10 Off-Road RVs and 4x4 Camper Vans for Van-Life Living (2023)

| Car Lists

Get off the beaten track, and take your home with you in these vehicles.

Benjamin HuntingWriter

Do you really want to get away from it all? Why not escape civilization from behind the wheel of an off-road RV, a vehicle that's rugged enough to tackle the trail while transporting all the comforts of home in one tough package?

Off-road motorhomes, and the 4x4 camper vans that are a subset of this unique group of vehicles, combine the thrill of exploration with the certainty that you won't have to rough it no matter how nasty the terrain outside might get. Which off-road RVs and 4X4 vans are worth a second look? These 10 go-anywhere campers are your ticket to overlanding in style and luxury.

(Video) 10 Newest 4x4 Adventure Vans with Heavy-Duty Equipment for Remote Camping Locations

Sportsmobile Classic 4x4

Sportsmobile's flagship off-road 4WD camper is the Classic 4x4, a vehicle based on the bones of Ford's full-size E-Series van. Although no longer in production from the Ford mothership, there are hundreds of thousands of rolling E-Series chassis out there from which Sportsmobile can build its near-unstoppable RV.

Like the Ford F-Series pickup, the E-Series features a rugged, body-on-frame design, which gives it enough strength to deal with whatever the trail might throw its way (along with making it easy to install a body lift and a four-wheel-drive system). Since Sportsmobile primarily makes use of cutaway vans, it can slide its own fiberglass camping compartment onto the vehicle's frame and kit it out exactly to each customer's specifications (including a pop-top). Under the hood, V-8 or V-10 power guarantees enough grunt to lug the entire setup across hill and dale.

10 Off-Road RVs and 4x4 Camper Vans for Van-Life Living (3)

Winnebago 4x4 Revel

Winnebago has always been at the cutting edge when it comes to mainstream RV design, so it's no surprise the company has jumped into off-road adventure camping with both tires. The 4x4 Revel is an approachable way for four-wheel drive fans to snag a fully warrantied, luxurious overlanding van that's been designed for turnkey fun.

The Revel 44E makes use of the 4WD version of the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van platform, matched with its fuel-sipping turbodiesel V-6 engine. Packed with a full galley and Winnebago's space-saving "Power Lift" bed (that provides extra storage underneath while at the campsite), the Revel 4x4 packs in all the comforts of home, downsized into an easy-to-handle van package that's just as capable off-road as on.

10 Off-Road RVs and 4x4 Camper Vans for Van-Life Living (4)

American Safari JXL Conversion

Not all 4x4 campers rise from van-oriented roots. The American Safari JXL Conversion instead relies on an American icon—the four-door version of the Jeep Wrangler—to provide an incredible combination of camping capability and off-road prowess.

(Video) INSANE OFF-ROAD VAN CONVERSION // An IN-DEPTH Look At THE ULTIMATE CUSTOM CAMPERVAN ⛰️🚐

Keen eyes will notice the JXL Conversion is longer than a standard Wrangler (15 inches, in fact), with the additional stretch used to house the vehicle's pop-up camper top that conceals not just a split-level sleeping area but also a dining table and small kitchen area to complement your cook stove. It also boosts cargo space by 50 percent, which means even when you're not loaded up for the trail head, the JXL Conversion remains useful in day-to-day life.

10 Off-Road RVs and 4x4 Camper Vans for Van-Life Living (5)

EarthRoamer LTi

There's a sweet spot in terms of proportion and price before luxurious off-road RVs go completely bonkers, and in it lie vehicles like the EarthRoamer LTi. The vehicle's plus-size, hardened chassis, and forged-in-fire four-wheel-drive system are provided by its Ford F-550 heavy-duty platform, and it wears a generous, fully self-contained habitat on its back that can easily accommodate a family (or more) wherever the path ahead might lead.

The camper body itself is made out of carbon fiber, while flush-mounted side windows help block both the sun's glare and winter's chill to provide true four-season camping capability. Keep the snow brushed off the roof-mounted solar array, and there's no telling how many weeks you can go off-grid before you'll need to truck on into town to fill up the EarthRoamer's 95-gallon diesel tank.

10 Off-Road RVs and 4x4 Camper Vans for Van-Life Living (6)

ModVan

ModVan has focused on the Ford Transit as its preferred canvas for building an array of trail-friendly off-road RVs. The name of the company comes from its modular design practice that allows owners to quickly reconfigure its vans (the CV1, the CV1/X, the CV1/M, and the MH1) for passenger duty, cargo, or camping—improving versatility for those who can only justify one big family vehicle in their fleet.

