How to Choose the Right Camper Van

April 29, 2024

8 mins

Deciding to buy a camper van can be an exhilarating step towards mobile freedom and endless adventure. Whether you dream of embracing the nomadic lifestyle, exploring the great outdoors, or simply enjoying the freedom of the open road, owning a camper van can make those dreams a reality. 

However, choosing the right camper van is a decision that demands careful consideration, especially if you're a first-time buyer. With the vast array of options available, from compact camper vans to fully-equipped motorhomes, making the best choice can be a daunting task.

In this comprehensive guide, we will cover all of the essential aspects to think about when selecting the right camper van for you. We'll navigate through the different types of camper vans out there and address critical concerns like parking, size, layout, and safety features, helping you understand which one aligns best with your needs.

Whether you want a luxurious kitchenette to cook gourmet meals on the road, an expandable sleeping area for family trips, or built-in storage for your surfing and hiking gear, follow this guide to make sure you make the right choice!

Types of Camper Vans

When it comes to exploring the great outdoors, nothing beats the freedom and convenience of a campervan. From the iconic VW Van Conversions to luxurious bespoke motorhomes, there is a van for camping to suit every traveller’s needs and desires. 

Class B Camper Vans: Small, compact and easy to manoeuvre… Class B camper vans tend to include a small kitchen, a bed and a compact bathroom for all your essentials on board.

Class C Camper Vans: A larger option that offers more space and amenities, Class C campervans are typically built on a truck or van chassis with an attached camper portion over the cab area. 

Class A Motorhomes: Large and luxurious, Class A motorhomes are very spacious and boast multiple living areas. However, these can be cumbersome to drive and park. 

Vintage Campers: For a vintage aesthetic, some campers opt for vintage vehicles such as VW Buses, which have regained popularity in recent years due to their nostalgic feel. 

Off-Road Campers: For those looking to explore rough terrain and walk on the wild side, off-road campers have features like high ground clearance, all-terrain tires and specialist construction to ensure that they’re safe for off-road adventures. 

Specialised Camper Vans: If you have a specialist requirement for your van, such as space for a bicycle, motorcycle or a pet-friendly camper, then a specialised camper may be the best choice for you. 

DIY Camper Vans: Many people choose to convert their own vans or trailers into campervans, customising them to their specific needs and preferences.

Home on the road

Purchasing a camper van is one of the biggest investments many people make, so it’s important to make sure that your camper has all of the onboard amenities you need to be the ultimate home-on-wheels. So, before heading out to purchase a custom camper, or upcycling a van of your own, it’s key to make sure that your van will have everything you need on board. 

If you’re likely to spend the majority of your time at campsites with cooking, leisure and bathroom facilities, then chances are that you’re just looking for a van with space for a comfortable bed where you can rest your head. 

However, if you’d like a bit more flexibility and freedom to roam, then you’ll need to think about purchasing a camper with more onboard facilities, such as a kitchen, a bathroom and a more sizeable living space so that you can enjoy the comforts of home whilst exploring new places. 

Consider parking 

Always fancied life on the road, but worried about driving and parking a motorhome, especially in unfamiliar areas? If you’re unsure about driving a larger vehicle such as a Class A Motorhome, you may find one of the smaller options such as a custom van conversion or Fiat Ducato camper more suited to your needs, without compromising on interior space. 

Camper Van Size and layout 

When searching for your perfect camper van, it's crucial to consider not only the number of travellers but also the layout of the van and whether it suits your needs. This will ensure that there's adequate space for everyone to sit, sleep, and unwind comfortably. 

Moreover, if your travel group is adventure-oriented with equipment like bikes, kayaks or surfboards, remember these items can consume a significant amount of space. Therefore, choosing a camper van with a well-thought-out layout can help you optimally utilise the available space while ensuring everyone’s comfort.

Safety and reliability

Choosing your camper is a decision that should be driven by more than just looks. As your home away from home, it's crucial to select a van conversion that offers safety, reliability, and comfort for your camping adventures. 

Opt for a camper that is road-safe, has ample storage and living space for your entire travelling party and any pets or equipment you may want to take on your travels. Whilst it can be tempting to opt for a smaller, more aesthetically pleasing van, ultimately having a safer, comfortable camper that you can travel in for years to come is the most important factor. 

Ready to choose your camper?

We hope that you found our blog post on choosing the right camper van a helpful read.  If you’re thinking of starting your van life journey, why not head over to our vans page to find out more about our bespoke, custom-built van conversions? 

We offer two, specialised, custom-fit vans for camping, both of which cater to different adventure styles. Firstly, we have our AddVenture Camper, which offers the full motorhome experience, without the driving and parking hassle. Created using upcycled Fiat Ducato vans, this is an ideal choice for those looking to immerse themselves into nature without sacrificing comfort as it features a double bed, full bathroom, a comfortable living area and a kitchen. 

Secondly, we have our Re-Cycle Caddy, an upcycled Caddy Van designed specifically for cyclists. This specialist, unique conversion van for camping is equipped with a slide-out box mechanism to keep your cycling equipment secure and protected from the elements, whether you are on the move or parked up for the night. 

As industry experts, we bring together years of experience with our love for exploration to create the perfect mobile retreat for you. Our custom-fit vans, designed in the UK, are a testament to our commitment to quality and safety. We are accredited fit-out specialists, ensuring that every van we convert is built to last, guaranteeing you peace of mind on the open road.