Automotive

The best camper vans of 2018 for full-time road dwellers down to weekend warriors

The best camper vans of 2018 f...
Glampervan really sets itself apart from other conversion shops with its roof rack-mounted deck
Glampervan really sets itself apart from other conversion shops with its roof rack-mounted deck
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With its Sporthome package, RP Motorhomes removes the rear load doors and installs a fiberglass lift-gate over the isolated garage
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With its Sporthome package, RP Motorhomes removes the rear load doors and installs a fiberglass lift-gate over the isolated garage
Inside the under-bed garage of the RP Rebel Sporthome
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Inside the under-bed garage of the RP Rebel Sporthome
RP Motorhomes was one of the first British motorhome converters to show a camper van built atop the all-new Mercedes Sprinter that launched in 2018
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RP Motorhomes was one of the first British motorhome converters to show a camper van built atop the all-new Mercedes Sprinter that launched in 2018
RP fits the Sprinter with a well-equipped kitchen, bathroom (slide-out compartment optional), rear bed or convertible lounge and more
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RP fits the Sprinter with a well-equipped kitchen, bathroom (slide-out compartment optional), rear bed or convertible lounge and more
The non-Sporthome RP Rebel includes a rear lounge that converts to a bed
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The non-Sporthome RP Rebel includes a rear lounge that converts to a bed
The removable center cushion on the RP Rebel pops out to make room for through-loading
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The removable center cushion on the RP Rebel pops out to make room for through-loading
RP includes a very nice kitchen with oven, broiler, fridge and three-burner stove
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RP includes a very nice kitchen with oven, broiler, fridge and three-burner stove
Kompanja caught our attention with its projector screen pop-top and extended bed
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Kompanja caught our attention with its projector screen pop-top and extended bed
The magnetic LG projector can stick to the underside of Kompanja's lift-away roof bed
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The magnetic LG projector can stick to the underside of Kompanja's lift-away roof bed
Kompanja has a small but versatile indoor/outdoor kitchen
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Kompanja has a small but versatile indoor/outdoor kitchen
The advantage of Kompanja's Bivouac Bed is that it extends outside so that you can leave the seating intact instead of folding it down - wake up and sit down in the lounge without having to convert from night mode
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The advantage of Kompanja's Bivouac Bed is that it extends outside so that you can leave the seating intact instead of folding it down - wake up and sit down in the lounge without having to convert from night mode
Kompanja imagines its van splitting the gap between everyday driver, mobile office and weekend camper
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Kompanja imagines its van splitting the gap between everyday driver, mobile office and weekend camper
A look at the standard indoor bed on the Kompanja camper van
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A look at the standard indoor bed on the Kompanja camper van
Preparing a meal with Kompanja's indoor/outdoor kitchen
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Preparing a meal with Kompanja's indoor/outdoor kitchen
Kompanja chose the Renault Trafic for its boxier, broader construction versus the VW Transporter
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Kompanja chose the Renault Trafic for its boxier, broader construction versus the VW Transporter
The Kompanja can drive six people in everyday mode
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The Kompanja can drive six people in everyday mode
A look at the interior and foldaway bed inside the Glampervan
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A look at the interior and foldaway bed inside the Glampervan
Glampervan bases its camper on a medium-wheelbase Ram Promaster, aiming for a balance of on-road maneuverability and at-camp livability
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Glampervan bases its camper on a medium-wheelbase Ram Promaster, aiming for a balance of on-road maneuverability and at-camp livability
Glampervan really sets itself apart from other conversion shops with its roof rack-mounted deck
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Glampervan really sets itself apart from other conversion shops with its roof rack-mounted deck
Glampervan's decking turns roof rack into porch without eliminating the rack's ability to haul gear
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Glampervan's decking turns roof rack into porch without eliminating the rack's ability to haul gear
Glampervan fancies its camper a live/play/work van
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Glampervan fancies its camper a live/play/work van
Glampervan's dining layout is a little different than other campers, putting the removable table right between the swivel cab seats
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Glampervan's dining layout is a little different than other campers, putting the removable table right between the swivel cab seats
Glampervan kitchen area
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Glampervan kitchen area
That's the type of view that the Glampervan deck is all about
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That's the type of view that the Glampervan deck is all about
The first MAN TGE-based camper van we've actually seen out and about, this "Max Hunt" conversion was designed to roam on and off-road in Iceland and beyond
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The first MAN TGE-based camper van we've actually seen out and about, this "Max Hunt" conversion was designed to roam on and off-road in Iceland and beyond
Shortly after MAN launched the TGE in 2017, the Max Hunt team took to creating a ruggedized 4x4 camper van out of it
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Shortly after MAN launched the TGE in 2017, the Max Hunt team took to creating a ruggedized 4x4 camper van out of it
Max Hunt MAN TGE 4x4 camper van
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Max Hunt MAN TGE 4x4 camper van
