Converting a van for a road trip
By Isaiah McCall | Published on May 11, 2018
Converting a van for a road trip

There’s something about road trips — the carefree atmosphere mixed with a feeling of self-determination at your side makes for an unforgettable experience. Accompany all that with open roads and the alluring sights of your countries’ greatest landmarks and you truly have something special in something as simple as a road trip.

You just feel a certain sense of accomplishment traveling on the roads that is unimaginable if you travel any other way this summer. Road trips feel like hard work at times but can be one of the most rewarding experiences that one might find in life, especially if you’re taking the trip with some of your best friends. But more often than not, planning for a road trip can sometimes prove to be harder than the actual trip itself.

Converting a van for a road trip© Mike Boening

We’ve all probably been there at one point; in a cramped car going to who-knows-where and the legroom seems to be shrinking by the second. And to make matters worse, it finally seems like everyone is sick of playing “Eye Spy” or “21 questions” to pass the time.

Road trips are tedious, especially ones that are made for the long-haul and that’s why good preparation is everything when it comes to having a pleasant experience. Make sure to pack some tasty car snacks, bring some extra chargers to keep those devices running, and above everything make sure you choose the perfect vehicle for the ride. Our recommendation: Why not choose a van for your next road trip?

Vans might not be a ride for style but they’re the perfect vessel to provide a road trip you’ll never forget. They’re spacious, have a ton of personality and with enough work can look just as stylish as a Lamborghini. It may take a ton of work finding that perfect van and transforming it into a vehicle worthy of your next road trip, but the extra work is worth it if you’re really looking to elevate your next road trip experience.

READ MORE: Travel Profile: Royston Langdon

Finding the perfect ride
Now, if you’re placing practicality above everything else then you might want to look at renting a Ford Transit or Volkswagen Transporter. Both vehicles offer a ton of space and you’ll find that you can fit plenty of friends and bags without trading comfort and legroom.

It’s almost like driving a mini U-Haul truck as the size of both vehicles is definitely the main attraction here. The bonus is that you’ll find that both vehicles get some good gas mileage — and anyone who’s ever found themselves the unlucky driver on a road trip can tell you just how important a commodity gas becomes when all your cash slowly begins to be eaten up by your car’s tank.

But, if you’re looking for a van with some character then you’re not going to find it in these two vehicles, you want a Volkswagen Westfalia or even a Volkswagen bus. If you’re looking to embrace your inner-hippy then these are definitely the rides for your next trip. Getting your hands on one of these might prove a bit trickier then picking up a more modern-styled van but you’ll find that both of these rides are definitely road trip ready.

Converting A Van For a Road Trip© Greg Gjerdingen

The Volkswagen bus is a lot like a mystery machine-styled vehicle out of a 70’s cartoon but it’s a dream car for nostalgic road trippers. Although it carries the “bus” name, this vehicle is actually one of the smaller-sized vans here. The other main drawback with the bus is the horsepower packed into it.

It’s going to take a while to really get this ride going but once you get up to speed you’ll have a wind-piercer of a vehicle that can get up to cruising speeds of 65 mph. Volkswagen buses aren’t the most practical vehicle but they still beat any compact car and deliver a stylish ride for your next road trip.

If you’re looking to save money on your next trip and refrain from stopping at hotels every-night then you’re going to want to invest in a camper-van like the Volkswagen Westfalia. The Westfalia is a mini RV and can be your van, bed and even your kitchen. It depends how many people your bringing along but this vehicle is the Swiss Army-knife of vans offering features that most vans don’t provide.

Obviously, you can transform any of these vans into a camper-style van but the Westfalia already does all that hard work for you. If you’re looking to go cross-country without letting your wallet get too thin then the Westfalia might be your dream van.

Converting A Van For a Road Trip© Michel Curi

Make it your own
There’s different vans for everyone but besides an RV they might just be the perfect vehicles for any road trip. And no matter what van you choose to be your partner this summer, make sure you make your van your own. Just like anything in life, your van is only as good as what you put into it.

Make sure your van is ready for the trip, ensure it doesn’t need any repairs, get a tune-up and don’t be afraid to make it stand-out with some flair. That flair can come in the forms of complex additions like kitchens and beds but it can also be something simple like adding a mini-fridge or your favorite video game console.

READ MORE: How to backpack properly

The beauty of vans is that they’re blank canvases that are just begging to be painted on, don’t waste that opportunity to transform your van into something truly unique. And even you van-renters out there have some room to work with despite not actually owning the keys to your ride. Obviously don’t make any permanent changes to your van unless you’re content with a few fines coming your way but there’s nothing wrong with decorating the interior of your van with some extra pillows and blankets.

Converting A Van For a Road Trip© Duncan Rawlinson

Above everything else make sure you’re prepared even if you have a short trip in front of you. Lack of preparation is the easiest way to ax the fun that you were ready to have on your road trip. Bring plenty of snacks, tons of pillows and brew enough coffee for those dreaded late-night drives.

Be sure to choose a van that can accommodate all your needs as it’s sure to elevate your next road trip. Hopefully the van you end up choosing is the perfect ride to whisk you away on this summer of open roads and unforgettable experiences.

About The Writer
Isaiah McCall

By: Isaiah McCall | Published on May 11, 2018

You May Also Like
Travel Profile: Beans on Toast Travel Blog

British folk/indie singer-songwriter Beans on Toast, aka Jay McAllister, has unveiled a new music video for the song "Magic" in advance of his ...

January 16, 2019
Travel Profile: The XCERTS Travel Blog

A three-piece Scottish rock band, The XCERTS is comprised of Murray Macleod, Jordan Smith and Tom Heron. Formed when Macleod and Smith ...

March 26, 2018
10 Interesting Facts about Cambodia Travel Blog

Cambodia, officially known as the Kingdom of Cambodia, is a small country in the Southeast ...

March 30, 2018