Camper Vans: lifestyle on the go

Posted on 13 March 2013 by Tony Santos

mercsp5_webCamper vans are specialized vehicles primarily used for transport and also double as sleeping & living accommodation on the go. Since being popularized by the Volkswagen Transporter in the 1950s, camper vans have been converted and produced by a number of different professional manufacturers and conversion specialists.

Alternatively called motor caravans, dorm mobiles, caravanettes and kombis, camper vans usually use a mass produced van as base vehicle. Being most suited for living in for shorter periods of time, camper vans are considered to be Class B recreation vehicles (RV) because of their smaller size. Traditionally quite expensive to buy or build, the gradual increase in demand for these versatile vehicles, especially in UK, paved way to an improved range of camper van options with far cheaper price tags available nowadays.

If you are thinking of purchasing or creating your very own camper van, see the short list for the Top 5 most popular base vehicles below or you may click here:

VW T25 (Type 3) Transporter

The Volkswagen T25 (or T3 in other parts of Europe besides UK) Transporter is the third generation of the VW Transporter that popularized camper vans into mainstream popularity. The Westfalia camper, a variation of the T25, was well marketed by the carmaker throughout the T25’s production. Its features include a popup roof, refrigerator, sink and stove. Production of the T25 started in May 1979 and continued until June 2002. Standard to the T25 are amenities such as power steering, air conditioning, power door locks, electrically controlled and heated mirrors, lighted vanity mirrors and glove box lights.

Mazda Bongo

The Mazda Bongo, also known as the E-Series or Access, was first introduced in 1966. Since then it had four successful production generations, with the last one being produced from 1999 to present day. The Bongo Friendee, which was produced from 1995 to 2005, is an eight-seater MPV. It is usually imported and converted to a camper van in the UK, although some had kitchens factory installed in their vehicles. Some Bongo models have fold-down seats that could also serve as a double bed, with a handful having an Auto Free Top elevating roof which caters two people for sleeping.

Talbot Express

The Talbot Express is one of the more popular camper van base vehicles nowadays. Express was the last Talbot motor vehicle to be produced and was sold solely in UK. It features transversely mounted Citroen/Peugeot engines and are available either in 2×4 or 4×4 variants. Auto-Sleepers, a popular camper van manufacturer, used the Talbot Express for the Auto-Sleepers Harmony and is widely popular until today.

Ford Transit

The Ford Transit, produced by the carmaker solely in Europe, is one of the bestselling light commercial vehicles in the continent for 40 years. It offers a wide range of vehicles from panel vans, minibuses to pickup trucks. Launched in 1965, six million Transits have been produced across six production generations. The most recent, the Mark 6, was introduced in 2000 and was produced until 2006. It is available in either front or rear-wheel drive configuration.

Mercedes-Benz Sprinter

The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, originally built by Daimler AG in Germany, is a full-sized van and is sold under different badge names by Freightliner, Chrysler and Volkswagen. Through the years, it has developed into a very popular recreational and conversion vehicle by several RV and coach manufacturers.


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