How To Find The Right Campervan For Your Needs

For some people, the idea of driving out of town unplanned, living life on the road, and sleeping on different camping sites is a dream they can only imagine. Perhaps some of you have always believed that arranging multiple transportation and hotel accommodations can be stressful and costly, making stepping out of your fence impossible. In reality, you can. 

When you have a campervan, you can drive away at any time and be free to visit as many camping sites and destinations as you want. Since your campervan also works as your ‘hotel,’ you won’t have to worry about paying for costly hotel rooms anymore as you can take it anywhere at any time. If the campervan life appeals to you, this article will guide you to finding the best campervan for your needs. 

Choosing The Right Campervan: Guide Questions To Determine Your Needs 

Although most of you are looking to buy a campervan for your traveling needs, you may have different reasons as to how you’ll be using the vehicle. And so, below are some questions that can help you figure out the kind of campervan you’ll need for your trip: 

  1. Where Will You Travel?

From busy city streets to dusty country highways, you’ll want to ensure you choose a campervan that suits well the roads or destinations you plan on traveling. For example, if you want to check out as many camping sites Auckland as possible, a Voyager Campervan may be good for you. This type of campervan may not have the onboard facilities like a huge kitchen or bathroom, but since you’re mainly staying in campgrounds, you can utilize the camping site’s bathrooms and kitchens for your needs.  

Meanwhile, if you aim to stay on the road for long hours until you reach out-of-state national parks and landscapes, you may find driving a luxury camper van more convenient. From the name itself, it has all the amenities you need and can fit up to eight people.  

  1. How Many People Are You Traveling With?

Campervans come in various sizes as they’re intended to cater to different numbers of passengers. Essentially, the more people you travel with, the bigger campervan you’ll need. A bigger campervan doesn’t only ensure everyone has a space to sit or sleep on during the trip, but it also provides enough storage space for everyone’s items. 

For your reference, here are the main types of campervan sizes and their configurations:

  • Micro Campervan: Good for one adult, but an average adult person wouldn’t be able to stand up inside due to the low-height roof; best for an occasional weekend getaway; no ample storage space.
  • Small Campervan: Can fit up to 2 adults but wouldn’t be able to stand up inside; average storage space.
  • Medium Campervan: Can fit two adults and one child; an average adult person can stand inside the van except for the ones over six ft.; better than the average storage capacity.
  • Large Campervan: Best for 2 to 4 adults (or children) and one pet; more than enough space for storage and other amenities; all adults can stand inside.

Before choosing a campervan, finalize first the number of adults and kids who’ll be traveling with you. 

  1. How Often Will You Use The Campervan?

If you’re only planning to use your campervan occasionally, a smaller and less-expensive model with lower gas mileage may be best for you. But if you’re planning to go on a long road trip across different states, you’ll need a fuel-efficient campervan model with complete amenities, as this vehicle will serve as your residence for the next few months. Remember, the longer and more frequently you use the vehicle, the more you should choose a hardy van. 

  1. How Much Storage Will You Need?

Whether traveling alone or with your family, having enough storage space will always be important for most of you. When choosing your campervan, consider how many things you plan to pack so you know how much storage you need. 

Will you bring your bike, skateboard, or other recreational equipment? Or will your kids be bringing lots of toys for the trip? Perhaps you’re bringing pets and need enough space for their bed and food/water bowls. Knowing how much storage you need can influence your choice of the campervan. 

Common Types Of Campervans

Now you know the specifics and features you want to have in your campervan. At this point, it’s time to learn about the various types of campervans available on the market. Below are the common types of campervans to choose from and find out which one fits your needs and your budget best:

  • Sports Campers

These campers feature a spacious living space with large windows perfect for those who want to look out into nature while traveling. This type also has enough storage space and ample space for your family members. 

  • Luxury Campervans

A luxury campervan can offer you a complete set of luxurious amenities on the inside and beautiful scenery on the outside. However, luxury campervans come with a hefty price tag, so ensure that this is within your budget. 

  • Budget Campervans

Although this type isn’t equipped with the bells and whistles like other luxurious campervans have, they come at a lower price, suitable for travelers on a budget. However, this may not be the best choice if traveling with kids or in groups, as this van doesn’t have enough seating or sleeping quarters.

