highlighted an offer of a growing from existing space, this classic van will bring you a lot of unique travel experiences with a gentle and delicate vintage touch.

3. Ford Transit

Estimated price: 

  • $20,000 used
  • $25,000 short WB
  • $42,000 long WB with upgrades

Talking about Ford, we probably have nothing to say about its quality and the uniquely strong driving experience. In the past, generations of Ford Transit were not born for the extreme off-road capability as you may think. But by 2020, the American multinational automaker has introduced a Van model with an AWD engine that supports optimal power for the front wheels. For this reason, with the car line’s improvement and the rise of the in-van lifestyle, the Ford Transit has become more sought after and noticed in the market. Currently, it has evolved into an almost-absolute go-to large van of short vacations for many adventurers and travelers.

As one of the tallest convertible vans for camping purposes, this car is considered suitable for tall drivers because of its distinctive high ceiling design of up to 2070mm in the largest model and 1445mm – 1827mm respectively in the two smaller ones. Looking at this impressive height, you can see that a camper van with a Transit chassis with lots of clearance above your head will be ideal if you want to add a lot of high-hanging utilities or neat overhead storage. Living in an air-cleared camper both on the top and bottom can reduce the feeling of being cramped within a small place, a feeling that, if you are not used to it, will easily make you scared or obsessed. Commonly, people head to the streets in a camper van for pure joy and freedom after days of hard work, and if even the vehicle makes them breathless and tired, that’s for sure will not do any good for their mental and physical health in the long run. 

Needless to say, the most outstanding feature that makes the Ford Transit more widely known in the world now is, of course, the optimal internal ceiling. However, in the end, it cannot ascend to the top with just a single dominant trait. Considering from all angles and evaluating in many ways, the Transit is more than that.

In terms of economic value, Ford Transit offers a reasonable price for the amenities and equipment that come with it compared to some vehicles in the large van segment. Using Transit’s market price as a benchmark, with a qualifying new model, the hit Sprinter mentioned above may cost more than the Transit $6,000 to approximately $10,000. Some other models cost about $1,000 to $2,500 less than the Transit but are completely inferior in offered specifications and amenities to ensure comfortable living spaces.

In addition, for all the features that can support your everyday smooth riding, Ford dedicatedly provides this van with a promising and modern system. From the optional all-wheel-drive feature helping the car succeed in navigating off-road terrains, to the powerful 3.5L V6 EcoBoost engine that combines a turbocharger with direct fuel injection enabling the Transit to move easily even on steep and bumpy roads in the wilderness. Can you have somewhat of a fiery feeling about the competition today? 

With a few older Transit models, you may even get a chance to try out a van equipped with a V8-tuned engine. They certainly won’t have many modern features, but an more powerful engine is also worth considering. For towing, you will have three potential options for rear axle ratios from 3.31, 3.73, to 4.10. The towing capacity of the AWD version ranges from 4,000 – 6,200 lbs and is at 4,200 – 6,800 lbs for the RWD version. 

Whichever Ford Transit model you choose, with pretty decent ground clearance and wheelbase of either approximately 130 inches or 147.6 inches, they can all give you a dependable, safe, and outstanding choice of a camper van. If you have already made up your mind, you may not go wrong as the energy from the high ceiling and the entertainment equipment in the cabin will surely surprise you. However, you should be aware that some camper vehicles developed from the Transit may consume more fuel (13 to 17 mpg) than others and suffer from a few engine-related problems. So, no matter how much you like the car, you should check them carefully before getting them home and starting the conversion project.

Regarding the availability of physical support stores, you can easily find shops specializing in custom cars and upgrade your favorite Ford Transit to an awarded-flexible and multi-functional camper van. Ford is somewhat a favored vehicle in the Northern sides of the United States, so from spare parts to additional tools or infotainment pieces, any shop can be your savior. Make a specific plan for relocating furniture, adding new systems, resetting electrical, plumbing, and furnishings arrangements, or if something breaks, you can do and fix them all with the help of experts who specialize in Ford vehicle repair and refurbishment at an affordable price.

