Story by Katie Branham |

May 9, 2023 |

If you are looking for an adventure vehicle that is going to make your camping trips more comfortable, more convenient and open up more options for you, a camper van is the way to go* We get it, going down to the local RV dealership and driving away with a pop-up, towable RV or even a big old motorhome can seem like an easy option. There are several reasons we would steer our friends towards a camper van.

*Now a caveat to this – of course if you are looking for space, luxury and comfort more on par with your expectations at home, then you can stop right here. An RV or Airbnb is going to better meet your needs.

But if you’re ready to step up your camping experience, here are 7 reasons a camper van is better than an RV.

women inside a camper van conversion filling up a water bottle

1. Not spending time in the repair shop

RVs: One of the most frustrating features of a traditional RV is that they are always breaking down. Statistically, the first year you own a new RV it will be in the shop 4-6 months, with continued repairs needed as the years progress. RVs breakdown because they are mass-produced with the cheapest possible materials, they have overly complicated systems, and everything is layered behind fiberglass and plastic. Then you’ll also need to wait for an appointment with a certified RV technician to perform repairs.

Vans: Why are Wayfarer Vans different? The quality of our materials and craftsmanship result in a very high-quality product with only a small portion of our vans ever needing repairs. Also, our simple designs leave very little to break, and if you need to address any issues, you can easily access all parts of the conversion with a few common hand tools

2. Simple – no maintenance

RVs: The list of suggested regular maintenance on RVs can include: check and repair seals as needed; clean air conditioner vents and ducts; run generator monthly; wax the exterior; lubricate slideouts, hitches, hings and jacks; manage waste water system; replace the water filter; monitor for mold growth. Winterizing your van is also a whole separate list of chores.

Vans: We recommend the following two-step maintenance plan for your van: empty the fresh and gray water tanks after each trip, bring your Goal Zero battery inside to store

3. Easy to drive

RVs: From a large motor coach to a small towable, there is a significant learning curve for a lot of folks driving an RV for the first time. Spend a weekend at an RV park and see how many couples are on speaking terms after baking a new RV into a spot.

Van: We’ve found that even the most timid of drivers easily adapt to driving a camper van. With a footprint no larger than a full-size truck, and no trailer to line up to the hitch or consider when you are backing into a space, driving a van is a piece of cake. They also get comparably good gas mileage too!

rock climbing with a camper van conversion

4. Nothing to setup and tear down

RVs: Depending on the complexity of an RV or travel trailer the to-do list on set-up and tear-down days can be very long. Did you turn off the water pump, turn off the refrigerator, turn off the pilot lights, check the antenna, bring the slides in, close and latch the cabinets and doors, put away the awning, pack your generator and fold up the steps?

Vans: Ready to move your camper van? Bring your camp chair inside, clean off the cabinet, and put it in drive.

5. Easy to store

RVs: Depending on your living situation, available space and possible HOA guidelines, you may need to find a storage space to park your RV when you aren’t on the road. In our area of the country, the average cost per month for RV parking is around $155. If you own your RV for 10 years, that’s more than $18,000 that you are spending for parking.

Vans: Our vans fit within a normal parking spot, and can also double as your daily driver. Camper vans parked in a neighborhood more easily blend in with work vans and delivery vans, without drawing much attention. But if you do live in an area with a very strict HOA, you may still need to find an alternate parking option.

6. Can also be your daily driver and mini-adventure mobile

RVs: Most folks store their RVs at a lot and only bring them out for camping trips. Want to drive around town with a fifth-wheel so you can have a place to change after your post-work hike? It would get the job done, but the juice may not be worth the squeeze.

Vans: We love the convenience of using a camper van for mini-adventures that don’t include an overnight trip:

  • Going mountain biking? Your van gives you a place to change clothes in privacy and store your bike out of the elements and away from bike thieves.
  • Running errands to the home improvement store? Forget folding down the seats in your SUV and hauling lumber sticking out your window. We use our van all the time to haul furniture, load up on mulch or bring wood home for home improvement projects.
  • Headed to soccer practice? There is a reason moms love vans. But with a camper van, you can haul gear for the team, take a nap in between games, cook a lunch, or take a work call while your kid is practicing.

7. Supporting a small business instead of a huge corporation

RVs: If you are buying an RV in the U.S. there is a 99% chance that the brand of RV is owned by one of three companies. The biggest player in the field is Berkshire Hathaway – if you are unfamiliar, that is Warren Buffet’s multinational conglomerate that recorded more than 300 billion in revenue last year.

Vans: If you like supporting small businesses that treat their employees well, listen to their customers and give back to their communities, then we’d like to think that Wayfarer Vans is a great match for you. We have a small team of employees that hand build every component at our shop in Colorado Springs. We love getting to know our customers. 

Contact our sales team today to learn more about why a camper van is the way to go. Our team will be happy to answer any questions you may have and provide you with all the information you need to make an informed decision.

So what are you waiting for? Head over to our contact us page now and start planning your next adventure!