Fuel-Saving Hacks for Small Van Owners: Boosting MPG to the Max
The bigger a vehicle is, the more fuel it takes to drive around. A small van takes up more fuel than an average sedan-size car. And considering the costs of fuel nowadays, it makes sense for everyone to maximize their fuel efficiency and look for ways to reduce gas consumption while on the road.
In this post, let’s take a look at some fuel saving hacks for small van owners. The best thing about these hacks is that they don’t involve things that you have to go out of your way to do. Rather, they’re just habits and practices that you can easily incorporate into your existing driving and van-keeping routine.
Let’s get right into it.
Fuel Saving Hacks for Small Van: Easy Tips to Follow
We did our research and found quite a bit of fuel-saving hacks from reliable sources. We’ve decided to compile and discuss some of the most practical and important ones.
With that said, here is our list of small van owners fuel saving hacks.
1. Keep Your Small Van Maintained
If you keep your small van maintained the way it should be, it can save you quite a bit of fuel in the long run.
Of course, the word “maintain” has quite a broad application when it comes to automobiles. We’ll single out a few of the main components that you should focus on keeping in tip-top shape. We will also talk about just how exactly the non-maintenance of said items can result in lower MPG.
Those components are:
These components aren’t really “uniform” in that they are not the same size and are not located in the same place in the vehicle. At least, not the tires.
Busted spark plugs typically have far more serious consequences than just a lower fuel economy. When a spark plug fails to perform its job properly, it doesn’t ignite the fuel-air mixture that fills up in the piston chamber. This ignition is the main driving force that propels the crankshaft to rotate. With this out of the running, the overall performance of the engine can get reduced and a whole lot of fuel can go to waste i.e., by not being properly ignited and not contributing to the working of the engine. This lowers the MPG. That is why you have to keep all the spark plugs in proper working.
The oil filter is responsible for cleaning and smoothly supplying the oil to the engine’s components so that they can move easily. When the oil filter gets damaged and does not work the way it is supposed to, the engine components don’t get lubricated enough. This results in the engine putting in more effort to get the same job done – and this means that more fuel gets used up. If your oil filters are in perfect working condition, this anomaly doesn’t arise.
Understanding the role of maintained tires in higher MPG isn’t that difficult. When your tires have proper treads and are properly inflated, they move quickly and easily. The vehicle’s engine makes the effort it has to, and the wheels turn just fine. On the other hand, if the treads are busted and if the tires are not turning or gripping well, it means that the engine has to put in more work. This means that more fuel is spent, and the overall MPG is reduced.
Now that we’ve looked at these components in detail, we can appreciate just how helpful to your van’s MPG it can be to keep them maintained and properly working.
Mind you, while we have mentioned these three components here, it doesn’t mean that the rest of the parts are expendable and don’t have to be taken care of. For a good MPG, you should just keep your van in tip-top shape from every aspect.
Keeping the vehicle maintained is perhaps the main and major answer to the question of “how to save fuel for van.” There are others as well, of course, which we will now discuss below.
2. Find Out and Avoid the Rush Hour Traffic
If you have to use your small van on a daily basis, you should try your utmost to avoid doing it during the rush hour.
During the rush hour, you have to constantly halt and move, halt and move, and inch your way along the roads to get to your destination. The engine gets put under a lot of strain and the fuel consumption is at an all-time high.
When a car is moving along at a high cruising speed, the engine adjusts and adapts itself for better fuel consumption. It doesn’t have to work as much, and everything gets “streamlined.”
Plus, when you’re stuck in a busy road during the rush hour, your engine is idling away a lot. That also uses up a lot of unnecessary fuel. (We’ll talk about this one in detail in the next point.)
The bottom line is: if you want to improve your small van’s MPG, schedule your drives when the roads are calm, and you can move along comfortably without constantly braking.
3. Avoid Reckless and Rash Driving
This is yet another small but significant habit that small van owners can adopt to improve their overall MPG.
Rash and reckless driving practices i.e., such as sudden, needless, and excessive braking or revving, can hurt the van’s overall fuel consumption.
For instance, when you rev standing in place (in neutral – when waiting for the light to go green, etc.), the RPM of your engine still goes up and that means more fuel is spent even though there is no output from said fuel.
In the same way, driving with excessive and needless harsh brakes can also use up more fuel. When the engine makes the effort to pick up the speed after slowing down, it uses up a considerable amount of fuel. The same situation, when tackled sensibly, can involve a lighter braking approach and a gentler rev, which would result in better fuel usage.
For boosting MPG to max, it’s often these types of passive and seemingly minor driving habits that can help you out the most.
4. Minimize Idling Time
Idling is basically the state when your car’s engine is running but the vehicle itself is not in motion. For example, if you are in heavy traffic and are stuck in one spot, your engine will be idling considering that it is on and working, but the car is not moving.
In some situations, it’s fine to leave your engine idling. For instance, if you are in a traffic jam that has you stuck in one place for minutes at a time, you can leave your engine to idle since turning the van off and on again would actually be more harmful to fuel consumption.
However, there are some unhealthy idling habits that a lot of people can have and that you can focus on avoiding/breaking to maximize MPG. The steps to avoid these habits are, effectively, fuel saving hacks for small van owners.
If you are stopping at a store/shop – even if it is for a short period of time – you should turn the van off. It is a fairly common habit in such situations for one person to go inside, get their stuff, and come out while the driver keeps the car running.
