Travel freely with the campervan

In the world of travel, the use of campervans as a means of transport and accommodation is always very trendy. Whether you are looking for freedom or passionate about nature, the camper van offers unparalleled flexibility and convenience. In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of this recreational vehicle, possible layouts, and where you can park during your roadtrips.

What is a camper van ?

It is a utility vehicle transformed into a functional and comfortable living space. Camper vans are often equipped with a bed, a small kitchen, storage and sometimes even a bathroom. The interior is generally designed ingeniously to maximize the available space and meet the essential needs of travelers.

What are the differences between a fitted van and a campervan ?

The terms “fitted van” and “campervan” are often used interchangeably, but they can also refer to different types of vehicles. Here are the general differences between a campervan and a fitted van :

1. Vehicle size and shape

A camper van generally refers to a smaller, more compact vehicle, based on a utility vehicle chassis. It has a structure closer to a passenger car with a lower roof height. In contrast, a panel van refers to a larger and more spacious vehicle, often based on a medium to large van. It has a higher roof height, allowing better headroom and more interior fitting capacity.

2. Interior space

Due to their different sizes, a panel van (fitted van) allows for more features and amenities to be incorporated, such as a bathroom, more spacious living space, or a permanent bed. For the campervan, the layout options are more limited but it can be easier to maneuver and park.

What are the benefits of the camper van ?

One of the main advantages of a campervan is that it allows you to easily move from one place to another, without having to worry about finding accommodation. Imagine being able to wake up every morning with a different view from your bed, being in direct contact with nature and deciding your own route. The campervan offers total freedom and the possibility of exploring remote places, far from the beaten track.

In addition to the freedom of travel, the campervan can also save you money. Rather than spending huge sums on hotels or vacation rentals, you have everything you need at your fingertips. Prepare your meals in the small kitchen, wash up in the compact bathroom and sleep comfortably in your own space. Not only does this reduce costs, but it also allows you to have a more authentic and close-to-nature experience.

However, it is important to note that living in a campervan is not without its challenges. Limited space can sometimes be a constraint, especially if you are traveling with another person. Additionally, adapting to a minimalist lifestyle requires adjustment and careful planning. Issues of water supply, electrical energy and waste management must be taken into account. Many ecological solutions exist today to help you respect the environment as much as possible.

What are the best van layouts ?

If you are planning on fitting out a van, it is recommended that you take accurate measurements of the interior to ensure that you have enough space for your specific needs, such as bed, kitchen, storage, etc. The layout possibilities are endless and every van owner can customize their space to their own needs and preferences. However, some installations stand out for their ingenuity and functionality ! Some of the best van layouts often include pull-down beds that help maximize space during the day and create a comfortable sleeping area at night. Compact kitchens equipped with a gas stove, sink and small refrigerator are also very popular, offering the possibility of preparing tasty meals even on the go.

Moreover, many vanlifers opt for solar installations to power their electrical appliances and benefit from a sustainable source of energy.

Finally, smart storage, such as pull-out shelves and hidden compartments, help maximize space utilization and maintain an organized interior. Whether you are looking for a minimalist layout or a more luxurious living space, there are a multitude of models and inspiring ideas to create your ideal campervan ! Feel free to add your personal touch : colorful textiles, wall decorations or indoor plants. The layout of your van is an expression of your lifestyle and your tastes. Like at home, create a space that suits you !

What budget to fit out your van ?

The budget needed to fit out a van varies greatly depending on several factors, such as the size of the van, the level of finish desired and the materials used. In general, the development of a van can cost between a few thousand euros and several tens of thousands of euros. If you decide to do the landscaping yourself, you can save on labor costs, but you will need to invest time and skill to complete the work. Costs generally include the purchase of the van itself, construction materials (insulation, plywood panels, flooring, etc.), appliances (stove, fridge, sink, etc.), electrical systems (battery , solar panels, converter, etc.), custom furniture (bed, storage, etc.), sanitary equipment (toilets, showers, water tanks, etc.), and other accessories and supplies. If you prefer to hire professionals for the layout, the cost will usually be higher due to labor charges. Companies that specialize in this field often offer pre-made packages or customization options, which can make the process easier but add additional costs. The budget should also take into account the costs of ongoing maintenance of the van, such as mechanical repairs, insurance costs, and costs for parking or using campgrounds.

Where to sleep with a camper van ?

One of the advantages of a campervan is that it gives you a multitude of choices when it comes to sleeping places.

1. Camping areas and campsites

Camping areas and campgrounds are popular places to spend the night with a camper van. They often offer infrastructure such as pitches with electrical hook-ups, toilets, showers and common areas.

2. Rest areas

In many countries, there are specially designed rest areas for car travellers, including converted vans. These rest areas may offer dedicated parking spaces, restrooms, picnic tables, and sometimes even barbecue areas.

3. Public parking lots

In some regions, it is authorized to spend the night in public parking lots such as supermarkets, shopping centers or service areas. However, it is important to check local rules and observe any parking restrictions.

4. Wild camping areas

In some areas, wild camping is allowed, which means you can spend the night in secluded places in the middle of nature. This can provide a more authentic and peaceful experience, but it’s essential to abide by the rules and respect the environment. In France, in the event of unauthorized wild camping, you are liable to a fine of up to 1,500 euros.

5. Homestay

Some people offer pitches for camper van travelers on collaborative accommodation platforms like HomeCamper. This can be an opportunity to meet local people and benefit from services such as electricity or access to a bathroom. It is important to note that regulations and accommodation options vary from country to country and even region to region. It is therefore recommended to learn about local rules, respect the environment and show courtesy to other travelers and residents.


In conclusion, the camper van offers a unique travel experience, combining freedom, flexibility and savings. Whether you are a solo adventurer, or a couple looking for adventure, the camper van can be the ideal companion for exploring the world and having unforgettable experiences. With the right layouts and planning, you can create a functional and comfortable living space that meets all your needs.

As the owner of a campervan, a motorhome or even a simple car equipped with a roof tent, SwapTheRoad offers you the opportunity to travel all over the world ! Exchange your RV with another member of the community or unilaterally borrow theirs to discover new destinations !


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