Max Hunt MAN TGE 4x4 camper van
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Max Hunt MAN TGE 4x4 camper van
Unlike some of Mercedes' more fanciful concept cars of 2018, the Sprinter Connected Home is a near-production concept that previews the imminent future
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Unlike some of Mercedes' more fanciful concept cars of 2018, the Sprinter Connected Home is a near-production concept that previews the imminent future
With its motorhome-specific MBAC module, the new Mercedes Sprinter is capable of creating a seamless smart home environment with digital control
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With its motorhome-specific MBAC module, the new Mercedes Sprinter is capable of creating a seamless smart home environment with digital control
Use the Sprinter's MBUX infotainment system, the dedicated motorhome command center or a connected smart device to control and monitor lighting, water levels, audio, interior temperature and more
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Use the Sprinter's MBUX infotainment system, the dedicated motorhome command center or a connected smart device to control and monitor lighting, water levels, audio, interior temperature and more
Adria reveals the Twin Supreme 640 SGX with rear garage at the 2018 Caravan Salon
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Adria reveals the Twin Supreme 640 SGX with rear garage at the 2018 Caravan Salon
Developed in conjunction with KTM, Adria's rear garage with power-lift bed hauls bicycles, dirt bikes, surfboards and more
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Developed in conjunction with KTM, Adria's rear garage with power-lift bed hauls bicycles, dirt bikes, surfboards and more
The Adria Twin Supreme 640 SGX bed can lower all the way down to bottom position, raise straight to the ceiling or stop anywhere in between, increasing versatility
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The Adria Twin Supreme 640 SGX bed can lower all the way down to bottom position, raise straight to the ceiling or stop anywhere in between, increasing versatility
Unlike more common fold-up beds that require you remove the gear to use the bed, the Twin Supreme 640 SGX's power-lift bed can be used over top the gear, allowing you to lock it up at night
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Unlike more common fold-up beds that require you remove the gear to use the bed, the Twin Supreme 640 SGX's power-lift bed can be used over top the gear, allowing you to lock it up at night
The other major selling point of the Adria Twin Supreme 640 SGX is the multi-pane Sky-roof that seamlessly connects windshield with skylight for more light and better views
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The other major selling point of the Adria Twin Supreme 640 SGX is the multi-pane Sky-roof that seamlessly connects windshield with skylight for more light and better views
Adria Twin Supreme 640 SGX kitchen
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Adria Twin Supreme 640 SGX kitchen
Adria Twin Supreme 640 SGX bathroom
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Adria Twin Supreme 640 SGX bathroom
Cascade Campers offers a cozier interior inside a smaller van
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Cascade Campers offers a cozier interior inside a smaller van
Cascade manages to install a sofa/bed, kitchen and electrical system inside a Ram Promaster City, creating an affordable, stealthy mini-campervan
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Cascade manages to install a sofa/bed, kitchen and electrical system inside a Ram Promaster City, creating an affordable, stealthy mini-campervan
Cascade includes a 100-watt solar panel with the electrical equipment in its $7,000 package
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Cascade includes a 100-watt solar panel with the electrical equipment in its $7,000 package
Cascade Campers mini-campervan on the road
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Cascade Campers mini-campervan on the road
At only 42 inches (107 cm) wide, the Cascade Camper bed is narrow, but it can still sleep two
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At only 42 inches (107 cm) wide, the Cascade Camper bed is narrow, but it can still sleep two
Cascade uses a simple single-burner butane stove in its Ram Promaster City conversion
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Cascade uses a simple single-burner butane stove in its Ram Promaster City conversion
Most of the Mercedes Sprinter Connected Home concept's features are on the inside, but the power awning is another component that can be controlled from the touchscreens or smart device
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Most of the Mercedes Sprinter Connected Home concept's features are on the inside, but the power awning is another component that can be controlled from the touchscreens or smart device
The wall-integrated touchscreen control center of the Sprinter Connected Home previews the type of command centers that we should be seeing on production Sprinter camper vans and Class C motorhomes within the next year or two
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The wall-integrated touchscreen control center of the Sprinter Connected Home previews the type of command centers that we should be seeing on production Sprinter camper vans and Class C motorhomes within the next year or two
With tie-down track all over, and easily removed modules, VanDoIt creates super-versatile camper/adventure/everyday vans
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With tie-down track all over, and easily removed modules, VanDoIt creates super-versatile camper/adventure/everyday vans
VanDoIt offers two main conversion types and many options, including the slide-out gear try, upgraded audio system and hydraulic-lift bed shown here
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VanDoIt offers two main conversion types and many options, including the slide-out gear try, upgraded audio system and hydraulic-lift bed shown here
A closer look at a VanDoIt Ford Tranist camper van
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A closer look at a VanDoIt Ford Tranist camper van
VanDoIt says that you can pull out the camper hardware and drop in seats for up to 11 people inside one of its vans, creating a very versatile camper/people-mover
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VanDoIt says that you can pull out the camper hardware and drop in seats for up to 11 people inside one of its vans, creating a very versatile camper/people-mover
