Many assume that van life is just for the young, but people over 50 actually make up a huge part of the road-tripping population. After retirement, driving around the country is one of the most popular forms of travel for seniors.
If you’re looking to upgrade from the tattered old tent but don’t want to drive a bulky motorhome, a travel van is the perfect in-between. They are generally a cheaper alternative to lavish RVs, and many offer similar amenities to make weekend trips and cross country excursions as comfortable as possible.
Seniors who have decided to hit the road after retirement will need to decide on a travel van that is right for them, and with a booming market, the options are truly endless. Whether you’re looking for a fully outfitted home on wheels, or simply a bare-bones vehicle that you can customize to fit all your wants and needs, you’ll find plenty of makes and models at various price points.
While making a decision may seem a bit daunting, we’ve created a list of the 12 best travel vans for seniors so you can hit the road running once you’re ready! Continue reading to learn all about these souped-up travel vans.
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1. Ram Promaster City
Seniors in search of a travel van that is easy to drive and easy on the bank account should look no further than the Ram Promaster City. This compact camper van is on the small side, but the square, boxy shape affords plenty of headspace and ample room for any conversions you might like to make.
While you could customize the van yourself, there are plenty of companies you can pay to do the heavy lifting for you. Some of the most common configurations of this model include:
- Sleeping areas
- Pull-out kitchens
- Dining areas
- Tons of storage space
- Windows with privacy glass
- Solar panel systems
- Cabin separator curtains.
Of course, you could always keep the factory configuration if you’re just looking for a travel van to get you from point A to point B, though most of the customization options won’t break the bank – so feel free to customize the Promaster City to perfection without worrying too much about the bill.
This travel van’s small size makes it extremely maneuverable, and other features like the front-wheel-drive configuration, the nine-speed automatic transmission, and the effective 2.4-liter engine make it a low-maintenance option that’ll keep you on the road for years without high upkeep costs.
2. VW Caddy
Another great compact option for seniors in search of the best travel van is the VW Caddy. More reminiscent of a minivan than a motorhome, this small vehicle is easy to drive and park and it handles like a dream on any curvy roads you may come across during your travels.
Not only will this small but mighty travel van save you some major coin at the dealership, but it will continue saving you money at the gas station thanks to its impeccable gas mileage.
If you plan to spend any time at all living in your van while on the road, you will likely need to consider converting the rear space into something more effective than a seating area. While it’s true that the VW Caddy is on the smaller side, there’s still plenty of options for customization. Adding a pop-top allows you to stand up inside the van, and there are even companies that can help you install a small kitchen and dining area, sleeping space, and tons of clever storage options.
The VW Caddy is a great option for low-maintenance seniors and weekend warriors who need a vehicle for everyday life and life out on the road.
3. Airstream Interstate 19
If you love the idea of owning an Airstream trailer but not the thought of towing it behind your vehicle, allow us to introduce you to the Airstream Interstate 19. This is one of the best travel vans for seniors who want a luxurious travel experience wrapped up in a small package.
The Interstate 19 is just 19 feet long (as you might have guessed), meaning that it is no larger than your average SUV. This makes both driving and parking a breeze – and with the Mercedes Benz Sprinter as the base vehicle, you know that this crossover is of the highest quality.
The interior is just as luxurious as the base, with a cozy couch that folds down into a bed, a swivel table, a large, flatscreen LED HDTV, ample closet space, and a small kitchen area that includes a dual stovetop, a microwave, a sink, and a refrigerator. There’s also a small bathroom on board that boasts a hot water shower, a toilet, a sink, and a retractable clothesline.
While the list of impressive features of the Airstream Interstate 19 is non-exhaustive, some other highlights include:
- Power ottomans on the sofa
- Power window shades
- 4-wheel drive
- An electronic entry step
- An awning
- A long list of driving assist features.
This high-quality travel van doesn’t come cheap, but when you compare it to the traditional Airstream trailers, you may feel like you’ve struck a bargain.
4. Fiat Ducato Sunlight Cliff 600
While the Fiat Ducato Sunlight Cliff 600 is a newer name in the travel van industry, their umbrella company (Hymer) has certainly been around long enough to be able to expect great things. The Sunlight Cliff 600 is one of the best travel vans for seniors, especially those who will be spending lots of time on the road.
This van is one of the easiest to drive, with great handling and a superior turning radius, a small, boxy shape, and comprehensive roadside assistance available in over 50 different countries. While the van is on the smaller side, the square shape creates a spacious interior and the clever layout makes it easy to move around inside.
One of the best parts about the Sunlight Cliff 600 is its built-in washroom, complete with a shower, sink, toilet, and plenty of storage space.
There’s also a kitchen area for whipping up meals, and some of the highlights of this area include an 84-liter fridge with a freezer compartment, a 2 flame gas cooker, and a dinette with seating for up to four.
In the back of the van, you’ll find a cozy double bed, and beneath that, there’s ample storage space for any gear or other belongings.
One of the best things about the Fiat Ducato Sunlight Cliff 600 is that there are over 600 potential layouts that you can choose from for factory customization – so you can really turn this van into the home of your dreams. This travel van is also one of the most affordable on our list, though you could rack up a hefty sum with all of the luxury upgrades available.
