Are you planning to get yourself a camper van and you are asking yourself how much is a camper van? If that is the case, then you are at the right place because there will be a lot to cover on this topic where we will give you the best answer possible to this question.
Doing the proper research before you make a purchase on something that expensive like a camper should be one of your top priorities before you decide to spend all your savings on this vehicle. Why I’m saying this? Well, because it is true.
A camper van should meet all of your standards in terms of width, height, and length. You need a proper camper van in order for you to feel satisfied with your purchase. One bad mistake and you will have to cope with your bad choice or lose a ton of money if you decide to sell this van later on. This is why we are going to help you out when it comes to this type of van and we will make sure that you don’t make a wrong choice.
First, we are going to learn what is a camper van and why camper vans are so popular lately. Then we will cover the pros and cons of having a camper van. Then we will learn everything when it comes to the best vans for van life. We will list the most common vans used for this type of conversion and their specs. In addition to this, we will list the prices and also how much is a camper van after the conversion. So, if you want to learn more about this topic, follow along.
What Is A Camper Van?
Now before we learn about how much is a camper van, let’s take a look at the basics and learn what is a camper van in general. There are a ton of people reading this article who are not familiarized with the basics when it comes to camper vans and what these vans are in general. So, what is a camper van?
As its name implies, this is a van dedicated to camping and adventures (just be wary of stuff like the Ford Econoline common problems). This is the right choice for people who want to live their life to the fullest and enjoy every second of their life traveling across the country and sometimes even across the world.
Camper vans are perfect for these types of adventures. So, what makes a van to be a camper van? Well, even though it might sound simple, there is a lot going on in the background when it comes to these vans.
Camper vans are rather complex since they are basically home on wheels. In the camper van, you have everything, a bed to sleep in (to learn more, check out our explainer on is it illegal to sleep in your car and how to sleep in a car), a kitchen to eat, a TV to spend some time watching movies, and even a shower to take a bath after driving your bike on dirt trails.
And imagine that you need to put all this complexity into a very small package. This is a true engineering challenge. A lot of people who want to do these conversions are spending months or even years planning and converting these vans.
This is why if you are into hobbies this is so good. You will spend a lot of time working on it and improving it. You can also hire a company to do this work for you and convert the van. But how much is a camper van? More on that in a bit.
Why Camper Vans Are Getting More And More Popular?
Now before we cover how much is a camper van, let’s discuss more about the camper van life. Why camper van life is so popular nowadays and people are really into this?
Well, the answer is simple, the internet. Nowadays we are connected online and we see what people are doing. In the past, we didn’t have this ability to learn about trends, back in the day things haven’t been so easy.
Nowadays there are a ton of YouTubers who basically live in their vans (and get used to how to live in your car) and travel across the whole country. And frankly, anyone would like to have a life like that. Each morning you wake up at a different location and you meet new people.
This type of hobby is perfect for people who are extroverted and don’t want to sit all day at home or spend their weekends watching TV. Why you can do that when you can spend the time traveling and meeting new friends?
You get my point. And also here in America, this trend is really strong because we as a people like to live an adventurous and free life and experience a lot of stuff. So, that’s why hobbies like these are perfect for us.
And based on this, there is a whole market out there to cater to this. There are many companies across the whole country who are selling already converted vans or they do the conversion for you. Either way, you will be very satisfied since a ton of these companies have perfected the skill of doing these campers.
Most of the vans sold here in the US are really well manufactured with a ton of features that you cannot even imagine. But how much is a camper van? Well, more on that we are going to cover in a bit after we cover something more on the pros and cons of having a camper.
Pros & Cons Of Having A Camper Van
Now before we dive into how much is a camper van. Let’s first take a look at the pros and cons of having a camper van.
Knowing the pros and cons of anything will help you make the right decision. Especially when it comes to a big investment like purchasing a camper van for yourself. So, what are the pros and cons? Let’s elaborate more on them in the following chapters.
The first thing we are going to cover before we learn how much is a camper van is the pros. What are the pros of owning a van like this?
Well, we can say that there are a lot of pros to doing this type of travel. The first thing that comes to our mind is mobility. With a camper van, you can plan your schedule way ahead and predict when you will be at the place that you plan to visit. In addition, you can plan to visit a few places one by one, you can easily create a small tour across the country.
There are a ton of locations that rent camping spots. You just browse them out and you will be getting the locations in no time.
The next pro is probably the room that you will get in a camper van. Camper vans are not like motor homes but they are pretty much near. In a camper van, you can stretch as much as you want. These vans have far more room than a minivan for example. I mention the minivans because there are a lot of people who are doing minivan camper conversion as well.
But the biggest pro of having a camper is really the freedom that you can have. Imagine that you visit all these magnificent places and share a ton of photos with yourself on Instagram or another social network.