VanDoIt modules like this are actually framed out of tie-down track, adding to the mounting versatility
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VanDoIt modules like this are actually framed out of tie-down track, adding to the mounting versatility
VanDoIt's kitchen can be secured down and used inside the van or stood up and used outside
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VanDoIt's kitchen can be secured down and used inside the van or stood up and used outside
Pulling out the kitchen and seats to make room for the pooch and floor-mounted toilet
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Pulling out the kitchen and seats to make room for the pooch and floor-mounted toilet
VanDoIt also offers a Quigley 4x4 conversion for the Ford Transit, creating a more rugged, go-anywhere adventure van
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VanDoIt also offers a Quigley 4x4 conversion for the Ford Transit, creating a more rugged, go-anywhere adventure van
VanDoIt Ford Transit camper van
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VanDoIt Ford Transit camper van
VanDoIt Ford Transit camper van
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VanDoIt Ford Transit camper van
The Vanjoy looks more like a cozy tiny home than a typical camper van
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The Vanjoy looks more like a cozy tiny home than a typical camper van
The multifunctional Vanjoy rear works as a lounge, dining room, workstation and bed
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The multifunctional Vanjoy rear works as a lounge, dining room, workstation and bed
Drop one of the single Murphy bed panels down and you have an L-shaped sofa; drop the second down and you have a bed
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Drop one of the single Murphy bed panels down and you have an L-shaped sofa; drop the second down and you have a bed
The Vanjoy is based on the popular Fiat Ducato
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The Vanjoy is based on the popular Fiat Ducato
Ready to dine inside the Vanjoy camper van
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Ready to dine inside the Vanjoy camper van
Vanjoy interior
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Vanjoy interior
Swing-out fridge in the Vanjoy's slim kitchen block
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Swing-out fridge in the Vanjoy's slim kitchen block
Volkswagen announced the Grand California 600 ahead of its world premiere at the DüsseldorfCaravan Salon
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Volkswagen announced the Grand California 600 ahead of its world premiere at the DüsseldorfCaravan Salon
VW saved the introduction of the longer, sleeker Grand California 680, a two-person van with longitudinal rear bed, for the Caravan Salon itself
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VW saved the introduction of the longer, sleeker Grand California 680, a two-person van with longitudinal rear bed, for the Caravan Salon itself
The Volkswagen Grand California includes a touchscreen command center of its own, but it's not quite as complete as the Sprinter Connected Home system from what we saw of it
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The Volkswagen Grand California includes a touchscreen command center of its own, but it's not quite as complete as the Sprinter Connected Home system from what we saw of it
Space-saving foldaway sink in the VW Grand California wet bath
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Space-saving foldaway sink in the VW Grand California wet bath
VW Grand California wet bath sink
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VW Grand California wet bath sink
The available kids bed on the Grand California 600 slides out from the above-cab alcove
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The available kids bed on the Grand California 600 slides out from the above-cab alcove
The Grand California includes a foldaway rear bed with plenty of cargo space
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The Grand California includes a foldaway rear bed with plenty of cargo space
The Grand California 680 offers a longitudinal bed, the main advantage being no one has to climb over the other to get to the bathroom or front of the van
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The Grand California 680 offers a longitudinal bed, the main advantage being no one has to climb over the other to get to the bathroom or front of the van
Indoor/outdoor-access slide-out fridge on the VW Grand California
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Indoor/outdoor-access slide-out fridge on the VW Grand California
The 680 is the larger of the two Grand Californias, but it only offers sleeping space for two due to its more streamlined roof
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The 680 is the larger of the two Grand Californias, but it only offers sleeping space for two due to its more streamlined roof
Grand California 600 (left front) and 680 (right rear)
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Grand California 600 (left front) and 680 (right rear)
On the road in the VW Grand California 600
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On the road in the VW Grand California 600
The Grand California 600 has a transverse rear bed and available kids' alcove bed for up to four people
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The Grand California 600 has a transverse rear bed and available kids' alcove bed for up to four people
VW Grand California bathroom
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VW Grand California bathroom
VW Grand California dining/living lounge
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VW Grand California dining/living lounge
VW Grand California 600 kids' bed
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VW Grand California 600 kids' bed
Kitchen block on the VW Grand California
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Kitchen block on the VW Grand California
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The more we see #vanlife thread its way into the fabric of everday Americana, from advertising to newspaper articles, the more we wonder if it jumped the shark a few years back. But people still seem to love building, buying, renting, traveling in and living out of vans. And if this year's crop of inventive new van campers is an indicator, #vanlife is as healthy as ever. The market churned out attractive new options for everyone from cash-strapped post-grads avoiding "real life" to families waging war on the weekend.