On the track to the crown of the nearly-perfect convertible van, Ford Transit has been proving its strength to dreamers who, although they do not have a rich budget, are still fond of experiencing life to its fullest in a cozy, durable, and nurturing space.

4. Fiat Ducato

Estimated price:

  • $21,000 used models 
  • $32,000 short WB
  • $50,000 long WB

The next hot look in the best vans for camper conversion revealed today is the model from the Fiat family. What do you expect from a car rooting from Europe? Is it a luxurious-looking one with a nostalgic patterned dashboard covered in elegant colors? However, when it comes to Fiat Ducato, drivers familiar with the van will immediately think of it as one of the best large convertible vans offering plentiful cargo volume, top reliability, versatility in the segment, and the ability to save fuels to an optimal level.

Ducato is a car that can be considered popular with people looking for transportation or campers of all ages, from individuals to businesses of all industry segments. Being famous in both the USA and UK, just flip through any list of potential vans turning into campers, and you’ll see this car’s name is right up there on those shortlists. Through time, the reliability and versatility of the Fiat Ducato shine brighter for you than ever.

With its convenient square chassis, the ideal turning radius, and wide range of sizes and models, this van emerges as a phenomenon, but one with great conviction and unlikely reasons that is hard to deny. The Ducato is equipped with the powerful Fiat’s Euro 6 Multijet II diesel engines. It is recommended that you go with a 6-speed manual gearbox 2.3-liter engine that generates an output of 130hp, 150hp, and 177hp. Highlighted in the mentioned three is a 130hp engine that can develop a maximum torque of 320Nm, giving the utmost smooth and powerful rides on every road with only the smallest amount. Can you imagine the rest?

Each horsepower will match each model you choose and all the equipment you plan to pack for your future camper van. In addition, there is a Ducato model, the EcoJet, which can generate 150 hp and comes with a Start & Stop generator, has an eco-friendly Eco function, and an electro-hydraulic power steering system to reduce fuel effectively. The standard six-speed manual transmission for the Fiat Ducato series put power drive forces on the front wheels. Not only that, the 130hp and 177hp Ducato engines can also offer an optional six-speed Comfort-Matic automatic transmission, with a little higher price tag. Spending a little more on higher-qualified conveniences for a comfortable driving experience is always reasonable in the end, and is never a wasteful effort. If you have a chance and finances, you can consider choosing it.

Underneath the car bonnet is the engine with cult fuel economy that you can hardly find in cars of the same price or size. The theoretical number that the manufacturer gives for the highest fuel mileage of this car is about 44-45 mpg, a considerably impressive number. Of course, it is possible to exclude the possibility that this is just a calculated number on the vehicle when it is not loaded or equipped with camper supplies while operating in normal conditions and does not have to go through any uneven terrains. The max fuel mileage of the van when every chance above is subtracted may still be in the range of 30 to 35 mpg.

Regarding the Ducato’s cargo loaded volume, Fiat offers a wide range of loads from 8 up to 17 cubic meters. The size and total weight of the vehicle are also diverse. The model with the largest dimensions will provide you with a space of approximately 4000mm in width, 1870mm in width, and 2172mm in height, especially suitable for those who love the feeling of resting horizontally. The total weight is from 3000kg to 4250kg.

In addition, all Ducato models launched on the market have a partition between the cockpit and the rear compartment as standard. After converting and transforming, you can remove this metal plate and open up the whole space. The Italian automaker is also quite interested in the square practical frame created for the vehicle’s load compartment and a length of about 1.40m between the rear wheels. This optimal distance ensures that your bulky items can be brought inside easily in later rear camper transformation projects.

The next highlight of this potential camper van is reliability and safety. As one of the surprise factors in the segment with modern equipment and safety features, Fiat D has a pretty high safety rating. Its safety qualities include a driver airbag, an Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), an Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD), and advanced standard ESC stability control. A range of electronic driving aids is also included in the ESC system, including Rollover Mitigation and Adaptive Load Control, specifically designed to increase vehicle stability. Others are a hill-holding system, a traffic sign recognition system reading road signs and alerts speed limits and no-passing zones, and ASR anti-slip regulation that can support you on any off-road lanes you are likely to face.

