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Seeing all those fancy Sprinter vans be a little off-putting if you’re thinking about embracing the mobile lifestyle, but the good news is there are lots of options for affordable campervans out there!
From modern, compact minivan campers, to classic van conversions, there are a wide variety of affordable campervans for sale. You won’t need to break the bank on a $100K boutique custom Sprinter van to start exploring the world in a van!
We’ve put together a list of our 8 favorite affordable campervans, ranging in price from just a few thousand dollars to $25K.
Later in this article, we’ll also talk about what to consider when buying a cheap campervan, as well as ideas for converting a budget van into your very own live-in camper.
Check out The Wayward Home Podcast episode on Budget Van Conversions:
Table of Contents
Our 8 Favorite Affordable Campervans Under $25K
If you’re searching for the best affordable campervans, it can be difficult to know where to look. As well as Craigslist, there are a number of online resources, including rvtrader.com and Facebook groups like Campervans For Sale (Class B Only).
Chevy Astro Conversion
- Price Range: $2,000 – $10,000
- Sleeps: 2
This is the van that The Wayward Home’s Kristin Hanes upgraded to live in, and if you’re looking for a small affordable camper van then this could be the way to go.
Chevy Astro conversions were hugely popular in the ’90s and early 2000s. Featuring a powerful and reliable 3.8L V6 engine, there are plenty of these cheap campervans out there today. It’s not unusual to see these vans still going strong at 300K miles!
Unlike the regular cargo vans, Chevy Astro affordable campervans have valuable extra headroom, a bench seat that converts to a bed, and often come with built in storage cabinets. You might even find one with a TV!
Although you’ll never be able to stand up fully in your van, we think the Chevy Astro conversion is the best affordable campervan for couples who want to get out and explore the world.
VW Eurovan Camper
- Price Range: $10,000 – $24,000
- Sleeps: 4
Between 1995 and 2003, Volkswagen partnered with Winnebago to produce the VW Eurovan Camper. Although the Eurovan didn’t sell too well in the US, there are still plenty of these affordable campervans on the used market today.
Intended as an updated version of the classic ‘60’s hippie van, the Eurovan has everything you’ll need in a budget campervan, including a 12-volt fridge, stove, and a sink.
The rear passenger bench folds down into a double bed, and the VW pop top has a bed for two more. It also provides ample headroom for standing in your van.
With its classic look and Winnebago’s excellent interior design, the Eurovan Camper has become a cult favorite. You’ll have to choose carefully – the automatic transmission can be a weak point – but this is a great choice for adventure-bound families looking for an affordable campervan.
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- Price Range: $15,00 – $24,000
- Sleeps: 2 – 4
If you’re looking for an affordable campervan with a little more space, then the Winnebago Rialta might be the way to go.
Produced between 1995 and 2005, Rialtas were marketed as a smaller and more maneuverable alternative to big, gas-guzzling RVs. There are 4 floorplans, the largest of which can sleep 4 people comfortably.
The Rialta has a timeless, aerodynamic design and has earned a devoted following. People love its size, reliable Volkswagen V6 engine, and fuel economy. This cheap campervan will easily get 18-22 mpg out on the highway.
If you’re looking for some home comforts in your camper van, the Rialta won’t disappoint. Standard features in this best budget campervan include hot water, a bathroom with shower, and a microwave.
It isn’t uncommon to find Rialtas for sale with TVs, DVD players, and more.
This is a great affordable campervan if you’re looking for a smooth, economical ride with a touch of luxury.
Pleasure Way Excel
- Price Range: $18,000 – $24,000
- Sleeps: 2
Pleasure Way is a Canadian company that has been producing high quality campervans since 1986. Although you’d have to shell out big bucks to buy one of Pleasure Way’s newer Class B vans, there are plenty of older models from the late ‘90’s and early 2000’s available on the used market.
If its retro-luxury you’re looking for, then the Pleasure Way Excel could be the affordable campervan for you.
The Excel was built on a Dodge 3500 chassis, with a workhorse Dodge engine. The interior features polished wood cabinetry, plush carpeting, and a full wet bath with shower.
You’ll have everything you need to feel comfortable and cozy, including a generator, hot water heater, microwave, and TV.
Best of all, the Excel has a powered sofa bed that converts at the push of a button!
Ford Falcon 190
- Price Range: $6,000 – $12,000
- Sleeps: 4
The Ford Falcon 190 might just be the coolest affordable campervan on our list.
Falcons from the late 80’s and early 90’s have a vintage look, with a raised roof, striped paint job, and aluminum ladder to reach the roof.
Traveling in a Ford Falcon 190 means cruising in vintage style.
Inside, there’s a cool campervan kitchen with a fridge, plenty of storage, and even a tiny wet bath with a shower.
A dinette area at the rear converts to a large, comfy bed. The raised roof means you’ll have plenty of standing room in this van, and there’s often an additional loft bed.
There are plenty of Falcons for sale, often for just a few thousand dollars. You might find that the interior hasn’t aged well, but this is still a great option for a cheap campervan.
Ford Transit Connect
- Price Range: $6,000 – $24,000
- Sleeps: 1 – 2
If you’re planning on trying out van life on a budget, you won’t find a more economical van. The Transit Connect gets up to 28mpg.
Plus, if you ever need to make repairs on your van, parts are plentiful and cheap, thanks to the Transit Connect’s widespread popularity.
Unless you plan on converting a van yourself, there are plenty of Transit Connect campers available on the used market.
Another option is paying to have a van converted. Ursa Minor is one example of a company that specializes in Transit Connect conversions. For around $6,000 they’ll add a pop-top, bed and LED lighting.
