Comparison Guide for Selecting a Van

When you live in a van, it’s never about the actual van.

It’s about everything you gain from the change in lifestyle: freedom from the monotony of 9 to 5s and the suburbs, and the attainment of non-material luxuries such as silence and fresh air. Getting into your first van can seem overwhelming, if not an insurmountable task. Deciding what kind of van you want to convert into your dream living situation is the first step of obtaining #VanLife. The below are key comparisons from the top three models we recommend for your conversion.

RAM Promaster “The Utilitarian”

By far the most affordable option, this van gets it done. Coming in both diesel and gasoline options, this front-wheel drive tank does surprisingly well in snow and wet conditions because of this bad boy’s heft.

Dodge designed this vehicle to be a cargo van, and thus it rides like one. The Promaster is bouncy, bumpy and a little louder. If you go with the gasoline option (naturally aspirated), that means there is no turbo, which isn’t a deal breaker for most people but is something to note for those who want oomph. Go with the diesel option if you want more power, but all in all it doesn’t compare to the other options available. The fuel economy is below average, however the parts are super economical for maintenance and repair.

Ford Transit “The Easy Rider”

The next step up, you get the upgrades of a smoother ride while maintaining domestic pricing. Step inside and you’ll see noticeable differences in luxury, including a larger cockpit with better driver amenities. Options include eco-boost and a turbo-charged six-cylinder engine, all while riding a little lower to the ground than both the Promaster and Sprinter. Like the Promaster, parts are easy to replace and you can get maintenance done at most garages. Currently, all models are rear-wheel drive, but in 2020 Ford is introducing an all-wheel diesel drive option.


Mercedes Sprinter “The Boss”

By far the most expensive, but also the sexiest. What do you expect? It’s a Mercedes. This incredibly smooth ride and a turbo-charged diesel engine makes the Sprinter super-efficient and about as much fun as you can have driving a van. Spacious interiors and a wonderful layout save time during the conversion and ultimately make for a better van build, as validated for its popularity in the #VanLife community. Designed for more than just carrying cargo, a major advantage of the Sprinter are numerous pre-configured accessory options out there, such as ladders, roof racks, variations in windows, folding bed kits, to name a few. The Sprinter is the most developed and further along different iterations to suit various needs and lifestyles for consumers – but at a cost. You need to bring it to a Mercedes dealership for major work, as their computer software is proprietary. There is often a pre-order wait list as well.

Check out to below for a quick spec comparison, and as always don’t hesitate to reach out ( or comment below!

1 comment

Bobby Berckman

You don’t mention a Chevy Express Cargo Van. It doesn’t have the high roof but may have better attributes in other areas

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published