A few things to notice about the van are that it doesn’t seem to offer a dream high ceiling, and its cabin may not be too spacious to accommodate large items. Some trims have electrical problems, it can be hard to find compatible replacement parts, and getting them through a narrow road can be difficult. 

The disadvantages are all shown, but the advantages are still shining bright. Try to experience driving a Fiat Ducato once to be amazed. This probable camper van isn’t the best in its class in terms of swerving over bumpy surfaces or when there’s no weight on board to adjust the heavy suspension. However, its steering has good power and balance, plus the van’s clear visibility will surely keep you comfortable while driving.

5. Volkswagen Crafter

Estimated price: 

  • $25,000 used
  • $50,000 short WB 
  • $87,000 extended long WB with new upgrades

The extreme level of hobbies or experiences always needs extreme and fearless transportation means. And for off-roading opportunities to burst into flames, you may want to consider the companion of the Volkswagen Crafter. While the Transporter brother is a prominent face in the best medium-sized vans for camper conversions lineup, Crafter has made a name in a more competitive and tougher pocket-access car segment. That’s why receiving a great deal of attention among heavyweight fighters like Mercedes or Ford still can’t exhaust this German hot face. With many unique features and potential power waiting to be discovered from its large body, Volkswagen Crafter has already been and continues to assert itself to shine more with significant advances in driving assist capabilities and equipped technology.

The car is designed to optimize to open up storage and carrying space. With just a small extension, drivers can prepare themselves with 3 available body size choices suitable for individual needs while ensuring great styling. Would you rather your quest to find a Crafter model, starting with the mid-length MWB model at 5,905mm, the LWB version at 6,940mm, or the LWB Maxi at over 7,380mm? The ideal lengths of all models allow a maximum cargo capacity of up to 18.5 cubic meters.

Not only creating excitement and curiosity with impressive dimensions that are almost absolute in the segment, but the Crafter’s electromechanical steering is also a feature worth your attention. This is the first time the company has equipped this characteristic for such a large van. While you may not experience particularly comfortable sitting in the cockpit under the function of the electromechanical steering, it is generally acceptable considering the bulky size and weight of the vehicle.

The equipped Volkswagen Crafter’s engine in all models is a 2.0 TDI diesel with 100bhp, 120bhp, 138bhp, and 175bhp power outputs that can deliver a torque up to a maximum of 340Nm, and are built with endurance, traction, and optimal fuel economy. Euro 6 certified, they are all petrol injection engines with SCR catalytic converter technology to support the most sophisticated and effective smoke removal process. You can also fully utilize the power of the 6-speed manual and 8-speed automatic for your trip and be flexible with all ways of operating the Crafter.

Crafter also offers front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive, and all-wheel drive to distribute power. The front-wheel-drive seems to be the preferred model for quite a few new drivers as it has the lowest load height and highest payload due to having all of its mechanical components added at the front of the cabin. In addition, a stop-start system is also equipped as a standard feature, which can help the fuel efficiency of the van to increase by up to 15%.

The Crafter’s cab is about as excellent as it deserves to have for a large van. The build quality is first-rate, and the used materials appear to be super long-lasting. In addition, storage space is plenty for products or furniture of multiple sizes. In each door, you will have two-door pockets. The driver’s driving posture can be adjustable and has enough seat base travel even for taller drivers to be comfortable before the seatback meets the bulkhead.

Volkswagen is delighted that the Crafter is the first van in its legacy to be available with an ARG-approved driver’s seat for healthy backs. This optional ergoComfort seat includes 14 various position settings and a shock cushioning system that can be adjusted for the driver’s weight. Sitting in the car for a long journey will be more stable and smooth now. However, on rough and undulating roads, your painful back may be replaced with minor seasickness as the seat may slide up and down to adjust.

