How To Choose The Best 4×4 Camper Van or RV

4x4 camper vans for sale

Are you looking to take your next adventure offroad and off the beaten path?

Check out our guide to the best 4×4 camper vans and RVs available.

Sometimes you just want to get away from it all. We don’t mean taking the road less traveled—we mean taking no road at all! But the offroad type of adventure isn’t for the faint of heart, and you’ll need the right equipment that can keep up with your lifestyle.

When it comes to traveling by campervan or motorhome, the type of offroading we’re referring to is also commonly known as “boondocking” or going off-grid. As with anything, this type of camping comes with its own difficulties and downsides.

For starters, buying a new or used travel vehicle with off-roading capability typically comes with a hefty price tag. The ability to have some of the comforts of home coupled with the freedom and independence of life on the road isn’t cheap, so bear with us as we talk about all of the off-grid features and capacities of these rigs—including amenities such as kitchens, freshwater tanks, sleeping space, full bathrooms and solar capacity.

Another hurdle buyers often after overcome is actually finding one for sale, since manufacturers sell out of stock quickly. So if you want a 4×4 campervan or RV and one is available, you may have to move quickly. Be ready to move.

But you’re probably not here to be talked out of buying an adventure van. Instead, you want to know which are the best rigs to go off-road camping and why. Continue reading for our top picks.

Winnebago Revel 4x4

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Don’t see what you’re looking for? Our new van inventory is queuing up to be displayed online. Just give us a quick call or contact us and we’ll connect you to your perfect vehicle.

EarthRoamer

Starting at the very top of the line in terms of off-road functionality and cost, you might consider the Earthroamer if you aren’t on a budget and are looking for maximum comfort, gear and capability to get to the most rugged and remote places. Based in Dacono, Colorado, these guys are known for making some of the most durable and extreme off-road travel vehicles in existence.

Of course, all that off-road tech perfection will cost you—about a half-million dollars to start. But don’t let that price tag dissuade you from investigating this vehicle if you have the budget as there’s certainly nothing cheap about the build and you’ll feel it’s worth it when you pull up to a million-dollar-view in this rig.

Global Expedition Patagonia Truck

While it’s not technically a van, it is shaped like one. A steroid-infused rock crawler that’s more than just your average trail-crushing 4×4, this travel truck is built to flee civilization for months on end.

This rig can sleep 6, spans 27 feet in length, can be spec’d with night vision cameras and genuinely lives up to the company’s motto: “Run out of world before you run out of truck.” Each rig is handcrafted and they allow you to specify water capacities, living space layout, 4×4 chassis choice and any solar or electrical needs.

The Bengal

Another great off-road rig that puts capabilities first and cost second (perhaps third) is the Bengal by Tiger Adventure Vehicles. Tiger Adventure Vehicles can trace their company history back to 1991 and have always specialized in creating ultimate off-road camping vehicles. Bengals come with a litany of options, with space to sleep 4, a kitchen and bathroom and a full solar array.

All of their builds start with your choice of Chevy, Ford or Ram one-ton truck chassis and each unit is hand-built in Columbia, South Carolina. Builds start at $125,000 and if you can dream it, they can probably build it. If you’re looking for one of the best, you can’t go wrong with a Bengal.

Mercedes Sprinter 4×4

Mercedes’ Sprinter van chassis has been around for a while, proving popular with DIYers and modders for more than 25 years. The Sprinter 4×4 is a capable off-road van that can handle diverse and rugged terrain, while also offering more down-to-earth pricing than some of the previously mentioned travel rigs. Plus, Sprinters have been manufactured for decades, so finding a used one in decent condition isn’t too difficult.

Various van conversion companies specifically work with the Sprinter platform to offer capable offroaders and create your unique camper. There are ready-to-drive, pre-built one-off vehicles starting just under $200k, or a ground-up customized rig that starts at $125k and doesn’t count the chassis cost. Either way, you’re getting one of the most capable, rugged camper vans on the market, built to your specifications.

