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Best Camper Vans

The Family Handyman logo The Family Handyman 5/13/2021 James Fitzgerald
Couple in Camper Van © Thomas Barwick/Getty Images Couple in Camper Van

Buying a Camper Van

Camper vans have been trending lately, and for good reason. They allow you to get further off the beaten path than you could with a full-size RV, but still offer more luxuries and amenities than roughing it in a tent.

With the growing popularity of #Vanlife in recent years, many companies have progressed leaps and bounds in camper van innovations. But be forewarned: Camper vans are pricey — usually six figures. Consequently, it's wise to consider all your options before committing to a camper van that doesn't perfectly suit your needs.

What follows are some of the most impressive selections on the market that are sure to satisfy a diverse range of requirements.

a car parked in front of a truck: winnebago camper van © via winnebago.com winnebago camper van

Winnebago 4x4 Revel

The Winnebago 4x4 Revel has everything you need to explore the road less traveled in style and comfort. With four-wheel drive and a 250-watt solar system, it can go virtually anywhere while providing plenty of off-grid power.

The inside features a bathroom with a toilet plus a shower supplied with virtually limitless hot water through an on-demand water heater. The water heater also provides energy-efficient hydronic heating to keep the camper warm year-round.

The Revel's tricked-out kitchen features an induction cooktop, refrigerator, sink and pantry with ample storage space. In the back there's a large double bed with a power-lift system that raises it for gear storage below.

a close up of a car: mercedes camper van © via rbcomponents.com mercedes camper van

RB Sawtooth Touring Van

The Sawtooth Touring Van from RB offers all the bells and whistles an outdoor adventurer could want. It's built on the chassis of the sporty Mercedes Sprinter, granting power and maneuverability along with four-wheel drive capabilities.

The interior features a full kitchen and bathroom along with two living spaces. Each living space can transform into a bedroom with removable tables and fold-down chairs. LED light bars on the top and bottom provide ultimate visibility during nighttime travels while traversing precarious back roads.

The roof holds a rack for your gear and 200 watts of solar panels. There's also an outdoor shower hookup and built-in propane grill on the side door.

a truck driving down a dirt road: Sportsmobile Classic camper van © via sportsmobile.com Sportsmobile Classic camper van

Sportsmobile Classic 4x4

The Sportsmobile Classic is a van conversion of the powerful Ford E-series. Along with four-wheel drive, it boasts a 7.3L V8 engine for exceptional power and reliability. It features a roof rack for gear storage and the option to add up to 500 watts of solar panels.

Inside you'll find a full kitchen, spacious seating, plentiful storage and a fold-down bed in the back. On the side door is a fold-down table where you can eat under the shade of a retractable awning. One unique feature is the "penthouse" pop-up top that maximizes the headroom in the kitchen and dining area. Unfortunately, a bathroom doesn't come with the standard package, but Sportsmobile offers a range of upgrades.

a group of people riding on the back of a truck: airstream camper van © via airstream.com airstream camper van

Airstream Interstate 19

The Airstream's Interstate 19 combines luxury and multifunctionality into a sleek and powerful camper van package. At 19 feet long, the Interstate 19 is the smallest camper van Airstream offers, and it's capable of maneuvering on back roads larger rigs couldn't access.

Though small, it packs a lot of features. The sofa and side seats fold down into the largest fold-down bed in its class at 66 x 73 inches. A 14,500 BTU boiler combines a water heater with energy-efficient hydronic heat. It also houses a full kitchen and bath.

a car parked in a parking lot: camper van © via roadtrek.com camper van

Roadtrek SS Agile

Large frameless windows wrapping the exterior contribute to the Roadtrek's SS Agile's sleek appearance. The windows provide ample natural light while making the 19-foot van appear larger and more open. It sleeps up to three with a full kitchen and bath plus an outdoor shower hookup.

An on-demand heater provides the hot water, and the impressive 30-gallon fresh water tank keeps everyone happy and hydrated when you're off-grid camping. There's also a retractable awning and 330 watts of solar power on the roof.

a truck is parked in front of a mountain: ram camper van © via pleasureway.com ram camper van

Pleasureway Tofino

The Tofino from Pleasureway offers one of the best deals around. At slightly more than 17 feet long, it can fit in a standard parking space and maneuver in the toughest off-road locations. The inside has a surprising amount of storage space along with a full kitchen setup.

The most unique feature? The pop-up top that maximizes headroom in the kitchen and functions as a spacious loft for sleeping. While other camper vans carry that six-figure price tag, the Tofino costs about $73,000. The catch? No bathroom, but it does have an external spray hose for an outdoor shower.

a truck driving down a dirt road: camper van © via storytelleroverland.com camper van

Storyteller Overland MODE 4x4.

Storyteller's Overland's MODE 4x4 series differentiates itself from other camper vans with space-saving features that make this 19-1/2-foot van feel bigger than it is.

For starters, there is no dedicated bathroom area, just a flex-space shower and toilet that's collapsible and doubles as a step into the bed. The 72-inch-long bed sits above the storage area, and can fold up when not in use or be transformed into a standing desk area.

The roof has two 45-watt solar panels that may not seem sufficient for off-grid needs, but the 12kw lithium battery system is enough to go off-grid for about a week without charging. The battery can be recharged by plugging it into a 120-volt power supply (AKA shore power), or with the alternator while driving in about 1-1/2 hours. The MODE 4x4 is also pre-wired for additional solar to expand its off-grid capabilities.

The three models in the MODE 4x4 series — Classic MODE, Stealth MODE and Beast MODE — range in price from $149,748 to $189,743.

a truck is parked in front of a mountain: winnebago camper van © via winnebago.com winnebago camper van

Winnebago Ekko

The Winnebago Ekko is the preeminent all-weather camper van that's ready for whatever you throw at it. At more than 23 feet long, it's larger than other camper vans on this list, and can sleep up three with two twin-sized beds and an optional pop-up top loft. It also offers large storage spaces with a separate, heated storage garage in the rear.

When you want to go off-grid, the Ekko has 450 watts of solar power with two lithium-ion batteries that can also be charged by the vehicle's alternator. The walls and windows are exceptionally thick and well-insulated, so this camper van can be lived in comfortably down to 10 F.

a truck is parked in front of a car: Nova camper van © via coachmenrv.com Nova camper van

Nova Coachmen

The Nova Coachmen has some of the most robust climate control features available. It uses Rockwool insulation that has twice the R value as standard fiberglass insulation, and dual-pane acrylic windows with three-times the R-value as the single-pane windows on most camper vans. Fold-down UV reflecting blackout curtains on each window complement this feature.

When the weather is pleasant, there are fold-down bug screen curtains on each window and a folding screen on the main side door. This camper van features 220 watts of solar power and uses a combi-boiler for energy-efficient heating and hot water.

a car parked on the side of a road: mercedes camper van © via mbvans.com mercedes camper van

Mercedes Sprinter

Pre-built camper vans are expensive, and the avid DIYer might want to design their camper van to their specifications. To this end, the Mercedes Sprinter is one of the most popular chassis for commercial camper vans and DIY builds, too.

The 170-inch-high roof model is especially desirable for van conversion, and a roomy wheelbase of up to 170 inches is wide enough to sleep four. It's also available in two-wheel or four-wheel drive options for going off-road. With a starting price of $36,355, it's an aspirational DIYer's van camper dream come true.

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