VW has also been careful and delicate when equipping its large born-child with a series of safety features. To optimize your safety on the road, the Crafter provides you with four airbags, Stability Control, Automatic post-collision braking, and Spoiler assist as standard, with Adaptive journey system control. Two more advanced features, Lane Assist, and Pre-Emergency Assist are both available as options, depending on your budget. A few other handy aiding characteristics include Hands-free parking assist, Side assist, Parking sensors warning you if anything is encroaching on the turning radius, and Trailer assist, making reversing with the trailer just within a snap. Not to mention the other conveniences that can be installed at the bottom of the cabin, the safety features alone are enough to put the Crafter at the top of the potential investment chart.

However, the biggest disadvantage of VW Crafter is the high price, which can be considered the highest among the extensive and high-end models, including used ones. And you have also realized, with such a weight and size, the fuel economy may not be as optimal and superior as the more compact vans. Win or lose, you can immediately see the good and the bad side of things to make up your mind and start investing in a camper conversion project that is worth your money best.

In short, this van is very suitable for someone with a huge budget who wants to carefreely find a convertible van coming with full amenities and equipment. 

6. Nissan NV

Estimated price:

  • $9,000 used
  • $30,000 standard new
  • $46,000 with upgrades 

And without making you wait any longer, the Nissan NV van, typically the NV 2500 and NV 3500 models, the Nissan’s mid-size commercial van, is the final piece to fit the reborn brand fighters on our best van to convert to camper line up today. The NV car is built on the same chassis as the Renault Trafic and Vauxhall Vivaro, and the less well-known model, the Fiat Talento. The main competitors of the Nissan NV in the market include a few big names such as Volkswagen Transporter and Ford Transit. 

We can easily see that the exterior design of the body and the car’s front is one of the most noticeable differences between the Nissan NV and its predecessors. As you may not know, quite a few Nissan NV models have been created at Nissan’s London Design Center, so the two glossy silver bars at the front give the car a bit of an edge. It is a remarkable connection detail with a somewhat nostalgic and traditional European style.

Considered one of the best cargo vans for conversion, you will be even more surprised when you step inside the vehicle to admire outstanding details under a car-like design unlike anything else before. The wonderful modern car design motif inside makes the van more refined and attractive as a touring car cared for a truly good experience. The NV has a wide range of models for you to choose. All dashboard vans come with automatic windows, hill start assists, Bluetooth connectivity, DAB radio, and heated rearview mirrors. Not only that, but you also have easy access to the air conditioning, front fog lights, and rear parking sensors in some standard models, while higher-end ones will have additional levers of automatic headlights, cruise control, and the Nissan Connect touchscreen infotainment system with satellite navigation.

Another noteworthy point is that Nissan claims that since the launch of the NV300, its popular commercial vehicle, the NV has gradually become an ideal stopover for many drivers. With the Nissan NV, you can choose from a van and passenger van available in two different lengths and two different heights. With a typical mid-size console van loading space ranging from 5.1 cubic meters to 8.5 cubic meters, you can freely install the necessary appliances and amenities for a comfortable and convenient living experience every day. While it’s impossible to stack large items with multiple functions inside to serve your needs, at least this van’s inner space will not make you feel too uncomfortable or short of breath.

As for the engine, the NV is usually equipped with a 1.6-liter dCi model with four matching outputs. With two single turbocharged versions, the engine will have a capacity of 94 and 118 hp, and two twin-turbo versions will generate 123 hp and 143 hp coming with a six-speed manual transmission. Rest assured if you want to experience off-road capability on any future road, as the 4×4 model is available on Nissan NV 2500 and 3500 models. The van features an eco button, which reduces torque output and throttle response for better fuel economy. The twin-turbo variants also receive start/stop technology, which helps the NV save gas more effectively.

Although there are disadvantages in size, one of the other strengths that help NV win points with users is the outstanding warranty policy of the brand, lasting 5 years or 100,000 miles. A five-year painting guarantee, five years of coverage for authentic Nissan parts, and a 12-year corrosion warranty are all included in the NV’s warranty package. It may be one of the best and most optimal warranties offered in the industry. This is also a van that has received a lot of trust and attention when even the Marketing Manager of Nissan Europe has affirmed that the NV can be considered an operating cost and warranty champion.