If you are someplace on a road where you know how long you have to stay in place before moving again, you should turn your engine off while waiting. For example, at busier intersections, the traffic light has a time indicator that shows when the color will change. If you see that there are a couple of minutes left on the timer, you should turn the engine off and then on again before a few seconds are left.
During the cold winters, drivers often start up the engines and let them idle for some time. The purpose of this is to warm the engine up so that it functions properly during the drive. While this is an okay thing to do (even necessary), you should be careful about only letting the engine idle for the time it needs to warm up and not more than that.
It is worth noting that in some newer vehicles, there is an automatic stop-start system that allows the engine to turn off during prolonged idling times e.g., when the vehicle comes to a stop and the brake is released. The engine can then quickly restart when needed if the driver simply presses the accelerator (or the clutch, for manual transmission).
You won’t have to worry a lot about the above-mentioned tips if your van comes with this system.
If you are careful about how you drive, how often and how much you let your engine idle, and which time of the day you choose for your trips, you have most of the fuel saving hacks for small van owners down already.
That, of course, paired with regular maintenance of the van’s engine will help boost the fuel efficiency to the max.
The Best Appliances for a Functional Welfare Van Kitchen
When you’re gearing out a welfare van’s kitchen, you need to make do with a very compact space. There isn’t much room that you can work with, which means that you have to be smart about the appliances that you put in there.
In this blog post, let’s take a look at some of the best appliances for functional van kitchen that you can choose to make the most out of your off-road cooking experiences.
1. Portable Stove/Hob
A campervan stove top is one of the most important things that you need to include in your welfare van kitchen. Not specifically a stove top, per se, as much as an appliance that you can reliably use for cooking or heating purposes. This can also be a hob or a large oven + stove combo, etc.
In most cases, a stove or hob is where you start off a cooking experience. You can make do without a lot of other typical kitchen appliances when you’re out on the road but a stove/hob is not one of those.
Depending on the size of your van as well as the budget that you’re looking to spend on this, there are different types of products that you can go for. We will talk about that in some detail before moving on.
The “basic stovetop/hob” is the name we’re giving to the cooking appliance that consists of just the top area i.e., the burners, without any additional attachments (oven, storage, etc.).
There are many benefits to getting a simple and compact stovetop for functional vans for kitchen. For one, they are light and easy to move around. They are also easier to clean and maintain – all of which are major upsides for appliances that you have to use in remote, makeshift settings.
The absence of extra attachments i.e., storage cabinets or oven, beneath the stovetop can be handy since you can just haul the stovetop on an existing counter or surface without worrying about creating a specific space for it.
There are two main categories that campervan stovetops can be divided into vis-à-vis the way they are powered/operated.
Depending on the exact size or type of the vehicle you’re working with (as well as the electricity or power set-up you have), one of these can be a better choice than the other.
Gas & Electrical Stoves/Hobs
Using gas stoves/hobs is common in vehicles like RVs and welfare vans, etc. They run off of propane tanks that are stored inside the vehicle.
There are different upsides and downsides to getting gas stoves/hobs. The main benefit is that they have fuel of their own and are not dependent on the electrical system of the vehicle. They are also reliable and can be used to cook just about anything that a normal home stove can be used for.
These upsides can be understood better in contrast with electrical stoves and hobs. Electrical stoves have to run off on electricity – which is typically generated by the vehicle’s solar powering system (bigger vehicles like RVs usually need to have this type of system for all the electrical appliances).
While this is beneficial in that there are no propane tanks – and their concomitant dangers – involved, it does mean that the stove becomes dependent on the already-burdened power system.
It’s important to weigh the pros and cons of both so that you get the best gas hob for campervan. You should get the type that is most suited to your particular vehicle.
Stove + Oven/Storage
If the space inside the van allows it, it can be worth it to bring a whole stove unit inside there. A stove unit, as we’re calling it, is basically a stovetop joined with a downstairs oven/cabinet compartment.
Just as we categorized the stove tops and hobs into electric and gas ones, the same categorization applies here as well. You can find full-size stoves for welfare vans in both configurations.
The main benefit of using a bigger stove as compared to a smaller hob is that you get to enjoy more functionality with the oven. You can prepare a much more diverse range of food than you could with just some simple burners.
The downside, on the other hand, is that it takes up space and it can be a bit of a pain to move around.
2. Portable refrigerator
We did talk quite a bit about stoves and hobs above, but it is justified considering how important they are.
Another important appliance that you should never forget for your welfare van is a portable refrigerator.
Wherever there is food, there is a need for a fridge. Here are some of the main reasons that you should not skip getting a fridge for your welfare van kitchen.
A fridge in your welfare van can help your food go longer without getting spoilt.
By letting you store groceries, a fridge can also make it possible for you to cook meals yourself whenever you feel like it…which is pretty much the purpose of a welfare van. Apart from this, the other option is to eat out – something which people want to avoid due to health and safety reasons.
For the same reason cited in the point above, having a fridge can also mean saving money on the go. Buying raw foodstuff in bulk, storing them away in a fridge, and cooking meals as you go can help you save a lot of money.
How to buy the best fridge for your functional welfare kitchen?
If you want to make sure that you go right with your choice when buying a fridge:
Buy a fridge that has the capacity you need. It’s not much use buying one that does not provide you with the space that you require while you’re out and away.
Along with getting the capacity that you need; you should also look at the size of the appliance itself. Your fridge should neither be so small as to constrict the space inside nor should be so big as to not fit inside the van.
