These Are the Best Vans for Vanlife in 2023

Last Updated on March 6, 2023 by Jess

In recent years, the number of adventurers committed to vanlife has increased dramatically. Like Goldilocks, you need to find the perfect vehicle if you want to enjoy this lifestyle.

However, it’s not as easy as it sounds, especially if you want to try it out first. You may think that you can live in a small space or do without certain features, but that’s easier said than done. Luckily for you, we’ve found some of the best vans for vanlife.

Let’s narrow down the choices so you can enjoy the nomadic life!

What is Vanlife?

Vanlife is a popular trend in the nomadic community that has increased dramatically in recent years. This lifestyle involves living in converted vans while traveling like a nomad.

Some people live in their vehicles full-time, while others go on seasonal adventures. Those who embrace vanlife take tiny living to a whole new level.

There are endless possibilities as to why people choose vanlife. Many want to fulfill their desire to travel, save money, or live out their sense of adventure. On the other hand, some vanlifers have few other options due to the rising cost of living.

Whatever the reason, vanlife can be what you make of it, whether you choose it or it chooses you.

What makes a van interesting for vanlife?

Some vans are better than others when it comes to their features and capabilities. You need to consider a few things if you want to enjoy vanlife to the fullest. You need a vehicle that runs well and has enough sleeping space for you and your fellow passengers.

You also need to be as self-sufficient as possible. That means you need a shower, cooking facilities and a toilet.

Many vanlifers use wet rooms with a shower and a toilet to maximize space. Plus, a composting toilet can almost eliminate the worry of disposing of black tanks.

Propane is often used for cooking, either in the vehicle or on a portable griddle like the Blackstone. These are some of the basic features that set a van apart for vanlife.

However, if you want to go from good to great, you’ll need a few additional features. The best vans for vanlife often have solar panels for charging lithium batteries. Plus, these vehicles offer superior off-road capabilities and are built to withstand anything you throw at them.

What size is a good van for Vanlife?

When looking at a van for vanlife, consider who will be traveling with you. Make sure everyone has enough room if you plan to bring a spouse, significant other, or pet.

An empty vehicle may seem roomy when you’re shopping, but the walls can quickly become cramped when you add your gear and supplies.

When it comes to a good size van, many solo travelers can get by with vans with a 144-inch wheelbase. This makes the overall length of the van just under 20 feet.

Because of their size, they function like regular passenger vehicles and are very maneuverable. You will have no trouble getting in and out of most campgrounds or dealing with length restrictions.

For couples or anyone who likes lots of space, the 170-inch and 170-inch EXT wheelbases are the best vans for vanlife. These measure about 22 feet 9 inches and 24 feet, respectively.

But even if you’re not overly tall, you need to consider height. High roof models are typically 6 feet 4 inches from floor to ceiling, compared to 5 feet 5 inches for low roof models.

Can you convert a van yourself?

You can convert a van yourself if you are a jack of all trades or a do-it-yourselfer. However, it’s important to know that some vanlifers have had problems with insurance companies regarding do-it-yourself conversions.

If you don’t know what you’re doing, you could be making a potentially fatal or dangerous mistake. Remodeling a van on your own can be much cheaper, but it requires skills and knowledge in several key areas.

You’ll need to perform electrical, plumbing and carpentry work in a small space. Unfortunately, a mistake on one of these projects can be very costly. If you don’t know how to do it, you’ll have to pay professionals to do it right.

The 5 best vans for vanlife in 2023.

When it comes to the best vans for vanlife, some models stand out from the rest. Today, we’re going to introduce you to the five best vans that will help you enjoy vanlife in 2023 with ease. Let’s go!

1. 2023 Mercedes Benz Sprinter Van

The 2023 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is a full-size van popular with vanlifers for its spacious interior and versatile design.

The Sprinter offers a range of configurations, including passenger and cargo models, high-roof options for more interior headroom and 4×4 options for off-road capability.

Vanlifers enjoy customizable and functional space, plenty of storage options, and flexible seating arrangements. The van is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, has a rearview camera, and makes it easy to power and charge your devices.