Relying on stacked sleeping areas, a curtained toilet, and an ultra-compact kitchen to cover as many van camping bases as possible, ModVans come in a variety of different Ford Transit roof heights (including pop-tops that can accommodate cargo pods). The company also gives buyers the choice of sticking with Ford's available all-wheel-drive system or going for a more hardcore 4x4 conversion.

10 Off-Road RVs and 4x4 Camper Vans for Van-Life Living (7)

(Video) 10 Best Luxurious Class-B Camper Vans For Van Life With Bathrooms

Sportsmobile Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 4x4

Sportsmobile doesn't just rely on retro van designs for its wares. The company is also in on the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter camper craze with its 4x4 conversion of that popular model. Featuring low-range gearing and of course diesel power under the hood, the Sportsmobile Sprinter 4x4 also boasts a mild lift to improve ground clearance without pushing its center of gravity up to the point where it becomes unwieldy.

As with the Classic 4x4, the Sprinter 4x4 is available with the full range of Sportsmobile gear, including auxiliary lighting, extra storage, a pop-up tent, a snorkel, and a livable interior. The van can be ordered in both short- and long-wheelbase models, the latter a little less capable when it comes to tackling rocks and switchbacks.

10 Off-Road RVs and 4x4 Camper Vans for Van-Life Living (8)

Global Expedition Vehicles Safari Extreme 4X4 RV

Sometimes pickup platforms and van bodies are a little too cute for your off-road motorhome needs. Enter the medium-duty truck platforms used by Global Expedition Vehicles when building the Safari Extreme 4X4 RV—specifically, the International Freightliner and Kenworth monsters that tower above the competition, and of course, the local wildlife.

The advantages to a medium-duty camper are obvious: When you're driving something as big as your house, it's only natural that the RV's interior dimensions would match. The Safari Extreme is more than just muscle, though; it deploys a "kinetic mounting system" that allows the chassis to flex while keeping the camper body rigid, which means you won't blow out windows or dump plates on the floor while tackling moguls or inclines. Oh, and there are granite countertops and an optional steam oven in the cards, too.

Pleasure-Way Rekon 4x4

The Pleasure-Way Rekon 4x4 is perhaps the most direct competitor to the Winnebago Revel 4x4 mentioned earlier, but this Canadian conversion camper goes a bit bigger than its U.S. rival. Although Pleasure-Way uses the same Mercedes-Benz Sprinter four-wheel-drive platform, the Rekon features a split-folding bed that's substantially larger than that found in the Revel without sacrificing valuable storage space in what Pleasure-Way dubs the "garage", or the area beneath the bed itself.

The balance between storage and personal space is seen throughout the Rekon, which also uses stretch netting wherever possible to take advantage of the Sprinter's natural contours. Keep in mind that it's designed for two, not four, which is apparent when examining its paired seats and sleeping areas versus more family-focused fare.

10 Off-Road RVs and 4x4 Camper Vans for Van-Life Living (10)

(Video) Off-road campervan - we review RP Motorhomes' new 4x4 Mercedes-based campervan: the Rebel 4x4

EarthRoamer XV-HD

If you have enough budget to fund an indie movie and a driveway big enough to film one in, you might be interested in the EarthRoamer XV-HD. The last rung on the RV ladder before you get to Medium Duty territory, the XV-HD features a Ford F-750 chassis and a turbodiesel V-8 engine that guarantee access to all but the tightest of off-road locations.

With a price tag that approaches $2 million, this EarthRoamer also ensures exclusivity, as it's unlikely you'd cross paths with a second XV-HD captain while commandeering your way across the wilderness. The vehicle features no less than five floor plan options, each of which can be custom crafted to a buyer's exact specifications.

10 Off-Road RVs and 4x4 Camper Vans for Van-Life Living (11)

Outside Van

Outside Van is based on a simple premise: No one knows more about what you want in a 4x4 adventure camper than you do. As a result, the company doesn't feature specific models, floor plans, or configurations. Instead, it connects customers with its craftspeople so they can build them the 4WD camper of their dreams.

Relying on the tried and tested Mercedes-Benz Sprinter four-wheel-drive van, Outside Van works directly with buyers during every step of the process. Although that might sound like it could slow down the assembly line, the company still churns out about a hundred vans each year, or just under one van every three days. Whether you're looking for a winch-wearing, Fox-shocks-equipped dune basher or an elegant, woodwork-laden escape parlor, Outside Van has a reputation for delivering in the van camping community.

