Part of the reason you probably bought your RV in the first place was to get away from all the hustle and bustle of daily life. Really, let’s be honest: between work, family, bills, and other responsibilities, life can be kind of high-maintenance, right?
It’s okay to admit it. Everyone’s lives are extraordinarily frazzled at some time or another, and sometimes seven more than that.
RV life, on the other hand, is far simpler. It’s about getting back to nature and enjoying the basic joys of life, like long drives, beautiful foliage, and cool evenings under the stars.
Wouldn’t it be great if your RV was low-maintenance, too? In a perfect world, you would have to do little work to keep your camper up and running. It would be an efficient vehicle, a perfect machine.
You’re in luck. Even though it’s not a perfect world we live in, here are five of the best low-maintenance campers available. Whether you have a single passenger or five, there’s something for every RV lover on this list.
1. ModVan CV1
The ModVan CV1probably isn’t what comes to mind when you think of a camper, but give it a try. You just might like it.
This vehicle comes with RV components, so driving it is quite a familiar experience. And yes, while it’s smaller than most RVs you’ve driven, there’s room for up to five passengers total, which means you can bring the whole family.
The floorplan of the CV1 is quite impressive. There are storage spaces, heating and electrical options, pop-ups and windows, a bathroom nook, a kitchen space, and even room for a few sleeping options (bedding areas for two children and four adults according to ModVan).
That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Let’s discuss some of the cool features that come packed with the ModVan CV1:
- A remote keyless entry keypad
- V6 fuel-efficient engine
- A Spaceframe chassis with an included chassis generator that comes with a 2,000-watt Pure Sine Wave Inverter
- LED lighting
- A 7,000-BTU externally-mounted propane furnace
- A 1,500-watt electric heater
- A three-cubic foot compressor-based refrigerator that’s made to be energy-efficient
- Water systems, including a six-gallon black water system good for 56 flushes, a 10-gallon graywater system, and a 10-gallon freshwater system
- A 10-gallon propane system and a 7,000-BTU propane heater
- A 10,000-BTU rooftop A/C unit
- A privacy closet in the bathroom
- A 300-watt solar power charging system
So yeah, the ModVan CV1 looks kind of goofy, but looks can be deceiving. This is one camper that will give you all the luxuries of an RV but at half the size. How’s that for low-maintenance?
Oh, and did I mention the CV1 is customizable, too? You can select the exterior paint colors (with hues like Race Red, White Gold, Green Gem, Caribou, and Blue Jeans as some of the most interesting options), the leather seat colors (gray or black), the cabinet trim, and even the wall upholstery.
Not only that, but you can choose whether your CV1 has:
- Remote starting
- A trailer brake controller
- Power running boards
- Lane-keeping alerts and driver’s alerts
- Reverse parking aids
- An AutoLamp with a rain-sensing wiper
- Enhanced cargo carrying capacity
- The Twin Turbo V6 3.5L EcoBoost Direct Injection engine
- The 300-watt solar charging system
- 4G/LTE cell phone signal booster
- 4×4 four-wheel drive conversion
Pricing begins at $65,000, making the ModVan the most affordable option on this list.
2. Sportsmobile Camper Vans
More appealing than the ModVan in terms of looks, Sportsmobile Camper Vans have enchanted RV enthusiasts since the early ‘60s. There are five models you can choose from, and all have their perks: the 4×4, the Chevy Ford e-Van, the Dodge ProMaster (a favorite, as you’ll see), the Ford Transit, the Mercedes Metris, and the Mercedes Sprinter.
For the sake of this article, I picked just one, the Dodge ProMaster. It includes the following features:
- A propane system with a propane detector for heating water and running a furnace
- A 3E 12-volt refrigerator with a pull-out facet, stove, and a sink
- A graywater holding tank with an additional city water hookup
- Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
- Cab and ceiling LED lights as well as porch lights and interior lights across the whole vehicle
- 12 volts of electrical power, including a 12-volt outlet, a battery separator to avoid battery draining, and auxiliary AGM batteries
- 110-volt wall outlet convertors, 110-volt exterior inlets with a 25-foot cord
- A 110-volt electrical panel with a 30-amp system
- Floor mats, various tables, door panels in the rear and side of the vehicle, rear window and side window shades, sliding door and cab curtains, loop carpet and marine vinyl flooring, and wall panels with insulation
You can also opt to add your own features, such as cargo bungee cords, assist handles, and drink holders. Oh yeah, these are all available for free. If you want bathroom windows or furnishings, though, you will have to pay for these.
