CAMPER VANS are much more than the unique psychedelic hippie paint job!

Camper vans refer to the Class B motorhomes. They are initially panel-type vans to which RV manufacturers make modifications.

Most models have a top extension which raises the roof thus adding headroom for comfort when standing and walking inside the unit.

other appellations: van camper, conversion van

  • normally sleeps 2 people
  • costs $40,000 to $120,000 new

The Class B (or camper van) is a MOTORIZED RV.

Let's see the advantages and disadvantages of this choice:

PROS: (advantages)

  • very maneuverable. Because of its size, it is easy to park and handle in traffic. It facilitates driving to remote spots. For this reason, some models are four-wheel drive.
  • the living and driving areas are a shared space. It is easier to break camp for safety reasons and drive away without having to step outside.
  • no wasted space.
  • it can serve as a secondary or even primary family vehicle at home when not traveling.
  • can be used in tandem as a "tow" vehicle for a small travel trailer (TT).
  • does not occupy more than a regular parking space in the driveway, while in storage, or in a parking lot.
  • easily serviced at regular auto shops and offers better gas mileage (but not that great for its relative size).
  • are offered with either gas or diesel engines.

CONS: (disadvantages)

  • because everything is miniaturized (kitchen, fold-out bed, bathroom facilities), comfort is limited. You may feel cramped and claustrophobic.
  • the bed normally has to be taken down and folded up to form a sofa to seat more than 2 persons.
  • normally adequate for two travellers only. The bed length and ceiling height may not be suitable for taller people.
  • per foot, it is pricier than Class A and Class C to purchase new, relative to the living space available. However, if it also serves as a regular day-to-day vehicle, it lowers the relative cost.
  • the camper vans are not really adequate for fulltime RVing (even if some people use it, the "Vandwellers").
  • very compact and not much storage space (a storage container can be added on a platform behind the rear bumper).
  • small disposal holding tanks limiting the duration of boondocking


- the Class B +

Note that a few years ago, the market began offering a new motorhome design called Class B+.

Basically, it is a step up from a camper van (Class B), being a bit larger but not as big as a Class C.

It normally has the entertainment system (TV, DVD player) plus some cupboards over the cab with a bed made by unfolding the sofa and lowering the kitchen table.

Some models now have one or two slide outs as well.


  1. the Class A
  2. the Class C



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