FAQs

Do they make 4x4 RVs? ›

Is There a 4×4 RV? Yes! If you like off-roading and RVing, you're in luck. Some RV manufacturers make rugged RVs that are perfect for backcountry RVing.

Is there a van with 4x4? ›

Yes! If you're searching for one, you're in luck. Mercedes-Benz is currently the only manufacturer that produces a 4WD van, the Sprinter, but you can also enjoy the recently released AWD Ford Transit. Fortunately, both of them don't cost too much more than their respective stock models.

How much money do you need to live a van life? ›

Once you're in a van, you'll probably be spending between $1,000 and $3,000 a month. This cost will depend on how much gas you use, how much you spend on food and plenty of other costs. You can keep these costs down by doing things like using free campsites and eating cheaply.

What is the best offroad RV? ›

Here is a list of the best off-road motorhomes in the market to help you choose the right one for your next RV adventure.
  • EarthCruiser Extreme XTR 250.
  • EarthRoamer XV-HD.
  • Sportsmobile Classic 4×4.
  • Mercedes-Benz Zetros 2733 A 6×6.
  • Global Expedition Vehicles Adventure Trucks.
  • UNICAT Terracross.
  • Tiger Adventure Vehicles Bengal.
Sep 29, 2021

How much does a 4x4 van conversion cost? ›

A 4x4 conversion costs $15-$20k depending on who's doing it. A hard high top install costs $6000-$10000 depending on the size and options. Pop tops cost $12000-$16000 depending on options.

Does anyone make a full size 4x4 van? ›

We focus on the need of our customers for a go-anywhere, large load capacity, full-size 4×4 van. Whether you are a large fleet, small business, government, emergency service, transportation & tourism, or an individual, Quigley 4×4 vans provide the ability to Conquer Your World.

What companies make 4x4 vans? ›

We go over their drivetrain, price range, and why they make a good platform for a van build.
...
Here Are The 10 Best 4×4 & AWD Vans To Turn Into Campervans:
  • Mercedes Sprinter. ...
  • Ford Transit. ...
  • Chevy Express/GMC Savana. ...
  • Chevy Astro/GMC Safari. ...
  • Toyota Sienna. ...
  • Chrysler Pacifica.
Apr 16, 2022

Does anyone make an AWD van? ›

All-wheel drive gives you the confidence to tote around the whole family, and their gear, throughout almost any condition. Motorists looking for a minivan with all-wheel drive will only find two options: the 2021 Toyota Sienna and the 2021 Chrysler Pacifica.

Do van life people pay taxes? ›

While van life may provide the freedom from routine and greater mobility you crave, that freedom doesn't extend to taxes. Van life or not, you still have the responsibility for paying taxes on any income you earned in the previous year by the same deadline as everyone else.

Is van life cheaper than an apartment? ›

Van life can be cheaper than renting if you buy a used vehicle, renovate it yourself, and furnish it with inexpensive items. Since rental rates are so high, even if you choose to purchase new, more costly products, you will likely still save some money, but not as much.

Is van life considered homeless? ›

In the HUD definition for homeless, cars are “not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation.” Though vans are not mentioned, generally speaking, they are “not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation.” Thus, persons sleeping overnight in cars or vans are homeless.

Which 4x4 is best for offroad? ›

Best 4x4s and off-road cars
  • Toyota Land Cruiser.
  • Subaru Forester.
  • Fiat Panda 4x4.
  • Skoda Yeti.
  • Land Rover Discovery Sport.
  • Mercedes G-Class.
  • Land Rover Defender.
  • Jeep Renegade.
Oct 18, 2022

What is the absolute best off-road vehicle? ›

Our 2022 List Best of New Off-Road Trucks — The Dirty Dozen
  • 2022 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2. Starting Price: $42,900 | Rating: 4.1. ...
  • 2022 Ram 2500 Power Wagon. ...
  • 2022 Ford F-150 Raptor. ...
  • 2022 Ram 1500 TRX. ...
  • 2022 Ford Ranger Tremor. ...
  • 2022 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon. ...
  • 2022 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro. ...
  • 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 AT4X.

What van is best in snow? ›

If you need a van that can drive through snow, the Transit is perhaps your best bet. This is because the Transit has everything you'll need to travel safely with no issues. The Transit's design means it is well-balanced while driving.

