There are many ways to motor your way across the country, and we know you’ve seen them all. RVs (recreational vehicles) can range from tiny towable travel trailers to huge, motor coach-sized homes on wheels. Here at Escape, we’re hitting the sweet spot of functionality, maneuverability, and affordability with our Campervans. Let’s break down what a campervan is – and what it isn’t.
What Are The Various Types And Classes Of RVs?
- Class A Motorhome: The biggest! These are about 21-45 feet long and can be as large as a commercial bus. They are very large and will have many amenities, including a bathroom, and most will feel like a “home on wheels.”
- Class C: Typically the next largest motorized RV, this is a medium-sized RV, smaller than a Class A but often still sleeping as many as 6-8 people and with a self-contained toilet. They are usually between 20-30 feet long.
- Towables: These can range from very large fifth-wheel options that require a special hitch on a full-sized pickup truck, all the way down to micro travel trailers offering little more than a covered bed to sleep in. A towable is not motorized and requires another vehicle with a hitch to pull it around.
- Class B: The campervan! This is the smallest motorized RV class. These vehicles are typically 17-20 feet long and are built on regular van or truck frames. Kitchens are sometimes indoor and sometimes outdoors, and there are often no onboard toilet facilities. These are sometimes also referred to as conversion vans or caravans.
How Is A Campervan Different?
Of all of the options above, a campervan will truly give you the most freedom. Freedom to explore off the beaten track, freedom to fit into smaller spaces and around tighter corners, and freedom to go where larger RVs just plain can’t fit. Escape Campervans are thoughtfully designed to squeeze the absolute most storage and function from a vehicle that is not much larger than your average SUV or minivan.
How Does A Campervan Work?
Escape campervans are designed to maximize storage, sleeping space, and fun! A campervan is your rental car, your kitchen, your bedroom, and your living room. When your adventures are completed for the day, your bed awaits immediately – no waiting for check-in time!
- Sleeping: With the exception of their Jeep model, all of Escape’s campervans are outfitted with sleeping and dining quarters inside the passenger compartment, and cooking takes place outside in a rear, outdoor kitchen. You can add a rooftop sleeping for additional sleeping space.
- Kitchen: A propane two-burner stove will fire off a pot of coffee or a gourmet pasta dinner with equal ease. A surprisingly roomy drawer-style refrigerator (powered by an onboard solar panel) keeps cold beverages and a few days’ worths of groceries close at hand. All vans offer a freshwater tank that can be used to wash dishes and cook, as well as a small gray water tank for waste water that drains through the sink. You do not need to go to a pumping station to empty your greywater – this can be done in the woods, on a dirt road, etc.
- Power: In addition to multiple 12-volt cigarette lighter-style sockets to charge your electronics and power fans or heaters, some models include USB ports.
- Bathroom/Shower: No onboard toilets are provided. Most campers do just fine using campground facilities and public restrooms, and practicing Leave No Trace principles when dispersed camping. A Solar Shower is just one of the extra accessories you can add to your rental if you’d like to be able to rinse off after a long day.
All vans also allow for dining and lounging inside, to further expand the capabilities. A variety of models allow you to choose the best seating and sleeping configurations for your party:
Del Mar: An extremely flexible option that can accommodate a larger group, this van has two interior beds, and permanent seating for five passengers, with the “downstairs” bed, that can be converted into a dining area with benches.
Santa Cruz: This option is great for couples or solo travelers. The double bed in the rear remains open full-time, with storage and the kitchen pulling out from the outside from underneath. At only 14.5 feet long, this van will fit in most tent sites and maneuver around cities or off the beaten path.
Mavericks: This model can offer seating for 5 passengers, complete with an extra bench and dining table, with the rear row of seats converting into a queen-sized bed at night. This option might not be best for kids with car seats but otherwise is awesome for families.
Big Sur: The rear bucket seats in this model do not need to be converted in order to make the bed, so this is a great option for families with young kids in car seats. The bed can be converted quickly into a dining option with benches on both sides.
Who Rents a Campervan?
It may seem obvious that campers rent campervans, naturally! But given just how flexible campervans are, there are many more reasons to rent a campervan:
- Tailgating: With its built-in rear kitchen, the campervan is a literal tailgating machine. We took an Escape campervan to a concert at Red Rocks amphitheater in Morrison, CO, and spent a very relaxing few hours before the show grilling up some fajitas and having a couple of beverages behind the van. We were the envy of the parking lot, and many fellow concert-goers said it would be their dream football tailgate party mobile.
- Roadtrippers: Whether you have an epic cross-country road trip planned, or simply a weekend getaway, a campervan is great for more than just camping at National Parks. Sleep privately in rest stops or parking lots when the need arises.
- Travelers: A campervan is far more functional than your average rental car. If you’re traveling by air and need to rent a vehicle on arrival, a campervan can serve as both ground transportation and a hotel room.
- Festival Goers: Multi-day concert events, art festivals, concerts, etc. If on-site camping is offered, a campervan is the ideal home base.
Traveling in a campervan is easy and fun, but definitely unique. For that reason, a few tips and tricks will help maximize your van life experience.
- Plan an itinerary. It can feel overwhelming to hop onboard the van life movement, but Escape has several great route ideas that can help jump-start your trip!
- Stick to the essentials. Keep it simple, and pack only what you need for your trip, ideally in a duffle or other soft-sided bag.
- Do your research. If you are targeting specific campgrounds or areas, do some research to make sure you are allowed to park your campervan in a tent site, if there are restroom facilities on-site, or if camping permits are required.
- Get outside: Whether you’re on a trip with a pal or if you’re with your whole family, no matter how spacious the van is – you might eventually feel a bit too close for comfort. Plan hikes, farm visits, swimming spots, etc.
Try Out A Campervan Today!
Escape makes it so easy to take your first trip in a campervan. Now that you know just how awesome campervanning can be, book a trip and see for yourself!