Like the ModVan, you can completely customize your Sportsmobile Camper Van. For the ProMaster, you can select your own captain seats, couches and sofas, gauchos, platform or bunk beds, and dinettes. You can even fit an ottoman in there! I find that seriously cool.
The bathroom setup can also be adjusted to your liking. You have your pick of a combo bathroom (with a sink cabinet and marine toilet), shower, permanently-mounted toilet, or a cassette toilet.
If you want solar panels, those are available, too.
Oh, and the colors: those are all yours to pick. You have tons of choices for your countertops and cabinets (like maple or cherry wood), trim and upholstery in almost any color and texture imaginable, floor coverings (in marine deck, loop carpeting, or rubberized flooring), and even mix and match exterior and interior hues!
Pricing varies depending on the packages you choose and how much you opt to customize your vehicle.
3. Airstream Interstate Grand Tour
Airstream manufactures both touring coaches and travel trailers, but it’s the former I’m going to focus on, specifically the Interstate Grand Tour. Although this is a spacious vehicle, it’s only meant for two passengers.
So okay, you’ll have to leave some people behind, but you’re getting a ton of awesome features for your troubles.
For instance, there’s the:
- Cooktop and sink that include integrated covers
- Dupont Corian Gallery flip-up shelf and counter with included backsplash
- Towel rack, retractable clothes link, articulated mirror, sink, one-piece shower, and toilet in the bathroom
- Fantastic Fan with an included rain sensor
- Under-bed storage, rear hidden floor storage, an overhead wardrobe closet, a pantry with shelves and built-in drawers, a locking security drawer, and pass-thru rear storage
- Cool bonuses like a power rear sofa, a Blu-Ray player, a Dupont Corian pedestal table, LED lighting that can be turned up or down, power day/night window shades, Magic Suede window and wall coverings, Ultraleather seating, and high-gloss laminate cabinetry
- An eight-inch radio/DVD system with a touchscreen NAV/SAT system, a side and rearview camera monitor, In-Dash maintenance monitoring system, and overhead map lights
Driving is better than ever, too, with the addition of features like:
- Air ride suspension
- Power rear screens
- Power entry step
- Power heated mirrors
- A heated windshield
- Bi-xenon headlights
- Alcoa DuraBright aluminum wheels
- 3M protective film rear bumpers
There’s also an HDMI output and a 110-volt outlet inside the vehicle. Outside, you get an LP accessory hookup for grills and an exterior shower with running cold and hot water.
The way the Airstream Interstate Grand Tour is organized is smart, too. The floorplan will amaze you, as the space in the back is devoted just to sleeping. The kitchen and bathroom are adjacent to one another, and across from that is the stove, sink, countertop, and refrigerator. The storage is towards the back in front of the bedroom.
To really make the Grand Tour your own, you can pick from a variety of design features, such as the exterior color. This can be Arctic White, Brilliant Silver Metallic, or Jet Black. You can also select your cabinetry, flooring, countertops, black seating, and oyster seating, choosing from sets like Light Camel, Beach Wood, and Colombian Walnut.
Still want more? Select from three packages with more customization options:
- The Tommy Bahama Special Edition for those summery treks; this vehicle is priced at about $172,000
- The Lounge EXT touring coach with more storage and room for up to nine passengers; this package is priced at about $166,000
- The Grand Tour EXT, which builds on the features mentioned above and is priced at about $166,000 as well
While the Airstream Interstate Grand Tour isn’t exactly cheap, it’s a reliable, customizable, and low-maintenance camper you and a few lucky friends can enjoy for years to come.
4. Campervan North America
With an awe-inspiring fleet, Campervan North America is another great low-maintenance set of campers. There’s the Clanhauler for large groups, the Bunkhouse with bunk beds, the Two4theroad (which is a modified Dodge Sprinter), the Treasure Chaser (a modded Dodge ProMaster), and the Edelweiss, the tiniest model available.
Let’s take a look at the Clanhauler. After all, Campervan calls this its “biggest, baddest campervan yet,” so it must be good. Plus, as the name implies, it’s meant for plenty of passengers, so feel free to bring your family and friends!
Here are some of the Clanhauler’s stats and features:
- Can achieve more than 20 miles per gallon and more than 32 kpg
- Has space for at least five people (some of which are meant to be children for optimal room)
- Includes a spacious kitchen sink and a refrigerator that’s three cubic feet
- A diesel marine heater and stove allows for keeping the RV toasty and/or cooking and warming food
- A marine shower and toilet for taking the luxuries of home with you on the road
The Clanhauler, which is a customized long wheelbase Mercedes/Freightliner, has quite the floorplan. The biggest bed is 74×69, while the medium bed is 66×44, and the smallest bed is 66×27 (which is still not too shabby).
