What Is The Best Van For Camping?

what is the best van for camping

Looking for what is the best van for camping trip? There are many options out there, but ultimately it comes down to what works best for your needs and preferences. Some things to consider when choosing a van for camping include its size and layout, whether it is off-road capable, and what features are included.

What Is The Best Van For Camping?

Van camping is an excellent option for those seeking the conveniences of home while still experiencing the thrills of outdoor activity. Tents, sleeping bags, or backpacks are not required to have a good time at your favorite campsite.

So, which camping vans are the best? Here are eight excellent alternatives:

We’ll discuss what to look for when purchasing a camping van, as well as provide an in-depth look at the vans. Additionally, how to construct your conversion van.

Camping Vans at Their Finest

Ram ProMaster 1

The Ram ProMaster has established itself as a market leader in the van camping industry. Ram vehicles are desirable due to their spacious interiors and overall durability. Three distinct models are available: 1. A cargo van with windows, a cargo van without windows, and a smaller van called the ProMaster City Tradesman (the Tradesman will not be discussed in this post).

The Ram ProMaster cargo van comes with the following advantages and disadvantages:

Pros
  • The ProMaster is a monstrous piece of equipment. Due to its large cargo area, you’ll be able to fit a variety of camping gear inside. On top of the flat roof, you’ll have plenty of space to store additional equipment or install solar panels. This camper van is ideal for one to three people.
  • The ProMaster has plenty of headroom. The low-top van stands at 5’6″, while the high-top van stands at 6’5″. Additionally, you’ll have a choice of lengths ranging from 8 to 13 feet. The towing capacity varies by model and can reach 6,800 pounds in some cases.
  • The square shape is one of the subtle features that tend to persuade potential buyers. The interior cubic footage is generous, with all sides having 90-degree angles rather than rounded edges.
  • Because the Ram ProMaster shares some components with other Ram vehicles, you won’t have to wait weeks or months for service. Repair and maintenance costs are also reduced as a result of the availability.
Cons
  • The Ram ProMaster is a difficult vehicle to drive if you aren’t used to such large vehicles. It’s a little difficult to get around in a parking lot or around a tight corner.
  • Without some minor modifications, the rear wheel well does not have enough additional space to accommodate larger tires.
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In Transit Cargo Van (Ford)

The Ford Transit cargo van is available in three body styles: low-top, mid-top, and high-top. Additionally, there is a passenger version with a carpeted interior and multiple seating positions. Whichever model you select, all Ford vans offer the same high level of dependability. Additionally, the wide-body design is ideal for transporting camping gear.

The following are the advantages and disadvantages of the Ford Transit cargo van:

Pros
  • Ford has been producing vans for decades, so the Transit is not going away anytime soon. You’ll be able to get parts, locate local repair shops, and resolve any issues within a week.
  • The Transit was built with a flat roof in mind, so there’s plenty of space for roof vents, panels, storage, and other features. Fill the space with bicycles and other outdoor equipment, or place a kayak on top.
  • Like the Ram ProMaster, the Transit cargo van is quite tall. It has the best-in-class height of 81.5 inches when compared to all other cargo vans. Transits are ideal for tall people who need more storage and appliances.
  • In recent years, the Transit has adopted a familiar square body shape to gain a few extra cubic feet. You can either fill the space with smoke detectors and other small camping suggestions, or you can leave it blank to give yourself some breathing room.
Cons
  • Transit vans’ rear windows are not adjustable. You won’t be able to roll them up or down, nor will you be able to prop them open like you can with most other vehicles.
  • It is more expensive than the Ram ProMaster, so you will have to pay a little more if you are on a tight budget.

Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Van

Mercedes-Benz is well-known for producing high-end automobiles. Despite the rugged nature of most cargo vans, the company has outperformed expectations and become the preferred vehicle for many campers, workers, and families. The Sprinter is available as a passenger or cargo van, but for this review, we’ll concentrate on the cargo van.

