When it comes to buying a camper van or a custom conversion van, size is often one of the most critical factors to keep in mind. While amenities and features can make your trips more enjoyable, size will often dictate which side of the love or hate relationship you fall on with your van. In most cases, you'll want to decide on a few aspects of your van's overall dimensions before making any other decisions.
But how can you determine which size is right for you? There's nothing wrong with having too much space, but large vans tend to cost more and may be more challenging to park under certain circumstances. Getting it just right can help you select an option that fits your needs and your budget without spending extra money on space you don't need.
When looking at conversion vans, you might run into a few unfamiliar terms. In addition to interior and exterior dimensions, you'll also want to look at your van's wheelbase. Many vans will also have a high top or low top description. All of these terms can help you judge a bit about the overall size and handling characteristics of the vehicle you're considering.
Wheelbase simply tells you the distance from the center of the front wheels to the center of the rear wheels. Vans with longer wheelbases can feel more stable on the road, but you may have a more challenging time maneuvering them in tight spaces. It's crucial to understand that a vehicle's wheelbase is not its length, and the exterior size will usually be significantly longer.
On the other hand, high top and low top are relative terms that describe the interior height of the vehicle. Note that the meaning of these terms can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, so one low-top van might be considerably shorter inside than another. Always check the interior dimensions in person before making any decisions.
Determining Your Needs
A straightforward way to determine your needs is to ask how you'll be using your van. Will you be taking short camping trips or lengthy vacations? Is your van something you intend to use seasonally, or are you embarking on a full-time van lifestyle? For pure camping, a smaller van with a relatively long wheelbase will provide stability, comfort, and the ability to travel safely on narrow, offroad trails.
On the other hand, you should favor extended-length vans for long-term living. These vans will allow you to fit more amenities while also providing plenty of space to get up and move around. High-top versions are also nearly always the right choice for this use case since they'll allow even tall individuals to stand comfortably. Higher roofs also provide more space for storage.
Ultimately, the best way to choose a size appropriate for you is to view several vans in person. Seeing for yourself if a vehicle provides enough livable space will guarantee that you choose one that's perfect for your van lifestyle.
Keep these tips in mind when looking for camper vans for sale near you.