  • Voyager Campervans

This type is ideal for people looking for an economical campervan but still slightly more convenient and luxurious than the budget type. The voyager campervan may not have a toilet or shower, but it has a fully equipped kitchen with a fridge and a fold-out table perfect for outdoor and indoor dining options. 

How Much Will A Campervan Cost You?

By now, you may have already imagined the best campervan you want for your trip. But before that, it’s essential to learn first how much a campervan will cost you. Generally, the cost of the campervan depends on its size, model, features you want, and whether it’s brand-new, second-hand, or recycled.

Here’s a quick breakdown for your reference:

  • Brand-new Campervan

This new vehicle may cost between USD$130,000 to USD$300,000. Besides the brand and its newness, another factor that could influence the cost is the quality of the materials used for building the van. Custom-built campervans will also be more expensive than the cookie-cutter production of campervan models. 

  • Used/Second-hand Campervan

If you’re on a budget, you may opt for a used but still in good-condition campervan. Its price may range from USD$25,000 or less, depending on the vehicle’s age and the materials used. 

  • Recycled/DIY Campervan

Recycling a campervan on a DIY approach may cost you between USD$ 10,000 to USD$50,000, which means huge savings on your part. However, this doesn’t include the other hidden costs you may have invested for the time and effort you’ve spent recycling the campervan. But if you have the time and the right skill set, you can have full control over customizing your own campervan and save a lot of money. 

The bottom line is that the cost of the campervan depends on what for you is a ‘good deal.’ If you can splurge, you can purchase brand-new and luxurious ones. You can have the second-hand or used type if you’re on a budget. If you really don’t want to invest much money in the campervan alone, you may prefer the DIY van. It all depends on your personal preferences. 

Should You Buy Or Rent A Campervan?

Another factor to consider when choosing your campervan is whether you prefer buying or renting one temporarily. If you’re a first-timer, renting a campervan may be your best option. That way, you get to feel what it’s like to travel in a campervan and find out if it’s something you can commit to for a lifetime. Buying a campervan with only the intention of using it once a year may be a waste of money and space as this vehicle may be too big to park in your garage. 

Once you’ve gone through several trips and you decide to become a full-time campervan traveler, this may be a good sign that you can buy one. Buying a campervan is also the best option for seasoned travelers who want to save money from constantly paying rental fees of their rental campervan. After all, if you’ve proven to yourself that you’re fully committed to living a lifestyle on the road for several years (or a lifetime), buying your own campervan is the best way to save money in the future.

General Tips When Choosing The Right Campervan

Here are other tips to remember when choosing the best campervan for your traveling needs:

  • Take Your Time to Research

Before you get tempted to buy the first campervan you see, research other options first and compare. Some brands may be better than others in terms of quality, size, or model. Or, if you’re on a budget, you may see other campervans at a more reasonable price. 

  • Make a List of the Features You Want in Your Campervan

To ensure you get the best vehicle for your needs, list the features you want to see in your campervan. For example, if the toilet and sound system are non-negotiable for you, note them down and don’t stop until you can find a campervan with these amenities.

  • Consult an Expert

The same way you go when you buy a car, it’s also recommended to talk to an expert before buying or renting a campervan. This is important, especially if you have little knowledge about these vehicles. The expert can talk you through everything you need to know about the campervan.

  • Do a Test Drive

Once you finally have a choice, do a test drive before paying for it. This will help you check if it’s the right kind of campervan you can handle on the road. It’s also recommended to take your campervan to the mechanic so they can thoroughly check if the vehicle is in the best condition for traveling.

  • Get the Right Insurance

Lastly, make sure the proper insurance policy covers your chosen campervan. This will help you save money and get the most out of it. It can also help protect you in case you’re in an accident.

Wrapping Up

Plenty of factors must be considered before you finally decide on a campervan. With this comprehensive guide, you can now get yourself the best campervan for your needs and be ready to take it on the road. 

Andy Higgs
Andy Higgs

I know what it's like to go from being a crazy backpacker without a care in the world, via being a vaguely sensible parent to being an adventurer once more. In other words, evolving into a Grown-up Traveller.

Like everyone else, I love to travel, have visited a lot of countries and all that but my big thing is Africa.

I also own and run The Grown-up Travel Company as a travel designer creating personalised African itineraries for experienced adventurers

Articles: 1180

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