NVs come in a variety of sizes for load space and usability. Even its smallest version can handle three Euro pallets, ten plasterboard sheets, or up to 270 soccer balls in a 5.2 cubic meter load space. The tallest and longest model is also capable of carrying up to 8.7 cubic meters.  Moreover, the NV can tow a 2,000 kg braked trailer and 750 kg on a brakeless trailer. Surprisingly, Nissan offers an electrically-connected tow bar and tractor rail mitigation technology.

If you want to get one typical van, there’s a baffle hatch fitted as standard. A small hatch opening at the end of the load compartment will allow you to slide long items over and under the passenger seat. It can fit ladders, pipes, and other construction or maintenance materials up to 4.17 meters long. If you want to stuff even longer things into the baffled hatch, the license plate rear door can be locked, while the opposite door is left open. By doing so, extra-long items will be left hanging behind. Nissan’s extensive list of accessories for the load bay includes overhead storage areas for long stuff and racks.

Packed with a host of safety techs like anti-lock brakes with electronic brakeforce distribution, stability – traction control, and hill-start assist, whichever model you choose, you can all rest assured about the safety of the car in the cabin as well as in the driver’s seat. Regarding the safety ratings, you can completely trust the NV when it can operate effectively on its own, have good rear visibility from the large door mirror, smart damping suspension, and an optimal weighted steering system.

The cabin and interior characteristics of the Nissan NV also have big points with the neatly designed steering wheel and modern center console. The material quality can be sensed by the soft-touch connections on the dashboard. The other material on the car’s rear is quite hard and durable, while the instrument cluster is clear and legible.

There are neat storage solutions like the top glove box and door bins deep enough for large files and small bottles. There are also two pop-up cup holders built into the control panel, but they are too shallow for a 500ml bottle, which may quickly fall apart on the go. There’s a total of 89 liters of storage space in the cabin alone.

Other amenities may include laminated glass, additional windows for steel baffles, glass rear doors, and heated rear screens. There are also side doors for longer models, which not only add side sliding doors but also allow the rear-end doors to open at nearly 300 degrees.

Now, Nissan NV also has an electric version, you can consider this option if you want to own an environmentally friendly vehicle. But it is quite inconvenient to refuel for a long time for a full-supplied unique experience due to the lack of charging stations nowadays.

Nissan NV was born for people who love to travel and are ready for van life with just a small investment. Compact, cheap but still offering an easy driving experience and enough living space for 1-2 people, this van may not be the ultimate love. But it is undoubtedly one of the most potential options for your multi-day trips in middle-size vehicles.

Criteria To Choose The Best Vans For Camper Conversion

The charm of wandering on a wide unfamiliar road and the comfort of being in your sweet home can go hand in hand when you are traveling in the best van to convert to a camper.

Knowing a few things when buying or renting a van before operating to its full capacity, or worse yet, may have to go through uneven or rocky roads, will help secure and extend safety and optimal comfort for you.

Size

Camper trucks come in both large and small sizes, with a variety of mediums. You can consider exactly how much space you need by estimating how many people will be traveling and the equipped things you’ll need, including essentials, personal items, and entertainment supplies.

Camping vans can usually hold from 2 to 6 people and will be arranged with seats to suit the capacity of sleepers. Look for creative storage options, such as storage underneath a retractable awning or RV campgrounds that take advantage of crawl space, which will help you feel less cramped. 

This vehicle is divided into 5 main types. They are mini, small, medium, large, and box-can camper van. Each has its remarkable characteristics and can make for its brand. Below is a summary of a few parameters about the average sizes, the cargo volume, and the pros and cons of all types of camper vans.