The wattage and power requirements are also something that you have to keep an eye out for when buying a fridge for your welfare van. You should get one that can comfortably and easily run on the setup that you’ve created.
You have to create and follow criteria like these if you want to get your hands on the best appliances for functional van kitchen.
3. Coffee Maker
Compared to the somewhat wide usage/purpose that stoves and fridges serve, it can sound a bit specific when we talk about coffee makers now.
Having a coffee maker in your van kitchen can be a great idea. It can help make your breakfast complete and also let you get a cup whenever you feel like it during the day. Making coffee without a maker can be a bit of a hassle on its own but even more so when it has to be done in a van kitchen.
A coffee maker saves you from that hassle.
When it comes to choosing one for your kitchen, you can actually follow the same pointers that we mentioned for fridges above. Make sure that the coffee maker you pick has the capacity you need, is decent sized for your kitchen, and has a suitable power consumption, etc.
When we mention “storage” as one of the best appliances for functional van kitchen, we mean storage units and spaces that you can install in and around the kitchen area.
You can never have enough storage in a welfare van. There is always a need to store things – especially in the kitchen. It can be anything from utensils and cutlery, etc., to food and drink.
Here are some storage appliance ideas that you can try out for your functional van kitchen.
Shelves: Installing shelves in the kitchen area is a smart way to increase the overall storage space while keeping things tidy and compact. You can line the shelves up against the walls to keep them unobstructive, and they can be handy spaces for you to keep the kitchen items.
Overhead cabinets: Along with shelves, overhead cabinets are also one of the best appliances for van kitchen that you can get (in terms of storage). Cabinets are just as handy as shelves except that they keep the stored items secure and in place.
Hooks and knife strips: Small items like cups, spoons and knives can annoyingly take up space when they don’t have their own dedicated storage. You can install things like spoon/cup hooks and magnetic knife strips to give these items a place of their own.
Best Appliances for Functional Van Kitchen | Final Thoughts
While there is a lot of other stuff that you can get for your functional van kitchen, the ones we’ve discussed above are pretty much the most important. If you are thinking about setting a kitchen up, make sure you have a nice hob, fridge, coffee maker, and storage spaces all ready.
Top Tips for a Smooth Journey: Taking Your Van on the Euro Tunnel
Traveling across borders with a van can prove to be an exciting adventure, offering a sense of exploration and freedom like no other. Whether you want to go on a road trip through picturesque landscapes or want to conduct business in multiple countries, taking a van on Euro Tunnel can provide an efficient and convenient way to cross the English Channel. Here are some top tips to consider before driving your van into the Euro Tunnel.
As with any journey, the key to a successful trip is proper planning. Before heading to the Euro Tunnel, make sure to research the schedules, availability, and booking procedures. The Euro tunnel operates multiple services throughout the day, but the peak travel times can fill up quickly. Booking your slot in advance not just guarantees you a spot on the train but also saves you money compared to last-minute bookings.
Check vehicle requirements
Before you embark on the adventure, ensure that your van meets the Euro Tunnel’s vehicle requirements. Motorhomes, vans, and larger vehicles are typically allowed on the Euro Tunnel, but there could be specific weight and size restrictions. Can I take a camper van on the Eurotunnel? Make sure to measure your van carefully and check its weight against the tunnel’s guidelines for avoiding any surprises on the day of travel.
Keep necessary documentation ready
Traveling across international borders requires proper documentation. Make sure that you have a valid vehicle registration, driver’s license, insurance, and any other necessary travel documents for both yourself and any passengers. It would also be a great idea to carry a printed copy of your booking confirmation for the Euro Tunnel.
Securing the load
Can I take a van on Eurotunnel? Of course, you can but you need to meet certain criteria for it. for instance, before driving onto the Euro Tunnel, you need to make sure that your van’s cargo is securely stowed. You need to pack the items tightly and safely to prevent shifting during transit. Secure heavy items in order to prevent them from moving and causing any damage to your van or other vehicles during the journey.
Familiarize yourself with driving regulations
Different countries have then own varying road rules and regulations. Study the driving laws of the countries you are planning to travel through. Make sure that you are familiar with the road signs, speed limits, and any other relevant regulations. This will help you stay safe and avoid any unnecessary fines.
Consider travel insurance
While your regular vehicle insurance would cover the basic requirements, it would be a good move to consider additional travel insurance when you are taking your van abroad. Travel insurance can provide you extra coverage for unexpected events such as breakdowns, accidents, and even in the event of cancellations thereby promising you peace of mind throughout your journey.
Go through your vehicle’s insurance policy documents to check if you have the minimum cover required to take your van to other European countries. Most basic insurance policies provide you with the cover you need to take your car to EU countries. However, you may not be sure of the same level of protection as you have in the UK. You need to also check with your insurance provider that you are covered for delayed or canceled departures through the tunnel, emergency accommodation, and roadside assistance.
Perform a vehicle check
Before embarking on any long journey, make sure to perform a thorough vehicle check. Ensure that your van’s brakes, lights, tires, and fluids are in appropriate condition. Take some time to perform these checks. This will help you prevent breakdowns and ensure a smoother journey. Failing to do so can shoot up the cost to take a van on the Eurotunnel.
Don’t forget to pack the essentials
Keep a well-stocked emergency kit that includes basic items such as the first aid kit, warning triangles, reflective vests, a flashlight, basic tools, and any necessary medications you might need on the trip. Having these essentials can prove to be invaluable in case of emergencies, especially when you are traveling to unfamiliar territories.
