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Campervans vs RVs: Which one should you rent?

Book A Campervan

The question of whether to rent a van or RV is different for every person and every trip. When considering renting a conversion van, mini RV, trailer, or full-blown motorhome with all the bells and whistles for your next road trip, there are many advantages to choosing our unique campervan vs. RVs.

Escape Camper Vans offers the best value alternative to traditional RVs without sacrificing comfort. Experience the adventure of the open road with our campervan rentals in the US and Canada.

Save up to $1600* by renting an Escape campervan instead of an RV

*This estimate includes daily rate, standard extras, miles, insurance, gas mileage, and average campsite costs for a 4-person trip compared to the top RV rental company.

  • Do you want to drive through North America’s most iconic cities with no stress?
  • Take off-the-beaten-path detours on a whim?
  • Sleep under the stars with no one else in sight?
  • And save money on campsites and fuel while you’re at it?

A campervan trip may be just the thing for you.

Escape Camper VansTop RV Rental Company
Google Customer Service Ratings4.7/53.43/5
Models54
Sleeps2-3 (4-5 with rooftop sleeper)3 (Compact model)
Parking RestrictionsStandard parking spaceLimited - RV parking only
Camping Options$0-$25/night
Tent sites at most state & national parks. FREE dispersed camping.
$35-$65/night
NOT ALLOWED at any tent sites at any park. RV sites at most state & national parks.
Gas Mileage$26.88/100 miles - avg. price of gas $4.57
17 avg. mpg, 35 gal tank
$50.78/100 miles - avg. price of gas $4.57 (diesel $5.57)
9 avg. mpg, 40 gal tank
Miles$30
per day for 100 miles
($0.30/additional mile)
$35
per day for 100 miles
($0.35/additional mile)
Kitchen & Cookware$40
per trip (2-3 people)
$110
per trip (2 people)
Bedding$40 per trip (2-3 people)$120 per trip (2 people)
Interior Height (ft)4.5 (Mavericks model)6.5 (Compact model)
Exterior DesignHand-painted by renowned artists in LACompany logo/branding
Open 7 days/weekYesNo (closed Sundays)
"Highly recommend Escape Camper Vans! I’ve rented vans from both the Seattle and Vancouver locations. The staff is as helpful and friendly as they come, and the vans are clean and fully outfitted for a perfect vacation. I prefer a camper van over a boxy RV as you can fit into almost any campsite, it uses less gas, and you don’t have to plug in or stay at noisy RV camps. This has become my favorite way to vacation. Happy camping!" - Anna Penn

RV vs. Campervan

While planning a camping trip, finding the right sleeping and transportation solution is essential. Many travelers wonder what the difference between an RV and a campervan really is, so we put this guide together to break it down. 

By the end, you’ll know everything from the differences between class B RV rentals vs class A and C RVs to what defines a vehicle as a camper van. Let’s get started! 

Does a Camper Van Count as an RV?

Technically speaking, a camper van does count as an RV. Most oversized vehicles, like large vans, campers that you tow, or trailers, are considered recreational vehicles (RVs). That said, there are many different types and sizes of RVs. The smaller ones that look closer to a van, known as class B RVs, are often called camper vans to differentiate them.  

What’s the Difference Between an RV and a Camper?

The primary difference between a typical RV and a camper van is size. Camper vans are much more compact and typically have fewer features. 

When you compare the size of a camper van vs class C RVs it’s a pretty significant difference. The typical camper van is 17-19 feet long, while a class C RV is 25-35 feet long. 

The chassis used for these vehicles also affects their structure and use cases. Camper vans are RVs built on van chassis, making them a compact hybrid option that will be easier to drive for most people since they’ll feel closer to driving a large car or truck. 

On the other hand, class A RVs, the largest option (36-45 feet long), are built on commercial bus or truck chassis, which can make them more difficult to drive. 

The average person who doesn’t have experience driving larger vehicles with lower visibility around them may struggle with larger RVs, which is why many people gravitate to the camper van instead. 

 

What Defines a Campervan?

A camper van is a compact motorhome that provides both transportation and sleeping space. Many camper vans, such as the ones we offer at Escape Camper Vans, also offer many other premium features to make a traveler’s life easier. Those features can include kitchen equipment, a water tank, a sink, a refrigerator, and extra storage space. 

When Does a Campervan Become a Motorhome?

Most camper vans are considered motorhomes since they provide a sleeping space. 

What Is the Lifespan of a Campervan?

It’s difficult to determine the exact lifespan of a camper van since use cases can vary quite a bit. Typically, you can expect one to last between 10 and 30 years. 

If you plan to do a lot of cross-country travel with yours and use it as your main vehicle, then it will likely need more frequent maintenance and won’t last as long. However, if you use it occasionally when you go camping and mostly park it in your campsite, then it may last much longer. 

Many people find that renting a camper van is best; that’s why we offer our rental service at Escape Camper Vans. We aim to offer affordable nightly prices while still providing you with premium, well-maintained vehicles for your trip. 

 

Why Do People Choose Van Life?

