A campervan is a big investment, but what is the most reliable campervan on the market today? After all, the last thing you want is to spend all that money only to have your vehicle break down a couple of years later.
The most reliable campervans are from trusted brands like Coachmen, Newmar, or Winnebago. If you are buying a used van, it is a good idea to have the van inspected. Low mileage does not guarantee reliability since vans that are not driven enough can breakdown mechanically and rust.
So, now we have an idea of which vans are the most reliable, but there is still so much to talk about. In this post, we will be looking at the different factors you should consider when buying a reliable campervan. Let’s get started!
The Most Reliable Small Campervan to Buy?
Although it is still relatively new, the best small campervan available on the market today is the Peace Vans Mercedes-Benz campervan. Based on the Mercedes Metris van, this smart camper is compact, flexible, and comfortable. It seems like everyone who has bought this van so far is extremely happy with their purchase. You have three options for converting this van:
This van, which starts life as a Metris cargo van, is equipped with a three-seat bench, a kitchen with a two-ring burner, fridge, and sink. It also has a pop-top roof, dining table, and storage cabinets. The cost of converting the van into a full camper is $33,000 to $45,000.
Along with the price of the van itself, that puts the price tag of the full camper at around $70,000-$80,000. So, this van is not the cheapest available, but you will definitely get bang for your buck.
This slightly less expensive version starts life as a Metris passenger van. It has everything the full camper has, but without the kitchen or storage cabinets. This conversion comes in about $10,000 cheaper than the full camper conversion, at $22,495 without the van’s price. As the name suggests, this is the perfect conversion for someone who just wants to take their van out on the weekends.
The final option is to skip all the extras and just get the pop-top. This will give you some upstairs sleeping area for two people. This conversion comes in at $10,995 without the price of the van itself. Buying the pop-top conversion gives you a great blank canvas which you can convert yourself into the camper of your dreams.
Most reliable engine for a campervan? (Diesel vs. Gas)
When it comes to which type of engine you should go for, it really depends on your specific needs. While diesel engine motorhomes have greater fuel efficiency, they also tend to be much more expensive. That means that if you plan on driving large distances in your camper, you will save money in the long run by going diesel. However, if you do not plan on traveling far, the improved fuel efficiency might not be worth it.
Other considerations are size and power. Because diesel engines can generally produce more power, a diesel might be your only option if you are looking for a 40-foot Class A. A smaller diesel van will also have more power than a gas van of the same size.
That can be handy for driving up steep hills. It is worth repeating that the biggest advantage of a gas-powered van is the price! If you do not want to spend too much, gas is your best bet.
What Should I Look for When Buying a Campervan?
This question would require its own article to answer in full, but we will do our best to give an overview. Again, the answer to this comes down to your individual needs. The first question to ask yourself is whether you want a new van or a used one.
If you are buying a new campervan, the main things to look at are the price and the features. If a van is within your budget and has all the amenities you are looking for, it is probably fine. However, it is a good idea to look up the particular make and model reviews before purchasing since it may have some underlying issue that they have not told you about down at the dealership.
It is usually a better idea to buy a used campervan. That is because vans lose a significant portion of their value the moment you drive them off the lot. That means that there are loads of campervans out there that are in perfect condition but cost far less than they did just a couple of years ago. Here are some of the things to look out for when buying a used campervan:
This is the most important thing to look at. The big things to watch out for are rust and dampness. Once a campervan has been infiltrated by water, it is very tricky to get it back up to scratch. Water damage can cause important parts to rust, allow mold to grow in your van, and cause discoloration. It is imperative to look for leaks under the hood. The worst place to have rust is in with the engine.
This is important, but not as important as you might think. It is much better to look at the van’s overall condition than to just look at the odometer. A van that has been sitting in a driveway gathering rust, for example, will have low mileage but still be in terrible condition.
It is good for engine health to drive the van often, so a van that has barely been driven in two years might actually be in worse condition than a well-loved van of the same age.
The older the van, the more likely it is to have maintenance issues. Also, the newer the van, the better the safety features. However, do not make age the primary factor when deciding whether or not to buy a van.
An old campervan that has been well-maintained might be in great condition, and a new van might have hidden issues. Many new vans require repairs of some sort in the first couple of years. In a used van, these have likely already been carried out.
How Many Miles Can a Quality Campervan Last?
As a general rule, campervans can last for around 200,000 miles (321,868 kilometers). The main factor affecting the van’s overall lifespan is not which model you have bought, but rather how well you take care of it. Routine maintenance like changing the oil and checking the brake pads will allow you to stretch out the lifespan of your van.
Another good maintenance tip is that you should drain all the pipes and add anti-freeze before storing your camper for the winter.
Also read: How Long Do Mercedes Sprinter Vans Last?
When it really comes down to it, how reliable your campervan is will largely depend on how well it has been taken care of. Of course, big-name brands like Winnebago and Volkswagen tend to be more trusted when it comes to reliability, but that doesn’t mean that they are your only options.
Take action on your dream, and if you are buying a used van, it is always a good idea to have a mechanic inspect it before purchase. You may find some small issues that the seller wasn’t aware of, which can actually drive down the campervan price.
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Erick is a freelance writer and outdoor enthusiast. Growing up in Nairobi Kenya and now calling Glasgow, United Kingdom home. Sipping on homemade spiced swahili tea and enjoying a good book is his idea of bliss.