Best Vans to Live In – Ultimate RV Guide 2019

I am sure that most people want to be free, but how can you be living in a stationary house? Mobile homes are becoming more prevalent every single day, and there’s a reason for that. First and foremost, they give you the freedom to live where you want, when you want. The beach? Check. In the woods? Check. The opportunities are limitless, and the life that you and your family get may be everything you need to alleviate the stress of everyday life.

For these reasons, living in vans or RVs has become a trend in the world. #VanLife and #TinyHouse are two very popular hashtags, which attract new mobile home lovers every single day. People are spending not only money but also a lot of time to make their mobile homes suit their needs. But, with all the different options available, which vehicle is best-suited to be converted into a mobile home? Or, why making your own van when you can buy one that’s already made as a mobile home? Here are the best vans to live in.

Popular Types of Vans

There are several different types of vans that can be used as a starter for building your dream mobile home. The most popular type in the US is cargo vans and conversion vans. They are cheap and reliable, even though they don’t have as much space inside.

Even though less popular, Euro-style vans seem to be the better option. They are a tad more expensive but offer much more space inside and better fuel efficiency. Most of them are very reliable too and come with high-tech features inside.

Or you may go the “classic” way and buy classic vans from the ‘70s or ’80s. These vans can really brighten the atmosphere everywhere you go, and if rebuilt, they can cover a lot of miles due to their simple mechanics. That said, they are on the slow side, use a lot of fuel, and don’t have that much space inside. Their biggest downside though is safety – most of these vans don’t come with seat belts, headrests, ABS and airbags, which can be a deal breaker for most people.

Top 5 Best RVs for Living

Ford Transit

The Ford Transit is the most popular vehicle of its type in the world. It is primarily used as a commercial van around the world and is known for offering reliable motoring, tons of space inside, and good fuel efficiency. The biggest reason why it sits on the first place on this list is that it is very popular in the #VanLife community, which means that there are tons of custom-made parts available.

The Transit comes in several different configurations, with various lengths and heights – excellent for those who want to live in their mobile home full time, or just want a smaller motorhome for weekend trips. Whichever you prefer, the Ford Transit is absolutely the best vehicle to start building your dream home, especially because you can find a good used model on the cheap.

Mercedes-Benz Sprinter

The Sprinter is the “antidote” to the Ford Transit. It is extremely popular in Europe, where most of the vans in the past few decades are Sprinters’. These vans are known for their legendary durability and reliability, especially models that were produced in the ’80s and ’90s. They are available in many different configurations, with low and high roofs, and various lengths. Mercedes Sprinter vans offer a lot of space inside and are built to a very high standard, which automatically makes them a great choice for a motorhome. The price of these vans is a tad higher than Ford Transit equivalents, but you can still find a very good used Sprinter that needs very little meddling with the mechanics.

RAM Promaster

Even though it is sold under the RAM moniker, the Promaster is very much a Euro-style van, based on the Fiat Ducato Van. That’s not a bad thing as the Ducato is already very popular in Europe due to its excellent use of the available space and fuel-efficient engines. The Promaster comes in three wheelbase configurations and two exterior heights, so it should be easy to choose one that will suit your needs the best. However, the mechanics in the Promaster aren’t known to be as reliable as those in the Ford Transit and Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, so we suggest going for a vehicle with fewer miles covered.

Volkswagen Bus/Vanagon

Classic vans are a very cheap and cheerful way to start building your dream home. If you go that route, Volkswagen seems to be the only option. You can choose between the smaller Bus and the bigger and newer Vanagon. With both models, you can expect excellent reliability due to the simple mechanics. With a little knowledge of cars, you can even fix some things yourself. The community is also very strong with these vans, and a lot of custom-made parts are available. That said, safety is a concern, especially if you cover a lot of miles.

Chevrolet Express

The last place on this list goes to the Chevy Express, which is a classic American van with an engine in front of the wheels. These vans don’t offer as much space inside as Euro-style vans, even though the outside dimensions may be the same. The Express also has a lower roof than those vans, but this can be alleviated with foldable high roof. This van does have some advantages, which for some people may be huge. First of all, it is very cheap to buy and maintain, it has powerful engines, and is very reliable.


Choosing the right van is the most important thing when building a motorhome. With all the options available on the market, it is best to start with size – smaller vans are better for weekend trips, while bigger vans are better for a full-time home solution. Then, choose a model that will suit your particular needs, and in the end, make sure that custom-made parts are available for your particular van.

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