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Panel Vans

The simplest and cheapest way of creating a campervan and travelling independently is to get hold of a panel van and put a mattress in the back. There are plenty of suitable ex-delivery vans about that aren't too expensive.

Popular models are the Ford Transit, Fiat Ducato and Renault Traffic, although the older Volkeswagen vans are still really popular. Essentially this is camping without the hassle of setting up a tent, with the majority of living done outside the van. These can be great for weekend runs to the beach but are really no good when the weather turns bad because the inside space is generally lacking in headroom.

It's simple enough to modify the inside to gain extra storage space (usually under the bed) but they aren't the most comfortable for longer trips and extended living.


  • Cheap and simple with nothing on the camping side to go wrong.
  • Ideal for weekend runs as a surf wagon.


  • Uncomfortable for longer stays.
  • Limited headroom and storage.
  • No power and lighting.

Next: Van Conversions