Plan rest stops
You need to remember that driving long distances can be tiring. Hence, it is essential that you plan regular rest stops to take breaks, hydrate, and stretch your legs. Don’t forget to research the rest areas along the route. Prepare a rough itinerary for where you will be stopping during the journey. This will give you plenty of opportunities to explore new places and enjoy the journey.
While taking a van on Euro Tunnel, make sure to keep an eye on the weather conditions, the traffic updates, detours, and any potential road closures along your route. Having a reliable GPS navigation system or a smartphone app can help you to navigate through unfamiliar areas with ease.
If you are traveling through different countries with different languages while taking a van on Euro Tunnel, then make sure to learn some basic phrases in the local languages. This will help make communication smoother to help you navigate through any situations where language barriers might arise.
Be mindful of customs regulations
Crossing international borders also implies that you need to go through customs and security checks. Hence, you need to be aware of what items are prohibited in the countries you are visiting. Failing to comply can attract legal issues. The best thing you can do is avoid carrying items that can result in any delays or issues during border crossings.
What items you can’t take in your van while crossing the Euro Tunnel?
Vehicles that are powered by LPG cannot be driven through the Euro Tunnel even if it is your secondary fuel source. Fireworks and firearms are also prohibited. Firearms are permitted only if accompanied by a valid Firearms or Shotgun license. It is mandatory to declare all firearms at check-in. also, you need to remember that taxes and excise duties are payable if you are carrying alcohol, tobacco, or any other goods that have been made for commercial purposes and not personal consumption.
Euro Tunnel rules for vans
Euro Tunnel allocates space in single deck carriage for vehicles that measure higher than 1.85m. Vans traveling through the tunnel are divided into the following categories.
Low van (under 1.85m) – These vans are used for private, tourist, or leisure travel only. The maximum weight allowed for these vans is 3.5 tons.
High van (over 1.85m) – These vans are to be used for tourist, private, or leisure travel only. The maximum weight allowed for these vans is also 3.5 tons.
Campervan – Any vehicle that includes living accommodations such as beds, tables, seats, cooking, and storage facilities is categorized as a camper van.
Taking a van on the Euro tunnel can be a convenient and exciting way to explore new horizons. By following these tips, you can have a smooth journey and you will be well-prepared to navigate through the Euro Tunnel experience with confidence. Remember that awareness of regulations, vehicle maintenance, and proper planning will contribute to a safe and enjoyable trip across the English Channel. You will be able to fully embrace the adventure of traveling with your van through Europe.
The Must-Have Features Every Plumber’s Van Should Have
When it comes to providing top-notch plumbing services, having an organized and well-equipped plumbing van is a must. An efficient plumbing van setup can make a major difference in the efficiency and productivity of the plumber thereby ensuring overall success in the industry.
Plumbers are often on the move attending to various jobs throughout the day. having a well-equipped can ensure that they have all the tools at their fingertips to tackle any plumbing challenge that comes their way. A well-organized van will save time and avoid unnecessary trips back to the shop.
Want to learn how to achieve be efficient and develop a reputation for quick and prompt service? Here are some best features that every plumber’s van should possess.
Ample storage space
One of the primary considerations for a plumbing van setup is to have ample storage space. The van should be equipped with compartments, drawers, and shelves for storing a wide range of plumbing tools as well as spare parts. Having properly organized storage allows the plumbers to quickly locate what they are looking for. Not having to rummage through clutter will certainly result in enhanced job efficiency.
Workbench and tool organization
Including a sturdy workbench inside your van can provide a dedicated space for on-the-spot repairs and installations. Make sure that the workbench is supplemented with a well-thought-out tool organization system ensuring that every tool receives a designated spot and can be accessed easily. This will help you in maintaining all your tools in excellent condition and minimizing the chances of losing or misplacing them.
Plumbing-specific vehicle modifications
For creating the best plumbing van setup, it is essential that you take into account certain vehicle modifications. For instance, you can consider installing durable and corrosion-resistant shelving, racks, and bins for optimizing your van’s interior space and for protecting the plumbing equipment from any damage during transportation. Moreover, you can also opt for customized features such as installing a pipe rack on the roof for efficiently transporting long pipes and materials.
Inventory management system
An efficient plumbing van setup must include an inventory management system for keeping track of all the tools and materials on board. Leveraging technology such as barcode scanners or a mobile inventory tracking app can help the plumbers in maintaining an accurate record of their stock thereby ensuring they never run out of essential supplies during a job.
Invest in good plumbing shelves
Plumbing vans often come across as cramped spaces with too many people moving around. The last thing you would want while running a plumbing business is to place a tool or a wrench conveniently. Since your van is nothing less than a second home, the best thing you can do is stay efficient and keep your items well-stocked to get the job done efficiently and quickly. Having plumbing van shelves is the key to a well-organized van.
Make sure to customize the interiors of your van with good shelving systems. You can include compartments on every sidewall. Don’t forget to have bins on the floor. With enough compartments, you can segregate different tools, spares, and equipment. You can color code the compartments for easy identification or label each item. Don’t forget to leave enough floor space while setting up shelves.
Stack items in order
When you are carrying all the tools of trade everywhere, it just simply implies that you are driving an overloaded vehicle all over the town. Hence, you can consider carrying the basic items you would need every day along with the items you require for your day’s job. Make sure to place the items in order. The most used tools and spares have to be kept in the most accessible location.