Volkswagen Grand California

We went into 2018 expecting a production VW California XXL to be among the possible camper van highlights of the year. The concept was an absolute show stealer at the 2017 Düsseldorf Caravan Salon, and with the Transporter-based California celebrating its 30th anniversary, the timing seemed perfect for a bigger, badder Crafter-based California.

Grand California 600 (left front) and 680 (right rear)
Grand California 600 (left front) and 680 (right rear)

Volkswagen didn't disappoint, launching two different flavors of Grand California, the long, sleek 680 and the high-rising 600. As is quite common with automotive concept-to-production transitions, some of the more jaw-dropping features of the California XXL concept, like the slide-expansion bathroom and retractable stove burners, vaporized prior to the finalized design. Still, the Grand California is a head-turner, sleeping a couple or family of four in modernized comfort. Highlights of the skylight-brightened interior include a rear bed that folds away to make room for large cargo, an optional slide-away alcove bed for the kids in the high roof of the 600 model, yacht deck-style flooring and Bluetooth-controlled speakers in the living area.

The Grand California will launch early next year, and Volkswagen announced a €55,000 (approx. US$62,600) base price at its debut. Sadly, like the smaller California, the Grand will not actually be available in California, or the US at all.

Cascade Camper

Just for fun, we're going to scale things right down from "grand" to tiny. The smallest camper van to make this list, and a member of the mini-campervan trend that seems to be growing in the US and Europe, the Cascade Camper is a compact, affordable camper van built inside the Ram Promaster City. The smaller brother of the full-size Promaster more common in American conversions, the Promaster City measures 187-in (475 cm) bumper to bumper.

Cascade Campers offers a cozier interior inside a smaller van
Cascade Campers offers a cozier interior inside a smaller van

Cascade makes its Promaster City camper happen with a futon-style sofa-bed on the driver side and a kitchen block on the passenger side. At night, the sofa drops down into a snug but sleep-ready double bed that cozies up to the kitchen block. The kitchen includes everything you need without space-absorbing excess — a single-burner butane stove, sink plumbed to a 19-L jerry can and Dometic fridge. Also included is an electrical system with 75-Ah AGM battery and 100-watt solar panel.

