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One of the best parts about van life is the joy and satisfaction of building your own home on wheels. While exploring hills and valleys of the world, many van lifers are using this lifestyle to save money which would have been spent on renting or buying a house. Vans are not only the dwelling places for the nomads but also the perfect way of accessing a happy and balanced life.
With hundreds of thousands of vans on the market today, getting the ideal model for your life on the road experience can be a bit tricky. This page is designed as a jumping-off point for your van life journey. It entails the best vans for conversion for van life as well as a camping trip.
However, here is a list of the 10 best vans suitable for conversion that you can buy. Each of these products comes with features that you need to consider to make the right choice.
1. Mercedes sprinter
If you require a van that you can trust for firmness and steadily rely on even after you have covered tens of thousands of miles, look no further than Mercedes sprinter. Its durability, power, and ruggedness are the reason why it is the choice of conversion companies. This product comes in different shapes and sizes and it is available in the standard roof as well as with tall high-roof models, it can also be customized with a 144 inch or 170-inch wheelbase, two powertrain options and the super popular four-wheel-drive options. Sprinter lovers like the space in a 170-inch high roof model, and if it is well converted, it can accommodate a family of four and provide a standing room for individuals over six feet four inches.
Mercedes is not just a name that is known in almost all the continents of the world, the product is also widely used just as the name is known, so whether you break down in USA or CANADA, its spare parts are not difficult to get and also the product experts are available to fix whatever problem that ensues. Although Mercedes products are known to be expensive, there are older versions of Mercedes Sprinter that are pocket friendly and can run for hundreds of thousands of miles.
2. Ford Transit
For van lifers who are in search of a quality van that can cover thousands of miles and also budget-friendly, then Ford Transit is all you need. This product is a great runner with a good shape that makes it easy to add wood paneling and interior features without too causing many problems. Ford Transit is best for people who do not want a luxurious life. This is because it is made and built cheaply for pick up. More so, its longevity is guaranteed if properly maintained. This van is available in various lengths and heights. Also, it is affordable to repair and maintain.
This product cannot be right off among vans that can take you to the nook and cranny of any rough area. In fact, according to a press release in one of the previous years, in 2020, the new Transit will offer an all-wheel-drive that will provide enhanced traction on icy, snowy, or muddy roads. The van has a basic interior. Though, the Transit is new in the van life system, thus making it hard to find already used models for sale.
3. Dodge Promaster
Promaster is inarguably the best option for campers who are considering the plan of living in a van all-year-round. Its 159 wheelbase version is the widest conversion van in the market, it is wide to the extent that it can accommodate a standard full-size mattress if placed from passengers to driver dimension, unlike Sprinter and Transit where parts of the mattress would have to be cut off to fit in. The inside of the van can be configured to meet your desire as it can accommodate some necessities that are needed for an adventure with ease.
Like Sprinter and Transit, Promaster is also available in different lengths and roof heights. And this certainly makes it one of the best vans for campers. This product has a better front dashboard than Transit but has a better fuel economy that can be compared to Transit. The Promaster model costs lower than other vans especially Sprinter. It is a front-wheel-drive van thereby making it easy to drive, handle, and park as it also offers more traction in winter or snowy conditions.
4. Nissan NV
This product is suitable for van life travelers who are in love with privacy and want to be alone in his or her adventurous life. Unlike other vans for conversion, this unit has less cargo room. Nissan NV is not popular among its peers but can be converted to 4×4 and its high roof has the second-largest ceiling out of all the vans option V6 or V8 engines. The high roof models have a cargo height of 76.9 inches. The commercial van’s warranty and generous line up of configuration, as well as trim-level option, makes the Nissan NV cargo van a better choice.
According to Nissan, there are three models of the Nissan NV cargo van that come with a standard high roof. One affordable option is the basic model, but it only has a standard height roof that gives you about 55 inches of space. The NV 2500 and 3500 models all include high roof options in their build and this product also gives room to add larger tires, though, comments from some owners have reported that the larger tires can affect the opening of the sliding door.
5. Renault Trafic
Renault Trafic is one of the most popular vans among campers. It has unique qualities that made Vincent Tourette, the Managing Director of Renault UK say that “we are exceptionally pleased that the Renault Trafic has helped Sussex Campervans build an enviable reputation in a fast-growing and highly competitive sector, plus provide its many customers with some truly memorable holidays”. This model, in no doubt, offers a well-built, well-equipped campervan that can sleep up to 4 people. The possibility of the addition of extra height gives room to the opportunity of being able to stand up inside it.