Nowadays everything is all about social media, so if you are an avid user, this will be one of your best investments ever. But how much is a camper van? More on this we will cover in a bit after we discuss the cons.
Now before we learn how much is a camper van, let’s cover more on the cons of owning a camper van. There are also cons to having a vehicle like this.
The number one downside of owning a van like this is the comfort. In order to really love this vehicle, you need to deal with some of the downsides when it comes to comfort.
For example, you need to be prepared to drive long distances without breaking a sweat. This is a characteristic that a lot of people who buy these vehicles are lacking. You need to stay sharp 100% of the time while you are behind the wheel. And frankly, these trips last for hours. So, don’t be surprised if you have a 6-hour or 9-hour long trip. You need to be prepared for this.
Still, you will be able to have breaks. But most of the time you will be driving around and be behind the wheel.
Also, another downside when it comes to these vans is the lack of a shower. Not all people who are doing conversions can afford to install showers in their vans. This is why if you have a van like this and you are on the road. You will need to appear a few times a week in the gyms that are along the way to have a shower and refresh yourself.
This can cost but still, it is almost the only way. Except if some of the camping places do not have showers installed. There are also other drawbacks but still, the positives outweigh the negative aspects of having a camper. But how much is a camper van? More on this we are going to cover in the following chapters.
Best Van To Convert To Camper
Now let’s dive deeper and learn what are the options out there when it comes to purchasing a camper van. What are the best vans for van life?
You need to know this stuff before you decide on spending money on a van. So, before we learn how much is a camper van after conversion. We will cover the specs of these vans and the cost before you make a conversion. So, follow along.
ProMaster Camper Van
When it comes to camper vans, the ProMaster van is probably one of the most popular choices for doing these conversions.
This van is also known as the RAM camper van or Dodge camper van. This van specifically is manufactured by Dodge and this design was borrowed from Fiat.
When it comes to the ProMaster, it is worth noting that this is a front-wheel drive van. The van comes with a V6 engine that produces about 276hp and 250lb-ft of torque. Really healthy numbers for a van.
In terms of transmissions, it comes equipped with a 9-speed automatic transmission. So, you will never have to worry about shifting gears manually, and honestly, this transmission is probably one of the smoothest out there.
What is worth noting is that this van comes with two wheelbases. Depending on your budget you choose the desired wheelbase. The smaller one is 136 inches, while the bigger one is 159 inches.
Also, you need to make sure that you purchase the roof height that you need for camping. And that is the high roofline version. If you purchase the low roofline version, you will not be able to fit. Especially if you are a taller person.
The price for a new ProMaster starts at about $37,000 for the 136 inches wheelbase and the price for the longer 159-inch increases to $46,000. Later on in the article, we are going to learn how much is a camper van after the conversion. So, conversion costs are extra. These prices are the base costs of purchasing the van only. Now let’s move to the second type of van.
Sprinter Camper Van
The second type of van that we are going to cover before we learn how much is a camper van after conversion is the Mercedes Sprinter.
The Mercedes Sprinter is a van offered by Mercedes to the US market. In the past, this van was also known as the Dodge camper van since it was produced by Dodge as well.
Nevertheless, the Sprinter is basically everything you need. There are no compromises when it comes to the Sprinter if you are asking me.
This van comes in both gas and diesel variants. They are both 2.0L inline-4 engines. They are not as peppy as the ProMaster’s engine but still deliver a good performance. Both of them have between 160 to 188hp and about 260lb-ft of torque.
But if you are asking me, when it comes to the longevity of the engine and this application precisely, I would go for the diesel. Diesel engines are much more durable and also more fuel-efficient.
In the transmission department, there are 7-speed and 9-speed automatics with overdrive.
In terms of length, it is worth noting that the base variant of this van is a bit longer than the ProMaster. This van has a wheelbase of 144 inches. The long-wheelbase option which is the one we prefer for camping is 170 inches. You can basically build a whole house on wheels in this space (just like a food truck conversion). Not to forget to opt for the high roof if you want to have maximum comfort.
The price for this van is about $52,000 for the 170-inch and $38,000 for the standard 144-inch variant. Later on, after we cover all the vans, we are going to discuss how much is a camper van after the conversion.
Transit Camper Van
And third in our list of best vans for conversion before we cover how much is a camper van after conversion is the Ford Transit camper van.
This is probably one of the favorite vans to a lot of people out there. And for a good reason. It is easily one of the best vans that you can buy and not break the bank. This van is quite cheaper than the Mercedes Sprinter, it is basically in the same price range as the ProMaster van. But more on the cost later.
What is important for you to know is that this van is a rear-wheel drive, just like the Mercedes Sprinter. But if you want you can opt for an AWD version.
Another thing that is worth noting is that the Transit comes with a more powerful engine. A 3.5L V6 that is producing about 275hp and 260lb-ft of torque. Really healthy numbers when considering that the purpose of this van would be to take you on long trips.