Cascade's 450-lb (204-kg) package is brilliant both for its efficient simplicity and for its bottom line, costing $7,000 with installation. Buyers source and deliver their own vans, and factoring in the $24,000 Promaster City base price, you're looking at as little as $31,000 for a brand-new camper van.

Adria Twin Supreme 640 SGX

An impressive camper van from front to back, the new Adria Twin Supreme 640 SGX is an excellent choice for active, adventurous couples. The latest addition to the Twin lineup, the 640 SGX does away with the simple foldaway rear beds of other Twins, cranking things up with a rugged rear garage below a power-lift bed, a solution developed in cooperation with Austrian motorcycle manufacturer KTM.

Unlike more common fold-up beds that require you remove the gear to use the bed, the Twin Supreme 640 SGX's power-lift bed can be used over top the gear, allowing you to lock it up at night
Unlike more common fold-up beds that require you remove the gear to use the bed, the Twin Supreme 640 SGX's power-lift bed can be used over top the gear, allowing you to lock it up at night

During the ride, lift the bed clean to the ceiling, roll your bikes, surfboards and other gear onto the diamond-plate garage floor, secure it all down using the built in tie-downs and get driving. At camp, you can either roll your gear out and drop the bed all the way down or keep the gear locked and secured while sleeping up higher — the bed can adjust to any height between the ceiling and the side cabinet tops.

The 640 SGX also impresses up front, where a multi-window Sky-lounge brings loads of light and height to the driver cab and living/dining area. Between the two innovative ends, the van packs a kitchen block and "duplex" bathroom with swiveling partition between toilet and shower.

Adria UK still lists the base price of the Twin Supreme 640 SGX at £48,835 (approx. $61,800).

RP Rebel Sporthome

Thanks to a debut back in February, the 3rd-generation Mercedes Sprinter was the media darling of the European camper van world this year. The new Sprinter brings with it some marked upgrades, including MBUX infotainment with touch and voice control and available driver-assistance technologies like active brake assist, Distronic active distance assist and active lane keeping.

RP fits the Sprinter with a well-equipped kitchen, bathroom (slide-out compartment optional), rear bed or convertible lounge and more
RP fits the Sprinter with a well-equipped kitchen, bathroom (slide-out compartment optional), rear bed or convertible lounge and more

We knew we'd have a Sprinter camper van or two on this list, the question was merely, which? Looking over the pack, we came away most impressed with the 233-in (593-cm) RP Motorhomes Rebel, a British two-sleeper with some innovative standard and available solutions. The big ticket item is the Sporthome package, which slides a gear garage below a lifted rear bed. Accessed via a special lift-gate that replaces the rear load doors, the gear garage is sealed off from the main cabin, keeping bikes, boards and other gear safely stored. Add in the available Mercedes 4x4, and you have a rugged camper van ready to get you off the beaten path in pursuit of your favorite adventure sports.

The other innovative part of the Rebel package is the available slide-out bathroom, which pops out from the exterior sidewall, adding more interior living space and allowing the driver seat to swivel around and face backward. The nicely equipped kitchen across from that pop-outhouse includes a triple-burner stove, oven, broiler and 90-L fridge.

The Rebel is still listed at a base price of £54,995 ($69,600), before options like the Sporthome garage, slide-out bathroom or 4x4.

Kompanja

Our favorite little, multipurpose workhorse of the year is the Renault Trafic-based Kompanja camper van. This feature-packed pop-top starts out as a multifunctional, floor rail-based conversion that allows owners to remove and rearrange seats and camping furniture, switching quickly between six-seat family van, empty cargo van and four-sleeper camper van.

Kompanja caught our attention with its projector screen pop-top and extended bed
Kompanja caught our attention with its projector screen pop-top and extended bed

That type of multifunctional design is always a plus, but that's not even what attracted us to Kompanja. The German company caught our eye at the Caravan Salon with its optional "Bus Kino" projector system flashing an indoor/outdoor video onto the front wall of the pop-up roof and the "Bivouac Bed" stretching straight out of the tailgate. The projector is self-explanatory, but the purpose of the optional indoor/outdoor bed is to allow campers to sleep without having to fold the seats and convert the living area to night mode. They can sleep out in the open air or attach a tent to the tailgate to put some walls around the end of the bed.

