Why are conversion vans so expensive? (7 reasons)

In today’s blog post, we will discuss: Why are conversion vans so expensive? We will explain what a conversion van is and what its advantages are. We will give you advice on how to choose the best van for a conversion. 

Why are conversion vans so expensive?

Conversion vans are expensive because they are essentially built to offer you the most amenities and comfort while camping.  A converted van is a vehicle that has at least one bed and in most cases, a kitchen area, a dinette, and a toilet area. 

A converted van was manufactured from an already bodied utility vehicle, which entailed some additional costs such as isolation, painting, furniture, lights, plumbing, custom-made items etc. 

To convert a van into a camper:

  • You must have a bed or a seat that can be converted into a bed.
  • You have to have some more furniture for storage; all rigidly anchored.
  • You must have a kitchen.
  • In addition, it is most advisable that the van is not too small and thus avoid space and comfort problems during the trip.

Conversions vans: the obvious advantages

Below we discuss some advantages that converted vans have and thus, why they are so expensive. 

  1. A converted van delivers more freedom.  Unlike motorhomes, vans play the opposite card of compactness in order to be able to park anywhere and blend in with the landscape discreetly. Advantages favoured by a growing number of motorhome owners who seek anonymity and want to drive their motorhome exactly like their car. 
  1. Camper vans are possibly more comfortable. Converted vans do not sacrifice stage comfort or functionality. Apart from the specificities related to its body (original bodywork) resulting in a smaller living space, its design shares the same equipment and the same technologies as other motorhomes: they can receive solar panels, flat-screen TV and satellite Antenna. 
  1. Converted vans are less expensive than motorhomes. The growing interest of the big brands in converted vans is a definite advantage for customers who will inevitably find something to suit them in a price range that has never been as competitive as it is today.

Admittedly, the average price of a converted van is rather around $46,000 or  $47,000, but at this price, a van will already appear very well equipped compared to a motorhome of the same price which will be positioned at an entry-level level.

  1. You can have everything you may wish for in a converted van.  In a van, space isn’t that cramped … as long as you are organized. When it comes to life on board, today’s vans have only a distant connection to yesterday’s compacts, which were often cramped and not very functional in their layouts. 

Everything has changed and these models offer a level of equipment, quality of finishes and very convincing comfort and above all a markedly increased habitability, with recourse to clever solutions based on the concept of modularity to optimize space. 

  1. Most conversion vans have a bathroom.  Modularity especially in the toilet compartment where a retractable washbasin or on a pivoting wall is one of the common solutions. But the big trend is the bathroom which combines a WC / sink compartment (retractable or not) with a modular shower space which takes place in the central corridor after a quick manipulation.
  1. A converted van is ideal on the road. You can raise part of the bed to load the hold. Convenient for storing large luggage, or for transporting bicycles. As for the payload of these small recreational vehicles, contrary to what one might think, it appears to be much higher than that of other motorhomes
  1. It is easier to drive a converted van: Last but not least, driving a van is like driving a big sedan! No more worry about rear overhang, no problem on smaller roads: the van goes everywhere. Comfortably installed in the cabin, you will be able to appreciate the performance of the engines, even the lightest. 

As on any motorhome, you will be able to benefit from the approval of the air conditioning, but also of the driving aids that constitute the reversing radar, the cruise control and, of course, the electric mirrors, and this. , in complete safety, thanks to the double airbag and ESP coupled to ABS.

More than any other motorhome, converted vans are built for the road. And while above all, they are synonymous with vacations and getaways, some converted vans have the enormous advantage of being able to also take advantage of daily use, replacing a car. Work, family, shopping: many followers have taken the plunge and now do without an additional car.

The converted van and motorhome each have their advantages, but the choice will depend on how you plan to use them. To get a better idea of ​​what each model has to offer you, it is advisable to test them one by one because they might surprise you. When it comes to prices, there is usually not much difference between a converted van and a motorhome of the same level.

How to find the true value of a reactionary vehicle?

Finding a reasonable price or market value for an RV is important, regardless of whether you are the buyer or the seller. Buyers want to be sure that they are receiving quality products and not being taken advantage of. 

Sellers want to make sure that they get the maximum possible value from their property. Determining the fair value of a recreational vehicle or RV can be a bit more difficult for an RV than it is for most vehicles, simply because of the many options, an RV can have. However, following a few simple steps can help. 

  • Determine what the fuel source is. This can be a very important part of the process since most RVs are classified not only by their size but their fuel source. In general, the two most common options are gasoline and diesel fuel.
  • Note options or improvements. RV owners are often proud of their vehicles and make substantial improvements, with new generators or other systems that may not be apparent and can increase the value of the unit.
  • Find the National Value Blue Book Auto Dealers Association in print or online. This is one of the most respected secondary vehicle valuation sources and is used by both buyers and sellers. Although no source can be comprehensive and cover all situations, this one comes close.
  • Check the sale prices of similar models. PPL RVs and eBay are recommended as places to find fair prices for RVs (see reference 1). Both of these websites list the sale prices of the various RVs that have recently been sold, making it easier for the buyer and seller to do a quick comparison.
  • Always check more than one unit when buying an RV. It could be that the buyer or seller has a good deal on an individual transaction, but that cannot lead to public opinion and most buyers or sellers cannot expect such exceptions to be readily available.

Final thoughts 

If you like to take short and frequent trips, but get carried away by the idea of ​​making all the travel arrangements, the converted van is a good option to consider. A converted van is a modified version of the cargo vans with a top roof and sometimes wider sides. 

The appeal of these vehicles is that they come equipped with facilities for the basic necessities of life. By choosing a conversion van, you are avoiding a problem that is often the bone of contention and a burden on your finances – accommodation. 

What do you think? Why, in your opinion, are conversion vans so expensive? Feel free to share your thoughts on this matter!

FAQ on Why are conversion vans so expensive?

How much does it cost to transform a van into a camper?

Transforming a van into a camper costs from 2,300 dollars to around 6,000 dollars, depending on the materials used and the amount of equipment we want to have in our ‘portable home’.

What must be homologated in a camper?

The regulations say that every element that is fixed inside our van must be approved. This fixing can be with screws or simply glued. … So, if you want to build the interior of your camper without having to approve it, you will have to design the furniture so that it is not fixed.

How to homologate a van as a home?

In order to be approved as a camper or home, it is necessary to install at least the installation and legalization of a bed and a piece of furniture. With these two changes, we can now convert the van to a home van although we usually carry out many more reforms to make the van as comfortable as possible.

Is a Sprinter van worth it?

Yes, the Sprinter van is totally worth it, and here we explain why! The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Van has one of the best designs and is loaded with features that make it worthwhile. Nonetheless, it is true that it is a more expensive option than some of the other full-size work vans that hit the market for the same model year.

What are the most reliable vans?

The most reliable vans are the Mercedes Sprinter, the Ford Transit, Volkswagen Transporter, Citroën Berlingo and the Renault Trafic.


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