In terms of transmission, the van comes equipped with Ford’s new 10-speed automatic transmission with overdrive.
When it comes to the wheelbase, there are two offerings. There is a 130-inch smaller version. But also, there is a 148 inches long version. And for a camper, the bigger is the one that you want.
Also, pay attention because there are three roofs available. One is the low roof, the second is the medium roof, and the one you want is the high roof. But how much is a camper van?
The prices for the Ford Transit with the long-wheelbase start at about $46,000. Which is in the same range as the ProMaster.
Now let’s learn more about the conversion procedure. This is a really important piece of information before you spend your money on a van.
When it comes to the conversion procedure, there are two options. If you are skilled enough, you do it by yourself, or you pay somebody to do this for you.
The van itself comes as a bare shell and there is nothing going on inside. So, you first add windows if you desire, then you add insulation. Without insulation, you will bake like in an oven or freeze to death in the winter.
Then comes plumbing and furniture, which is the most expensive procedure. And here prices vary a lot. So, how much is a camper van? That’s what we are going to cover in the following chapter.
How Much Is A Camper Van?
Now let’s see finally how much is a camper van. As we mentioned previously. The ProMaster and the Transit are priced similarly at $46,000. The Sprinter is much bigger and with this van, you get more room. This ramps up the price of this van to $52,000.
So, these are the starting prices. They will increase depending on your budget. Conversions cost on average from $5,000 to $25,000. Why do prices vary so much?
They vary because not all people need the same options. Some people want only a bed inside. While other people want a ton of features and commodities. So, overall, the price for a new camper van with full conversion is about $60,000 to $65,000 in the best-case scenario.
Still, if you want to spend, you can equip all of the interiors with full leather and the luxury you want. But this will increase the price up to $100,000+. So, the answer to how much is a camper van really depends on the budget that you have.
Facts: Camper Van Prices and Considerations
- Camper vans today are high-end vehicles with all the amenities needed for full-time living, and they come at a cost.
- New camper vans with a professional build-out can cost between $130,000 and $300,000, depending on the van itself, build quality, and customization, as well as materials and components.
- The Ford Transit, Ram Promaster, and Mercedes Sprinter are the most commonly converted vans, with the Sprinter being the most expensive but also the most reliable and fuel-efficient.
- Used camper vans vary greatly in price, with older models available for $25,000 or less and newer professionally-built models close to their original full price, especially for the in-demand Mercedes-Benz Sprinter.
- DIY van conversions cost between $10,000 and $50,000, not including the van itself, but require significant time and effort and may not hold their value as well as professional conversions.
- When considering a camper van purchase, important factors to consider include personal needs, how the van will be used, and the value retention of different conversion options.
- DIY builds lack the benefits of professional builds, such as warranties, insurance coverage, and brand reputation for craftsmanship and quality.
- Some camper van owners can make money by renting out their vans through rental companies like Outdoorsy, with new Sprinter conversions going for upwards of $150/night.
- Off-road camper vans carry a higher price tag due to their high demand, with models like Winnebago Revel, Sportsmobiles, and Storyteller Overland vans being advertised as off-road capable.
- Regardless of whether a new, used, or DIY van conversion is chosen, it’s important to prioritize quality materials and craftsmanship to ensure the longevity of the van and the satisfaction of its owner.
In this article, we have covered quite a bit when it comes to the topic of how much is a camper van. First, we learned what is this type of van and why these vans are getting more and more popular. Then we learned the pros and cons of having a van like this.
After, we covered the three most common choices for conversions. We listed their specs and also their base prices. Then we learned more about the conversion and the costs involved in the conversion.
Now let’s answer some frequently asked questions.
What Is A Camper
A camper is basically a vehicle that allows you to camp at a certain location and not be under the open sky. Campers are either attachable trailers or vans. Vans are far more convenient since they offer a ton more space and comfort.
How Much Are Vans
A good van like the ProMaster or the Transit will cost you about $46,000. The Mercedes Sprinter is a bit more expensive coming at $52,000.
What Is A Sprinter Van
This is a van manufactured by Mercedes Benz. In the past, these vans for the US market were manufactured by Dodge. But nowadays all of them come under the Mercedes badge.
How Much Is A Camper
A camper on average is about $65,000. They are expensive if you go for a new van. So, if you can find a good second-hand van you can reduce these costs by half or even more.
How Much Does A Camper Cost
A camper van costs about $65,000 on average. Still, prices can go much higher if you opt to get more luxury. The basic features that you will need are easily attainable for the price that we listed.
How Much Is A Mercedes Camper Van
A Mercedes Sprinter for this purpose costs about $52,000 MSRP. Then after options and the conversions, you could easily end up spending more than $80,000.