Purchasing a camper van is equivalent to committing to a lifestyle that values freedom from convention. You don't have to be tied to a routine, everyday existence; you can roam wherever the wind leads you. No more monotonous daily routines in the same fixed location, no more household expenses each month, and of course, you will have the chance to save a ton of money because you are living much more frugally. But does the dream correspond to reality? Do camper vans merit purchase? I'm hoping that as a former owner of a camper van and someone who is thinking of purchasing and living in one permanently, I can help you make an informed decision.
How Much Will It Cost Me?
Camper van costs range widely. Since I currently reside in the US and have expertise there, I'm writing this with an eye toward the US Camper Van market. I also keep a careful eye on what's occurring in other wealthy nations, where there is a significant demand for camper vans and RVs. Numerous contributing elements will affect the cost of your camper van, including:
- The size of Camper Van you need
- The age of the Camper Van
- The model of the Camper Van
- The condition of the Camper Van
- What fuel the Camper Van uses
- The engine size and power output
- The specification of fixtures and fittings
- How much storage space the Camper Van has and where it is
Before we arrive at a rough estimate of how much you should be paying for a camper van, let's take a closer look at each of these elements. The size of camper vans varies greatly, just like their prices do. Like their occupants, camper vans come in a variety of sizes and forms. Up to articulated, third-wheel Monster Camper Vans, there are camper vans created from converted cars.
Car-Sized Camper Vans
The "Wheelhome Vikenze 3" and other compact camper vans have a place in the market and fill a need. They trade out the back seats and boot room for a surprisingly well-equipped kitchen, living area, and sleeping accommodations. They are intended for 1-2 people. The obvious drawback would be the lack of storage space, but I was pleasantly delighted to find that it also has a porta potty that can be removed with ease.
However, this brand-new, cutting-edge method of reducing space is not without a price. The price of a brand-new vehicle will be around $52,000.
Work Van Sized Camper Vans
When equipped with an elevating roof, as most are, the VW Camper (other manufacturers' variants are also available) is tall enough for the average person to stand up in and provides space for cooking, storage, and basic restrooms. If you want to move around a lot and travel light, you can pretty much take it anyplace a car can go without having to constantly unpack and set up. VW Campers come in a variety of configurations, from the most basic to the most luxurious, high-tech models. A good one will cost you significantly because they maintain their value even after many miles on the odometer.
Modern VW campers, like the one pictured above with an elevating pop-top cover, may be found used for between $23000 and $50,000. New ones will cost more. When it comes to cost, vintage VW Campers are in a class of their own. An earlier Split Screen model of a well-restored Classic VW Camper can have an eye-watering price tag attached. Older models that have been painstakingly restored can easily cost $50,000 or more, just like the newer models. However, if you can afford them, they are lovely objects.
Non-VW Work Sized Camper Vans
You might save a lot of money if you simply choose another manufacturer instead of buying a VW. VWs cost more than other, occasionally more dependable vehicles. Models like the Mercedes Sprinter, which is, for some reason, taller, longer, and broader than the VW, are more affordable. Additionally, there are many other producers of more reasonably priced, purpose-built camper vans to select from, including Renault, Toyota, Hymer, Eagle, and Ford. Here in the UK, you should be able to get a respectable pre-owned generic camper van for around $8000 and a brand-new vehicle for around $30,000 or more.
Large Camper Vans
Most people envision larger camper vans—those that are as large as caravans—when they hear the term "camper van." They have enough room to live in for several weeks, plenty of storage, kitchens, hot showers, flushing toilets, fixed beds, heating, air conditioning, Wi-Fi, TVs, refrigerators, and all the other modern conveniences you would find at home or in a vacation apartment. We previously owned a camper van like this.
They are fantastic to possess, but you would need other transportation unless you were constantly residing in one because they are too enormous to operate as a family car. Some of the many people who live permanently in their camper vans and recreational vehicles either bring a moped or a little Smart car with them that is pulled by a trailer. From the location where they have chosen to settle and set up for the night, they use these practical vehicles for quick trips into town and to the shop. They incur significant costs as well.
These campers and recreational vehicles may be purchased and used in the UK for roughly $45,000, while brand-new models with the newest features can cost upwards of $90,000.
Luxury More Spacious Camper Vans
When manufacturers saw that people were starting to live permanently in their camper vans and recreational vehicles, they created a variety of more roomy, opulent, and pricey options. These occur in a variety of forms, dimensions, and arrangements. It is possible to drive the 5th Wheel, Articulated Camper Vans to a site and then disengages the hitch, allowing the towing vehicle to be used independently.
In contrast, camper vans based on bus chassis offer expandable layouts with rooms that extend out from the sides of the car to increase the living space, along with a host of other conveniences that you just couldn't accommodate in a standard camper van or RV. However, even in the used market, you will have to pay a substantial premium if you intend to select something of this nature. On the used market, this one is available for $160,000. The price of brand-new ones might start at about $300,000.
Will I Use It?
This is a significant query. In my opinion, it is pointless to spend money on a camper van just to leave it sitting in a storage facility or deteriorating on your driveway for most of the year.
You need to be asking yourself questions such as:
- Do I have the spare time to use a Camper Van?
- Are the rest of my family interested in using a Camper Van?
- Can I afford Camper Van running costs?
- Is there anywhere near me to take a Camper Van?
- Is the Camper Van suitable for the weather where I live?
- Is the Camper Van suitable for pets to travel in?
After considering these and other factors, if you still find the thought of owning and utilizing a camper van appealing, then the answer is that it is worthwhile for you to purchase one because you will use it frequently. A camper van is probably not for you, at least not yet, if the questions reveal a clear error in your judgment.