Tired of going through the same routine day after day after day? Looking to take a more adventurous path in life? More and more people these days are choosing to move their lives into a camper van and live the life of a digital nomad.
The freedom to go wherever you want, the opportunities to see all of the nature you could ever want, being able to kick back and look at the stars every night. What’s not to love about that? However, if you are going to embark on your very own nomadic journey, the choice of what van you do it in matters.
But you’re in luck! We’re here to help. Here are the 8 best vans to start your journey in to van life!
Winnebago Revel 4×4
When you think of camper vans, you probably automatically think of the brand Winnebago. However, since around the 80’s, they’ve earned a reputation for being the chariots of retirees taking cross-country vacations and to visit every antique store across the nation. But in recent years, Winnebago has made some serious changes to their models to gear them more towards overlanding and the digital nomad lifestyle.
The first major improvement you’ll notice in the Winnebago Revel 4×4 is that it’s built from a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter capable of traversing rougher terrains. The engine on this rolling home is a 3-liter turbodiesel V6 that’ll take you right up to the base of the mountain with its four-wheel drive system.
And the inside of the Revel is cozy enough to live in for a lifetime, with a bed, freshwater tank, pantry, closet, fold-down table, and a range of other handy bells and whistles. To help you with all the work you might be doing to support your nomadic lifestyle, the Revel comes standard with a Wi-Fi hotspot and electrical infrastructure that’s powered by two high-tech batteries whose charge can be monitored right on your phone via Bluetooth.
This isn’t your grandfather’s Winnebago! Unfortunately, it’s going to cost you your retirement, coming in at $178,000. Got to pay for quality, I suppose.
Storyteller Beast Mode
Are you ready to go BEAST MODE? Now here’s a van that will seriously take you anywhere you want to go.
Like the Winnebago Revel, the Storyteller Overland Beast Mode is also built on a Mercedes Sprinter chassis, but it’s been hooked up with some heavy duty leaf springs, a Fox Shocks package from Agile Offroad, a crazy bright LED light kit, and a custom modular roof rack to make this potentially the most badass offroading van that the world has ever seen. You could probably drive this thing up Mount Everest!
But even in the toughest terrains, you’ll feel more than comfortable inside, because this crazy camper van is outfitted with all-natural thermal and acoustic insulation, interior space expansion on both sides, a shower that you can make disappear for even more lounge space, and a fold-out bed that sleeps two and also doubles as a workbench!
This is a van for the true outdoorsman, with all the power and handy features to help you conquer the natural world and reach the summit of your overlanding experience. If you’re reading this from behind a desk, imagine if you were working from the top of a rugged mountain in your jeans and a t-shirt.
No it’s not impossible, you just need to go BEAST MODE! But… you will need around $190,000 to do so…
Ford E Series Sportsmobile
Do you work for a delivery service and already own a van? Do you ever dream about throwing a mattress in the back of that van and taking off to the open road?
Here’s a better idea: have Sportsmobile convert your Ford E Series into a fully pimped-out camper van that can carry you on an epic overlanding expedition. That’s right, custom camper van builder Sportsmobile will convert any E series into a fully functional 4×4.
Don’t already own an E Series? Don’t worry! According to Sportsmobile’s estimates you can get an E-350 cutaway for around $33,000. But just a warning, it gets a bit pricier than after that.
You’re going to need to get some captain’s chairs, power locks, and insulation added in which is gonna be another $2,000, around $36,000 for Sportsmobile to outfit it with a standard body and penthouse top, another $21,000 for four-wheel drive, and finally, around $35,000 to outfit the inside.
All in all, you’re looking at about $127,000 minimum from start to finish. You could choose to omit the four-wheel drive, but then it’s kind of useless for overlanding anyway…
Like the aesthetic of those old hippy vans from the 70’s? Wish you could’ve lived through the free love movement and had your mind melted at Woodstock? Then you’re in luck! Kind of…
The new Volkswagen EuroVan is the great grandson of the original VW hippy van, and it’s still keeping that adventurous spirit alive! This van’s engine is stuck in the front, which makes the interior extremely spacious and accommodating for a drum circle or a ganja sesh or whatever free-lovin’ VW hippies do in vans…
Volkswagen’s made two versions of the EuroVan, one with three rows of rear passenger seats, and the more expensive Westfalia model that’s outfitted for comfortable living.