Don’t forget to stock the basics
Every plumbing van should always be stocked with the basic tools of the trade. You can consider the standard safety gear you would need including knee pads, safety glasses, and gloves. Don’t forget to carry a basic first-aid kid which is completed with antiseptics, gauze, and other essential aids. Every plumber needs to carry a sharpie, pencil, tape measure, sandpaper, and a pocket level. They also need to carry a voltage tester, voltmeter, solder flux, and drain machine. Press guns, cordless saws, and drills are the must-have power tools. Likewise, you can carry basic hand tools such as a fitting brush, torch, tube cutters, cable saw, hammer, and an Allen Wrench Set.
Invest in the right flooring
The work floor in a plumber’s van is a crucial component for carrying out plumbing work. Your workers enter the cargo area, exit, and prepare their tools for the day on the floor. Hence, you need to take special care while designing the flooring for your van. For instance, while working with grime and chemicals, you need something more than the average padded floor mats for keeping the feet of your workers safe. This is one of the top safety features you would come across in any premium plumber’s van. You will need a material specifically designed for this use. it should be something easy to clean, anti-slip, and must protect the floor against dents from sharp tools and spills.
There are plenty of options available when it comes to protecting your van’s floor while keeping them safe. You can opt for an Aluminum diamond plate or Stabiligrip flooring for instance. Though you may overlook the area, you clearly shouldn’t be while planning to design your plumbing van.
The importance of adequate lighting cannot be ruled out
Once you have designed the layout of your plumbing van, then what next? You need to focus on the lighting. Your work van is meant to be used in all kinds of situations. Hence, it is crucial that there is adequate lighting throughout the day. focus on ensuring that there is overhead lighting. You can hang tap-activated lights on the interior side of your van doors so you can locate what you are looking for regardless of the time of the day.
How do you set up plumbing in a van?
Once you are aware of the must-have features in a plumbing van, here are some steps you need to consider to set up plumbing in a van.
Plan the layout well
Before diving into the setup, it is vital to plan the van’s layout with much care. Consider the number and size of tools, equipment, and materials you carry regularly. Allocate dedicated areas for different categories of items, such as power tools, hand tools, plumbing fixtures, and spare parts.
Install storage solutions
It is best to invest in high-quality shelving units, drawers, and bins that fit the van’s dimensions. Wall-mounted pegboards or magnetic strips can make great additions for organizing smaller tools. Install durable hooks to hang hosed and cables securely, keeping them out of the way when not in use.
Create a mobile workbench
Set a dedicated area in the van to create a mobile workbench. Ensure that it is stable and equipped with a vice or clamping system for securing materials during repairs. Add a good lighting source above the workbench for ensuring better visibility.
Plumbing specific modifications
Consider installing plumbing-specific modifications for optimizing the functionality of your van. For instance, design a pipe rack on the roof to carry tubes and long pipes. You can also consider integrating a water tank for accessing water on the go during emergencies.
Safety should always be your topmost priority! Fasten all the items securely especially heavy tools for preventing them from becoming dangerous projectiles during sudden turns or stops. Keep a first-aid kit and a fire extinguisher within easy reach in case of any emergencies.
A well-equipped plumbing service van setup can significantly enhance a plumber’s productivity, efficiency, and overall success. By including ample storage space, a workbench, plumbing-specific modifications, and an inventory management system, a plumber can create the best plumbing-specific modifications and inventory management system. By following these steps, you can create the best plumbing van setup.
Proper planning and thoughtful organization are crucial for setting up plumbing in a van effectively. With a well-prepared plumbing van, plumbers can easily tackle any plumbing task, providing timely and reliable service to their customers. Investing your time and money in the right van setup can prove to be a game-changer in ensuring a thriving plumbing business.
The Best Vans for Road Trips: Comfortable and Spacious Options for Memorable Journeys
When memorable getaways are mentioned, most people often think about a vacation in the Maldives or Greece on turquoise waters and white sand beaches. It doesn’t have to be that way though. With the best van for road trips, it’s very possible to experience the best time of your life while exploring the UK’s breathtaking countryside.
UK road trips present splendid opportunities to explore picturesque towns, diverse landscapes, and the country’s most historic towns. Whether it’s a family and friends adventure or a solo escapade, finding the right vans for road trips can make all the difference.
In this post, we’ll help you through the process of finding and choosing the right off-road van for your adventure. We’ll highlight the top features of the top contenders and what makes them ideal for road trips.
Choosing The Best Van for Road Trips – What You Need to Consider
Choosing the most ideal van for your off-road adventure in the UK shouldn’t be difficult, bearing in mind what your preferences are. Let’s have a look at the factors that you need to look into it in detail:
a) The van capacity
The choice of vans for road trips as far as capacity is concerned, is dependent on how many companions or how much luggage you’ll bring to your journey. For larger groups of up to eight people, you might want to consider something with a minimum of 9-passenger capacity. And an excellent example here is Volkswagen Transporter Kombi.
On the other hand, if it’s a solo or two-person road trip, you may opt for a small van with a compact interior and more manoeuvrability.
b) Comfort and amenities
Planning to spend longer hours driving? The experience can be nerve-wracking. But with a well-equipped and comfortable van, your road trip will be more enjoyable than tiring. Check out for features such as comfy ergonomic seats, entertainment options, and climate control.