The beds are directly at the back of the camper. There’s also a spacious sofa bed across from the gallery counter with the stove and sink as well as an adjacent storage cabinet. Close by is the bathroom, complete with the shower and toilet, and across from that is the refrigerator.
Want accessories? You’ll be charged to use these, but some of them are worth it:
- Atlas ($3)
- Egear rechargeable lantern ($5)
- Backpack sleeping pad ($5)
- Roll-a-table ($7)
- Binoculars ($15)
- Extra chairs ($4 each)
- Coolers ($4 each)
- Dutch oven ($15)
- Four-person tent ($40)
- Propane stove ($20)
Now, there are a couple of things that Campervan North America does differently from the other camper brands we’ve seen so far. First, all their campers have the same exterior. They’re all white with tinted black windows and a black plastic front bumper. They all feature the Campervan logo on the sides as well. Some models have the back windows covered and others don’t.
Here’s the biggest difference, though: you can’t buy a Campervan. They’re only available for rent. You can visit a Campervan North America site and choose the model you want, when you plan to pick up the vehicle, and when you plan to drop it off.
Pickups/drop-offs are only available in these locations:
- Las Vegas
If you’re already on the road, dropping off your Campervan is no problem. That said, if you don’t live near any of those cities or towns, getting a Campervan can be decidedly trickier.
That’s not to say these aren’t worth considering. After all, what’s more low-maintenance than a camper that you can call your own for a while but don’t have to take care of long-term?
5. Hymer Aktiv
There are three Hymer campers at your disposal: The Aktiv, the improved and more expensive Aktiv 2.0, and the tiny Sonne. Since the Aktiv is the middle-of-the-road choice, it seems the best one to write about out of the three.
As the name might suggest, Hymer is a German brand. These campers are modified versions of other vehicles. The Aktiv, for instance, is a souped-up Ram ProMaster 2500 (like a lot of these). That said, the floorplan for the Aktiv is especially spacious.
Before I get into that, though, let’s dive into the specs:
- Room for up to four passengers
- A V6, 24-valve 3.6L gas engine
- A 72.5×55.5 fixed queen bed
- A cassette toilet with 4.6-gallon capacity
- A graywater tank that can hold 22.9 gallons as well as a freshwater tank that can hold 30 gallons
- VoltStart auto-start battery
- A 24-inch HD flat-screen TV with a rotating bracket
- A two-burner propane stove with a 12-volt, 3.1-cubic foot refrigerator and a 700-watt microwave
- A 5.9-gallon propane tank
- A 14,300-BTU Truma Combi air and water heater as well as a 110-volt 11,000-BTU air conditioner
- Carbon monoxide, propane, and smoke detectors
- A fully-enclosed bathroom
- A 12-foot power awning
The chassis comes with its own set of features, among them:
- 16-inch aluminum polished wheels
- Power front door windows
- Six-speed 6S TE transmission
- Telescopic steering
- A stability program with hillstart assistance, electronic stability control, rollover mitigation, engine drag control, trailer swaying, drift compensation, sway assistance, and wind assistance
- Interior LED lights
- Climate control
Now let’s circle back to that floorplan. What’s so great about it? The Aktiv boasts both a daytime layout and a nighttime layout. Hymer’s daytime layout includes a retractable dinette with couch seating, a storage closet behind that, the kitchen adjacent to that, and then clothing storage towards the back of the vehicle.
The nighttime layout allows room for a bed that pulls out from the retractable dinette as well as a second spacious bed where the clothing storage is.
You’re probably wondering, can you customize it? Of course you can! You can select from exterior hues like Silver Metallic, Sandstone Pearl (which is pink!), and Granite Metallic. That said, you do have to pay for each paintjob.
Inside, you can pick your own countertops, upholstery, cabinetry, and flooring. Depending on the package you choose, this is at no extra cost to you.
You can also add VoltStart (for $1,897), solar panels (for $3,050), folding mattresses (for $845) and an EcoTrek 400 Power Module (for $5,092). If you want power door steps, be prepared to shell out an extra $783.
Pricing begins at $92,814.
The RV life is generally a pretty minimalist one, but that doesn’t mean there’s no hard work involved. You probably spend a lot of time keeping your RV running just right. With the five campers above, you don’t have to put nearly as much effort into maintaining your vehicle.
These campers are smaller and often pretty efficient. Not only that, but most of them are completely customizable as well, so you can decide which features are most important to you and ensure you have them.
Driving your RV should be about having fun. With these cool little campers, you can enjoy yourself no matter where your travels take you.
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