I’ll be the first to say that overlanding can be done in all sorts of vehicles…
Minivan? Sure. Station wagon? You bet. A big RV? Absolutely. The options are virtually endless.
But one of the best ways to overland might just be in a camper van. In my mind, they offer the ideal mix of amenities and convenience for extended trips.
With that in mind, let’s discuss just a few of the best things about overlanding in a camper van.
Editor’s Note: To give you an idea of the benefits camper vans offer, I use TrueVan as a prime example. These vans are self-contained, off-road ready, and come with a bevy of amenities that make overlanding a treat.
You’re More Mobile
I know plenty of people that travel in an RV or pull a big trailer behind their big truck. And those are great ways to travel, to be sure.
The problem is, you’d be hard-pressed to drive your diesel pusher or your truck and trailer off-road. If you want to be mobile and have the capability of getting off the beaten path, a camper van is the perfect solution.
Companies like TrueVan have perfected the mobility of their camper vans by basing their rigs on the ever-popular 4×4 Mercedes Sprinter van. With four-wheel drive capability, improved ground clearance, and a compact size to improve approach and departure angles, this is the type of overlanding vehicle you want if you want to get away from it all.
Overlanding in a Camper Van is More Convenient
On the opposite end of the spectrum of overlanding in a big RV or truck and trailer, you can always overland in your daily driver. Just pull the seats out of the back of your minivan and go to town!
The problem, of course, is that overlanding in a minivan isn’t as convenient as it is in a camper van. Your minivan doesn’t have a kitchen area or a bathroom. There’s no dedicated sleeping space unless you make one, either. Plus, it’s not like a minivan has a wealth of room inside anyway.
For those reasons, I’d much rather try overlanding in a camper van. Many camper van models have all the amenities of home, so you don’t have to search around for a bathroom when you need it, a shower when you want one, or a place to cook your dinner.
Again, companies like TrueVan have recognized that overlanding is much easier when you have the conveniences of home with you in your self-contained van. Now, you still can’t expect the size and space that you get in a 40-foot RV, but you can still get a luxurious living space.
For example, the TrueVan Vision comes with a near queen-size fold-down bed, a bathroom with an expandable shower, and a kitchenette with a 4.2 cubic-foot double-door compressor Danby refrigerator, a microwave, and a portable induction stove.
You also get a 26-gallon dual-fresh water tank, a custom 24-gallon black water tank, and a custom 24-gallon gray water tank. This thing even has a home automation system that enables you to dim the lights, see the water tank levels, and has its own local Wi-Fi.
Of course, not all camper vans are this well equipped, but you get the point – overlanding in a camper van like this offers you many of the conveniences you enjoy in your normal, everyday life.
Let’s Talk About Comfort
One of the reasons I hear most about why people choose to overland in a huge RV or big fifth-wheel is because they like the comfort that comes with such a large rig.
And while those types of vehicles certainly offer the utmost in comfort, it’s not true that they are the only options for having a comfortable trip.
In fact, overlanding in a camper van can be a lot like having your own personal luxurious hotel room on wheels. Obviously this is not the case with a 1970s Toyota Chinook, but many modern vans like the TrueVan Vision X and Vision Pro, comfort is the name of the game.
Here’s what I mean…
TrueVans come equipped with a diesel air heater that draws fuel from the van’s tank so you can stay warm all night long without having to refill the heater’s tank.
They also come with three air conditioning units in case your overlanding adventures take you to warmer climates. The entire rig is insulated to make it easier to maintain a comfortable temperature as well.
These vans have an insane amount of storage, too – something you need when overlanding in a camper van. Now, you might argue that storage doesn’t fall under the comfort category, but I disagree. By having plenty of storage (including a full garage space in the back of the van), you can keep all your stuff organized and out of the way without constantly tripping over things or hunting around for things you need.
With other features like a fully-adjustable maple top lagun table for working or dining, front seats that swivel 180 degrees, and a rear office space with a four-foot table and fold-up bench, you can bask in the comfort of having all sorts of room to sit, relax, dine, and work.
Overlanding in a Camper Van is All About Freedom
In addition to the benefits I’ve outlined above, another benefit of hitting the road in a camper van is that you have absolute freedom to go wherever you want, for however long you want.
Whether it’s a weekend trip or a year-long trip, a camper van gives you a safe, secure place to eat, sleep, lounge, and work. And if you invest in a camper van like TrueVan, you can do those things on or off-road, on or off-grid, or in warm or cold climates.
Limited only by how much food, water, and fuel you have, overlanding in a camper van gives you the ability to make your overlanding dreams a reality. As I said earlier, you can overland in all kinds of vehicles, but when it comes to mobility, convenience, and comfort, I think you’d have a tough time finding a better option than a camper van.
For more details about our friends at TrueVan, visit their website.