Campsite movies and in/out bedding aren't for everyone, but they are pretty cool options you definitely don't see on every camper van. The Bus Kino options adds €1,450 ($1,650) to the Kompanja van's €41,950 ($47,750) base price, and the Bivouac Bed tacks on another €535 ($610), according to the pricing information we looked at in August.

Glampervan MUV

We're not sure that California's Glampervan really packs all that much "glam" into its Promaster campers, at least compared to stretched motorhomes with helipads or supercar garages, but that's a good thing — we'd rather travel in its adventurous, maneuverable MUV (multi-use vehicle) any day.

Glampervan bases its camper on a medium-wheelbase Ram Promaster, aiming for a balance of on-road maneuverability and at-camp livability
Glampervan bases its camper on a medium-wheelbase Ram Promaster, aiming for a balance of on-road maneuverability and at-camp livability

Starting with the 136-in (345-cm)-wheelbase Ram Promaster, Glampervan creates a warm space for mobile living and remote working. The multipurpose conversion includes a pedestal table/desk between the swivel cab seats, a central kitchen, a flip-away transverse rear bed, and a potent electrical system with 300-Ah battery bank and available 175-W solar panel. Glampervan's real pièce de résistance, though, is the roof rack-mounted deck that lets campers climb up high for more sweeping views of the landscape, sunset, sunrise and star-filled sky. So many people enjoy a deck at home; why wouldn't they want one for their home-away-from-home?

Glampervan's Winter 18/19 online pricing sheet lists package pricing between $25,500 and $58,350 (van not included), an increase over the prices from earlier this year.

Mercedes Sprinter Connected Home

Mercedes debuted a trio of motorhome concepts at the 2018 Düsseldorf Caravan Salon, showing how technology might reshape the industry with advancements like hydrogen fuel-cell drive systems and voice control personal assistants. The nearest to production-ready of those three, the Sprinter Connected Home takes us inside a more connected camper van future that begins next year.

Most of the Mercedes Sprinter Connected Home concept's features are on the inside, but the power awning is another component that can be controlled from the touchscreens or smart device
Most of the Mercedes Sprinter Connected Home concept's features are on the inside, but the power awning is another component that can be controlled from the touchscreens or smart device

Mercedes designed the all-new Sprinter with motorhome conversions in mind, and the most impressive part of that work is the Mercedes-Benz Advanced Control module. The MBAC creates a streamlined digital control environment comparable to a smart home, tying together the MBUX infotainment touchscreen in the driver cab, a separate touchscreen in the camper cabin and a connected smart device. Campers will be able to use any of those three screens to control features like the lighting, stereo, climate control system and power awning.

The Connected Home is essentially an MBAC demo unit, and we got a chance to play around with the system a little bit and came away quite impressed. Other existing camper digital control interfaces offer some of functionality, but this really grows it out and streamlines it into something that could rightfully be called a smart home-on-wheels. Motorhome manufacturers should start integrating MBAC into production models next year, building out their own features and experiences with the technology. Hopefully some of the first models will roll out in time for next summer's Caravan Salon.

MAN TGE 3.180 "Max Hunt"

Finding our favorite off-road 4x4 camper van of 2018 was a little more difficult than in past years. We did see a few new 4x4 van options and off-road packages, but the year seemed to lack the really rugged, high-profile production 4x4 camper van debuts we've seen in the past. Overland Expo West was filled more with older and custom off-road adventure vans. We'll go the custom route, but not from Arizona, instead zooming across the Atlantic to the MAN TGE "Max Hunt" van we spotted at Abenteuer & Allrad.