Also, if you’ll be spending your nights in the van, you might want to consider conversion vans for road trips as they offer more sleeping comfort and luxury.
c) Manoeuvrability and handling
The best van for road trips should have easier navigation and manoeuvrability on narrow streets and tight parking spaces. During your UK road trip, you’ll experience different situations with demanding handling challenges. If your van of choice offers better handling, you’ll be more confident on the road and have an easier time navigating any street.
d) Fuel efficiency
When planning long road trips that could go beyond borders, the fuel efficiency of your chosen van needs to be at the top of your list. With more fuel-efficient vans, you can significantly reduce your overall road trip cost with lower environmental impact.
With electric vans booming in the market, you can as well opt for a cost-friendly hybrid option to save your overall fuel expense. The Ford Transit Custom Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV) makes an excellent option, featuring a 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol engine with a 13.6kWh Li-ion battery-powered motor. Alternatively, the fully electric IVECO Daily Electric can cover up to 400km on a full charge and can equally serve as a camper van for road trips.
These are among the key considerations among other factors you may want to look into when looking for an off-road van. Other factors will mostly depend on your preferences, such as the availability of storage compartments, et cetera.
Top 5 Contenders for Best Van for Road Trips In the UK
Now that you know what to look for in a van, let’s have a look at the top van choices that can make your road trips more memorable. We selected these vans because of their tested and proven performance in terms of reliability, practicality, and versatility.
Whether you are after luxury, practicality, reliability or affordability, you are sure to find the best van for road trips from our top contenders.
1. Volkswagen Transporter: The Reliable Companion
Volkswagen is a trusted German brand name, known for producing high-performance and reliable vehicles in the market. Road trip enthusiasts are increasingly opting for these vans for their solid build and unwavering reliability on performance.
Volkswagen Transporter Campervans offer numerous features making them ideal for road trip adventures. They come in a variety of engine options to offer power and fuel efficiency suited for a range of needs. They’re skilfully built with customizable roomy interiors to accommodate a sleeping area, storage, and dining space.
These vans can carry up to 1,292kg load and comfortably accommodate 9 passengers. It offers sufficient space to load up all your road trip luggage and still has more room for passengers. The load-carrying capacity greatly depends on the van model, ranging between 749kg and 1,292kg.
Powered by a reliable 2.0-litre TDI turbodiesel engine with output ranging between 84hp and 204hp, this van offers a reliable and consistent power output. Its versatile design allows it to double as a comfy living space and a practical transportation mode.
To make your road trip more comfortable, the VW Transporter is equipped with air conditioning, heating, comfortable seats, and a small fridge. With the latest VW MIB3 technology, the van has a Discover Media system featuring an 8.0-inch touchscreen. This van for road trips is an ideal choice for any adventurer looking for comfort and luxury for a memorable journey.
2. Ford Transit 350: The Practical Choice
Ford Transit 350 is one of the most practical vans for road trips, bringing in more versatility for long-trip adventures. The Transit 350 is the larger version of the Transit line-up, offering more interior space compared to its other smaller sisters.
The van comes with various engine options depending on the specific trim level and model year. The powerful 3.5L EcoBoost V6 engine is common among higher trim levels and is known for giving extra performance. There’s also the 3.2L Power Stroke Turbo Diesel I5 option for robust torque and better fuel efficiency. It’s an ideal choice if planning longer road trips while carrying heavy luggage.
In terms of capacity and size, the Transit 350 has a high-roof design with an extended length to provide more space for luggage and passengers. The interior dimensions are generous, making it an ideal camper van for road trips. You’ll get multiple seating arrangements that can accommodate 12 to 15 passengers. With its high payload, the van can carry substantial cargo and equipment while also towing trailers.
In terms of technology, convenience, and safety, Ford Transit 350 equally does not disappoint. It’s fitted with AM/FM stereo and aux audio input for entertainment. The air conditioning, vinyl seats, overhead airbags, and side airbags improve safety and convenience to make your road trip comfy.
With the sliding side door, it’s easier to load and unload the van, while providing more versatility at a campsite. If you are after versatility on your road trips, you can never go wrong with Ford Transit 350.
3. Vauxhall Vivaro: The Budget-Friendly Pick
Are you looking for conversion vans for road trips that offer versatility, and practicality without being overly too expensive? Vauxhall Vivaro offers an irresistible attraction with high affordability without compromising on quality. This van offers a spacious interior for family trips of 6-8 people with multiple seating options for a comfortable passenger experience.
Vauxhall Vivaro comes with a 1.6-litre engine, which might seem somewhat lacking for a panel van, but it can perform to satisfaction for road trips. The CDTi 90 with 89hp is entry-level and can perform lighter duties around urban areas. The CDTi 115 engine option with 113hp is much better for longer road trips.
The van offers different length options with interior dimensions of 2162mm for L1, 2512mm for L2, and 2863mm for L3. The 1628mm interior width combined with the length, offers sufficient space to store plenty of luggage for long road trip adventures.
Safety-wise, the Vauxhall Vivaro come equipped with an ESP control and traction control. It also has a load adaptive control and roll-over mitigation mechanism. The interior has pretty solid for a panel van but also features excellent design touches. It’s equipped with a standard air conditioner and a somewhat cheaper DAB radio but with better infotainment options.
Generally, the Vauxhall Vivaro is the best van for road trips if you are operating on a budget and need a van that can meet your road trip needs.
4. Renault Trafic LL30: The Versatile Van
Are you looking for an adaptable and versatile van that can meet the requirements of different types of road trip adventures? The Renault Trafic LL30 is among the most reliable vans for road trips, offering a choice of different engine capacities to achieve a perfect blend of efficiency and power.
