Camper Vans are always going to be in fashion. Whether they’re being used for a long weekend of camping, or living that on-the-road lifestyle that you’ve always dreamed of, campers are perfect for a whole variety of different lifestyles.
It’s why they’ve been so popular for the past hundred years since they were invented!
However, there has been a growing trend across the country to downsize from the older gargantuan RVs that we’ve grown used to, to a significantly smaller and cozier minivan, for a whole host of reasons.
If you’re interested in looking for the perfect minivan to downsize with, buying your first RV and starting on the smaller side of the scale, or just want to know what the heck these little vans are about, you’ve come to the right place!
In this guide, not only will we show you a comprehensive guide of some of the best RVs that you can buy right now, but also why they’re fast becoming one of the best ways to travel and live on the road with!
What Is A Small RV?
Before we start showing you some of our favorite mini RVs, we should probably first expand a little on what exactly a small RV is, and how much smaller than a traditional or regular RV it is.
Like a regular RV, miniature RVs are personal vehicles larger than regular cars that are primarily made for recreational and traveling purposes.
However, mini RVs are rarely over 25 feet long, making them significantly smaller than regular RVs, which can be up to 36 feet long, and sometimes even longer!
Why Choose A Mini RV?
If you’re used to the larger class A-sized RV motor homes, getting something that is around a class B or even C seems like you’re losing out on so much living space, especially when it comes to walking space.
What are the pros of getting one of these over a traditional model?
Well, for one thing, moving around and transportability are much better in a mini RV.
Compared to the massive, bulky Class As that we’re so used to, mini RVs are much better at finding and getting into more accessible parking spaces. You can even toe a min van if you have a car or truck with decent torque pulling it!
These RVs are also a significant step-up when it comes to drivability and getting around, especially on smaller and less well-established roads. It’s often why you see these models a lot more than bigger models outside the United States.
Plus, there’s the issue of fuel mileage. Being smaller and, as a result, much lighter comparatively, you can often get a lot further on the same amount of gasoline than you would a larger class A RV.
Or, as you’ll see with our selected models, you can get similar distances out of a much smaller tank. Either way, you’re saving precious gas money!
And this isn’t even talking about the potential to customize. A minivan can either stay or be converted into a larger people carrier (great for bigger families), or fully kitted out into the perfect miniature mobile home.
So, with that shining list of reasons to love them out of the way, let’s climb into our top RVs list!
Starting this list with a company that is arguably one of the kings of minivans, we have this ever-popular model by Mercedes-Benz.
While this model is only just now entering the US market, it’s been on sale in Europe and the rest of the world since 2015. In that time, it has sold incredibly well, both in its home country of Germany, and around the world.
This van can be bought in several configurations. You can buy the standard or cargo version, as well as options for a short or long wheelbase, standard or extended.
So already, you’ve got plenty of options for tailoring your minivan experience to your lifestyle.
All versions of the van come with a 7-speed transmission and a twin-turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, giving you a lot of power for this vehicle, while also staying relatively economical (just as well, considering the premium fuel this van needs).
And, most importantly, there is a ton of internal space for you to design your perfect camping van with, more so than many of its competitors. Plus, with up to 2,502 pounds of carrying capacity, that’s a lot of weight for your camping
There are a few things that you’ll need to consider, however.
This is arguably one of the most expensive minivan models out there (especially new), and you’ll probably need to do a lot of professional conversions to get this van perfect for your camping life.
Still, you can’t argue with the quality of this mini camper, that’s for sure. You’ll get every penny out of this one!
If you are interested in this minivan, make sure that you grab one quick, though. The Metris line is being phased at the end of 2023, so get it while it’s still hot!
While we’re on the subject of reliability and RVs, Winnebago is probably one of the best well-known makers out there when it comes to vehicles for life on the move.
So, perhaps unsurprisingly, their mini RVs are something special too!
Arguably one of the most popular of its kind in the country, the Ekko is built with usability and function in mind.
The three doors to this mini RV allow for easy access, and the spinning van chairs for a pilot and their copilot are perfect for navigating the roads, before turning around and relaxing in their mini motor home.
You’ll be surprised just how many living necessities have been fitted into this model.
From a cooking space and pantry, an indoor bench seat and removable table for it, an all-in-one gear closet and wet bath space, and even a full double bed at the back, you’ve got almost everything that you need for life on the road in this van!
There’s even room on the roof for extra living or storage space!
Plus, this all comes with standard purchases of this model, so no need to worry about hiring a professional fitter or tradesmen to add any extras.
It’s not perfect. Like many mini RV setups, the interior space is at a premium, and there isn’t a lot of room outside the necessities. Still, it’s the perfect camper to be moving around and seeing the great outdoors with!
Airstream Interstate Nineteen
One of the complaints that get thrown at mini RVs quite a lot is that they lack the luxurious interiors that bigger class A RVs have.
And while we think that’s a pretty big misunderstanding of what the main point of a mini RV is, it’s understandable if you’re someone who likes to travel in luxury.
Fortunately for those comfort-loving travelers, we think we’ve found the perfect middle ground, with the Airstream interstate Nineteen.
The inside of this mini RV just oozes comfort. From the leather seating that every seat gets (collapsible beds included) to the high-quality basin that feels solid and dependable, and the in-built surround sound system, this is a van fit that feels amazing to just sit in and experience.
Plus, with so many overhead compartments, you’re not missing out on functionality and storage space either.
The canopy extends over the right side of the vehicle, giving you even more living space once you stop moving, and soak in the great outdoors.
Aside from perhaps the join points for the extendable bedding, and the lack of in-built storage space on the roof (the canopy roller needs to go somewhere, after all), this is the luxury travel machine that Airstream sells it as.
Unity Leisure Van
Another entry into the more luxurious mini RVs out there, the Unity leisure van has pure customizability on its side.
With 6 basic floor plans to choose from, just from the base model, you already have more options in one RV than some companies have for their entire fleet of minivans!
And, of course, it has everything that you could need from a good mini RV, such as plenty of seating and bedding, storage and cooking space, and even a wet room for good measure!
We’re not done ranting and raving over Winnebago mini RVs just yet, however. Aside from their amazing Revel model, there’s another that we’d like to talk about, the Ekko!
Arguably one of the best class C mini RVs in the country, the Ekko won plenty of awards and hearts when it was first released in 2021, and it continues to do so years after!
Just looking at the extensive list of features it has, it’s immediately clear why.
From the 4-wheel drive functions to the off-the-grid solar-powered living, to even adaptable sleeping conditions, this high-end class C has it all, and plenty more.
Building off of the basic setup that great models like the revel set up, the interior space of this mini RV feels surprisingly open. You almost forget that it’s a mini RV, and not a full-sized one.
Plus, it’s got all the other essentials that you’d be looking for in a setup RV, from revolving driver and co-driver chars, setting for kids, pantry and miniature kitchen side, and extendable sleeping space on the roof.
And of course, there are restroom facilities too.
All of these amazing features come at a pretty steep asking price. But for how much you get, it is worth considering this min RV for your future travel plans!
So, as you can see, just because your floor plan is a little smaller doesn’t mean that traveling in these RVs.
Plus, these aren’t built for walling off the great outdoors, like some bigger RVs are. They’re the perfect vessel for allowing you to rest comfortably, then get back out into the wide-open world!
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