Mini Camper VanSmall Camper VanMedium Camper VanLarge Camper VanBox-van Camper Van

External Size (ft)

W: 6.7 – 7
H: 5.9 – 6.2
L: 14 – 16

W: 6.2 – 7.6
H: 6.2 – 7.10
L: 15.1 – 16.4

W: 7.10 – 8.4 
H: 7.2 – 9.4
L: 17 – 19.8

W: 7.1 – 8.4
H: 8.6 – 10.2
L: 19.4 – 24.3

W: 6.1 – 8.2
H: 9 – 11.5
L: 20 – 25.7

Internal Size (ft)

W: 4.5 – 5.5 
H: 3.9 – 4.2
L: 4.9 – 7.5

W: 5.2 – 5.10
H: 4.3 – 5.10
L: 6.10 – 8.6

W: 5.8 – 6.2
H: 5.2 – 7
L: 8.6 – 11.5

W: 5.8 – 5.10
H: 6 – 7.4
L: 11.1 – 15.5

W: 5.1 – 7.6
H: 5.6 – 7.1
L: 11.1 – 14.5 
Cargo Volume (m3)3 – 44 – 77 – 1212 – 1711 – 20
Capacity1 adult2 adults2 adults
1 additional child
2 – 4 adults 2 – 4 adults

Exterior & Interior

Most camper vans are built on prefabricated chassis, not a new design or separated from all models on the market. Therefore, the exterior design of the car with details such as curved corners, exhaust position, handle, or light layout will depend a lot on the chassis chosen to use. Currently, the Mercedes-Benz 144 chassis is a popular and common choice for many camper vans, but you can also find options to use Ford, Volkswagen, Dodge, and a few other models.

As for the interior, the comfort of each car will partly be reflected quite clearly through their price. With the living space inside, you should choose furniture with durable and resilient materials.

You can always be free to create and enjoy your own-built colors, but don’t overlook the objects’ quality, construction materials, and convenient compact design of the furnishings to help your vans look both stylish and modern yet durable.

From the body in wood paneling to the marble paving, with just a little attention and a detailed plan, the feeling of being at home can surely knock on your heart’s vans door during your upcoming trip.

best van to convert to a camper
Photo: Outdoorsy

Fuel Consumption

You can expect less gas mileage in your camper van than in your family or personal car, but not all types have bad mileages. Some models have mileage ratings as high as 25 mpg, while others are significantly lower. T

o cut down on the van’s gas costs per trip that doesn’t seem short at any time, you can consider models with alternative energy sources, like solar panels. It is possible that such models will hardly have a bargain price and are too friendly to general drivers.

But the benefits of saving time and money that you will receive from them are extremely valuable and worth the investment if you love and want to give yourself and your family the best experience in a quite limited choice range.

Price

Price is a factor worth considering first when you are looking for a destination of transportation means for your scenic excursions in the future. Each vehicle class will offer a different price tag, depending on their offered comfort, materials, details, and labor costs from manufacturers.

Of course, because there are so many models and choosing resources on the internet, you can get confused and not know where to start. Therefore, to get a car model for the optimal experiences in all aspects, from equipment to economic investment, please refer to reputable sources and choose wisely so you will not regret the decision and waste unnecessary money. Below is the reference price range of vans for camper conversion, depending on the status that you should know today.

  • New camper vans can go up to $100,000 while ending up at over $200,000.
  • Used cars’ prices can be as low as $24,000 to $25,000.
  • High-end used camping vans may cost around $70,000 to $100,000.
  • Do-it-yourself convertible camping vans will range from $25,000 to $50,000, not including the chassis.

As for the type of campervan as we just mentioned above, you can refer to the following prices:

  • Micro camper valve: $10,000 to $57,000
  • Small camper van: $20,000 to $60,000
  • Medium camper van: $50,000 to $100,000
  • Large camper van: $100,000 to $200,000

Final Words

We’ve just taken a look at some of the most outstanding models on the market in the race to the glory of best vans for camper conversion. Regardless of your choice, we hope you will have lots of fun and cozy journeys with family and friends in the coming months.

These vans are great examples of how you can design your dream camper van without getting a 100-perfect score or an extra-large van. Just make a smart construction, arrangement, and installation plan, you can master every trip and never have a single thought of regret.

About The Author

Related Posts

Leave a Reply