The van runs on a 2.0-litre dCi diesel engine that delivers between 120 and 170hp, giving a more improved driving experience than Vauxhall Vivaro. Despite this, the van still complies with the Euro 6d-temp standards, making it an ideal choice if you want an eco-friendly van option.
When it comes to size and capacity, the Renault Trafic LL30 is 5480cm long and 2283cm wide with a passenger capacity of nine. The interior space is also generous enough to accommodate an 84-litre luggage volume for a medium-sized family. It comes with a 1012 maximum payload and can tow up to 750kg of unbraked trailers.
As a medium-sized family camper van for road trips, the Renault Trafic LL30 has a comfy cabin with a user-friendly appeal. It features a modern Bluetooth DAB radio, ESC stability control and an 8-inch touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity. The van also has manual air conditioning, reverse parking sensors, and Renault Mobile Office comprising a fold-down table with space for storing a laptop.
Loading the van is also more convenient, thanks to the 255-degree wide opening twin doors at the rear side. These features, combined with a sleek interior and driver comfort, the Renault Trafic LL30 make a good van for off-road trips around urban cities.
5. IVECO Daily Electric: The Eco-Conscious Choice
For any adventure-seeker with an eco-conscious mind looking for an eco-friendly road trip van, the IVECO Daily Electric is an excellent choice. This fully electric van is an electric version of the renowned IVECO Daily van, built with a focus on efficiency and eco-friendliness.
IVECO has improved this electric van and renamed it IVECO eDaily, offering a shorter charging time and up to 400km coverage on a full charge. Even though the IVECO Daily Electric offers numerous advantages, it’s worth noting certain considerations before using it for longer road trips.
The van is powered by 3 powerful battery packs capable of achieving 111kWh to power the electric motor. On a full charge, the van can do up to 280km, making it ideal for use within urban areas. So, before choosing this van for your road trips, make sure your itinerary has charging stations.
With its fast-charging mode, you can quickly reach full capacity within 2 hours. What’s more, the battery’s performance is optimized for any type of weather, meaning that you can keep driving even when it gets very hot or cold. The van uses a new battery technology which significantly reduces the overall battery weight, therefore giving the van an additional 100kg payload.
IVECO Daily Electric’s cabin has a more modern appeal featuring a sleek slightly squared steering wheel with a half digital, half analogue instrument panel. The wheel has a couple of buttons that control the small screen’s functions. Other functions are controllable using the 7.0-inch infotainment screen.
The screen offers a navigation system, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay connectivity. There’s also an elegant DAB radio on the dashboard. In terms of storage and capacity, IVECO Daily Electric is generously spacious. It can accommodate 22 passengers with numerous seating arrangements. With a 4.6 tonnes payload, you can also fit up to 20m3 of cargo.
Choosing the best van for road trips can significantly improve your adventure experience. Whether you are after affordability, luxury, practicality, or reliability, you will always find a van that meets your requirements. When choosing your ideal van for road trips, consider the capacity, fuel efficiency, handling, and comfort, among other factors.
The Volkswagen Transporter, Ford Transit 350, Vauxhall Vivaro, Renault Trafic LL30, and IVECO Daily Electric are all worthy options to consider. While making a choice, evaluate your requirements, test drive the various models available, and most importantly seek advice from experts. Doing all these while also considering your budget can get you the best camper vans for road trips to make your road adventures livelier.
Planning An Off-Road Adventure? Check Out These 9 Off-Road Van Upgrades for An Ultimate Escapade
Have you ever wished a stock van like VW Transporter Kombi could just have the capabilities of an off-road pickup truck to make your adventures more convenient? Luckily, you can get yourself an off-road van with a few upgrades.
While off-road pickup trucks are often the vehicle of choice for most adventure-seekers, they lack the capabilities and convenience that vans offer, such as bigger interiors. But how can a stock van overcome the rugged terrains and muddy roads of off-road terrains? What happens when you need a little more power to push harder off-road? The good thing is that it’s not rocket science to upgrade a stock van into an off-road Sprinter van.
9 Ways to Upgrade a Stock into an Off-Road Van for Adventure
Modified off-road vans bring in the convenience of more space while also delivering a similar feel to the off-road pick-up trucks when cruising over rough terrains. An upgrade makes your 2WD and 4WD vans more powerful machines with flexible suspension and better clearance for off-road escapades.
Here are 9 things to do to convert your stock van into a powerful off-road van.
1. Upgrading the suspension
The transmission and engine capability often steals the show if performance is on the table. But did you know that suspension is equally important? When driving a van off-road, you want better handling to navigate turns or unpredictable terrains. A suspension upgrade will also provide better ground clearance and enhanced articulation over rugged terrains. Here are several ways to upgrade your stock van suspension and create a reliable off-roading camper van out of it.
a) Replace the shock absorbers
Replacing the shocks is the fastest way to give your van better suspension capabilities. But take note though, it has to be special shock absorbers that can handle a great deal of stress. Going for highly reliable quality from trusted brands will eventually pay off. They will not only be durable, but will handle greater impact, handle corners, and enhance your ride quality for improved comfort.
Also, remember to replace the shocks in pairs for both the rear and front to avoid handling issues or uncomfortable rides. This comes in handy when navigating any sort of off-road terrain. Don’t forget to install the mounting kit and where needed, a protection kit for each of the shocks for prolonged life.