The following are the benefits and drawbacks of the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van:

Pros
  • Sprinters, like most of the other vehicles on this list, are available at a variety of heights. Low-top tents are best for solo campers, while mid-top and high-top tents are best for groups of two to three people.
  • These vans have been proven to last for hundreds of thousands of miles. If you’re looking for a long-term investment that you’ll be able to camp with for many years, the Sprinter series is worth looking into.
  • Instead of a hatchback, this van has two large doors that open to a 180-degree angle. These doors allow you to remove and replace items without stumbling or being restricted in any way. The low floor is also advantageous because bulky equipment can be quickly slid up a ramp.
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Cons
  • The mere presence of the Mercedes-Benz name raises the price of the Sprinter van. These vehicles are frequently priced at $5,000 to $10,000 higher than their competitors.
  • Parts, repairs, and routine maintenance are almost always more expensive than comparable vans. Mercedes also requires that certain jobs be completed through the dealership, which can be inconvenient in an emergency.

Cargo Van NV (Nissan)

The Nissan NV cargo van distinguishes itself from the competition by sitting low and having a much longer hood. Many customers say it feels more like a car or truck than a van, which could be a benefit or a drawback. Choose between low tops and high tops to find your favorite style.

The Nissan NV cargo van has the following benefits and drawbacks:

Pros
  • Nissan claims to have the country’s best commercial van warranty. It comes standard with a five-year, 100,000-mile bumper-to-bumper limited warranty.
  • When it comes to towing capacity, almost every other van in its class is outclassed. With a weight limit of 9,400 pounds, you’ll be able to tow trailers with ease (depending on the model you choose). Furthermore, the weight capacity enables you to transport significantly more camping equipment than other vehicles.
  • The NV, in addition to its impressive towing capabilities, comes with a choice of two engines: a 4.0-liter V6 or a 5.6-liter V8. Both engines produce the same amount of power as any other van, making them ideal for hauling heavy equipment on camping trips.
  • Despite the aforementioned features, the Nissan NV cargo van is an affordable vehicle. It is nearly $20,000 less expensive than a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van, which has a top prize of $30,000 with standard features. Furthermore, the parts are less expensive.
  • The fuel economy of this heavy-duty cargo van ranges from 24 to 26 miles per gallon. It’s quite impressive for all of the aforementioned dependable features, considering that most other vans get between 14 and 22 miles per gallon.
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Cons
  • In the high-top version, only the cargo space has a raised ceiling. This design not only looks odd, but it also means no overhead storage space above the driver’s and passenger’s seats.
  • The windowless model lacks even rear windows and does not offer the option of side windows. It’s either all windows or nothing.

GMC Savana

The GMC Savanna is a popular choice for several reasons, including the fact that it is available in gasoline, diesel, and natural gas models. There are several engine sizes to choose from, all of which have impressive weight capacities for your camping gear. If you need to transport a kayak or several sets of surfboards, this may be the best option.

The following are the benefits and drawbacks of the GMC Savana van:

Pros
  • Older Savanas have rounded tops, whereas newer models have flat ceilings. It’s a great convenience to be able to choose either, but it’ll also help you figure out what kind of camping gear you’ll need.
  • The passenger version can seat a maximum of 15 people. Remove one or two seats to make room for friends, or remove all of them to make more room. To remove the brackets, simply use some tools to loosen the nuts and bolts. You’ll have them all completed in less than 15 minutes.
  • This van’s bottom was designed to be low to the ground, making it quick and easy to load large, bulky items. Sliding ice chests, camping stoves, and even a mattress up the sloped edges is possible.
  • The Savana is available with a variety of window options. Even if you opt for the windowless model, you can have new windows installed along the sides or on the back doors by taking it to a dealership.
Cons
  • The flat tops of newer models have a slight incline, making it difficult to install solar panels flush with the roof. Brackets, on the other hand, can be used to keep them in place.

Final Thoughts

There are a lot of different vans on the market that would be great for camping. It depends on what your needs are and what type of budget you’re working with. If you need something large and spacious, the GMC Savana is a great option. If you’re looking for something more affordable, the Nissan NV cargo van is a solid choice. Ultimately, you’ll have to do some research and test out a few different vans before making your final decision.

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