You could buy the passenger model and convert it into a camper yourself,and it’d probably be cheaper, but I’d recommend going with the Westfalia, which comes hooked up with a sink, a small kitchen, and some cupboards to stash all your cookware.
If you’re interested in getting behind the wheel of one of these adventure vans, you’re going to spend at least $20,000, which compared to some of the other vans on our list is absurdly cheap. So, you don’t need a million in the bank to jump into the nomadic lifestyle.
Perhaps you’re totally ready to hop in a camper van and take on the great wide world. You quit your job, you sold all your worldly possessions, and you’re ready for the life of discovery and adventure. But then you think: all of these vans are way too small for me to live in. How wrong you are!
In a Nissan NV, you’ll be able to stand up comfortably even if you’re 6’3″! Though admittedly, the elevated roof looks a bit awkward from the outside. But you’ll definitely be pleased with the vast amount of internal space that makes for a comfortable living situation.
Nissan gives you the option to equip the van with either a 4-liter V6 or a 5.6-liter V8, but if you’re planning to convert this spacious street machine into a fully livable camper, you’re going to want to go with the V8. With all the added weight of internal features like a sink and kitchen, the V8 is the only chance you got of getting the NV to all of the overlanding spots you want to trek to.
But the good news is that brand new NV’s are going for around $30,000, and you can definitely pick one up on the secondhand market for around $15,000. Of course, you’ll have to pay to hook it up with everything you need to create your ideal living space. But even so, this van is ballin’ on a budget.
Nomad Vanz Yin Yang Sprinter Conversion
Nomad Vanz is so in tune with the nomad lifestyle, it literally says it in their name. That’s why they created the perfect van conversion to keep you cool and calm throughout your entire overlanding journey.
The Yin Yang takes a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and turns it into a temple of chill, with a sink, fridge, hob, storage, and food preparation all placed in a super-space-conscious arrangement. The rear end of the van converts into a luxurious double bed that will leave you feeling fresh every morning so you can take on another day of adventure. And underneath the bed? A massive storage container big enough to fit all the gear you’ll ever need.
But the inside isn’t the only impressive aspect of the Yin Yang. It’s also fully equipped outside with a safari roof rack and ladder, a water storage container that holds up to 175 liters, some serious off-road wheels, and an LED light bar mounted on the front to lead you through the rough at night.
With all the necessary features for offroading and a life of digital nomadism, it’s easy to see how the Yin Yang can help you balance your life. However, it may make it difficult to balance your checkbook, because Premium conversion start at $120,000, and that doesn’t include the van…
Knaus Boxstar 600
So maybe your overlanding experience isn’t just a two-man job, or a two-woman job, or a one-man-and-one-woman job, or… oh, you get the point.
Anyway, if you’ve got a family, or a couple of kids, you’re probably going to want to go with a Knaus Boxstar 600. The super spacious vans can sleep up to four people in complete comfort. The Boxstar also comes in several configurations depending on what your sleeping priorities are. You can do double bunk beds in the back to fit the whole family, or go with lifted beds so everyone can have a little more space.
And when you’re awake, it’s got four swanky leather seats so you can enjoy your journey in style, and these same seats can even swivel around to create a cozy dining area so you can share family dinners.
If you want to enjoy the fresh air, you can open the sliding door and put up the bug net to enjoy cooking with the sounds of nature in the background. This vehicle is the perfect creation for enjoying all that the outdoors has to offer, and it’s guaranteed to lead you through an experience you’ll never forget.
Dalbury E Electric
So, you want to travel the world but you’re worried about the environmental impact of hauling a super-heavy van all over the place. Or maybe you’re worried about how much gas you’re going to have to dump into your camper. The solution to your problems have arrived.
The Dalbury E Electric is the first ever all-electric camper van. And you won’t have to wait all day waiting to get back on the road. This thing charges up to 80% in just 30 minutes! That’s less time than it’ll take you to eat lunch!
Unfortunately a drawback of such energy-efficiency is that the Dalbury is a bit smaller than the other vans on this list. However, the interior space is certainly not uncomfortable. It’s got swivel seats and a removable table that come together to make a nice dining area, as well as a kitchen area with a sink and a bench that converts into a rather large bed quickly and easily. Plus, it’s a pop-top, so you won’t have to worry about hitting your head when you stand up.
The Dalbury E Electric is a nature-friendly, super-fun way to set out on your overlanding trip.