- Price Range: $10,000 – $21,000
- Sleeps: 2 – 4
The Mitsubishi Delica is perhaps the quirkiest and most unusual affordable camper van on our list. Don’t assume that the Delica is a novelty van, though. These mid-90’s Japanese classics are tough and hard-working.
The Delica is a great option if you’re looking for an affordable campervan that can go just about anywhere.
The Mitsubishi Delica is built on a sturdy 4×4 chassis, and powered by a turbo-diesel engine. Its compact design means that it can easily navigate narrow city streets, while its high clearance makes off-roading a breeze.
One thing to consider is that Delicas are imported from Japan and are right-hand-drive. You’ll need to feel comfortable driving on the ‘wrong side’ if you buy one of these vans!
A standard Delica seats eight, and the bench seats fold flat to form a comfy bed.
If you’re looking for a simple, cheap campervan, this will fit your needs perfectly.
There are conversions out there if you want more features.
You’ll end up paying upwards of $20K for a Delica conversion, but this still makes it a small affordable campervan that can take you wherever you want to go.
Dodge Caravan Conversion
- Price Range: $15,000 – $20,000
- Sleeps: 2 – 4
Another option for a compact, affordable campervan is a Dodge Caravan Conversion. These cheap campervans are perfect for couples who don’t mind a small living space with limited headroom.
These awesome little Dodge conversions are starting to show up quite often on the used market. Companies that used them as campervan rentals are refreshing their fleets, so you can pick up a used van for as little as $10K.
Although these campervans will have quite high mileage, you can be sure that the rental companies took care of regular maintenance.
What to Consider When Buying a Cheap Campervan
Buying a vehicle is always stressful, and with so many options available it can be difficult to decide on the best affordable camper van for you.
Here’s a list of things to consider before buying a van that should help you narrow down your search. It won’t be long before you’re exploring the world in a van that perfectly fits your needs!
You’re going to want a good night’s sleep in your affordable campervan, and depending on how many people will be traveling, it’s important to have enough room.
Couples who want the best budget camper van should make sure that the bed is big enough to sleep 2. Spend plenty of time testing out the bed before you buy!
Want some more bed ideas? 7 Campervan Bed Ideas to Kickstart your Conversion
How much headroom you’ll need really depends on how much time you plan on being in your van. If you’ll be spending most of your time outside, a smaller van like a Chevy Astro will be perfect.
But not being able to stand up in your van can get really old, so if you value headroom, go for a larger model, like a Ford Falcon.
Everyone has different needs and comfort levels and whether or not you’ll need a bathroom in your van is definitely something to consider.
Although having a bathroom means losing valuable living space, the privacy and comfort that it brings is a real bonus.
Before buying a budget camper van with a bathroom, though, make sure that everything works properly!
For budget-conscious travelers, fuel economy is an important consideration.
Some of the best affordable camper vans are older models that don’t get the best gas mileage. This can definitely become an issue if you’re going to be driving a lot.
A small affordable camper like a Ford Transit Connect is your best bet if you’re looking for a camper van with excellent fuel economy.
When people are looking for affordable camper vans, this is something they often don’t think about. Some vans are going to hold their value more than others as they age.
If you’re looking to buy an affordable camper van with a view to selling and upgrading at some point, then vehicles like the VW Eurovan and the Winnebago Rialta are solid investments.
Even the best affordable campervans are going to need repairs at some point. This isn’t something pleasant to think about when you’re looking for your dream van, but it’s important to consider.
Cheap camper vans, like the Chevy Astro and the Transit Connect are relatively cheap to repair. They’re both very popular vehicles, and spare parts are affordable.
On the other hand, you’ll have to be prepared to spend a lot more money on repairs to a Eurovan or Mitsubishi Delica.
Budget Campervan Ideas
If you’re on a really tight budget, you might want to think about doing a simple van conversion, like this couple did with their NV200.
You don’t have to be a master builder to add a few comforts to a cheap van.
For just a few hundred dollars you can have everything you’ll need to experience van life! Here are a few essentials to get you started.
A Bed Frame
Let’s face it. Even a cheap camper van has to have a bed. With just a few sheets of plywood and minimal experience, you can build a bed frame that’ll fit right in your van.
Plus, you can create awesome storage space underneath. As for a matress, you can use the inflatable kind, or shop around for an affordable futon or mattress that’ll fit your frame.
A really popular mattress among van lifers is a this memory foam mattress.
Unless you plan on eating out for every meal, you’ll definitely want a stove. There are many things to consider when choosing a stove for van life, but if you’re looking for the most affordable option, you should be able to find a two-burner propane stove for less than $50.
If you’re going to be traveling for days at a time, you’ll need a way to keep your food and drinks cool. There are loads of options for coolers, and this is a van life essential that’s worth spending a little money on.
A well-insulated cooler means that your perishables will stay cold for longer, and you won’t be spending as much money on ice.
Many people will claim that this is more of a luxury than an essential, but having a toilet in your van can be really useful, especially if you’re stealth camping.
Options for adding a toilet to a cheap camper van include a portable toilet and a compostable toilet.
Check out the best portable toilets for van life.
Staying clean on the road is important. There are lots of options for adding a shower to your budget camper van, including a solar shower, a battery operated shower, and even a DIY shower made from a weed sprayer!
Conclusion on Our 8 Favorite Affordable Campervans Under $25K
With so many affordable campervans available, there’s an option for every kind of traveler and every budget. Whether you’re looking for a family van for weekend excursions, or you’re a savvy solo explorer who needs a cheap camper van to live in, there’s a van out there for you!
We hope you’ve found this list of our favorite affordable campervans helpful. We think they’re all Instagram-worthy!
If you have any questions, feel free to post them in the comments section, below.