In Praise of the Campervan

They're retro in spirit in the best ways.

In the world of fancy campers and motorhomes, a small and often overlooked choice is the campervan. The campervan can look and feel like a relic of times gone by, but that’s one of its greatest charms. The campervan’s stood the test of time for some very strong reasons. Here are four off the tops of our heads:

1. An Improvisor’s Dream

Classic VW Campervan
Idyllic, isn’t it? By the way, if you’re an owner looking to rent out your campervan, Outdoorsy is now insuring classic VW’s.

Having a campervan at home is like having your own personal escape pod. You can leave it mostly packed, and if the urge hits, you can take off for the weekend with very little preparation. It’s nice to know you have the option to throw a few things in the back, grab the cooler and you’re ready to go as far as your heart desires.

2. Easy navigation

Campervans are small compared to many motorhomes or trailers, so they are easy to maneuver. They smoothly fit down city streets and narrow lanes. Campervans are no bigger than a regular vehicle on the street, so navigating campground roads is a cinch, and they easily fit in any parking garage. Campervans are not a performance vehicle, so don’t expect to get where you’re going quickly, but do expect to enjoy the ride.

3. Tiny Home = Big Heart

1986 Volkswagon Vanagon Campervan

Campervans are small, and because they are small you are limited in the amount of things you can pack along. A large group of people will not enjoy a campervan holiday, but a couple or small family will fit nicely. The close quarters can bring families together with a sort of forced intimacy. This can close the gaps created by school, work, grocery shopping, and the everyday stresses of your normal routine. The small space eliminates unnecessary baggage, and you will come out of your trip with a clearer head.

4. Always At-the-Ready

Mercedes Benz Sprinter Campervan
This 2014 Mercedes Benz Sprinter is compact with modern amenities. It lives in Cardiff-by-the-Sea, California.

With a campervan, the world is your campsite. It doesn’t require much setup; there is no trying to remember which tent pole goes where, looking for a pull-through site, or making sure there is room for your slide-out. Park your campervan, roll out the awning, pop the top, and you’re all set. This opens up a plethora of campsites to you. Smaller, more remote mountain sites are now accessible to you, along with the ordinary ones.

Outdoorsy logo

The campervan takes you places you never thought of. It’s your own little quiet retreat that you can take anywhere. If you’re interested in trying out a campervan on Outdoorsy, search your location and choose “Class B” to narrow your options.

There’s just something about popping that top and feeling the stuffiness of the road dissipate that cannot be beat.

Note: We updated this post to correct a mistake. Earlier, the line read: “If you’re interested in trying out a campervan on Outdoorsy, search your location and choose “Class B” to narrow your options.” And that’s just wrong! For more info on class types, check out our Big Guide to RV Classes

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