Ford Transit Custom Double Cab is among the comfortable vans with spacious interiors suitable for off-road adventure. Equipped with ergonomic seats, air-conditioning, and heating, replacing its factory shock absorbers with Fox shocks can incredibly improve its off-road performance.
b) Inspect and replace suspension components
Before rushing to do the shock upgrades, make sure you’ve carefully inspected the ball joints, sway bar, control arms, coil springs, and struts, among other components. When these crucial suspension components are worn out but reused instead, you’ll experience a tightened handling with a wobbly feel.
Replace every worn-out component, adequately grease them, and change the oil. If the handling still feels not right after all this, it means there’s a suspension component that requires attention.
2. Get a new set of wheels and all-terrain tyres
Capable shock absorbers are just a part of it, you need the right set of tyres to handle the off-road terrain. Your modified off-road van may have poor handling, traction, and load capability issues if the wheels and tyres aren’t right. Quality tyres will help the van navigate through a patch of mud or ice without slipping while the suspension aids with balance and recovery.
So, when choosing the right set of tyres, what should you consider? While there are many parameters to look at, it’s best to focus on the terrain that you’ll be frequenting the most. The all-terrain tyres capable of tackling diverse surfaces are the most ideal.
When choosing wheels, you should bear in mind the performance as well as the aesthetic aspect. Ensure the wheels are excellent with weight distribution and load handling. Another important aspect to consider is the bead grip grooves, which play a vital role when under lower air pressure to give the tire a firmer hold.
3. Protect the undercarriage with skid plates
When driving off-road, the terrain will be unpredictable and that means that your off-road van’s undercarriage will be at risk of collision with objects. Obstacles and rocks can easily damage vulnerable components like the oil pan, fuel tank, transmission, and engine. But skid plates can offer better protection ensuring that your off-road drive is free of worries.
There are a range of material choices when looking for skid plates, from plastic, aluminium, to steel. If you want longevity without adding extra load to the engine, the aluminium skid plates are the best. On the other hand, steel skid plates may come a little stronger on weight, but are durable and corrosion resistant.
Polyethylene (HDPE) plastic is highly resistant to corrosion, and chemicals, and offers less sliding resistance to the ground or obstacles. Their durability is a little lacking compared to steel and aluminium skid plates.
4. Install heavy-duty bumpers equipped with recovery points
Even with your suspension lifted, and all-terrain tyres installed, there’s still a chance of getting stuck in a pool of mud while driving off-road. When that happens, your off-road van should be equipped with recovery points to make it easier for a recovery vehicle to rescue it. Get a heavy-duty off-road bumper with reliable recovery points.
These bumpers will not only give your off-road sprinter van a rugged appeal but will also provide mounting locations for recovery gear. This makes it easier to be rescued as well as help fellow adventure-seekers in need.
5. Install recovery gear
One of the most crucial recovery gears to have while off-roading is a winch. When stuck in a pool of mud or on a challenging incline, a reliable winch will come in handy. When it comes to choosing a winch, it’s important to consider the power source as it determines the pulling capacity and durability of the motor.
Hydraulic winches are more powerful and reliable and therefore ideal for heavy-duty hauling. Since your van’s engine isn’t built for this type of performance, an electric winch will do just fine. A front-mounted electric winch on your off-roading camper van can effectively rescue other heavy 4X4 trucks out of tricky situations.
6. Equip your off-road van with a roof rack
One of the main reasons a van is a great off-road camping vehicle is its spacious interior. With a roof rack installed, you can give your off-road van more carrying capability. A sturdy roof rack will allow you to rack up camping gear, bicycles, kayaks, and a rooftop tent.
You can also go for interior storage solutions such as under-floor drawers to help you pack up anything else you might need while out in the wild.
7. Make the interior comfy and long-lasting
Off-road adventures come with their challenges, so make sure you’ve equipped your van’s interior to be more comfortable and durable. Upgrade your seats, cabinetry, and flooring to weather-resistant alternatives. Also, ensure that your van’s interior is properly insulated and ventilated for different climates.
8. Equip your van with off-road gear
You may have everything in position for off-road adventure, but you shouldn’t forget about essential off-road gear. Some of the include durable tow ropes, chains when driving in winter, and rescue boards when stuck in the sand.
In addition, don’t forget to carry a shovel as you may need it together with the rescue boards. A compressor onboard will also come in handy to deflate and inflate the tyres when required. Other than a compressor, you’ll also need a tyre plug repair kit to sort out punctures. Tyre plug kits are quite handy and can repair all types of punctures, from screws, nails, and other sharp objects. With the right set of gear and help, you can easily rescue your off-road van from any situation.
9. Add auxiliary lights for night navigation
When the night falls while still driving to your next stop point, a set of powerful aux lights can be a lifesaver. There’s the option of mounting your off-road LED lights on the roof rack or the front bumper. Alternatively, you may opt for light bars to illuminate your path.
Auxiliary lights are ideal for spotting hazards and obstacles ahead and avoiding them while also keeping you visible in the darkness. Plus, you can use the lights to light up your campsite and an aggressive appeal to your modified off-road van.
Summing it up
While a 2WD or a 4WD stock van can perform very well on highways when on a camping adventure, they’re not the most ideal for off-road escapades. Upgrading it to an off-road van can get you to any off-road campsite and provide the comfort that you can’t get from off-road pickup trucks.
An upgrade to an off-road sprinter van gives you more power and flexibility while getting that home-like experience on wheels. Your upgrade should take into consideration the suspension, wheels, tyres, aux lights, winch, heavy-duty bumpers, and skid plates among others.
However, the process can be demanding and requires proper planning. If you are looking for a one-time off-road adventure, it's best to lease one from a company with a fleet of ready off-road vans.