Vans have always been popular vehicles for many campers. However, there has been a resurgence lately in camper van purchases based on a wide variety of factors, including recent fuel prices. Recreational vans, which include both Class B camper vans and Class B+ camper vans, use considerably less fuel than large RVs or tow-units. When gas prices were hovering around $5.00 per gallon, people with vans could more easily afford to fill up the tank and head to a nearby destination to get away from it all than those with big rigs.

Here are several other reasons why people enjoy camper vans:

Lower Purchase Price

Buying a toy hauler or full rig can sometimes come with a price tag that’s difficult for some to handle, especially if the trailer you want requires a new vehicle that has the capacity for towing a heavy trailer. Buying a new Class B camper van, even one that is converted specifically for camping purposes, may be far less expensive. Not only are the monthly payments lower, the down payment for a conversion van is more accessible for many.

No Special License Requirement

You don’t need a special license or extra training/lessons to operate a camper van. Skipping the extra time at the division of motor vehicles is also a major benefit for some people.

Less Winterizing

You can use a van as a commuter vehicle when you’re not traveling and camping. Although less fuel efficient than a car, using your used Class B+ camper van periodically for things like grocery runs or as an extra vehicle to get to and from work, you can skip the expense of winterizing the vehicle, a procedure many RV owners need to do. You also won’t be saddled with the expense of storing the vehicle for the winter.


Vans can easily be converted to allow for better living spaces for campers. They can also be upgraded for off-roading for those who enjoy boondocking. With four-wheel drive capability, you can go practically anywhere to set up a camping spot.


Die-hard campers love their tents, but sleeping in a camper provides relief from the rugged terrain. While vans can’t compare to the luxury of full-sized motorhomes, they’re still warmer, drier (especially when it’s raining), more comfortable, and safer from wild animals than tents.


Having a warm, dry, and safe place to sleep is one thing, but van lovers can still enjoy everything about the outdoor/camping experience by setting up a fire pit, grill, picnic tables, a solar shower, etc. Compared to the time it takes to set up your used Class B camper van versus hooking up a motorhome, it is considerably easier and faster. If you plan to move around a lot, or even if you don’t, you can enjoy more of your outdoor experience in a van just in the setup time you’ll save.

No Black Or Gray Water

Van camping does limit your capacity for running water, showers, and the convenience of a toilet. But solar showers are good at providing suitable washing facilities and portable toilets can be set up inside a tent for privacy, and they are far easier to clean than black water tanks in an RV.

Skip The RV Parks

Big rigs need a lot of room to set up shop. RV parks are convenient for larger RVs because they have relatively level land at each campsite. Camper vans have much more flexibility as to where they can go and set up camp. RV parks are also getting more expensive and crowded, so van campers can not only save money, they can break away from the crowds.

Hauling Gear

Tent campers often like to throw their backpack and camping gear in a car, then hike in to where they want to set up. With a new Class B+ camper van, you can take along bikes, kayaks, standup paddle boards, surfboards, fishing equipment and more. Gear can also be locked inside the van when not in use. Going surfing? Lock the fishing gear in the van. Going fishing? Lock up the bikes.

Guest Quarters

Big rigs are difficult to park at home unless the owner has a lot of room. In many cases, they may need to get permission from their homeowners’ association and the municipality in which they live to park the RV on their property or on the street in front of their home. A van is easy to park in the driveway and requires no special permission to park. This can come in handy when friends or family are coming to visit and you need extra sleeping quarters to accommodate them. 

Home Office

In addition to being an extra room for guests, a van can also be a great place for a home office. Working from the couch is one option, but actually being able to leave the house—and all the distractions that come with it—can help increase proficiency.

Thinking of getting into RVing? If you’re new to the idea and need a cost-effective way to get started, consider camper vans. Start your search with

By Barrett Baker

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