Campers are increasing in popularity by the day, it seems. As COVID continues as an unfortunate fixture in our lives, the need to travel safely and socially distanced continues to be of the utmost importance. The problem is, the coolest campers can cost some pretty serious money. Airstream and Winnebago can easily get well into the six-figure range, while Earth roamer and the like can push past the half-million-dollar mark. So, where are the cool camper vans that don’t compete with the cost of a house? Don’t worry, dear reader; I got you. Here are 5 relatively affordable camper vans.
The Boho Camper Conversion is a pretty affordable camper van
As MotorTrend puts it, “Boho Camper Vans is chill. Like, super chill.” The folks at Boho don’t really care to put “labels” or “trim packages” on their creations. You have the choice of bringing them a van of your choosing, or they can pick one for you, and they proceed to do exactly what you can afford. Shoot for the stars or keep it simple; the choice is completely yours to make. Boho Conversions seem as groovy as the name suggests.
The pricing starts at around $29,000 (not including the van) for their wood clad adventure vans that are capable as they are vibey. Working with Boho can certainly get pricey depending on what you want, but compared to a six-figure Airstream or Mercedes van, paying $30k to build a self-sustaining mobile home really isn’t bad.
The Caravan Outfitter Free Bird camper van is for the people
Just like the soaring guitar solo of this van’s namesake, the FreeBird camper van is meant to be accessible and enjoyable for all. Caravan Outfitters bases its offering on the Nissan NV200 cargo van. These are simple and crude vans that go from pumpkin to carriage by the end of the process.
The standard Free Bird starts at $38,760. Unlike the other conversion companies, this lowly sum includes the van. This is truly unrivaled in the camper-van world. The Free Bird features a small fridge and stove and a folding bed that doubles as booth-style seating. “And this bird you cannot chaaaaayeayeayeange.”
The Outside Van isn’t cleverly named, but it’s still cool
Similar to the Boho, the Outside Van’s price is pretty much up to you. These camper vans are meant for those with imagination or a specific layout in mind. The company tends toward Mercedes Sprinter vans, which will inevitably make this one of the pricier vans on this list. But as far as converted sprinter vans go, they are cheaper than some of the boutique builders because you can control how fancy it is.
There is also an option to get a more canned verison if you like the cut of their jib but don’t want to spec out your camper van meticulously. This can become stressful for the less decisive of us. Either way, Outside Van, has your back.
Off Grid Adventure Vans is trying to get you deep into the woods
These vans are another example of custom camper vans that aren’t exactly cheap, but they are competitively priced within the segment. Off Grid bases its campers on the Ram ProMaster van. These are a strong and inexpensive platform to start with, which helps keeps the cost down. Off Grid offers three different builds, all fairly priced; the Rambler, Summit, and Vagabond.
The stock ProMaster will run you around $36,000, and the builds start at 42,500 for the Rambler and the Summit. The Vagabond will run $43,950 cabbages. Honestly, the differences between the three models are negligible. The differences really come down to a foldable or static bed setup. Some options can cost more, like a shower, heater, toilet, and so on. Either way, save the cash and go for the simple, cheaper ones.
The Sportsmobile Classic 4×4 is the coolest camper van
Alright. This one really isn’t that cheap, but damn, it’s cool. The Classic 4×4 is an old, built-out Ford E-Series van. Although Ford discontinues the E-Series vans, you can bring in your own, and Sportsmobile will hook it up. These vans themselves are tough and cheap, making them the perfect camper van donor.
Sportsmobile adds a fiberglass shell to the back half of the E-Series and converts it to a 4×4 system. This costs $20k alone. The conversion includes turning the cabin into a cozy home with a bench/bed conversion, sink, lighting, and most other standard camper stuff. Granted, the Classic 4×4 is smaller than other camper-van cabins, but it is built to go anywhere with brutal efficiency.
All that efficiency don’t come cheap, though. The classic 4×4 starts at a whopping $175,000 and can creep into the $220,000 mark. I know. I know. I’m sorry, but these vans are too cool not to share.