With the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic taking hold of the U.S. right before summer, families across the country turned to the most obvious outlet when events started canceling: outdoor activities. People have been buying boats, motorcycles, pools for the backyard, and — one of the most popular choices — camper vans.
People, especially those with families, love the freedom that a camper van can provide now more than ever. When sports are canceled, public pools are closed, and playgrounds don’t feel safe, being able to head out on a road trip is just the cure for the quarantine blues. But if you’ve never owned a camper van before, how do you know which one is right for you?
Must-have camper van features
When it comes to camper vans, there can be such a thing as too much. Some vans come fully loaded with more amenities than a hotel would offer, but there are a few that we believe are truly must-haves.
For starters, it has to have a bed. Obviously, right? A table, running water, heat and/or air conditioning, a refrigerator, a stove or microwave, and a good battery are all things that we consider essential in a good camper van. Lacking these features make for more inconvenience than necessary.
Other great things to have include extra storage space, a portable toilet that you can empty as you go, at least four seats with seat belts, and a good amount of height — you don’t want to be crouching for an entire week-long road trip!
Additionally, you’ll want to make sure that any adults in your party who might end up driving are comfortable driving a large vehicle.
Deciding which camper van is right for you
There are a number of different types of camper vans available, according to Sussex Campervans. So make sure you take a look at everything they offer so you can choose which one will be right for you and your family.
Consider how many beds you need. Some camper vans only fit one bed, but others’ tables fold down into another bed, and some even have room for bunk beds. Also, consider how many seats you need and how far you plan to take it — find the best fuel efficiency if you plan to take it on long trips.
If you plan to go on longer trips or plan to use it a lot each summer, then you’ll probably be happier with something that has more luxury features. Things like comfortable seats, extra outlets, DVD players in the rear seats, and TVs go a long way when you’re living in your van more often. Likewise, you don’t want to tack on too many features you won’t use just to watch the price tag go up.
Try it before you buy it
Ultimately, the best way to buy a new camper van is to rent it before you buy it, so you can ensure it’s exactly what you need. Renting one is always an option for those looking to get away for a quick trip, but it makes more financial sense to buy one if you plan to use it more often.
Renting the camper van you’re most interested in buying will allow you to have a trial run before you commit to buying it and realizing you don’t need half of the luxury features it has or that you do need that extra row of seats.
In a time when everything seems confusing, save yourself any unnecessary frustration and rent a camper van before you buy. You might even be totally wrong on the size you need. At least if you rent it first, then find out you don’t have room for any of your stuff, you can plan on purchasing the next size up instead.