During 2020, over 70 percent of workers were forced to transition to work-from-home jobs. If given the choice today, more than half of them have said they would prefer to continue working from home.

The COVID-19 pandemic shifted the way Americans think and feel about work. With more people quitting their jobs or gaining flexibility for working remotely, the camper van lifestyle has taken root.

Life on the road has never been easier or more appealing to Americans. You can see the countryside, cut down on rent (should you choose to go full-time), and avoid an often mundane lifestyle. All you need is a revamped van, and you are ready to hit the road. 

I tend to be happier in my camper van than I am at home. Part of the reason is that I wake up a beautiful place each day, usually in a national forest, and I spend my days being active, mountain biking or hiking. A friend of mine said of his camper van that it was a tiny house with the world’s biggest backyard.

That said, camper vans do come with a learning curve and a few challenges. Let’s  unpack some of that.

What Is a Camper Van?

Camper vans are redesigned urban escape vehicles. Popular brands such as Volkswagen, Mercedes, and Ram ProMaster are all taking to this industry, often being upfitted by large lifestyle companies such as Winnebago.

These vans come in multiple lengths or sizes. Camper vans typically range from 18 feet to 24 feet, depending on what you choose. To put that in perspective, the average length of a Class A motorhome is 33 feet, and the average length of a Class C motorhome is 28 feet.

Camper vans are also more compact than your fifth wheels, which can run approximately 32 feet, on average. Additionally, you have to worry about towing and the type of car or truck you will need for that. You also have an easier time finding campground spots with the smaller-sized vehicle. 

Camper vans are so easy to drive, in fact, that we could use ours as our primary vehicle, if we were renting them so often.

Our camper vans give you the luxury of kitchens, toilets, and showers, as well as comfortable sleeping quarters and outdoor amenities such as awnings. You have all the needs of a motorhome without worrying about finding large RV spots or tackling tough mountain passes. 

Getting Started: Rent a Camper Van

What do you need to get started with the camper van lifestyle? If you have any knowledge or skill set with a little construction work, then you might have no problem customizing your own van. However, there are a few things that you need to consider before purchasing your van. You’ll need to think about how you’ll heat and cool your van, whether or not you’ll have a toilet and/or shower. Will you want a generator or a lithium power pack?

One of the best things to do before pulling the plug and buying a van is testing it out. And while it can sometimes be hard to find reliable camper van companies, we are van-life fans who own three camper vans that we rent to others from our home base in Asheville, North Carolina.

Asheville is the perfect hub for exploring Western North Carolina or even for trips to the South Carolina and Georgia coasts, where the beaches are from four hours to six hours away. In 6.5 hours you can even reach the northern tip of Florida and two of our favorite campgrounds, Fort Clinch and Little Talbot.

Which One Is Right for You?

All three of our vans were crafted by Winnebago. Our luxury Winnebago Boldt is built on a Mercedes Sprinter chassis. The Boldt is one of the nicest camper vans you can find on the market. If you are willing to pay the price for luxury glamping, then be sure and rent it first and see how you like it. 

Winnebago also created our Travato vans. They come fully equipped with water and electric hook-ups, bathrooms, and showers, just like the Mercedes Boldt. The Travatos have generators for operating off the grid, although most times you can get by with the house batteries that pack plenty of power. The Boldt has a huge lithium power pack that can run air conditioning, microwave and other amenities in the van. This makes all three vans ideal choices for campsites or remote camping. 

All three of our vans have kitchenettes with cooktops, microwaves (convection in two of them), refrigerators, and more.

Minimalist Lifestyle

Once you rent a camper van and realize this is the life for you, then you will likely need to cut a few things out. What are you going to do about your apartment? What about all of your stuff?

If you want a quick summer adventure, then you might get away with renting your apartment out and leaving some of your stuff there. You could also opt for long-term rental if you want a continuous stream of revenue.

Storage facilities are another option for moving stuff out of your apartment. However, many people are taking to the minimalist lifestyle and getting rid of anything that isn’t necessary. 

This means clothes, electronics, kitchenware, furniture, and yes – even your car. If you are upgrading to a camper van, then there is little need for you to have another car. 

The minimalist lifestyle doesn’t mean you are forced into getting rid of stuff you love. It is about letting go of possessions that don’t hold a lot of meaning and embracing enriching activities and memories with loved ones. 