What is the most reliable off-road 4x4? ›

The 10 Most Reliable 4×4 Trucks
  • Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road. Toyota offers a great model built on its highly rated Tacoma midsize truck platform. ...
  • Chevy Colorado ZR2 Bison. ...
  • Ford F-150 Raptor. ...
  • Chevy Silverado 1500 Z71. ...
  • Ram 1500 Rebel. ...
  • Jeep Gladiator. ...
  • GMC Sierra 1500 AT4. ...
  • GMC Sierra 3500HD.
Nov 19, 2021

Which RV is best for cold weather? ›

Best Cold Weather RVs for Winter
  • Windjammer 3008W Travel Trailer. ...
  • Forest River Arctic Wolf. ...
  • Northwood Arctic Fox. ...
  • Jayco Redhawk 26XD. ...
  • Keystone Raptor. ...
  • Jayco 327CKTS Eagle. ...
  • Heartland Bighorn. ...
  • Keystone Montana.
Jan 28, 2022

What is the best month to buy an RV? ›

Well, the slow season for RV sales begins at the end of September. That said, we recommend waiting until at least October. During October and November, sales nosedive, leading to some pretty good discounts. December and January are even slower, making them the best months for RV shopping.

Is it cheaper to buy a campervan or convert a van? ›

Is it cheaper to convert a campervan than buy one? The answer is, yes. DIY conversions can save you a lot of money, and you can simply convert the van to whatever standards your budget allows. You'll save loads on labour costs by converting your own van too.

Is it cheaper to buy a camper van or convert one? ›

That is because, no matter which way you cut it, campervan conversions are always the cheaper option. The demand for campervans and the person-hours it takes to build one make pre-built vans prohibitively expensive for most people.

Can you sleep in a conversion van while driving? ›

No, unless you can sleep sitting up. The law is strict about the use of seat belts while riding in a moving vehicle. As such, passengers can't lie down to sleep while the van is in motion.

Are there AWD RVs? ›

These are Recreational Utility Vehicles with All-Wheel Drive, so you get an easier driving RV with all the amenities of home you can take anywhere. Go where you want to go, when you want to go with an AWD™ RV from Motor Home Specialist! Create magical experiences in an All-Wheel Drive RV!

Can you convert a Class C RV to 4x4? ›

Many classes of RVs can be converted from 2WD to 4WD. The most popular types of RVs that are converted to a 4×4 are Camper Vans, Class B RVs, and Class C RVs. Some RVs have six wheels. Two wheels are in front and four wheels are in the back on dual rear axles.

How much does a SLRV cost? ›

SLRV sells the Commander 4x4 for a starting price of roughly $435,000, and also offers a huge eight-wheel RV with a second floor.

What companies make 4x4 vans? ›

We go over their drivetrain, price range, and why they make a good platform for a van build.
...
Here Are The 10 Best 4×4 & AWD Vans To Turn Into Campervans:
  • Mercedes Sprinter. ...
  • Ford Transit. ...
  • Chevy Express/GMC Savana. ...
  • Chevy Astro/GMC Safari. ...
  • Toyota Sienna. ...
  • Chrysler Pacifica.
Apr 16, 2022

Videos

1. 4x4 Camper Van vs 2WD Camper Van for Off Road Van Life | Adventure in a Backpack
(EXPLORIST life - DIY Campers)
2. 10 Rugged Expedition Vehicles and Off-Road Camper Vans
(MINDS EYE DESIGN)
3. Top 5 Best 4x4 Adventure Van for Any Off-Road Destination
(Outdoor Zone)
4. Ford Transit AWD vs Mercedes Sprinter 4x4 | Why We Bought a Transit Camper Van
(We're the Russos)
5. 5 Offroad Camper Vans starting at only $55,000 – Living the Affordable 4x4 Van Life
(EXPLORER Magazine International)
6. Top 10 Campers with Award-winning Designs (Brief Overview of Best Features)
(Must See Tech)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Jamar Nader

Last Updated: 09/24/2022

Views: 6018

Rating: 4.4 / 5 (75 voted)

Reviews: 82% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Jamar Nader

Birthday: 1995-02-28

Address: Apt. 536 6162 Reichel Greens, Port Zackaryside, CT 22682-9804

Phone: +9958384818317

Job: IT Representative

Hobby: Scrapbooking, Hiking, Hunting, Kite flying, Blacksmithing, Video gaming, Foraging

Introduction: My name is Jamar Nader, I am a fine, shiny, colorful, bright, nice, perfect, curious person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.