Why are camper vans so popular?

In this blog post, we will answer the following question: Why are camper vans so popular? We will discuss the pros and cons of camper vans, and also give you advice on how to live a “successful” van life. 

If there is a reason why camper vans are so popular is that they bring you independence. Travelling in a camper van means having the freedom to choose how much time we want to spend in each place or rethink the itinerary while we do it. 

In addition, it is an incredible opportunity to connect with nature. Of course, like everything in this life, you have to do it safely. That is why motorhome insurance exists, so that, above all, you can enjoy the trip without impediments.

Here are some basic reasons why travelling by camper van is so popular in the US:

Although we have already talked about the independence of taking a motorhome tour, in this section we want to summarize a little more in depth what advantages this new fashion has today.

  • Security. In these times, with a pandemic over our heads, it makes us a little more reluctant to plant ourselves in a hotel to “live” with different families or groups of friends that we do not know. That is why it is so interesting to travel in camper vans, since you do not have to share space with strangers.
  • Amenities. As you know, motorhomes are a kind of miniature house. Thanks to the fact that all of them are equipped with a small kitchen, you can adapt all the meals to your liking. Not to mention that modern camper vans have a toilet, shower, plenty of storage space, and even entertainment systems.
  • More places to visit. Another advantage and, in our humble opinion, the most important, is that you can discover many more destinations. Also, change the trip planning. That is, if you plan to spend a whole day in a town and then discover that in one morning you have already seen it, you can return to the motorhome and go to another. Seize the day!
  • Sleeping capacity. For a couple, for a family, for a group of friends … and we could go on like this much longer. No matter the number of people, there are vehicles for all tastes.

Some advice for living a van life

The “Van Life” movement is nothing more than a nomadic lifestyle, where people enjoy transporting themselves most of the time in a camper van or motorhome.

What once would have seemed like a hippie fashion from the 60s, is currently a trend among young people who renounce traditional life patterns and decide to adopt a philosophy much more in contact with nature, travel and the modalities of work that they do not depend on a day in the office.

Want to know if van life is for you? Check out these tips:

  1. Rent before buying: Although everything you might see on social media about the Van Life movement looks like a dream or a flawless lifestyle, the reality of living and travelling by van is something you should experience on your own rather than get unpleasant surprises.
  1. Do not leave without an itinerary: “Traveling aimlessly”, “getting lost along the way” or “going out without a map” sounds like the premise of a movie adventure. However, in most cases, the best idea will be to define at least the basic steps that you must make during the trip and the sequence of points along the way. 
  1. Choose the van that suits your lifestyle: Before relying on superficial points to select the van in which you are interested in travelling, it is important to consider that this will not only be a means of transport, but also your home for the duration of your adventure.
  1. If possible, get someone onboard: Although it is not about discouraging you from doing things only if it is within your power, the “Van Life” movement is designed to share experiences and offer mutual support in each phase of the adventure.
  1. Know what the law says: Things are a bit different in the US, as each state has its own rules and norms about sleeping in a vehicle on the street. Check our other articles on the subject to get up-to-date information. 
  1. Clarify your legal doubts about how to camp: When your van is not only parked, but also exceeds the outer perimeter of the vehicle, either by unfolding an awning or taking out chairs and tables around it, the van is no longer parked and is now camped.
  1. Organize every detail of your work, especially if it depends on the internet: If you dedicate yourself to living and travelling by van, but at the same time you are a freelance or digital nomad, little by little you will learn not to trust the internet signal when you are on the road on wheels.

The least beautiful aspects of camper vans

If you like this world, do not try to change it for anything, but it is not without drawbacks! The thing is that a camper van is laborious, you have to put it on and level it, you have to control the level of drinking water if you go to a place with electricity you have to connect it, empty the dirty water tank, and so on.

In addition, the limited space available forces us to be very orderly at all times and also respectful of our companions. Sometimes you have to take turns changing clothes or the sleepyhead in the group has to get up earlier than they would like to change the configuration from bed to table so that everyone can have breakfast.

Cleaning is not like in a hotel, you go to the beach and when you return everything is collected, clean and the beds are made. Here you cook it and you eat it, along with the design of the route, the driving, the choice of places to spend the night or camp, make the daily shopping and much more. It requires a job, but a job that, when you like it, takes a back seat.

This small space brings discomfort, a large bathroom is not the same as a small sink in which as soon as you move you hit the walls with your elbows or hit the toilet on your shin. There is no clothesline to dry wet clothes when we are on the go, nor do we have a refrigerator as big as a house’s. There are also no chairs inside the motorhome, they are fixed seats for several people that generally force entry and exit in order.

A camper van does not have a general connection for water, electricity or sewage, it depends on its autonomy and has limitations, you cannot be indefinitely in a dream place away from the world. You have to fill the water tank, empty the waste and recharge the battery (because with the solar panels that many incorporate it is usually not enough).

To all these inconveniences we add a high acquisition cost, a very high cost per mile because they consume a lot and run little, annual insurance, road tax, maintenance and storage costs. 

The bottom line

We cannot be sure if #VanLife is a passing trend or if it is here to stay, although it is probably the latter. The world is changing and, like it, tourism. Booking a room in a hotel and spending several days in the same city, without moving, is becoming less and less common. Because let’s face it, what we like the most about travelling is waking up every day in front of a different landscape!

Please feel free to get in contact if you have any questions or comments on the content. 

Is a camper van a good investment?

Truth be told, camper vans can be a great investment as well as a money pit. The predominant factor is the purchase of a new or used RV. 

When is the best time to buy a camper?

The best time to buy a camper is at the end of the tourist season and during clearance periods. This is the time when the supply is surplus and buyers have a wide choice of models and brands. For used vehicles, it is easier to negotiate the selling price

What are the disadvantages of a camper?

On the downside, living in a small space means that there is little privacy, and hello dirt! In motorhomes, the pace is generally less. We delay more on the journey and we also lose a lot of time for maintenance and daily tasks (emptying, cooking, cleaning, etc.)

What is the difference between a campervan and a caravan?

The difference between a campervan and a caravan is great (although there are those who use both terms as synonyms). A caravan is a vehicle that, in order to move, needs to be towed by a car. In contrast, a campervan is independent in this sense; that is to say, it has a motor, with which it can propel itself. For their part, camper vans are vans whose rear part has been enabled to live in it.

Which is better: a campervan or a motorhome?

Although there are exceptions, most motorhomes are better equipped than a camper van. … In addition, they also have more storage space (the trunks of motorhomes are usually huge), and almost all motorhomes have a bathroom and shower, something that many campervans do not.


Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!