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Are Travel Vans & Campers The Same Thing? Here’s What You Need To Know

Travel vans, also known as camper vans, tend to be more compact and easier to maneuver. Usually, they are built off the frame of a standard van — the most popular being from the chassis of a Ford, Mercedes, or Dodge. However, sometimes you will see more fun builds in an older Volkswagen van.
Though there are several companies that specialize in van conversion, so you can get your travel van exactly how you want it, many times, people will do the remodel themselves. This can include adding a shower, a kitchenette, and even a lifted bed to accommodate more storage space underneath. If someone is traveling with pets, they’ll even install dog crates under the bed. However, unless there are solar panels installed on the roof or unique decals displayed on the side, most of the changes are going to be interior. In fact, sometimes van lifers will refrain from customizing the outside at all, so they can achieve easier stealth camping.
A camper, on the other hand, is much more broad. It can be motorized, like a Class C RV, or it can be towed using a truck or SUV rated for towing. Campers come from the manufacturer ready to use, and many times, you can get customized features added while it’s on the assembly line. However, unless you’ve opted for a small camper like teardrop style or a 13-foot Scamp, campers can be a bit on the bigger size, especially when they come with slide-outs.

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