5. Sun Living V 65SL
If you have some wiggle room with your budget and want to get a lot out of what you pay for, the Sun Living V 65SL is one of the best travel vans for seniors. Whether you plan on taking weekend trips or living in your van full time, the Sun Living V 65SL is one of the best value for money campervans on the market.
One of the best things about this vehicle is the amount of choice you’ll have in the customization from start to finish – you’ll even be able to choose your base vehicle, interior textiles, and dashboard setting.
This van is a bit bulkier than some of the other models on our list, but if you’re looking to optimize the interior space you’d be hard-pressed to find a better vehicle. The V series is all about comfort and making the most out of the space available, and you’ll have a choice between 2 and 4 berth layouts.
No matter which option you choose, the front of the van is equipped with a nice kitchen area that includes a deep sink, a dual stove top, and a massive 138-liter refrigerator. The dinette is outfitted with a large dining table and lots of overhead storage, and on your way back to the sleeping area you’ll find a well-equipped wet room complete with a toilet, shower, and sink.
The back of the V 65SL is perfect for storing any gear you may have while you’re driving – and when night rolls around, this large area is converted into a sleeping space. The comfortable mattress is large enough for two, and you even have the option of adding a hammock bed above if you’re traveling with the grandkids.
Other noteworthy features of this travel van include:
- An electric step for easy entry and exit
- Large storage lockers throughout
- A silent. soft-closing side door.
6. Winnebago Revel Camper Van
Today seniors are more active than ever, and if you’re looking for a travel van to fit your upbeat lifestyle, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better vehicle than the Winnebago Revel Camper Van. This bad boy is fully decked out with everything you’ll need to chase the roads less traveled, so there’s no need to worry about doing any conversions or upgrades.
Working off of the ever-popular Mercedes Sprinter chassis, the Winnebago Revel is souped-up with 4×4 capabilities, 325lb/ft of torque, and a 3-liter turbo engine. The roof is outfitted with a 200-watt solar power system that links to the interior electronics, and there’s also room up top for any gear you might be hauling with you thanks to the durable roof rack and moveable ladder.
Other noteworthy exterior features include a powered patio awning and a fold-down dining table, perfect for enjoying alfresco meals and breathing in the fresh air that can only be found far from city limits.
The inside of the van is just as impressive as the outside, with one of the main draws being the kitchenette. This area has a stowable induction cooktop, a sink, water purifier, mini-fridge, and even an iPad holder if you need to watch some instructional videos or get some inspiration for your meal.
Nearby you’ll find a cozy dinette area with enough seating for 4, a shower room with a toilet and a cozy power lifted bed that makes it easy to enjoy a good night’s sleep.
The Winnebago Revel Camper Van isn’t the most inexpensive model on our list but certainly comes with everything you’ll need for any and all of your travels.
7. Knaus Tabbert CUV Pop-Up Roof Camper
Sleek and simple in design, the Knaus Tabbert CUV Pop-Up Roof Camper is one of the best travel vans for seniors. This upgraded camper van is one of the most innovative on the market, with top-of-the-line LFI technology, ambient lighting, and a roomy interior that is hard to match.
The high vantage point roof provides incredible panoramic views, and the Fiat Ducato chassis allows for a comfortable driving experience while offering passengers plenty of space. This camper van can comfortably fit up to 7 people, so you can bring along the whole family for a fun glamping experience.
The main sleeping area is larger than almost any other camper van on the market, with a comfy ventilated mattress measuring 200×135 cm. The pop-up area provides an additional sleeping space, with state-of-the-art features like:
- Mosquito nets
- Blackout curtains
- Reading lights
- Bottle holders
- Removable fall-out protection
- A two-layer cold foam mattress.
- Superior climate control (thanks to its modern ventilation system)
You’ll also find a small kitchen with a dual stovetop and tons of storage space, along with a dinette, a bathroom, and tons of storage space.
For such a small vehicle, the stellar features of the CUV Pop-Up are truly impressive. The only downside of this new Knaus model is that it will cost you a pretty penny – but if you’re looking for the best travel vans for seniors, this is surely one of the front runners.
8. VW Crafter Vanworx
Similar to the Winnebago Revel, the VW Crafter from Vanworx is one of the best travel vans for seniors who want to maintain their adventurous lifestyle. The Crafter is the best option for those looking for a little extra space to move around in, and it’s more than capable of taking you as far off the beaten path as you want to go.
You’ll also be able to live comfortably off-grid thanks to the wide range of customizations available for this vehicle, including a decked-out kitchen area, a cozy bed, and even a shower area.
This conversion is all about thoughtful details, and you’ll find plenty of top-notch features throughout, including:
- Comfortable heated seats
- Parking sensors and camera
- Exterior upgrades (for purchase) including roof racks, grill kits, and underbody protection.
Some of the most impressive features of this travel van can be utilized once it’s parked, however, and the spacious interior is filled with tons of storage space and areas built with comfort in mind.
