One of the most common questions we get asked is 'What is the best van to convert?'. This is the first decision to make when starting your vanlife journey, and it is a big one. In this post we will go through the top three considerations to think through when choosing your base van.
For ultimate vanlife whether it is long weekends away or full time living we recommend a large panel van, namely Mercedes Sprinters, VW Crafters, Peugeot Boxers, Fiat Ducatos and Citroen Relays.
The main three things to consider when choosing between these models, revolve around dimensions:
How will you use it?
How tall are you?
What layout do you have in mind?
How will you use your van?
Firstly, will you use your van in urban areas? In this case consider a shorter van that will be easier to park and manoeuvre.
If you will be more rural then a larger van has the benefit of space - always of importance when fitting a whole house inside a van. However keep in mind that the legal weight restriction does not typically correlate with the size of van, so a larger van could have the same legal weight restriction (e.g. 3500Kg - check the V5). A larger van will weigh more to begin with and you will need to add more materials for the walls, floors, cupboards etc. This means that a larger van will have a lower remaining weight capacity for personnel and luggage - not ideal if you also want to be carrying heavy adventure gear.
Legal Weight Capacity - (Vehicle Kerb Weight + Conversion Weight) = Remaining Payload