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!
13 Reasons to Own a Camper Van
Your Home’s Where You Park It! Ever dreamt of living on the beach? In the mountains? Near a haunted house? With a camper van, your backyard can be anywhere.
Skip the Hotel Hassle: Forget check-in times and mystery mattress stains. Your camper van bed awaits, no key card needed.
Kitchen Always Open: Midnight snackers rejoice! Your kitchen is just a sleepy stumble away, and there’s no judgmental room service to side-eye your odd-hour orders.
Fashion Forward: Rock the “Bedhead & PJs” look at any time of the day. It’s the official camper van uniform, after all.
Pet Palace: Take Fido and Whiskers on a cross-country adventure without those pesky pet hotel fees or the guilt of leaving them behind.
“Portable Potty” Privileges: When nature calls in nature, you’ll have the best seat in the house (or woods).
Nosey Neighbor Deterrent: Annoyed by the local gossip? Just drive away! New neighbors are just a cruise down the road.
Décor Du Jour: Want beach vibes on Monday and forest feels by Friday? Your van’s views are the most versatile décor elements you’ll ever own.
Traffic Jam Napper: Stuck in traffic? Take a nap! You’ve got a bed in the back, after all. Just don’t forget to set an alarm.
World’s Best Ice Breaker: “Oh, you live in a house? That’s cute. I live in a mobile adventure hub.” Instant conversation starter!
Eco Traveler Trophy: Save on those carbon footprints by combining transportation and accommodation. Mother Earth gives you a green thumbs up!
DIY Drive-Thru: Forget fast food! Whip up your gourmet meal in your mobile kitchen and make every other car in the lot envious.
Experience Collector: Sunrises on mountaintops, spontaneous beach bonfires, and encounters with local wildlife (both animals and intriguing humans) – the experiences you’ll gather in your camper van are priceless.
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!
These are sure to inspire and keep you dreaming of that camper van life.
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