When converting a campervan, your needs will determine what type of van you need – and size is one of the most critical deciding factors.

There are three types of vans you can convert – a small or microvan, a medium-sized van or a large van.

For a solo traveller on a tight budget wanting to spend the odd night or two in a camper, a small or microvan would be ideal.

For someone spending a lot of time in their van or wanting to live in it full time, a large van may be most suitable. There will be more room to create a space that compliments that lifestyle.

A medium-sized van offers the best of both worlds, with plenty of space to create the van of your dreams. The van will be more budget-friendly, but you may have to make a few compromises with space and design.

Before we look at the best vans to convert to a camper, let’s look at some potential considerations.


Key considerations

Before you make a choice, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Why are you converting a van? Do you want to live off-grid? Drive into the wilderness and be at one with nature? Ditch your car and use your van for everyday life and weekends away?
  • How much time will I spend in your van? If you’re using the van for the odd weekend away, it might not be a good idea to spend your cash on a top-of-the-range Mercedes Sprinter conversion. You could find yourself with an unused depreciating asset.
  • Who will use your van? If you’re a couple with a small child, a small van could cause some practical problems, and you may need an upgrade before you’ve got the most out of your van.
  • Where will you drive your van? If you do a lot of off-road camping, you need a van with 4×4 capabilities. You wouldn’t want to spend your trip looking for a farmer to pull you out of the dirt!
  • What will you use your van for? If you’re an avid cyclist, rock climber or kayaker, you’ll need plenty of space for storage and a decent shower facility to get clean after you’ve been out.
  • What’s your budget? Even with a small budget, you may be able to convert a large van. But you may have to compromise, such as buying an older van.

Learn more about costs in our blog how much does a campervan conversion cost?

Determining these factors will lead you to the type of van you require and the size of the van. If that deliberation has led you to a large van, we’ve listed some of the best large vans to convert to a camper.


Advantages and disadvantages of converting a large van

Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages you may encounter when converting a large van:

Advantages of converting a large van

  • Easier to live out of a large van than a small van
  • More space to fit furniture and other amenities
  • More customisable than small vans
  • Closer to a motorhome than smaller vans
  • Better suited to off-road driving

 Disadvantages of converting a large van

  • Running costs will be higher
  • More difficult to drive and park
  • Conversion will be more expensive
  • May struggle to enter areas with restricted access


5 best large vans to convert to a camper

Large vans offer the most space, which gives you plenty of possibilities to be creative and get everything you need to suit your lifestyle, such as fixed beds, a shower room and plenty of storage.

With that in mind, we’ll focus on load space (back of the van) as that’s where you’ll create your living space. However, remember you can change the seats and the roof of a van to create more space.

There are also other factors you may want to consider, such as running costs, driveability, aesthetics, reliability and safety.

Here are our top five large vans for campervan conversions, we hope it helps you decide what large van to pick for your project!


1. Mercedes-Benz Sprinter

We’re huge fans of the Mercedes Sprinter, as you’ll see in our blog post 10 most reliable vans to convert into a campervan.

The Sprinter is simply a great van. You’ll find vans with over 100,000 miles that are in great condition, and there’s a reason these vans are popular courier vans and are even used by ambulance services.

The main downside is the cost, as quality comes at a price. And if you do have any problems with your vehicle, parts and repairs will be more expensive than lower-end vans. However, if you look after the van and get it serviced, you shouldn’t have too many problems.

If you want a cheaper van but your heart is set on the Sprinter, you could buy a smaller model, although you’ll have to compromise on space. The Sprinter is also more accessible on the used market than the Crafter, the next van on our list.

Maximum load space dimensions

Load area length: 4.81m

Load area height: 2.24m

Load area width: 1.78m


2. VW Crafter

The VW Crafter also appeared on our most reliable vans list, making it one of the go-to large vans for a camper conversion. Its body is like the Sprinter (as you can see in the dimensions), meaning these two vans are exchangeable when you’re converting a van.

The Volkswagen has a more practical feel than the Sprinter, with Mercedes going for the classy, premium look that’s synonymous with the brand.

The Crafter is also known for its driveability and doesn’t feel like driving a large van around, so it won’t feel that much different from the smaller vans on the list.

Like the Sprinter, the Crafter is made by a reputable, high-end van manufacturer. As a result, the parts and performance are superior to other vans, but repairs and parts will cost more.

The Crafter has plenty of space and is the most spacious van on this list with the Sprinter. If you’re looking for a van with a maximum amount of space, the Crafter or the Sprinter are ideal.

Maximum load space dimensions

Load area length: 4.85m

Load area height: 2.19m

Load area width: 1.83m


3. Peugeot Boxer

peugeot boxer

At Bhode Vans, the Peugeot Boxer is one of our most popular conversions, and it’s easy to see why. While it isn’t as long as the other vans on this list, it has the greatest width. The enhanced width gives it a ‘boxy’ feel, which makes it feel more like a functional room.

Its height nearly matches the Crafter as well, so most people can stand up in the van without any trouble. And while it may not be as long, it adds more to the ‘boxy’ feel that many of our converters love.

The Boxer is also lightweight, which makes it ideal and flexible when making adaptations to the body and installing equipment inside the van.

While the Boxer isn’t the most easy-on-the-eye van, it’s ideal for those more focused on interior design than the exterior.

There will be plenty of affordable, second-hand Boxers on the market, so it’ll be easy to pick one up. Repair and parts won’t cost as much as premium models either.

Maximum load space dimensions

Load area length: 4.07m

Load area height: 2.17m

Load area width: 1.87m


4. Renault Master

renault trafic

The next three vans are a little smaller than the Sprinter and the Crafter but still offer plenty of space. And if the larger Sprinter or Crafter is out of your budget, these vans are a perfect option if you need to downsize while saving money.

While the space isn’t as large as the Sprinter or Crafter, there’s still plenty of room to make a liveable space with all the storage and amenities you need.

The Master hits the spot in terms of performance, practicality and value, noted for its strong diesel engine, cost and practical cab.

As one of the older vans on this list, the Renault Master lacks the technology and safety features you get with other vans. However, it doesn’t mean it isn’t worth considering.

Maximum load space dimensions

Load area length: 4.38m*

Load area height: 2.04m*

Load area width: 1.76m

*max length and height for the van, but aren’t found on the same model.


5. Ford Transit

Like the Master, the Ford Transit comes with the lowest load height space on this list, so if you’re tall it might be worth considering another option.

However, a van is a compact space anyway, and it isn’t like you’ll get another metre in height added on top, so don’t discount it.

The Ford Transit sits in the middle ground, a versatile van that provides an excellent driving experience while being affordable. It’s no wonder you see so many of them on the road.

And because there are so many Ford Transits, repairs and parts won’t be hard to come by and shouldn’t be too expensive. So, if you’re on a budget, this van could be ideal. The Transit has been in production since 1965 as well, setting the benchmark for large vans in the UK.

Maximum load space dimensions

Load area length: 4.21m

Load area height: 2.02m

Load area width: 1.78m


Want us to source a large van for you?

Not only do we convert campers, but we can also source the van ourselves. If you’re worried about picking the wrong campervan or don’t have the time to find your van, we can work with you to ensure you get the right van.

We’ve got plenty of experience helping our customers find vans, and go ahead when you’re happy. If you’ve already got a large van, what are you waiting for? Head over to our enquiries page and tell us about your project.