Investing in a van that you can turn into a home is a great way to build a mobile future. It’s a great way to always be ready for your next road trip since you can just take your home with you. Rather than buying an RV, you can design and build your home in a vehicle that will fit your lifestyle anywhere. Here is a look at several types of vans to consider.
Camper vans generally refer to passenger vehicles. While you can purchase a camper van and pull out the seats, you’ll likely have soft, padded walls, a soft headliner, carpet on the floor and you may have wiring running under the header for the television designed for those in the back seat. However, if you’re in a hurry and aren’t sure about how to insulate your vehicle, a camper van can be a good fit. If you want to add a bubble top for more headroom, be prepared for some intense tear-out.
A cargo van is a big, empty metal box that you will need to insulate. You’ll probably also need to add a deck for a flat metal floor. At least the decking will have to be installed before you can start any living space design. The Dodge Ram ProMaster and Ford Transit are good options for anyone hoping for a cargo van that can be converted easily into a rolling house, but the Nissan NV Cargo van deserves a close look first. Cars manufactured by Japanese companies tend to have longer lifespans, so shoot for a Japanese cargo van if you can. For example, the Nissan NV can be a nice home for anyone up to 6 feet tall once you add the deck and the insulation.
The days of the rusted-out VW bus with flower power stickers and peace symbols are probably behind us. Cities are cracking down on van dwellers. If you live in an area where this is an issue, you may want to try to make your vehicle as unobtrusive as possible. Fortunately, Volkswagen is bringing back the VW bus in a modern reboot called the I.D. Buzz. Invest in a roof fan or a fan for your back window that you can use to move air through your van. If your cargo van has a roof rack, you’re in a good place to add a plywood deck up top that can hold solar panels for easy access to power.
When first setting up your van, you may wind investing in things that ultimately just don’t work. Start small. Set up a cot, add a foam mattress, travel with duffel bags and cook on simple camping gear until you work out exactly where you want things to go. This way, you can build your van in a way that works best for you.