Van or truck, which one to choose?

When it comes to hitting the road for an adventure, the choice of your mobile home can make all the difference. Between a van and a converted truck, which one will best meet your road trip needs? Here are some criteria to consider.

First, let’s identify the two options:

A van, often associated with retro and boho vibes, is a fairly compact vehicle that can still accommodate a bed, a small kitchen and various storage spaces. It is generally a vehicle used for short-term getaways.

A truck converted into a « house on wheels » is often larger than a van. It typically offers more space and may have additional amenities, such as a bathroom.

Now, let’s compare considering some criteria:

Size and comfort

If vehicle comfort is important to you, a truck would be more suitable. The size of the truck allows the integration of more amenities, such as a larger bed, a shower space, and a fitted kitchen. In addition, the extra space also offers the possibility of having a dinette area convertible into a bed to accommodate occasional friends.

Agility and ease of driving

While the truck offers more space and comfort, the van is the vehicle of choice for more mobility and ease of driving. Its smaller size makes it easier to park and travel on narrower roads. If you plan to visit cities or tight terrains, a van might be the best choice. Parking is also a delicate issue to anticipate. It will be easier to park anywhere if your vehicle is less than 2 meters high.

The age of the original vehicle is also an important factor. If the older trucks used to drive a bit like trucks with a large steering wheel, the current trucks drive as easily as cars! In short, in terms of driving comfort, van and truck are very similar these days.

Discretion question?

In terms of discretion for the security of your personal belongings, the balance would tend to tip towards the converted truck, as long as the exterior of the vehicle has not been modified of course. Thus, your truck can look very much like any other artisan utility vehicle parked in the street. A converted van would have more difficulty going unnoticed, especially if you put up small obscuring curtains around 😉

Purchase and maintenance cost

Another important factor in your choice is cost. Generally, a van is cheaper to buy and maintain. Its smaller size also requires less layout work, so everything will be much less expensive. But, if you are looking for the comfort of a rolling apartment, with water, electricity, or even gas, the converted truck is your best option. Be careful, however, of the costs related to the weight of the vehicle which can be higher.

Fuel consumption

A van is generally more economical in terms of fuel consumption due to its smaller size and lighter weight compared to a truck. This can be a deciding factor if you plan to travel long distances.

Also, think that if you want to go to the mountains, it can be difficult to climb the hills with your nearly 3.5-ton truck, especially if the engine is a bit light to start with.


Finally, if you plan to convert your vehicle yourself, both options are suitable. With a van or a truck, you can arrange the interior exactly as you want. Trucks generally offer more space for personalization, but vans are not left out.

The choice between a van and a truck for your road trips largely depends on your needs, preferences, and budget! If you value comfort and space, go for a converted truck. On the other hand, if you are looking for more agility and cost savings, a van is the perfect option. Whatever your choice, remember that the journey is as important as the destination.