Nowadays, van life is becoming increasingly popular. It allows people to embrace a more minimalist lifestyle of travel and exploration. For many, camper vans are a great choice for that lifestyle since they provide most of the essentials while offering a compact vehicle that is easy to drive and take anywhere.

More people are choosing this lifestyle because:

  • It’s a lower cost of living, so you can afford to travel more often
  • The increased availability of remote and freelance work makes it more accessible
  • You can travel and adventure on your own schedule
  • It’s easier to visit popular destinations during low-traffic times like weekdays
  • A minimalistic lifestyle helps you clear distractions and embrace the joys of life

Choosing full-time van life is a commitment many travelers make for its simplicity and the endless outdoor adventure it offers, comparing favorably to the RV life for those prioritizing a smaller, more agile mode of living. Those with an adventurous spirit will find this lifestyle appealing, leading to more adventurous and memorable journeys filled with fun road trip experiences. Whether you choose van life for a few months, a year, or a decade, it will certainly provide lifelong memories.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Van Life?

While choosing van life for short vacations or a longer escape can be a great idea, there are still pros and cons you should understand to know if it’s right for you. 

The Pros

The pros of van life include:

  • With this lower cost of living, it’s much easier to save money, and you’ll have more financial freedom. 
  • When the road is your home, you get to travel where you want when you want. 
  • The storage solutions with camper vans mean you’ll always have your essentials on hand. 
  • You can customize your space to work and feel how you want. It makes traveling easier when you can return to a space that feels homey at night. 

The Cons

The cons of van life include:

  • Your vehicle could break down, which will cost extra and could be a hassle. 
  • You’ll likely still need to find somewhere to shower and go to the bathroom. 
  • Less space means you need to limit your possessions; some will argue that this is more of a pro than a con.
  • Putting things away and washing dishes can be finicky since you need to tuck things away in condensed spaces. 

Do Camper Vans Have Toilets?

Some camper vans do come with toilets, but not all of them do. It is something you need to consider when comparing RV vs camper vans. 

Do You Really Need a Toilet in a Campervan?

While camper vans don’t always come with a toilet, it isn’t necessarily something everyone wants or needs in their van. For example, most campgrounds will have public toilets and sometimes showers that you can use. You can also practice leave-no-trace principles on campgrounds that don’t have public bathrooms. 

Additionally, if you plan to use your camper van for a longer period of time, emptying your toilet’s holding tank can be pretty unsavory and a hassle that detracts from your relaxing vacation. 

It is not uncommon for the bathrooms and compact plumbing in campers to break down. 

Our vans at Escape Camper Vans don’t have toilets, and our customers usually prefer it this way.  

 

How Much Does It Cost to Rent a Camper Van for a Month?

On average, you can find camper vans at a daily rate of around $100, making them an affordable summer rental option for those looking to explore without breaking the bank. Escape Camper Vans offers affordable rates that vary depending on the season. Those looking to get the most bang for their buck should consider taking a winter or spring trip.

Also, consider how much you’ll be spending on gas, and be mindful that most rental companies have mileage fees of around $0.30-0.40 cents per mile you drive, which will add to your expenses. Opting for a van rental can significantly enhance the flexibility and affordability of your travel plans, allowing for a more personalized and cost-effective journey.

How Much Is an RV Compared to a Camper?

When comparing RV vs campervan prices, you’ll generally find that camper vans are much more affordable than other larger models of RVs. Class C RV prices usually range from $200-300 per day, and class A RV prices can range from $300-400+ per day depending on how many features they have. Not to mention, bigger vehicles use a lot more gas. 

So, when you can find many camper vans for less than half the cost, and they’re more fuel-efficient, it’s a pretty good deal. 

Why Choose Escape

 

1. Drive anywhere!

People love campervans because of the freedom they offer to get off the beaten path where RVs can’t go. Parking is a breeze, city driving isn’t stressful, and winding mountain roads are no problem!

2. Affordable and transparent pricing

Save up to $1600 by choosing to rent an Escape Campervan vs. an RV. Our rates are competitive with other RV companies, campervan companies, and even hostels & hotels. We have flexible add-on options so you can customize your trip to fit your needs, comfort level, and budget.

3. Artwork

Why have your home on wheels be an advertisement when it can be beautiful artwork? 600+ of our vans are unique, colorful, and hand-painted by talented local artists in LA. Our designs are family-friendly and eye-catching (in a good way)–you’re sure to make some friends on the road!

4. Fuel efficiency

Spend half as much on gas in a campervan compared to an RV. Our fleet is among the most fuel-efficient in the US. Compared to gas-guzzling RVs, this is going to save you the big bucks in the long run.

5. Space-efficient vehicles

Our spacious campervan interior, large bed, and extra storage space make for a more comfortable experience without sacrificing drivability.

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"100% recommend Escape Camper Vans. We were originally planning to rent an RV for the 4 of us but the astronomical prices proved too much and I'm SO glad we found this alternative. Everything was so straightforward, incredible customer service, great price, the van was a dream with everything we needed and so much easier to drive than an RV! We had plenty of space with 4 of us in the Maverick! We were so sad to give it back after 9 nights, I'm already starting to plan another trip and can't wait to use Escape again." - Keira Smalley

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