What Type of Van Should I Get?

There are plenty of options when it comes to vans, the issue is what to choose. I could get something like an old Chevy G20. I could build it out the way I want to, and it wouldn’t be very expensive either. Or I could get a Vanagon Westfalia, which the interior was ready-made in the factory. It’s a bit pricier though. Or I could get a Sprinter.

Let’s see the pros and cons of each.


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Chevy G20 / Ford Econoline / Dodge RAM Van

These options are great for first-time van dwellers. Dylan Magaster purchased one of these for $2,000 back in 2016. You will have to build out the interior yourself.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • There are plenty available

Cons

  • Old
  • Can be unreliable
  • Most aren’t in great condition and often have rust
  • No aftermarket
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Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia

The ultimate van-dwelling machine. The Westfalia or Westy is a popular option for both first-timers and advanced members of the community. Just make sure you know how to work on it.

Pros

  • Rugged and durable
  • Offroad/overland capable
  • Huge aftermarket
  • Cool factor

Cons

  • Hard to find
  • Can get expensive (up to $40K for 2WD, and $80K for 4WD)
  • Notoriously unreliable
  • If the fuel lines aren’t replaced, the engine can catch fire
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Mercedes Sprinter / Ford Transit / Dodge RAM ProMaster

The modern van. Capable, reliable, expensive. Most van-dwellers eventually own one of these and never go back.

Pros

  • Modern reliability
  • Offroad/overland capable
  • Tremendous aftermarket

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Not as capable offroad as the Westy

So what should I get? Honestly, I’m not certain. I’ll probably do like most and get either a Chevy G20 or a Vanagon Westfalia. I’ll eventually upgrade to the sprinter, but that’s years ahead. And the van in general is already a couple years away from me.