Tips, Tricks & Trends

Camper Sleeps Five and Fits in Garage for Under $15K

Car camping for a weekend is a fun experience. But, what if you want to travel for more than a weekend adventure. Let us say that you want to go on a cross country trip and want to experience the great outdoors wherever you go. The #vanlife movement has done a lot in recent years to elevate the idea of converting a vehicle to include the essentials needed to make such trips possible. Don’t be fooled into thinking you need a full-size van or a converted full-size pickup truck. Now, a van outfitter, called Contravans, is making it possible to have a camper van that fits in the garage until you need it for the big trips. 

Conversion by Contravans that includes sleeping for 5, a cooking stove, and pressurized water.
Contravans conversion of a 2015 Ford Transit minivan | Contravans

Many vehicles can be converted

The Ford Transit Connect is not the only vehicle Contravans builds packages for. They have conversion packages and do-it-yourself kits for many popular vehicles. If you think that a Toyota, Jeep, Subaru, Chevrolet, Nissan, or Chrysler or more your speed, conversion packages are available for those brands as well. So, options to build the right overlanding rig are plentiful.

Conversion by Contravans that includes a solar panel and rooftop tent.
Solar panel and rooftop tent for a minivan camper conversion | Contravans

Packages or the full outfitting available

Turnkey minivan packages start at $3,698 and go up depending on how you want the vehicle outfitted. That’s the price for the package alone. The donor vehicle would be needed. But, it is conceivable that a good used minivan or even cargo van can be acquired for less than $10,000. For example, a quick look at eBay Motors for a Ford Transit Connect cargo van turns up a handful of listings in that price range. Some of those even had less than 50,000 miles. But, with a vehicle under $10,000 and a basic package from Contravan, you end up with a reasonable rig under the $15,000 price point. 

Conversion by Contravans that includes sleeping for 5, a cooking stove, and pressurized water.
Slide-out drawer with a two-burner stove and pressurized 4-gallon water jerry can | Contravans

Fit in the garage

Minivans also have proportions that are convenient enough to fit in a garage. Full-sized vans and full-sized pickup trucks might have difficulty matching that. So, to avoid having to worry about parking your car outside of the house every day that it is not in use, a minivan might be a better option for you. 

The vehicle shown in the pics above is pretty well optioned out. It is the floor model, and it is available for $34,988. That includes the minivan. That conversion was built on a 2015 Ford Transit Connect and currently has 62,000 miles. In addition to the custom wrap, this vehicle has an extendable full-size bed platform inside and a memory foam mattress, LED interior lights, 36-liter refrigerator, 4 Gallon HydroBlu pressurized virus filtering jerry can, dual burner stove, a rooftop tent that sleeps 3 adults, solar panels, a power inverter, and USB charging stations. There is no shower or toilet. 

There are plenty of possibilities when it comes to outfitting a rig for you to get out there and experience nature. So, if you are considering now as the right time to look at your options, Contravans has turnkey and individual options available. Their reasonable pricing could also yield you a rig that meets your needs and can still tuck away into your garage while not in use.