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5 Reasons to Avoid a Camper Van

5 Reasons to Avoid a Camper Van

5 Reasons to Avoid a Camper Van

Camper vans seem like a perfect way to travel with everything you need. It’s a tiny space, easy to drive, easy to park, and is well-equipped. What could be better? 

As it turns out, larger RVs are often better. We’ve met many people in our travels, and we’ve seen a lot of rigs. We even traveled in a tiny camper during our first years of RVing, so we know small spaces well! 

We wanted to share some of the things we’ve discovered about these vans. Here are the top 5 reasons you might want to avoid a camper van and maybe opt for something larger. 

What Is a Camper Van? 

A camper van is exactly what it sounds like: a van that you can camp in. They typically have everything you need for a great camping trip, including a bed, a kitchen area, storage space, and occasionally toilets or full bathrooms. 

Types of Camper Vans

There are many camper vans on the market, but even with all the variety, they can fit into two main categories: Class B RVs and van conversions. 

Class B RVs 

Class B RVs are motorhomes with a van chassis.

These are considered actual recreational vehicles, and RV manufacturers produce them. Class B RVs are the most expensive motorhome per square foot, and they typically have most amenities you’d find in larger RVs. 

Camper Van Conversions

Camper van conversions are regular vans that have been converted into campers, either by the van owner or a van conversion company. 

They’re cheaper than Class B RVs but require significant work. Van conversions are custom built and can have all the amenities of an RV, or they might have just a bed. It’s up to the owner!

Benefits of a Camper Van

Benefits of camper vans include fitting into regular parking spots and occasionally stealth camping. They can also be more affordable upfront than larger rigs. 

But despite all the benefits, these tiny homes-on-wheels aren’t for everyone. 

5 Reasons to Avoid Camper Vans

Camper vans have their downfalls. This might seem like an attractive way to travel, but let’s take a closer look at some reasons why you might want to steer clear of these little campers. 

1. They’re Seriously Tiny

Camper vans are small–like, really small. While it might benefit some, it’s also one of the biggest downfalls. 

These campers are not great for more than one or two people, and living and traveling in one of these vans can put any couple’s relationship to the test! 

2. Three Words: “Camper Van Tetris”

Camper van Tetris is a fun way to describe a not-so-fun activity: the constant moving and shuffling around stuff. 

Everything we want to bring camping in a dream world will fit perfectly in the van’s storage spaces. 

But, in reality, that doesn’t happen. Finding storage for everyday things like hand soap or bedding can be tricky! Sometimes, you have to shuffle things around to get to places like the toilet or the stove.  

Unlike in a bigger RV, it’s always a game of Tetris when you want to switch tasks in a camper van. Not to mention a lot of prep work that goes into getting ready to travel!

3. Little to No Storage

Camper vans DO have storage, but it’s usually very minimal. Most storage places are difficult to access, so you don’t want to use them for everyday items. 

4. Not All Have Bathrooms

Not all RVs of this size have bathrooms. Need we say more? 

Some have a toilet, and others have a full wet bath. Many have none of that, which means you need to get comfortable going outside or always parking near a restroom. That doesn’t sound like fun at all!

5. You Have to Break Camp to Go Anywhere

When traveling in a camper van, you typically can’t tow another vehicle behind you. So, if you want to drive into town to explore after setting up camp, you have to take it all with you.

This means you risk losing a primo camping spot. It also means that you have to put everything away and secure it for travel, and when you’re ready to go back to camp and relax, you’ll have to set it back up.

Is it the end of the world? No.

But is it annoying? Sometimes, absolutely!

Do These Reasons Make You Want to Avoid Them?

Would living in a tiny space, playing van Tetris, and always breaking camp deter you from camper vans? If the answer is no, check out the 10 Best DIY Camper Van Builds from 2020!

These are sure to inspire and keep you dreaming of that camper van life.

Discover the Best Free Camping Across the USA

To be honest with you, we hate paying for camping. There are so many free campsites in America (with complete privacy).

You should give it a try!

As a matter of fact, these free campsites are yours. Every time you pay federal taxes, you’re contributing to these lands.

Become a FREE CAMPING INSIDER and join the 100,000 campers that love to score the best site! 

We’ll send you the 50 Best Free Campsites in the USA (one per state). Access the list by submitting your email below:

Cameron Christian Shallow

Friday 24th of September 2021

None of these apply to me, although I'm also not living in my van full time. I spent my younger years roughing it in a tiny Honda fit or Hyundai accent. Most of the time I'm not breaking down camp because I'm not setting up camp. I get decent fuel mileage I'm a little privileged to sleep in secure areas as I'm a transportations worker. I don't need a bathrooms I don't need square footage I don't need storage. I need a warmish dry place to sleep my dog and people to stop telling me to how to live my life.

Mimi

Sunday 5th of September 2021

I have had class A, B, and Cs through the years. I 100% prefer a van to any of them for many reasons. Overall simplicity, better access and freedom to just pull away if I dont like it... i dont set up much STUFF and i pack it in pack it out....To each his own ...please take good care of our public lands.....

Tom Mcabe

Wednesday 1st of September 2021

Who wants to shit in the same space as eating and sleeping anyway? That doesn't sou d fun at all

Cat

Thursday 8th of July 2021

I just completed a 2 week trip in Utah visiting the Mighty 5. We rented our van from Native Camper Vans in Salt Lake City. We loved it! When you break camp, you can leave things behind, such as our camp chairs and table. Moving on completely from a camp is so easy! We had plenty of storage space. Our plan is to rent various vans to get a better understanding of our wants and needs, but for those of us who want to travel light, simple, and with the ability to get up and leave quickly, a camper van fits. I’m learning more about cassette toilets (not a fan of dumping waste, but I understand the appeal) which sounds better than the black water storage kind of toilet. But I digress. Camper vans are for a particular kind of traveler. If you want every single home comfort, then perhaps it’s not your mode of travel and camping. But if you don’t mind simplicity and easy going camping then the camper van is fantastic!

Kim Sanchez

Wednesday 7th of July 2021

I am an occasional camper so I do not want to buy a full RV or convert my vehicle. I bought a box from instacamperusa.com and it is perfect for my weekend need.

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