Mercedes Sprinter 4x4

Sprinter vans are immaculately built and many modern models are outfitted with solar charging options, lithium-ion batteries, 15 to 30-gallon freshwater tanks with filters, LED lighting, a variety of roof racks and ladders, awnings and just about anything else you may need to have a great adventure.

Winnebago Revel 4×4

Another company making highly functional 4x4s with a touch more luxury is Winnebago, with their Revel 4×4 model. Built on the Mercedes Sprinter chassis, the Winnebago Revel uses a 3-liter turbo-diesel and outfits the rig with a modern interior with a wet bath, kitchen, pantry, refrigerator and sleeping for 2.

A full solar setup keeps 2 lightweight lithium-ion batteries ready to go and an on-demand water heater can warm the 21-gallons of onboard water. A diesel air heater is also standard issue.

Winnebago Revel 4x4

The full list of standard amenities and options is quite extensive, so research your desired features thoroughly before purchasing.

Brand new, the Revel starts at $175,000, but you can often find pre-owned models for much cheaper here at Classic Vans.

Storyteller Overland 4×4

Another (slightly more) affordable and versatile 4×4 motorhome is the Storyteller Overland Mode, which is a highly capable offroader that also makes a decent daily driver. Storyteller is known for their incredibly functional and streamlined interiors, and they sell premade RV vans across a wide dealership network.

These rigs are often found with a diesel motor, about 100-cubic feet of storage space and a Halo shower system—and that’s just scratching the surface! Prices for a new rig start at around $150k.

Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia Syncro

If you’re into off-roading with a good dose of nostalgia, then the Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia Syncro is the rig for you. Boasting a capable 4×4 system that can get you deep into the woods, this little adventure van screams retro—albeit underpowered retro, but retro nonetheless.

Everything inside the rig is small and tight. The kitchen is small but functional. There’s room to sleep 2 children in the pop-up topper and 2 medium-sized adults on the fold-down couch below. There’s generally no bathroom, but sometimes these rigs come equipped with a small porta toilet.

The Vanagon Syncro was primarily sold in the U.S. from 1986 to 1991, and they come in a variety of colors. Volkswagen actually manufactured Syncro campers for Europe starting in 1984, so importing one from afar could be an option.

One word of caution, though: these classic campervans may require a good deal of maintenance and TLC, so budget and plan for that eventuality.

Chinook Maverick 4×4

Another popular North American campervan and motorhome manufacturer with a reputation for quality is Chinook. This RV brand can trace its roots all the way back to 1938, but it was in the early 1970s that they began building high-quality fiberglass shell-based motorhomes. While the brand was never as well-known as bigger motorhome manufacturers (like Airstream, Pleasure-Way, Roadtrek, Winnebago and Sportsmobile), Chinook is known to put quality over quantity.

Today, Chinook offers the Maverick, Bayside and Countryside with a 4×4 option, utilizing the Mercedes chassis. These elegant, off-road vehicles offer composite flooring, ultra-soft leather surfaces, and hand-rubbed custom wood finishes.

Chinook is also offering travel trailers that match the Mercedes chassis for storing camping equipment or hauling your bikes and motorcycles all over the country. Check ‘em out, they’re very cool!

Chinook Maverick 4x4

GMC Safari/Chevrolet Astro AWD Minivan

If you’re hellbent on building your own 4×4-capable van and want the DIY experience, one good platform to consider is the GMC Safari/Chevrolet Astro AWD minivan. They were made in abundance (over 3 million units sold) and all-wheel-drive was an option in 1990 to 2005 models. You can generally find these vans for sale on every automotive outlet’s website, from Cars.com to Craigslist.

There are a ton (literally, 2,000 lbs) of optional 4WD upgrades available, suspension lift kits, prefabbed kitchens, pop-tops and sleeping arrangements out there for these capable little getaway vehicles.

Shop the best new and used campervans

Ready to begin your next adventure? Browse Classic Vans’ wide selection of new and used camper vans for sale. We’re certain we can help you find the right rig that will suit your needs and fit your budget. Our knowledgeable team of sales professionals and van techs have decades of experience. We can help you find the rig of your dreams! After all, we’ve been doing it for over 30 years.

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