You can choose between 2 or 4 berths, and if you only need space for two, the extra space will allow you to install a small shower room (with a cassette toilet) without compromising any of the other areas. Underneath the bed is a large storage space where you can store any other belongings you may have with you.
Other interior features worth noting include the kitchen area, complete with a 45-liter fridge and removable freezer compartment, an induction stovetop, a tap and sink, and a small dining area.
This travel van is customized to the gods, and the price certainly reflects it. While this may not be the best option for seniors on a budget, if you’re looking for the best of the best the VW Crafter will not disappoint.
9. Dalbury E Electric
Seniors interested in a futuristic form of travel should check out the world’s first all-electric travel van, the Dalbury E Electric. Not only is this electric vehicle eco-friendly, but it only takes 30 minutes to charge up to 80% – and a full charge will take you around 100 miles.
Besides being great for the environment, the Dalbury E Electric is also great for the pocketbook. Paying for a charge is much cheaper than gas or diesel (only around $5.00 for a full charge), and if you use the Nissan network it’s completely free! You’ll also save on road taxes and service charges (which are much less expensive than those of a normal vehicle).
While this may not be the vehicle of choice for venturing extreme distances, it will certainly do for weekend getaways or to get you between legs of a long road trip (if you don’t mind stopping to charge now and again, that is).
Once you do pull over for a break, you can whip up some tea or even a small meal on the cooktop, and the small “kitchen” area also has a 39-liter fridge, a tap, and a sink. The front seats swivel around to face a small dining area, and once you’re ready to call it a night, everything flips down to create the perfect area to roll out the sleeping bags or a mattress.
While the van is on the smaller side, the pop-up roof allows you to stand and walk around inside of the vehicle (when it’s not moving, of course), and while you’re driving, the small size is more of a help than a hindrance.
10. VW BUZZ
Another vehicle at the forefront of the best travel vans for seniors is the VW Buzz. Similar to the Dalbury E Electric, the VW Buzz is an electronic vehicle and the newest model in the iconic VW van line. This dreamy travel van combines the best of the past and the future, and the sleek design and high-tech components will likely have you wanting to utter the phrase “groovy” all over again.
While it’s entirely understandable that you would want to get your hands on one of these top-notch vans as soon as possible, manufacturing won’t begin until 2022. That being said, you can always pre-order the Buzz and be one of the first to have bragging rights to this futuristic machine.
Because the van is still a work in progress it’s not entirely clear what features it will possess. One thing is certain, though – whatever the main highlights are, they will be the most impressive of any electric travel van on the market.
We do know that the Buzz will have room for at least 7 passengers with rotating chairs and numerous configuration options. Just like with any other travel van on our list, customization is always possible with a little creativity and a fat stack of cash.
11. DoubleBack Camper Van
Unique in its one-of-a-kind design, the DoubleBack Camper Van is one of the best travel vans for seniors. At face value, this vehicle may look like nothing more than a beefy mini-van, but with the press of a button, you’ll nearly double your interior space.
Not only does the Double Back boast a roomy pop-up that doubles as both more room for your head and an additional sleeping area, but the back of the van also slides out to create an additional 6-foot pod.
Nicknamed “the Swiss Army knife of vans”, this versatile design creates a spacious living area without the necessity of driving around a clunky vehicle. The van is the same size as a regular VW Transporter, making it easy to maneuver on nearly any road you wish to travel.
In its compact form, the DoubleBack features comfortable seating for 4 as well as a small kitchenette with a sink, refrigerator, cooktop, and a small dining table.
Once you park the van, lift the pop-top, and extend the cab, your compact vehicle expands into a full home on wheels, with enough space for a larger dining table or a comfy double bed, depending on what time of day it is.
12. Benimar Tessoro 483
Seniors who want a little extra space while traveling might want to think about investing in a larger vehicle. The Benimar Tessoro 483 is slightly larger than your average travel van, but not exactly up to par with large motorhomes, either. This mid-size home on wheels is the perfect pick for those looking for the best of both worlds – whether it be for quick getaways or extended vacations on the road.
The vehicle base is built from a Ford Transit chassis, and while it’s technically considered a motorhome, you won’t need any special license to drive this compact model. The wide rear also makes handling a breeze, and you’ll stay comfortable as you drive thanks to the well-padded captain chairs.
These chairs can swivel around to the dining area, L-shaped settee, and two-seater sofa, allowing for up to six to sit comfortably for meals or family game nights. While the kitchenette isn’t the largest, it is certainly well equipped with a two-burner stovetop, an oven, a sink, a microwave, and a large 135-liter fridge and freezer.
The spacious bathroom area is what really sets the Benimar Tessoro apart from the smaller travel vans on our list, with the main compartment boasting a toilet, sink, lots of mirrors, and plenty of cupboards and hanging space for towels. There’s even a separate shower cubicle across from the main bathroom, which makes it easy to get clean without making a mess. Just behind the bathroom area is a massive closet that will impress even the worst light packers.
Last but not least is the sleeping area. This is perhaps the biggest perk for seniors, as there’s no need for timely and difficult conversions. The cozy double bed drops down over the main seating area, and you can adjust the height to your preference with the simple press of a button.