Should You Build a Camper Van?

Now that you have that in mind – if you are going to do be doing a lot of off-roading or driving in the snow, then you will want a camper van with 4×4 capacity. While you might not get as great of gas mileage, it will give you more opportunities for exploring the outdoors in the wintertime. 

Once you have decided what to do with your stuff, you need to move into your camper van. If you aren’t handy and want some help, there are plenty of companies and skilled craftsmen who can work on your van or sell you one of theirs. 

However, make sure you do your research beforehand on trustworthy companies. Also, it might cost you more if you buy a fully-equipped van or pay someone. 

Map out a budget beforehand. If you are pressed for money, it will pay dividends for buying a used van and fixing it up. One of the larger expenses can be plumbing and maintenance. 

If you want to opt for public restrooms and showers, then you can eliminate costly features such as showers and toilets. If you’re living on the road full-time, sometimes it is worth it to bite the bullet and pay for it. 

Used van prices can vary – some people have only spent a few thousand for a used van and then put $8,000 to $10,000 in repairs and upgrades. If you want a Mercedes model or are buying it outright, the prices can quickly increase to at least $50,000. 

The Van Life

We give potential van life converters the opportunity to rent and experience nature through custom-fitted, luxury vans. Renting a camper van can change your perspective and viewpoint on life. The minimalist lifestyle has been calling to people for decades and now has never been a better time to fully immerse yourself in it. 

If you have an interest in renting a camper van and seeing all that it has to offer, check out our vans to find one that is right for you.


2020 Boldt

Luxury Drive. This Winnebago build on a Mercedes chassis is the cream of the Class B crop. With outstanding comfort for both driving and camping, a well-appointed kitchen, and a full bathroom, you’ll find this compact RV meets all your needs – with serious style!

Enjoy 12,800 watt-hours of clean, quiet power with the lithium based Pure3 Advanced Energy System. This system eliminates the need for shore-power or a generator, giving you plenty of power no matter where you’re camping.

The two twin beds can be expanded for queen-sized comfort. Captain’s chairs up front swivel to face the back when camping. The awning deploys or retracts with one button.

Bearwallow Moon

Camp in your camper van (or ours) or in our vintage trailer. Enjoy views of Bearwallow and Little Pisgah on our old farmland near Asheville. Situated in beautiful Cane Creek Valley.

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Cades Cove, Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Cades Cove is on the Tennessee side of the Great Smoky Mountains National  Park, in the northwest of the park. From Asheville, it’s about a 3- to 4-hour drive, especially in winter when you have to drive around the park. Route 441 through the park between Cherokee and Gatlinburg is often closed in winter due to snow and ice.

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Smokemont, Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Smokemont has a lot of great hikes right from your site. Bradley fork joins the Oconaluftee River here. Sometimes in winter, the main road through the park, as well as the adjoining southern terminus of the Blue Ridge Parkway, is closed due to snow and ice. This is a great opportunity to road bike or run without any vehicle traffic. For technical mountain biking, check out Cherokee’s Fire Mountain.

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Winter Camping In Western North Carolina

Nature turns ice into fascinating sculptures. Waterfalls are brimming. Bluebird days illuminate the forests and mountain summits. Sunsets seem even more rich and colorful. The golden hour casts its magic and hypnotizes, putting the observer in a trance of gratitude.

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Davidson River Campground

Located right on the Davidson River at the entrance of Pisgah National Forest Ranger District in Brevard. Situated in Transylvania County (known as the “Land of the Water Falls”), this campground is a 15 minute drive from Brevard, 45 minutes from Asheville or 30 minutes from Hendersonville. Weather permitting you can ride your bike on the Greenway to and from downtown Brevard. The Greenway passes Oscar Blues Brewery and Taproom, where you’ll also find a food truck. In Brevard, you’ll also find Ecusta Brewing Co, Brevard Brewing and Upcountry Brewing.

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Curtis Creek Campground

Curtis Creek campground is in Pisgah National Forest at the base of the Blue Ridge Parkway below Snooks Nose and Green Knob. It is just outside Old Fort along Curtis Creek. This is Bear Sanctuary in NC Game-lands. This historic area, is the first tract of National Forest land in America.

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