Renault Trafic has an enviable dashboard layout design that can make you forget that you are in a van. Besides, the recent addition of an automatic transmission makes it even more appealing. This product is not only a hard-working commercial vehicle but a possible alternative to a conventional car should the need arise. It is the usability and suitability for a variety of applications, including bespoke conversion that makes it one of Europe’s best selling vans.
If you are traveling or camping with many people and you want to enjoy the comfort, space, and flexibility, a skoolie is the best choice. It has a big advantage in space compared to its competitors. Its windows give sufficient light and they are high enough to have a bed fixed without losing much space. This product provides the opportunity of tons of room for couches, mattresses, and even a full bathroom as well as accommodating a large group of people.
There are some nice skoolie that are better than a house. The amazing aspect of this product is that it is by far cheaper to convert it than to buy a similar-sized RV. Skoolie has some drawbacks too, its big size can make it a bit difficult to drive and if something goes wrong mechanically, it can be much more expensive to fix than a normal vehicle.
7. Volkswagen Bus
Volkswagen is indeed an iconic vehicle and has served as the best choice of campers since the late “70s. It is a good van that is perfect for van life and the reason cannot be far-fetched if you look up at the bus in a close range. VW is just plain awesome, they are fun to cruise around in, they are pre-converted, the camper setup is very functional, and there’s a large community of VW owners, aftermarket parts, and innovative modifications. Many of them also have pop tops, which add a ton of extra headroom when parked and even let you sleep, two extra people.
The early VW productions are no more on the market, this, therefore, makes the parts to be hard to come by or costly in the market. This product is still very much loved just as it was in the mid-90s and remains a quintessential choice for campers. VW comes in different dimensions, this category includes the old Kombi bus (VW Bus), the 1980-91 Vanagon, and the newer Eurovans. Also known as Westfalias or Westies, many VW vans were converted into campers by the Westfalia Company in Germany (except for Eurovans, which were converted by Winnebago in the US).
This product can be worrisome for starters because they are old vehicles and there are a lot of things that can go wrong in them mechanically. GoWesty, a well-known part maker, recommends not buying Westie unless you have enough cash for overhauling and replacement of its aged components. Even if you find a cheap Westy in a garage, be prepared for frequent breakdown and mechanical expenses unless you are ready to fully rebuild it.
8. Citroen Wildcamp
Here is a van that has a vintage look but a modern ride. This product is a rescue to those that like the old look but do not want to be disturbed by the hassle of maintaining it. Wildcamp is an iconic modern van with classic motoring touch. It’s over 70 years since the Type H Van has been in existence and now the WildCamp has brought this iconic vehicle back to life for a whole new generation of vanlifers to make their own van life stories.
This product is good for van lifers who want to get a converted van to set out on the journey immediately. With the old feeling and modern interior, it is spacious enough to contain kitchen accessories and campervan items. It is a van that can take you to your destination in a jiffy.
9. Sportmobile classic
This list of vans cannot be complete without having to mention this authentic and guaranteed model, Sportmobile Classic. It is a van that can serve you well in rough terrain as well as it does on the freeway. It has all high spec that allows passage on a rocky road and also has the advantage of taking you to a remote area where you can enjoy your adventures with all the comfort of home.
Sportmobile classic also utilizes pop-top to give you extra headway, which means that you can stand up inside it without having a problem. The interior can be customized to suit everything that you are going to need on the road starting from hot water, sink, storage space to fridge though not as spacious as skoolie and some of its competitors but since it is such that can cruise a remote area with rocky or muddy roads, then you are good to go. It is sincerely not a cheap campervan but if you desire a van that will take you to wherever you desire, it’s worth investing on.
10. Conversion vans
Here is a leisure van that is budget-friendly both in acquiring and maintaining. Conversion vans are mostly leisurely used. However, most of the used ones you can find for sale on the road are those that plow the highway and lasts for long, unlike other vans that are used for carrying goods and are placed for sale after they start giving issues. It has more space options than many of its competitors such as extra headroom, high topper, and barn-style swing outdoor, this provides an avenue for more options to add enough storage. If you are to embark on your journey tomorrow, the conversion van is good to go as it has a piece of factory-built equipment that is needed for the journey. It also comes with a curtain for the windows with a rare bed seat that folds down like bed. With these, you can put in your cooler and battery and can commence your journey. Meanwhile, all other things can be bought on the road as their need arises. This van can be repaired easily if it breaks down at any place. The general design of the old model and the latest model are common and have not changed, which makes their parts to be available and to be able to find their mechanics almost everywhere.
For your van life adventure, there is a slew of vans available for conversion on the market today. These vans are available in different sizes, shapes, colors as well as design. Since you are here to check the best van perfect for conversion, we are sure that you have seen the model perfect for your trip. All the products listed above have enjoyed positive reviews and ratings from hundreds of thousands of users.