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Choosing The Best Vehicle For Van Life

A guide to helping you select the most ideal camper for you to live & travel in.


Finding A Perfect Vehicle For You

The Best Vans For Van Life

Deciding which are the best vans for you can be a difficult decision because how do you know which vehicle is best if you’ve never lived in a van before? The answer to ‘which are the best van for van life’ really depends on your own needs and requirements. We showcase the most popular vehicles for van life and discuss each vehicle’s pros and cons.

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The Best Vehicle For You

If you’ve done some research already, chances are you’ve come across countless articles and videos telling you WHICH vehicle is the best for van life. But at the end of the day, only you can answer that question.

On this page, we link out to several of our posts detailing our experiences and opinions as we travel in our Ford Transit van. Hopefully you can learn a thing, or two, from our journey and that it can help you choose the best vehicle for you.

Choosing A Vehicle Post Archive

For specific articles, scroll through our 8 posts we have to help you choose your ultimate van life vehicle.

Not what you need? Check out our complete “DIY Van Conversion Guide” for more content. (50+ detailed articles.)

Most Popular Vehicles

You may already have an idea about which type of camper vehicle you want to get. And let’s be honest, if you’re on this blog, chances are you’re looking at getting a commercial van.

But it’s a good idea to learn about the pros and cons for every type of vehicle that exists for one to experience ‘van life’.

Check out our best vans for van life post to learn more. We grade each type of vehicle based on key van life characteristics and give a final ranking in the end.

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Are Commercial Vans Best?

If you’re looking to convert your own camper van, starting with a completely empty vehicle is the best way to go. With a blank canvas, you can:

But with so many different commercial vans out there today, it’s understandable if you’re confused as to which one you should get. But if you’ve read some of our articles already, you might already know that we’re not shy about how much we love our Ford Transit van. It’s been the perfect vehicle for us.

Related read: Why We Love Our Ford Transit Van


How Much Does It Cost?

One of the biggest reasons why we love the Transit is the price tag. Brand new, we paid just under $37,000 for ours. A pricey sum, but a much better value than either the Sprinter or the Promaster.

Do you want to know how much does our vehicle cost? Check out : Our Ford Transit Price Breakdown

Tips to get the best deal when you purchase the vehicle : How To Get The Best Price At A Dealership

Is Stealth Important?

Constructing stealth camper vehicles is all the rage these days. There is something about not paying to sleep (and saving on rent) that really intrigues a certain group of people to enter van life.

But we question the effectiveness of a stealth camper to deliver the intended outcome of improving safety and sleeping for free. In fact, we don’t think there’s any direct correlation between how stealth your vehicle is and your ability to free camp.

So for this reason, and the fact that a 100% stealth camper reduces internal livability, we don’t recommend building a stealth camper. Check out our article below to learn why.

Do You Need A 4x4?

We don’t deny that there are plenty of amazing spots that absolutely require a 4WD vehicle to get to. We’ve even gotten stuck, multiple times, on the beaches of Baja California!

Spoiler Alert: It’s a terrible feeling.

But after all this time and all the miles we’ve driven, we still wouldn’t opt for a 4×4, if given the chance. Why?

For these reasons, we don’t think a 4WD is worth the investment. Check out our article below to learn why.

Related read: Why A 4×4 Isn’t Worth It For Van Life

Are High-Roofs Critical?

If you are only planning to travel in a van on a short term basis or just on the weekends, then we don’t think that the height of your van is critical.

But if you are planning to live in a van long term, then getting a van that you can fully stand in is important. And it’s difficult to overstate just how critical it is.

Why? With a high-top van you get:

We go into much more depth as to why a high-top van is critical for long term van life in this article.

Conclusion: Do Your Research!

We understand you might be itching to simply buy whatever vehicle you can get your hands on and start with your build! But if you can afford to be patient and wait for the right vehicle, we believe this can drastically improve your van life experience.

Also remember that once you’ve got your van, doing the proper layout planning and interior design is just as important as your vehicle choice!

For more great content: DIY Camper Van Guide

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