Max Hunt MAN TGE 4x4 camper van
Max Hunt MAN TGE 4x4 camper van

The adventurous Swedish family behind the "Max Hunt" 4x4 camper van beat even MAN to the punch in converting the all-new TGE van into an all-track adventure machine. They were well into the works on it in Summer 2017 and were roaming across Iceland before MAN even got around to showing the TGE's camper potential earlier this year. The Max Hunt van builds on the strong looks of the MAN-badged VW Crafter, chiseling it further with an off-road bumper, snorkel, hardshell roof-top tent, plenty of off-road lighting, and a spare tire and traction aids hanging off the back. MAN's own 2018 4x4 camper van concept was cool, but we think the company might have been better off just showing the Max Hunt at CMT 2018.

VanDoIt

The van conversions from Missouri-based VanDoIt aren't the warmest, prettiest camper vans you'll ever see, but they are among the most versatile. VanDoIt takes the strategy of floor rail mounting to the next level by installing rails not only on the floor but also on the walls, ceiling and furniture frames.

VanDoIt offers two main conversion types and many options, including the slide-out gear try, upgraded audio system and hydraulic-lift bed shown here
VanDoIt offers two main conversion types and many options, including the slide-out gear try, upgraded audio system and hydraulic-lift bed shown here

VanDoIt's extra mounting track lays the groundwork for a modular, multipurpose van kit that lets you build the van up into anything from a simple gear-hauling sleeper van to a feature-loaded, climate-controlled luxury van with entertainment system, Xbox, solar-backed electrical, removable toilet and more. Better still, you can remove the camper modules after your camping trip is over, using the base Ford Transit as an everyday driver with up to 11 seats. VanDoIt's camper equipment collection is equally versatile, comprising things like an indoor/outdoor kitchen, rear slide-out bike/gear tray and hydraulic lift bed.

Since we first covered VanDoIt, it's developed its conversions out into two lines, the Go and the Do. It now lists price range between $38,800 and $88,800 for a complete van.

Vanjoy

A super-impressive camper van from the mind of German designer Michael Hilgers, the Vanjoy is a multi-use space meant to serve as three vehicles in one: a cargo van, a compact commuter capable of parking in any space, and a live-in camper van. Rather than just getting a van and starting a build, Hilgers went through a number of 3D drawings and prototypes before landing on the perfect design. And not only is it perfect for him, it looks pretty perfect for a lot of drivers looking to live part- or full-time on the road.

The Vanjoy is based on the popular Fiat Ducato
The Vanjoy is based on the popular Fiat Ducato

Hilgers uses birch plywood to create an independent living space completely removed from the van cockpit. Furniture includes a full-height storage unit on the driver-side wall that houses a Murphy bed/bench system and narrow kitchen. The convertible seating area at the rear works as a general lounge, dining area and work station during the day, then completes the double bed at night. The flush wall unit, Murphy bed and removable dining table ensure that there's still plenty of through-load space for hauling cargo, and the cabinetry units are designed to remove completely in minutes.

The Vanjoy is still but one designer's creation for now, but when we spoke to Hilgers earlier in the year, he was looking to find a commercial partner to bring it to market, with hopes of pricing it around €40,000 ($45,550).

Camper vans are only as good as the details, and you can see more details of all the vans on this list in the photo gallery, from the layout, to specific equipment, to additional exterior angles.

And if you're still convinced #vanlife has jumped the shark, you could always shrink down your life even more and head for the horizon with one of the year's awesome camping trailers. #caravanlife

3 comments
guzmanchinky
Here in California you see the vast majority of vanlife activity. The weather and the simple dirt roads leading off into just about every forested area (which, unlike in Europe, are perfectly legal to drive on) make for an enticing way to spend a weekend. I live in one of the wealthiest areas of the country (Newport Beach) and I know 4 neighbors who regularly take their 4x4 Sprinters into the wild many times a year, so it's not at all just the surfer living in an old van. It is so freeing and fun, I recommend it to anyone, even if you can only convert an old E-series or Chevy Express, of which there are hundreds for sale all the time...
deborah
Can you give some information on how people in the USA can get their hands on any of these.
ljaques
https://www.allpar.com/trucks/ram/ProMaster-city.html tech specs https://www.cascadecampers.com/contact-us for Deborah. I like the little van, too. The small size makes it super stealthy. I think these are Fiats, though, not as American as I'd thought since they're built in Turkey.