If the pandemic has done anything positive, it has given many people the incentive to take time off to explore the great outdoors without having to stay in a germ-infested hotel or a questionable Airbnb. The solution? Hit the road in the best camper van for a true overlanding experience where your home is on four wheels, and you can go wherever and whenever without having to be limited by four walls.
The good news is that finding the best camper van for your adventures away from home is easier than ever thanks to numerous offerings that range in size, amenities, and capabilities. What’s more, campers are no longer unattractive clunky beasts of burden that you wouldn’t be caught dead driving. Thanks to various platforms, customization options, and modern technology, camper vans might even double as a second home or even take the place of your existing domicile if it’s cheap RV living you’re in search of.
Here are seven of the best camper vans that’ll have you ready to hit the road for one last summer jaunt, or really during anytime you want to scratch that open road itch.
Forget your dad’s bulky two-wheel-drive Winnebago that looked like an extra in National Lampoon’s Family Vacation. This one is based on the venerable Mercedes Sprinter van and comes with on-demand four-wheel-drive mated to a torquey turbodiesel engine. For 2021, the Revel has been further updated. It includes upgraded battery power, roof-mounted solar power, a 2,000W inverter, and power monitoring via an accompanying app. The roof-mounted AC unit can even run for an hour on just the batteries. There’s also a new interior layout replete with lightweight folded aluminum cabinetry, a larger fridge, and a drawer that houses an induction stove. The Revel also comes with a Bluetooth-operated exterior awning with built-in lighting, an outdoor shower, and an internal freshwater storage tank to prevent freezing. Perhaps the most exciting feature is the height-adjustable bed that makes room for bikes and other must-have gear. Buy
Sportsmobile Classic 4×4
If the A-Team ever had a camper van, this would be it. It’s based on the Ford E-Series van and outfitted with serious off-road chops via a new transfer case, Dynatrac Pro-Roc front axle, Fox shocks, and available locking differentials. It has the ability to conquer rugged situations others wouldn’t dare try. The engine is a large-displacement 7.3-liter V8, and the towing package allows it to pull 10,000 pounds. Features such as tow hooks, WARN winch, LED light bar, safari rack, access ladder, and pop-up roof make it truly versatile in the field. The interior can be laid out according to the buyer’s needs, including a bed, dining area, kitchenette, and storage. Buy
Thor Motor Coach Tellaro
The Tellaro is the limousine of this group. Based on the large Ram Promaster 3500, it combines space and drivability. It’s capacious inside without looking like a school bus on the outside. The interior utilizes Euro-spec design for a streamlined and elegant look, not to mention huge amounts of room to move around. Different layouts provide a king bed, twin beds, and even a fold-out sofa, and an optional pop-up roof bed. Enjoy a wet bath and shower, two-burner stove, convection microwave, dinette, a 24″ TV without outside viewing capability, Wi-Fi, solar power, and an 11,000 BTU low-profile AC unit. Standard Thule exterior accessories like a bike rack and roof ladder mean you can bring your gear and have easy access. Buy
Boho Vans Base Build
Boho Vans makes it possible for you to outfit your existing Ram 2500 into a bona fide high-end camper van without ponying up a huge sum. Boho Vans will even try to source a vehicle for you if you don’t have one. The Base Build kit comes with off-grid power capability via a battery bank, DC charging, and roof-mounted solar panels. Inside, you’ll find a fridge, 12V roof fan, water pump, 25-gallon freshwater tank, red cedar paneling and cabinetry, kitchen with butcherblock countertops, dining area, stowaway cassette toilet, shower, and sleeping quarters. It even comes with a tile backsplash to make you feel like you’re right at home. The outside of the van might look as plain as they come, but the interior makes you feel like you’re in a Nordic spa. Buy
Airstream Interstate 19
If you want to look like you’re part of a very small, affluent rock band that’s on tour, the Interstate 19 fits the bill. In a compact 19′ footprint, the luxed-out Mercedes Sprinter 2500 has everything two people could want in a camper van. It has the largest bed in its class, central touchscreen controls for everything from the HVAC to the power exterior awning, a fancy wet bath with shower and toilet, a widescreen TV, and leather sofas for four. The available four-wheel-drive system and potent diesel engine mean you can manage most roads without fear. Buy
Tourig XTreme Adventure Van (XAV)
This is a no-holds-barred approach to the vanlife, and it’s ready for action, as well as relaxation. Built on either a Mercedes or Ford platform, the XAV comes with seating for up to eight and sleep quarters for up to four. You can outfit your van the way you want and include lithium power, solar panels, auxiliary heat, and hot water, a freshwater system, shower and toilet, induction stove, bench seating, a pop-up roof, and even full window coverings for privacy and sleeping in late. A roof rack, ladder access, upgraded performance suspension, all-terrain tires, and full LED lighting mean there’s almost nothing out there you can’t tackle. Buy
The Denver, CO-based company is veteran-owned and operated. The sky is the limit when it comes to customization, and you can outfit almost any van platform including Mercedes Sprinters, Ford Transits, and Ram Promasters. The array of amenities and finishes are myriad, and you can outfit yours with high-end features like handmade cabinetry, memory foam mattresses, toe-kick, and under-cabinet lighting, premium audio, a deep freezer, and even interior climbing holds for you rock warriors. Contact them to plan your dream camper van, and you’ll find that they can easily think of more than you can. Buy