At some point, let’s admit that we’ve all thought about this idea: giving everything up to live your best vanlife, in a camper van. If the idea has stuck with you and you want this dream to finally come true, the first step is to get yourself a van and start your van conversion journey.
There is a wide variety of vans on the market. There is an option for every budget and every need; the sleeper van, the Sprinter van, the camper van, the new and used options, etc. Some people do their van conversion themselves with a lot of sweat, others will pay a specialized company to build it for them, and some lucky vanlifers among us will have a manual friend who’ll be willing to help out in exchange for a slice of pizza.
THE 4 BEST VANS TO CONVERT
The popularity of the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter pickup truck is steadfast! Whether new or used, it remains one of the top favorites!
The reason this van is so popular on the roads is that it provides a lot of safety for its passengers. On top of its reputation for being equipped with many safety features, it includes a 4X4 option!
The other advantage of choosing the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter for a van conversion project is the size of its interior. Note that this van offers three roof height options, either normal, high, or very high. In addition, it is possible to choose a normal or elongated passenger compartment.
While some may think this van is the cream of the crop, others have trouble with this rather luxurious type of cream. One of the main drawbacks is the price. The base cost of the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is significantly higher than that of its cronies. On top of that, maintenance, parts, and repairs also cost more than other van models!
To learn more about the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, here are some helpful resources:
Also very popular amongst vanlifers, the RAM ProMaster is designed in the USA and has a lot to offer. Thanks to its rectangular box, it is also very easy to spot on the road!
The RAM ProMaster can easily be converted into a camper van. Its main advantage comes from the fact that it is offered in several configurations, including three wheelbase models (118 inches, 136 inches, and 159 inches). It is also offered in two exterior heights.
The second advantage of choosing this van model over any other is the cargo area. Its cabin is large enough to accommodate a standard size mattress on the floor. Since the sidewalls of the RAM ProMaster are 90 degrees, they make it easy to cut and install materials when converting the interior.
To learn more about ProMaster RAM, here are some helpful resources:
Many are turning to the Ford Transit, especially for its affordable price. This van may be a great fit for someone looking for a low-budget van conversion project.
Most recently, Ford has added all-wheel drive between the front and rear wheels to its Transit vans. This addition offers increased safety, providing better handling and better traction.
Highly malleable, the Ford Transit is perfect for DIY van conversion. This minivan model comes with three body lengths, two wheelbases and three roof heights. Again, there is always a way to make the most of the space!
The small problem is that certain aspects of its interior can make the design of the layout more difficult (not impossible!). For this reason, during the conversion, you will have to be resourceful, creating your custom furniture!
To learn more about the Ford Transit, here are some helpful resources:
Although smaller than its cronies, the Nissan NV can also be converted into a camper van. It is well suited for single people or couples who get along verrrrryyyyyy well.
As it is less expensive than other pickup truck models on the market, there is one option to consider. By purchasing this type of pickup, many find that they have more money left for the conversion and interior design.
Even though cargo space is more limited, the Nissan NV comes with two roof options, either standard or high.
To learn more about van conversions in general -all things van-related, really-, we’ve put together a free and complete guide.
So these were our top 4 van models for van conversion projects! If you’re looking for more inspiration, read the story of Elaine and Karine, who converted their van using tubes and connectors!