Are you dreaming of making the leap into vanlife and considering the average cost of a camper van? Ever since camping became a staple hobby for outdoorsy people to enjoy in the summers, the popularity of camping equipment and vehicles, especially camper vans has also risen exponentially.
Camper vans are a perfect traveling companion, with an in built toilet facility and sleeping accommodation, making traveling easier, and more convenient. As convenient and useful as they may be, people still wonder about the price of a camper van, and if it’s actually worth it or not, more specifically; what is the average cost of a camper van?
The quick answer:
The average cost of a camper van is $80,000. The lower tier campers with very high mileage and mechanical issues can be priced as low as $10,000, while the more luxurious and brand new camper vans are priced around $150,000 and higher.
The costs vary according to the quality of amenities each camping van provides. Some people also prefer altering normal vans to make them a camper van instead of buying new models as it is cheaper.
There has been a lot of debate surrounding the worth of camper vans, and if they are a suitable purchase or not. Let’s take a closer look at the varying costs of camper vans, the different types, and how they can be of service to your during your travel.
How expensive are camper vans?
The thing with camper vans is, the more you increase or customize the amenities that come with a camper van, the more expensive it gets. So even a bottom tier camper van costing you $20,000 can jump up to $40,000 if you customize it according to your needs. This effect is much more drastic where pricier camper vans are concerned.
The most expensive camper vans the likes of Mercedes, are priced around $150,000, with unlimited options and a 4×4 Ford base, ready for anything and everything you may need during a travel. Next best thing is a Winnebago Revel, priced at $120,000, as expensive as they may be, they prove to be a reliable travelling companion and also a very comfortable one.
The reason they’re so overpriced is because of all the different features and functions they offer within one moving vehicle, which is naturally harder to do and more expensive to incorporate. They’re expensive to manufacture and build, with most parts being heavy duty, and require more skills on the manufacturer’s part.
Accelerating demand also causes the price hike of a good camper van, as the prices rise with people’s demand for the product.
The average cost of the high tier camper vans is $125,000, with some of the best camper vans starting from the $50,000 mark. While the more expensive options are a bit (ok, a lot) heavier on the pocket, they do provide you with a good quality lifetime investment worth every penny spent.
How much is a small camper van?
Smaller camper vans excluding most of the heavy duty parts can cost you under $70,000, which is a great option if you’re under a tight budget and don’t seem it relevant to spend an arm and leg just to buy a camper van. Some readily available smaller van options might even be better than if you were to go to conversion companies.
Off grid adventure vans such as the Ram Promaster starts at around $30,000 before options, and ranges from $65,000-$70,000 with options included. This van offers you everything, from kitchen to refrigerator, to a dining space, comfortable sleeping space, cabinets, stoves, and a sink. While this may not seem affordable to many, with the amount of options included, this price seems only reasonable.
There are other Boho camper vans starting from $30,000-$35,000, but you’d have to compromise on the space and the convenience while getting everything compacted into smaller spaced vehicles. Converts such as Nissan oasis campervans and others will also cost you lesser than an off grid while providing you all the options compacted and foldable.
How much does a sprinter van cost?
Sprinter camper vans are more on the pricier side of camper vans, with their prices ranging from anywhere between $150,000 to $200,000. The more popular models like the Winnebago Revel that we discussed before go for more than $175,000, the Roadtrek SS Agile following suit.
The reason why sprinter vans are so expensive is because the base van they’re built on is very expensive on its own, starting from $35,000 without any added options. The Mercedes sprinters being the most expensive ones, starting from $38,000 as a base model price.
Is it cheaper to buy a van or to convert one?
It’s definitely cheaper to buy a normal van and then convert it into a camper van, but you have to set a budget first and make sure to not go over that budget. If you incorporate too many heavy duty functions and options within your converted van, the costs will be almost as much as if you were to buy a readymade camper van, so think smart.
To convert a van, make a list of options you want to include in it, then based on those options, choose a van that has space large enough. An easier way to do this is to approximate how many people you’ll be traveling with and then design the camper according to that.
If you want a more sustainable option, we’d recommend incorporating solar panels into your van structure so that it takes off some burden from your van batteries and engine.
Camper vans are a very good investment if you’re looking and willing to keep it long term, and if you’re ready to bear the maintenance costs. Depending on your circumstances and frequency of travel, you can either invest in a used one, or a brand new one (if you travel a lot).
Long story short, if you’re an adventurous soul with a passion for traveling, it’s best to invest in a camper van for easier mobility and convenience, as well as a better traveling experience.