Overall, the 2023 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is a well-rounded option for van life. It offers comfort, versatility and technology, making it an attractive choice for those who want to live on the road. Unfortunately, the initial cost is around $50,000 before the cost of converting it into a livable space.

2. 2023 Ford Transit

Next on our list of the best vans for vanlife is the 2023 Ford Transit. We love its versatility, affordability, and suitability for life on the road.

The Transit is available in a variety of configurations, including cargo, passenger, and cutaway models, with options for different roof heights, wheelbases, and engine choices.

One of the benefits of the Ford Transit is that it has a reputation for durability and reliability. Whether you want to spend extended time on the road or go on shorter adventures, it’s a great choice.

In addition, Ford offers a range of trim options, including camper conversions that can be a cost-effective solution for those who want to build their own vanlife.

The company recognizes the popularity of the Transit in the vanlife community and is doing its part to make the conversion process as easy as possible.

3. 2023 Dodge Ram Promaster

The 2023 Dodge Ram Promaster is another van that is best suited for van life. You can choose between a 3.6-liter V6 engine with 280 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque, or a 3.0-liter EcoDiesel engine with 174 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque.

Like its competitors, the Promaster has a variety of roof heights and wheelbases, so you can choose what suits your individual needs.

In addition, the Promaster is known for its smooth and stable ride and its insensitivity to bumps and potholes on the road.

It also comes with numerous safety features such as blind spot monitoring, cross-traffic alert, and parking assist. Considering the starting price of $40,000, this is an option that is hard to overlook.

Please note: Make your RV feel even more like home with these RV decorating ideas!

A 2023 Dodge Ram Promaster on the road

4. 2023 Airstream Interstate 24X

Just because you choose to live in a van doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it in luxury. The Airstream Interstate 24X is built on a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van chassis and features a spacious interior with room for six people, but only two sleeping berths.

There is a fully equipped kitchen with refrigerator, sink and cooktop, a bathroom with shower and toilet, and plenty of storage space.

With its off-road tires, four-wheel-drive capabilities and rugged body, the 24X can take you to some exciting places. The 3.0L V6 turbodiesel engine delivers 188 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque. You can drive with confidence whether your adventures are on pavement or off-road.

Plus, thanks to the 5,000-pound towing capacity, you can bring along a trailer full of toys.

With so much enthusiasm for the vehicle, there has to be a catch. Right? You’ll quickly discover the catch when you see the price tag.

Any Airstream-branded vehicle doesn’t come cheap, and the 24X is no exception. If you want a 2023 Airstream 24X, be prepared to pay over $246,000.

5. 2023 Winnebago Solis 59PX

The Solis 59PX is a Class B motorhome produced by popular recreational vehicle manufacturer Winnebago. The 59PX is built on a Ram ProMaster chassis and features a modern, stylish design with numerous amenities.

As the best van for vanlife, the 59PX sleeps up to four people. It also features a fully equipped kitchen with refrigerator, sink and cooktop, and a bathroom with shower and toilet.

The living area is comfortable for entertaining guests with a dining area and a sitting area that easily converts into a bed. At just 21 feet long, the 59PX is easy to get in and out of in almost any camping situation.

The premium features also make it a popular choice for travelers looking to explore new destinations in comfort and style.

While the 59PX isn’t the most expensive van on our list, its starting price of $152,000 can’t be overlooked. It is, however, one of the best options if you value quality craftsmanship and luxurious amenities while enjoying van life.

Please note: It always pays to have a few RV jokes up your sleeve! You’ll have everyone laughing around the campfire with these RV and camper jokes

Two women sitting outside in front of their 2023 Winnebago Solis 59PX

Enjoy vanlife in style and comfort

If you want to get the most out of your vanlife experience, you can’t just choose any van. As you can see, the vehicles we’ve featured have some incredible features.

What’s more, they have a reputation for being some of the best-built vans in the industry. Unfortunately, you’ll have to pay a hefty price to enjoy a top-notch experience. However, if you can put up with the cost, you can travel in style and comfort and enjoy the vanlife.

Which van would you choose for your vanlife adventures?

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